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  1. #1
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Great, I have cops who run red lights FOR me!

    I was riding home last night and I noticed something that happens to me a lot but I never really thought about before until that thread about getting tickets for running lights. I live in NYC and round here, when I pull up to a light in Brooklyn, I try to slowdown from about half a block away and hope it changes and if not, I'll run it if there aren't cars around. I do it all the time but when there's a police car there, I'd go REAL slow and try to stand as I get to the crosswalk. Bout 2 out of 3 times when I pull up, even if there's a red, when there aren't cars around and the streets are empty, the cop'll usually give me this weird look like, "what the hell are you doing waiting for the light buddy?" and slowly creep into the intersection and go on down the street, at which point I follow. I've never gotten a ticket before doing that.
    Are the cops around here just less law abiding than your average cop?

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    Are the cops around here just less law abiding than your average cop?
    Nope, I've seen plenty of cops (not to mention ambulance drivers and fire fighters) run red lights basically whenever it suits them. However, it's a problem that doesn't really have a solution. If you ban them from running red lights and so on, what are we going to do when there is an emergency?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    I don't really see a problem -- as long as they aren't endangering anyone, that is. Its to be assumed Cops/Ambulance/Fire truck drivers have extra training/experience with traffic situations than the average driver and therefore I feel they are well enough equipped to run a red.

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    I DO have some problems with that type of behavior. First of all, in most jurisdictions, the police cannot run red lights without actually being on an actual emergency. The laws are supposed to apply to everyone, not just non-police. Where would we be if the police could do anything they wanted and not have to answer for it? The same officers who are running red lights when it suits them would think nothing of ticketing you for doing the same thing. Their level of driver training and ability is not neccessarily any better than yours or mine either.

  5. #5
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    Bout 2 out of 3 times when I pull up, even if there's a red, when there aren't cars around and the streets are empty, the cop'll usually give me this weird look like, "what the hell are you doing waiting for the light buddy?" ?
    I think they have bigger fish to fry.

  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna
    I think they have bigger fish to fry.
    I meant they give me a look like, why am I waiting at the light when there's no one there, as in why don't I just run the light, I'm on a bike anyway. Not that they're suspicious that I'm waiting at the light on a bike.

    I just find it funny how some people get ticketed and I'll have cops who think I'm too chicken to run the light so they'll guide me through it themselves.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    If you're complaining about cops running red lights and how we're all supposed to follow the rules... ask yourself, how often do you actually follow the speed limit?

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000
    I DO have some problems with that type of behavior. First of all, in most jurisdictions, the police cannot run red lights without actually being on an actual emergency.
    That was my point, how do you know whether it is an actual emergency? Too easy to just turn the sirens on for long enough to go through a red light and none of us would be any wiser. Sure, we could report every cop, fire fighter or ambulance driver who ever did this, but when one considers the time and resources required to check whether every running of the red light was a genuine emergency, it's hardly worth bothering, is it? As Jasbike said, if they're not endangering anyone, why worry about it? Personally I'd like to see something done on the dickheads who run red lights everyday in traffic who are endangering people.
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  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasBike
    If you're complaining about cops running red lights and how we're all supposed to follow the rules... ask yourself, how often do you actually follow the speed limit?
    I don't have to, I'm not complaining

  10. #10
    Chi
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    Cops know they can go wherever they please.

    But I have a problem with that. My gf was hit by a cop going the wrong way down a one-way street when she was crossing the street as a kid (she crossed where there was no crosswalk). She still has some difficulty raising her arm and it's something that upsets me everytime I hear her complain, or a discussion about cops, such as this one.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasBike
    Its to be assumed Cops/Ambulance/Fire truck drivers have extra training/experience with traffic situations than the average driver.
    You mean looking both ways?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Years ago, I worked one floor up from the corner of 1st & King, South end of downtown Seattle. When emergency vehicles run their sirens, its difficult to tell which direction they are coming from & how close they are because of the tall buildings. One morning there was a really loud crash: a black & white with siren & lights on went through the red light at our corner & T-boned a lady driving a new Audi. She had the green. Surprisingly the Caprice was really crumpled up but the Audi was able to drive away afterwards. The officer's extra training didn't help that day.
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  13. #13
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    They do all the stuff they give tickets for.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  14. #14
    GT enthusiast midwestmntnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    They do all the stuff they give tickets for.
    That is exactly right. Most street cops feel that they are above the law, and they do not apply to them. With that little piece of tin on their shirt and that plastic I.D. in their hip pocket it free reign on anything they want to do. I get so mad when driving through a school zone and have a cop pass by you speeding. What makes them better than everybody else?

    As for going on an emergency without lights and siren, that is not allowed. No lights and siren on, they had better abide by all laws that apply to the masses. That is what the lights and siren are for, EMERGENCIES.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Tree Trunk's Avatar
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    It gives me a unsettling feeling whether it's the cop or the cyclist running the red light. If there's is no one around it doesn't bother me, especially when it's the cyclist. For the cyclist, if a motorist sees you running a red light it affects that motorist's view of cyclists. I commute and many of the same motorists see me several days a week. It's amazing how much more respect I get because I try to be aware of my riding etiquette.
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  16. #16
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    I think what the cop is doing is nice. No one else is there, and the streets are empty. The officer is just cutting the cyclist a break. Big deal?
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  17. #17
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    if there is nobody else there I don't see a problem. If there ARE people there and the cop is endangering them then I have a problem with it.

  18. #18
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    So how do you know which cops its ok with and which ones are not ok with it? I guess when you get a ticket and your standing saying what the hell happen.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  19. #19
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm266
    I think what the cop is doing is nice. No one else is there, and the streets are empty. The officer is just cutting the cyclist a break. Big deal?
    I agree, I love it when they do that. But it makes me nervous because I really don't know when to go or not go when I see a cop there because it gets me used to running that light (the area's near a major police station btw, which is why there are so many cops around those streets).

  20. #20
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    bring a video camera all the timne untill it happens again and tape it and keep that with you and go through any red light anytime and just show police if they stop you the tape.....hahah....not really
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  21. #21
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Sorry but i just dont trust them with all the unlimited power they have and they do and they use it.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  22. #22
    Nic
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    Are firetrucks and ambulances better able to respond to emergencies from the hospital or the fire station? I mean, usually an ambulance is carrying an injured person and the faster they can get to the hospital and drop off the injured person, the faster they can get to the next person. Ambulances usually have a doctor inside and don't put on their emergency lights when carrying an injured person (as it is kind of hard to operate on someone when the ambulance is driving super fast). If this is the case, I don't really have a problem with firetrucks and ambulances running red lights if no one is around.

  23. #23
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i read an interesting article a while back about how most drivers of emergency vehicles frequently use their sirens only for the purpose of getting through a red light. and i see it ALL the time in new york... a short 2 to 3 second siren chirp to get though an intersection and then it's back to cruising speed!

    i'm torn on the issue myself. i'd like to see everyone obey the traffic laws, but i have a hard time doing so when i'm on my bike...so i guess i can turn a blind eye when i see a cop do that.

  24. #24
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i read an interesting article a while back about how most drivers of emergency vehicles frequently use their sirens only for the purpose of getting through a red light. and i see it ALL the time in new york... a short 2 to 3 second siren chirp to get though an intersection and then it's back to cruising speed!

    i'm torn on the issue myself. i'd like to see everyone obey the traffic laws, but i have a hard time doing so when i'm on my bike...so i guess i can turn a blind eye when i see a cop do that.
    Your not 3000 pounds doing 60 in a 35 and i've seen this regularly and they are just going back to the station,shift end i suppose.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  25. #25
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    i read an interesting article a while back about how most drivers of emergency vehicles frequently use their sirens only for the purpose of getting through a red light. and i see it ALL the time in new york... a short 2 to 3 second siren chirp to get though an intersection and then it's back to cruising speed!
    That's been happening here for years. However, it all comes back to the question of whether it can realistically be prevented. As far as I can see, the only way to stop this from happening would be a law preventing emergency vehicles from running red lights point blank, which would have dire consequences as soon as there is a genuine emergency.
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