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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, 06:34 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by 65madone10 View Post
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.
Dectection systems are so good these days, that it's somewhat unfair to make 2 wheelers wait two minutes rather than improve the sensors. This is an interim step at best. Better would be mandating that sensors be improved as replaced, and all new sensors be 2 wheel friendly. I believe that California took this approach and it doesn't seem to be a burden.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:34 PM   #52
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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.
Really? You just made a justification for motorists to break traffic laws. They have their reasons and I have mine. If a motorist insists that I follow the law my response would be a resounding "You First!"

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Old 05-08-14, 06:40 PM   #53
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Idaho laws are said to make cyclists safer since they don't have to wait to have motorists stack up behind them. I can't count how many times I've had this happen, it's really annoying
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Old 05-08-14, 06:40 PM   #54
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Really? You just made a justification for motorists to break traffic laws. You have your reasons and I have mine.
I don't need to justify my decisions, and neither do you.

OTOH- I never use "well, they do X" to justify my doing Y.

I've also never adhered to the notion that what you or I do, somehow reflects on anyone else.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:41 PM   #55
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Dectection systems are so good these days, that it's somewhat unfair to make 2 wheelers wait two minutes rather than improve the sensors. This is an interim step at best. Better would be mandating that sensors be improved as replaced, and all new sensors be 2 wheel friendly. I believe that California took this approach and it doesn't seem to be a burden.
There are lights in our area where you can't depend on them to pick up your car, let alone my bike. Highway budgets here are so tight that we have converted some rural "blacktop" rodes back to gravel when the pot holes got so bad they couldn't patch them all.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:45 PM   #56
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There are lights in our area where you can't depend on them to pick up your car, let alone my bike. Highway budgets here are so tight that we have converted some rural "blacktop" rodes back to gravel when the pot holes got so bad they couldn't patch them all.
It's like that here. That's why I push for an upgrade as installed, rather than upgrade immediately. The first doesn't cost anything extra.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:25 PM   #57
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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.
Yeah, it's good that you have the law now, but 2 minutes is a long time to wait...
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Old 05-08-14, 07:40 PM   #58
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My bicycle is a bicycle. It is not a car and cars do not treat my bicycle like a car. When cars treat me like a car I will act like a car and not run red lights. Otherwise, game on.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:45 PM   #59
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My bicycle is a bicycle. It is not a car and cars do not treat my bicycle like a car. When cars treat me like a car I will act like a car and not run red lights. Otherwise, game on.
I know where you're coming from. OTOH, that kind of attitude won't necessarily help more drivers treat bicycles like cars...
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Old 05-09-14, 07:15 AM   #60
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Dectection systems are so good these days, that it's somewhat unfair to make 2 wheelers wait two minutes rather than improve the sensors. This is an interim step at best. Better would be mandating that sensors be improved as replaced, and all new sensors be 2 wheel friendly. I believe that California took this approach and it doesn't seem to be a burden.
Installing bike friendly sensors is one thing, in getting the DOT to set the sensors to the level of easily detecting a bicycle is another.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:21 AM   #61
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It's a circumstantial thing, I sincerely hope that people don't run every red light, but I also see no point in waiting at all reds.
I often find situations where I feel it is safer/neccessary to go through a red.

A lot of lights in town won't even acknowledge a bicycle, so I'm forced to proceed through the light (after stopping).
If the intersection is clear and it would be more of a hassle to stop, I go through it.
If it's a hard yellow or just turned red and I have a car behind me, I go through it. I'd rather run a red than be rear ended by someone else trying to speed through one.
Some intersections are always super busy and have 35-45 mph speed limits, I don't even consider running those. I stop and wait.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:59 AM   #62
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If it's a hard yellow or just turned red and I have a car behind me, I go through it. I'd rather run a red than be rear ended by someone else trying to speed through one.
If it's a yellow, it's stop if safe to do so. But there are alternatives to running a red.

Example - when the light turned yellow, Land Yacht was in the left lane. Then they switched lanes and accelerated. Doubt they even saw me (blinking lights and blaze yellow be damned). I saw them.

Sorry about blowing the stop line - I was busy keeping unhurt.


FWIW - I choose to obey traffic laws. Driving or Riding - I choose to obey traffic laws. I don't precondition my behavior on the behavior of others. Particularly idiots.

Example - 30 mph speed limit, slowing to 20 mph for the school zone, and a bus indicating to merge from a bus stop. Pay attention to the side mirrors. He tailgated the bus too as far as the eye could see.


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Old 05-09-14, 08:19 AM   #63
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I know where you're coming from. OTOH, that kind of attitude won't necessarily help more drivers treat bicycles like cars...
I would absolutely not want to be treated exactly the same as a car.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:20 AM   #64
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mr bill, Your second video is exactly why I ride through hard yellows or a soft red if I have a vehicle behind me. I'd rather be going 15 mph when that white truck nails me than be at a dead stop.

I don't intentionally go out to ignore traffic laws, I want to make it home safely as well. But I always assume that the driver is distracted and does not see me, and I act accordingly.

If the speed limit is low in the area, I do what you did in your first video. I'll get over to the side, so I don't get rear ended.

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Old 05-09-14, 08:36 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post

Example - 30 mph speed limit, slowing to 20 mph for the school zone, and a bus indicating to merge from a bus stop. Pay attention to the side mirrors. He tailgated the bus too as far as the eye could see.


-mr. bill

Add in the fact of motorist made the pass maneuver while crossing over a double yellow into oncoming traffic.......if there is any plus side, at least the motorist made the pass after the crosswalk.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:41 AM   #66
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I won't argue that rigidly adhering to traffic laws at all times when riding a bicycle is a bit excessive, a bicycle isn't a car..... but that some take pride in breaking laws as if they are somehow better than everyone else, or justify it because others break laws too is weak.

What we do is either safe and courteous, or its not.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:44 AM   #67
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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.
I guess it depends on where you ride. My commute has bike lanes pretty much the whole way through, and where it's not, we've got markers in the lane making it clear that we've got the right to the road, even without the lane. I stick to my lanes, whenever possible and safe, and jump out occasionally for potholes or to avoid a car turning right, or when I need to turn left (obviously). I stop at reds and never get honked at and rarely catch a disdainful look from a motorist. This is obviously anecdotal, but the dudes I see getting honked at are the ones dipping and diving through traffic and running reds. It's frustration on the motorists part. A lot of safe driving and safe cycling comes from the idea of predictability. Cyclists feel safer if we can predict what a driver is going to do and drivers feel like they have less of a chance of killing us if they know what we're going to do. Predictability = safety on the roads.

Obviously, there are dudes in cars who don't care about our right to the road and just want us out of the way and that can't be avoided. But I find that I rarely run into said dudes on the roads. They're the rarity that pings in your memory and stands out, because that's how our brains work; we remember threats and forget about the innocuous because innocuous doesn't get us killed. I stop at red lights because it makes sense; I ride in traffic and want to be predictable and want to be seen, stopping at red lights helps me do that.

Now, if you're running red-lights at midnight when no one's around, that's a completely different argument and one I don't have a good opinion on either way.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:55 AM   #68
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running reds and killing peds brah
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Old 05-09-14, 11:04 AM   #69
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A bit tangential to the topic, but a number of new lights around here use small video cameras to sense vehicles. So far they've been completely reliable at detecting me on my bike. I don't know if they're wired up to record scofflaws too.
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Old 05-09-14, 11:34 AM   #70
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The only time I ever do this is under the following conditions:

1) There is absolutely no car traffic around
2) The sensor and or button fails to operate properly after a complete red-green cycle
3) When I am riding with other people and #1 applies and they go for it. If they do this and #1 does not apply then I give them the stink eye when I catch up with them after the light turns green.
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Old 05-09-14, 11:49 AM   #71
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Never ceases to amaze me how many people conflate a moral sense of right and wrong with traffic law and safety when it should be obvious to a day one road user that they are basically mutually exclusive.
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Old 05-09-14, 12:03 PM   #72
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Cyclists/commuters that run red lights really tick me off, especially slow cyclists. If you're in such hurry that you need to run a red light at least pedal faster you lazy cad. I hate having to continually pass the same d-bag because they run red lights when I stop at them.
OMG, THANK YOU. I usually sit and stew on a daily basis putting up with these shenanigans...today I finally lost it and when the light turned green (about five seconds after a snail rolled past me, stopped ahead of the crosswalk, in the intersection and then started pedaling in front of me at about 2 mph). I practically sideswiped him. Silly and childish, I know, but there's a limit...

Then, there's this argument
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Old 05-09-14, 03:51 PM   #73
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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."

Also, "when no cars are coming?" Duh. The reality is that in the city most cyclists "run" lights. Contrary to motorist's perception, they DO look before they go. I'm not saying there isn't the occasional nut who doesn't, but people who don't look wouldn't live long around here.
Bingo.

I think there are a lot of less urban riders on faster roads casting stones on the issue because it's not safe for them to run reds based on road speed and road site lines. It's different where we ride. I am safer jumping lights because it alleviates the right hook.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:13 PM   #74
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So I guess I have to ask...

If the Idaho Stop became legal and implemented worldwide, how many of you folks who currently stop and wait at every red light would be able to adjust? If it was legal to go through a red after stopping, would that somehow magically make it safer to do so? Or would you sit there and stare at a red light anyway with no crossing traffic in sight?

I am not waiting for the law to catch up with common sense. As long as I am not infringing on any other road user's right-of-way, why does it matter to them? Do your thing man. Having to pass the same cyclist a couple of times - accomplished by letting up on a pedal briefly, turning a steering wheel about a quarter of an inch, then slightly depressing the pedal again - is a real tragedy.

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Old 05-09-14, 05:53 PM   #75
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So I guess I have to ask...

If the Idaho Stop became legal and implemented worldwide, how many of you folks who currently stop and wait at every red light would be able to adjust? If it was legal to go through a red after stopping, would that somehow magically make it safer to do so? Or would you sit there and stare at a red light anyway with no crossing traffic in sight?

I am not waiting for the law to catch up with common sense. As long as I am not infringing on any other road user's right-of-way, why does it matter to them? Do your thing man. Having to pass the same cyclist a couple of times - accomplished by letting up on a pedal briefly, turning a steering wheel about a quarter of an inch, then slightly depressing the pedal again - is a real tragedy.
It's reasonable to say it would make it safer because others would be expecting it and watching for it. Like with right on red, some do it when its not safe and force others to take evasive action.

Its also a significant difference in that the Idaho law doesn't allow "running" a red light, it allows it to be treated as a stop sign.

I have seen a cyclist leap-frog in traffic causing a considerable backup, but it happens so rarely its hardly worth worrying about in reality.
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