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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Running red lights...
It's one of the advantages of cycling. Why not? 18 15.79%
Only when I'm in a hurry and no cars are crossing. 43 37.72%
Dangerous, I never do it. 49 42.98%
It's so cool hipsters are doing it. 4 3.51%
Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-08-14, 07:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by sportsfan266 View Post
It really depends on the situation. Sometimes I bike to work early in the morning when there are few cars on a road. If there's no cars at an intersection and it's safe to cross - I'll run the light because I haven't figured out how to trip all the traffic signal loops on the road yet and I'm not going to wait a few minutes for a car to show up.

Otherwise if there is even one car on the road near the intersection, I'll wait out the light.
This covers it for me... I have figured out how to trip the sensors... but not all the sensors work, and I know which lights won't respond on the route I use daily. And no, if there was one car around, I would not run the light. I do the same with some stop signs... no other traffic around, I'll cruise through. No one can say I am a bad example, as there is simply no one else around for me to be an example to.

What I don't do is ride up to a red light, where others are waiting and then run it. I find that rude, even if there is no cross traffic. On the other hand if I have waited at a light for a cycle, and it doesn't trigger and even if there are cars around, but no one in my lane (this happens on left turn only lights), I will wait for a safe time and then "run" the light... hey I waited, I know the light will not trigger, technically this is not running the light.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:30 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by sportsfan266 View Post
It really depends on the situation....
+1

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Otherwise if there is even one car on the road near the intersection, I'll wait out the light.
That depends on the situation as well, there is one left turn pocket lane that will not change if I happen to be on my bicycle, and the lead vehicle in the turn pocket. I have notified the local DOT about this particular signal light, no return response as of yet.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:32 AM   #28
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It works out that the first and last 3 miles of any ride is on a MUT and involve a signaled crossing. Typically I'll trip the signal if there's any traffic present, and treat it as a stop sign when there is no traffic present. Being a bike friendly area its not unusual for drivers to stop for folks on the trail even though they have the green, but I don't go, and point to the signal.
I also will run one particular light on the straight of a T intersection as I'm riding the shoulder and there's no pedestrian signal there.

One time while using the MUT crossing, a car full of kids ran the signal and shot the gap between me and a jogger, I know how that made me feel, and was an abject lesson on why running lights when others are present and shooting gaps is simply wrong. There's no way to know when the other guy may get the same idea.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:35 AM   #29
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I like the Utah law where cyclists can treat stop signs like yield signs and red lights like stop signs. That's pretty much how I ride, though in places where that's not the law, I try to be a bit less flagrant about it.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:03 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by daihard View Post
We need a choice that says "Only when the bicycle doesn't trigger the light." That's me.
This. In many states there is a law intended for cyclists and motorcycles that allows you to go on red if the light fails to turn for you. Usually you have to wait like 60 seconds with no car behind you. There are 2 lights I need to trigger on my usual route. One took me some time, but I've finally found the loop location (no broken pavement above it). The other never works for just the bike. I typically wait it out until another car comes since the cross road tends to be _VERY_ busy. Still, in low traffic conditions, if the light doesn't turn for me, I will go after I'm certain the light doesn't work.

Last edited by DogBoy; 05-08-14 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:56 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
"Shoaling" people is a totally different subject than running lights. It's generally rude and I don't do it unless it's totally obvious that I am faster than the person in front of me--for instance, I have been steadily gaining on them for two blocks, then we hit a light. In other words, I don't make someone pass me after I have passed them.
So, laws are up for interpretation but etiquette is not? Why can't the person to whom you replied determine what is or is not rude? You certainly get to determine what law is okay to follow.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:45 AM   #32
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There is no answer for me. And the rider who runs red lights cannot be generalized, they range from reckless scofflaws to cautious riders who seen no need to wait when its not necessary. Mostly, I follow the Idaho model.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:50 AM   #33
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So, laws are up for interpretation but etiquette is not? Why can't the person to whom you replied determine what is or is not rude? You certainly get to determine what law is okay to follow.
LOL, wow! I'm saying what *I* do and what *I*consider rude. I'm not holding a weapon to your head telling you that you need to do the same. Get a grip, man.

For me, I don't give a good god damn about the law. I do what I consider to be the safe and courteous thing to do--always, and in that order of priority. You are allowed to approach riding your own way--I give you permission, since you seem to need it.
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Old 05-08-14, 11:30 AM   #34
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This poll is kind of dumb. I predict the thread gets locked. I'm not voting for any of the current options.

My option would be, "I do it when it's safe. When it's not, I don't."
+1, checked the second option because it was closest, but my sense of urgency has nothing to do with it. If/when the intersection is clear, I roll. If/when it isn't, I wait.

While purists may hate those of us who proceed through reds (I don't call it running a light unless it's done without slowing or stopping to check traffic), it can often be safer than waiting. For example, leaving early before the light changes means no dealing with turning traffic.
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Old 05-08-14, 01:47 PM   #35
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I run red lights and stop signs. I feel bad for the sheep who obey all laws and live the boxed life the government wants them to live.
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Old 05-08-14, 02:18 PM   #36
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Obey the rules, like everyone else.
The way motorists obey the speed limit and pedestrians obey jaywalking laws?
Sure thing buddy.

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Old 05-08-14, 02:43 PM   #37
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The way motorists obey the speed limit and pedestrians obey jaywalking laws?
Sure thing buddy.

I know, right? And don't forget how they run reds. I sit on my porch and smoke a pipe on a regular basis, usually for about an hour. There is an intersection right here, and if what happens there on a nightly basis is an indication, the car drivers here in Brooklyn don't care much for red lights.

I notice that most of these law and order types who never roll reds don't live in a major metro area. I wonder why they think they know what's best for those of us who do?
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Old 05-08-14, 02:44 PM   #38
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It still comes down to two wrongs don't make a right.................. MHO
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Old 05-08-14, 03:20 PM   #39
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It still comes down to two wrongs don't make a right.................. MHO
It doesn't come down to that at all, because I define what is wrong and right for me. The law is a totally separate concept from what is wrong and right--this has been discussed since antiquity, and I suggest those who conflate the concepts read Antigone. I don't believe that rolling a stop in a safe and courteous fashion is wrong. Other people can have whatever opinion they want.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:28 PM   #40
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Good looking and faster than riders who don't.

that being said i only do so when it's 5am and there are no cars to press on the sensors so the light changes. It may take me 20 min until a car arrives and that sucks.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:29 PM   #41
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Definitely an emphasis on "no cars or pedestrians nearby"

I agree with those that are saying they stop at intersections to give motorists a better impression of cyclists. I feel the same way a lot of times. I live in Orange County, CA- a fairly busy hybrid city/suburb area where there are places I always stop at stop signs and lights and others where, if no one's close to the intersection, I ride right through. It can be frustrating sometimes when I roll up to stop sign with one car where I intend to (cautiously) roll through the stop after they leave but they sit and wait, for waaaay too long, for me to make some erratic, high-speed move through the intersection. It makes me come to a complete stop, at which point they wave me on. I appreciate them being cautious of me but it's really just screwing up my flow and making it less safe.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:37 PM   #42
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Obey the rules, like everyone else.
That is exactly what I do.

And as soon as I see SOME motorists stop completely at stop signs, stop AT the doggone fat white "stop here" line at intersections and not on top of them, religiously using their turn signals, yielding to pedestrians when turning right on red, obey ALL speed LIMITS even on the freeway, get rid of the window tint, keep BOTH brake lights working, and spend SOME time looking through the windshield instead of at their phone screens....then....I will also do EXACTLY what they do. Until then, they can all eat my shorts. Almost everyone breaks the law behind the wheel. So I actually do obey the rules LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!

FYI...I never ever stop for a red light when the coast is clear unless there is a cop right next to me.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 05-08-14 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:50 PM   #43
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I hate having to continually pass the same d-bag because they run red lights when I stop at them.
I pass about 1000 cars/trucks in the city grid every day during my commute. They are ALL in my way but somehow I manage to deal with it even when occasionally I have to pass the same d-bag twice because he/she is looking at his/her phone instead of the freakin' green light right in front of him/her. This is the only way any motorist is going to see me twice in the same day even though I run every red light I can. I'll be home and they will still have 50 lights to wait for, some of them twice.

This is why I ride a bicycle instead of drive a car in the city grid. So I don't have to line up with the rest of the lemmings.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:26 PM   #44
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"Shoaling" people is a totally different subject than running lights. It's generally rude and I don't do it unless it's totally obvious that I am faster than the person in front of me--for instance, I have been steadily gaining on them for two blocks, then we hit a light. In other words, I don't make someone pass me after I have passed them.
Funny thing is I don't ever recall having to repeatedly pass the same cyclist when driving.

I do recall having the same bus pass me over and over when riding. I did nothing to cause it. The bus was simply faster than me when it was going. It would pass me (belching out black diesel smoke) and then stop a quarter mile ahead for me to catch and pass. I even tried backing off. Unfortunately it was a heavy buss area, I just got into the same situation with the next bus.

The only instance I remember with a cyclist that was a jerk was on a group ride near the end when the group was well broken up. I was with 2 other riders a guy and a girl. The guy was by far the slowest of the 3 of us. And each time we stopped at a light he would swoop past the two f us to the front, forcing us to repass him every signal.

I finally got tired of it and jumped away. Would have done so much sooner except for the girl. But she was soon able to follow suit and I made sure she was right on my wheel until we wer safely free of the problem.
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Old 05-08-14, 04:57 PM   #45
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That is exactly what I do.

And as soon as I see SOME motorists stop completely at stop signs, stop AT the doggone fat white "stop here" line at intersections and not on top of them, religiously using their turn signals, yielding to pedestrians when turning right on red, obey ALL speed LIMITS even on the freeway, get rid of the window tint, keep BOTH brake lights working, and spend SOME time looking through the windshield instead of at their phone screens....then....I will also do EXACTLY what they do. Until then, they can all eat my shorts. Almost everyone breaks the law behind the wheel. So I actually do obey the rules LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!
I actually do all of these things when I drive. Most motorists do. Those few who don't (IE, I have a sister who may well end up as a texting statistic if she doesn't smarten up) give the rest of the motorists a bad name.....much as those few cyclists who run reds and otherwise act like a dumbass kid while riding who give cyclists a bad name.
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Old 05-08-14, 05:13 PM   #46
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There should be an option on this poll for "Is annoying and dumb and makes motorists respect our right to the road less."
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Old 05-08-14, 05:32 PM   #47
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I actually do all of these things when I drive. Most motorists do [obey the law].
I am going to call BS on that statement. Next time you are driving on an Interstate highway with relatively light traffic, try setting the cruise control at EXACTLY the speed limit and count how many motorists pass you compared to how many you pass. Then come back and tell me most obey the law and I will move to where you live.
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Old 05-08-14, 05:39 PM   #48
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There should be an option on this poll for "Is annoying and dumb and makes motorists respect our right to the road less."
Motorists could not possibly respect our right to the road less than they already do.

Here is a Newsflash: Motorists just want you and your bicycle out of their way. Waiting at a red light so that all of the auto traffic behind you has to figure out how to get around you makes them hate you. Forget respecting you. They hate you and, given your theory, you are making them hate me too.
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Old 05-08-14, 05:42 PM   #49
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I am going to call BS on that statement. Next time you are driving on an Interstate highway with relatively light traffic, try setting the cruise control at EXACTLY the speed limit and count how many motorists pass you compared to how many you pass. Then come back and tell me most obey the law and I will move to where you live.
Not comparable. Driving with the general flow of traffic (yes, 5-10mph over the limit in many areas) is very different than conduct at lights. Even in NY, the vast majority of drivers stop and wait at lights.

OTOH, proceeding through reds, when safe, are very different for bicycles and cars in terms of the effect. It's even different with cars depending on conditions. In certain areas near here, police will not ticket cars that treat red lights as stop signs between 1 and 5AM or so, if there no traffic on the cross street. (except Saturday night).
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Old 05-08-14, 06:30 PM   #50
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Indiana just passed the "dead red" law ... allows motorcyclists, moped riders and bicyclists to drive through a red light that they've failed to trigger it to turn green, as long as they've stopped for two minutes and then proceed cautiously ... but 2 minutes can seem like eternity. But at least I can be legal.
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