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Old 12-16-10, 06:13 AM   #1
RayB
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Red Light Runners, do your worst.

Well,

We have some new laws down here. It has always been fairly strict, if they bother with you. But, as of this past July possible penalties for running a light on a bicycle are 3 months in jail and/or 550 USD fine. I wonder how long Joeybike would go in my neck of the woods before getting busted.

Anyways, I've dreaded this for years but today I finally counted my traffic signals. All 87 of them, ONE WAY

I wonder if it's worth the 3 months
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Old 12-16-10, 06:52 AM   #2
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ouch! that's 21 years 9 months in jail... one way!
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Old 12-16-10, 07:27 AM   #3
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Red light laws should actually move to lessen restrictions on cyclists, since running a light with your 25 pound bicycle is such a minimal threat compared to running one with a 3,000 pound car. This is exactly why Idaho (idaho stop) allows cyclists to treat them as stop signs....which really makes a lot of sense and decreases motorist angst when cyclists stop and then pass through a light.

Note: I said stop, then pass through the light.

I don't understand this line of thinking other than appeasing an angry mob of motorists -- which is a stupid way to provide for peoples' safety.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:01 AM   #4
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Red light laws should actually move to lessen restrictions on cyclists, since running a light with your 25 pound bicycle is such a minimal threat compared to running one with a 3,000 pound car. This is exactly why Idaho (idaho stop) allows cyclists to treat them as stop signs....which really makes a lot of sense and decreases motorist angst when cyclists stop and then pass through a light.

Note: I said stop, then pass through the light.

I don't understand this line of thinking other than appeasing an angry mob of motorists -- which is a stupid way to provide for peoples' safety.
You are correct, but the fact that running a light on a 25 pound bike can put you directly in the path of a 3,000 pound car seems to have slipped from the logically obvious part of the equation in your math.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:02 AM   #5
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I wonder how long Joeybike would go in my neck of the woods before getting busted.
Cops couldn't catch Joeybike, he's Neal Cassady on a bicycle.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:21 AM   #6
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I keep dreading a law like that around here, they tried to get rid of the current cyclist stop and go but it didn't end up getting passed thank god. I can even imagine how much time that would add to your ride, even if you only got stuck at half them thats still 40 lights.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:35 AM   #7
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You are correct, but the fact that running a light on a 25 pound bike can put you directly in the path of a 3,000 pound car seems to have slipped from the logically obvious part of the equation in your math.
Nope, not slipped. Since I believe you are responding in an intellectually dishonest way -- meh, forget it.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:37 AM   #8
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I keep dreading a law like that around here, they tried to get rid of the current cyclist stop and go but it didn't end up getting passed thank god. I can even imagine how much time that would add to your ride, even if you only got stuck at half them thats still 40 lights.
It does save time, for sure. I just hate to see this simply because it doesn't really make sense for cyclists to sit at empty intersections, where their view is much better than a car, and not be allowed to pass through.

This topic has been beaten pretty badly on here before though, so we'll see.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:51 AM   #9
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I'm sure the rationale is just like helmet laws. It's there to protect you from yourself. If they penalize everyone who runs a red light enough, they think it will make the idiots who run red lights into crossing traffic think twice. Problem is, those idiots aren't thinking once.
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Old 12-16-10, 08:56 AM   #10
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I'm sure the rationale is just like helmet laws. It's there to protect you from yourself. If they penalize everyone who runs a red light enough, they think it will make the idiots who run red lights into crossing traffic think twice. Problem is, those idiots aren't thinking once.
That's probably true. In many areas though, laws and street/traffic patterns are changing in small ways to accomodate the inherent difference of cycling vs. driving a car....with bike boxes, bike lights, center lanes, contraflow lanes, etc. I like seeing this and I think the Idaho stop is a logical candidate for it in many places.
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Old 12-16-10, 09:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TurbineBlade View Post
Red light laws should actually move to lessen restrictions on cyclists, since running a light with your 25 pound bicycle is such a minimal threat compared to running one with a 3,000 pound car. This is exactly why Idaho (idaho stop) allows cyclists to treat them as stop signs....which really makes a lot of sense and decreases motorist angst when cyclists stop and then pass through a light.

Note: I said stop, then pass through the light.
So logically, then, the same should be true for motorcycles and small cars, right? After all, my 2500 lbs car is so much smaller than a 6000 lbs SUV... Heck, perhaps traffic signals should only apply to semis and transit buses? Perhaps what escapes you is that it isn't all about the 'threat' posed by the vehicle running, but by the vehicle having to avoid the runner -- and it is also about efficient movement of traffic - all traffic.

I mean, really, if average cyclist gets to an intersection of a 6 lane road on a bike, stops, and seeing nothing coming, proceeds, as a 45 MPH car is approaching from beyond immediate line of sight, there's no possible way that he'll reach the intersection before the bike clears, right?

I'm not saying I'm not sympathetic... or that I never run reds. But I watch cyclist run reds every day in ways that cause other vehicles to have to deviate from their path when they (the cars) have right of way. Sure, I know you're responsible, and would never do that... but not every cyclist is. This merely gives the authorities a big stick with which to punish the irresponsible.

Of course, as the saying goes, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
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Old 12-16-10, 10:04 AM   #12
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Red light laws should actually move to lessen restrictions on cyclists, since running a light with your 25 pound bicycle is such a minimal threat compared to running one with a 3,000 pound car. This is exactly why Idaho (idaho stop) allows cyclists to treat them as stop signs....which really makes a lot of sense and decreases motorist angst when cyclists stop and then pass through a light.

Note: I said stop, then pass through the light.

I don't understand this line of thinking other than appeasing an angry mob of motorists -- which is a stupid way to provide for peoples' safety.

21 years in prison? Hari Kari time...

In all seriousness, the Idaho stop law, is the best. Also, the stop sign yield as well. Makes so much sense, proof that potatoes do raise IQ!

Colorado doesn't have such laws, bikes are basically legally the same as motor vehicles, with exceptions (e.g. we can ride on sidewalks - here in my neck of the woods, sidewalks are bascially big MUPs since there is not much ped traffic).
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Old 12-16-10, 10:21 AM   #13
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I must be dumber than I ever thought. I just don't get the debate. If the law in your area says red lights apply to cyclists, then where's the issue? It's the law. Since when do you get to decide which laws you obey? Where do you draw the line on which laws apply to you?

Here's my thinking... if I "Idaho stop" a red light, even though I felt it was safe, and the unthinkable happens, I get hit, and for the sake of argument, killed. Yeah, I was a stupid cyclist that ignored the traffic laws and paid for it with my life, but there's also the other person to consider. They now have to go the rest of their lives knowing they killed someone. Maybe I'm a wuss, call me a sissy if you want, but if I was the driver, that would bother and haunt me the rest of my life.

/flame suit on
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Old 12-16-10, 10:31 AM   #14
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After I saw someone bravely crossing street... on complete darkness, wearing dark clothing, no reflector or lights and almost got hit by both side of traffic by maybe a second of gaps each (I only saw him as he got caught on my front see light... it was dark T type intersection)... (and no, he didn't stop for the stop sign even when there were cars around)... I dunno.
I also cringe at the idea of the immediate 2 drivers starting to having even lower esteem of cyclist in general thanks to this one moron... Maybe it should be as some people mentions... natural selection.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:01 PM   #15
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Don't stop for lights.... Should this be applied to motorcycles too?

One local cyclist was charged for causing an accident not stopping at a light. A oncoming car had to swerve and hit something/someone as a result.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:13 PM   #16
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Red light laws should actually move to lessen restrictions on cyclists, since running a light with your 25 pound bicycle is such a minimal threat compared to running one with a 3,000 pound car.
Why not just wait for the green light? I don't understand why everyone is in such a hurry. That's what I like about riding a bicycle. I know I have to allow more travel time, and I don't tend to make my timing quite as tight. And I'm less tense as a result.

Besides, even a pedestrian is supposed to wait for a green light at a traffic controlled intersection. I'm not sure why there should be a special exception for bikes.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:35 PM   #17
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One local cyclist was charged for causing an accident not stopping at a light. A oncoming car had to swerve and hit something/someone as a result.
That local cyclist was doing it wrong. It's acceptable for cyclists to run lights and signs when the intersection is clear. Trying (and, in this case, failing) to steal the right of way is a different issue.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:22 PM   #18
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Besides, even a pedestrian is supposed to wait for a green light at a traffic controlled intersection. I'm not sure why there should be a special exception for bikes.
+1

Red lights are the law here. What is so difficult to understand about this?

The self-entitled notion that cyclists are exempt from the traffic rules that everyone else must follow is why people think cyclists are smug jerks. Obey the rules and maybe cyclists as a group will gain some credibility.
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Old 12-16-10, 01:34 PM   #19
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This is exactly why Idaho (idaho stop) allows cyclists to treat them as stop signs....which really makes a lot of sense and decreases motorist angst when cyclists stop and then pass through a light.
This is what I do. I've tried to look at the laws, and haven't found anything for or against it, so I'll just keep it up until I hear better.
Most of the time, I'll pull to the right, stop, and if it's clear I'll just swing into the crosswalk for a moment.
Much better than being at the head of a line of impatient New Englanders when the light turns green.

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Besides, even a pedestrian is supposed to wait for a green light at a traffic controlled intersection. I'm not sure why there should be a special exception for bikes.
Around here, you can tell who's from out of town because they wait for walk signals.

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Old 12-16-10, 01:39 PM   #20
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Why not just wait for the green light? I don't understand why everyone is in such a hurry. That's what I like about riding a bicycle. I know I have to allow more travel time, and I don't tend to make my timing quite as tight. And I'm less tense as a result.

Besides, even a pedestrian is supposed to wait for a green light at a traffic controlled intersection. I'm not sure why there should be a special exception for bikes.
And when was the last time you saw pedestrians waiting for a green light at an intersection with no traffic coming? That said, I generally will wait even with clear traffic at the red light for green while on my bike (with exceptions at a few intersections).
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Old 12-16-10, 01:52 PM   #21
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Red lights are the law here. What is so difficult to understand about this?

The self-entitled notion that cyclists are exempt from the traffic rules that everyone else must follow is why people think cyclists are smug jerks. Obey the rules and maybe cyclists as a group will gain some credibility.
Not using a cell phone while driving is the law here. Every human in my state thinks they're exempt from traffic rules. I'm not sure why we're only focusing on bikes and lights? I'm moving to a street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph, but 85 % of the auto traffic on the road is accustomed to going 45+ mph, even through school zones. Saying "Obey the rules and maybe cyclists as a group will gain some credibility" is pure bunk.
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Old 12-16-10, 02:03 PM   #22
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Saying "Obey the rules and maybe cyclists as a group will gain some credibility" is pure bunk.
Don't bother, it's like a sane guy in an asylum trying to convince his captors he's not crazy.
Reason will never prevail.
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Old 12-16-10, 02:06 PM   #23
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Harutz, you're in Mass. Check out Mass. General Laws Part I, Title XIV, Chap. 85, Section 11B. You can be fined for this.

The important part is "shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth" within the first sentence.

Jaywalking is illegal in most places. Some states have made cell phone use illegal while driving. In Mass. cyclists who run red lights are also breaking the law. It would be nice to pick and choose which laws you think should apply to yourself.
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Old 12-16-10, 02:11 PM   #24
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I'm not running a light if I'm in a crosswalk, hehehe
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Old 12-16-10, 02:16 PM   #25
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It's the 21st century, shouldn't we all be riding hover cycles and cars? Come on! There is a conspiracy b/t tire makers and the government!
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