Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Do you obey traffic signals?

Notices
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.

Do you obey traffic signals?

Old 08-22-17, 04:29 AM
  #26  
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28° N, 83.78° W (A2)
Posts: 2,344

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 319 Times in 189 Posts
Originally Posted by coominya
I have always understood it. It's basic laziness coupled with a superiority complex
This.
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 04:34 AM
  #27  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,609

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1064 Post(s)
Liked 777 Times in 501 Posts
Much of my riding is Midnight Madness Mileage and thus traffic flow controls are considered "suggestions." When normal folks are out and about, I have a TOTALLY DIFFERENT MINDSET being employed.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 08:31 AM
  #28  
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 9,924

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Tour II

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3352 Post(s)
Liked 1,056 Times in 635 Posts
Being old, and in no hurry what so ever, yes I stop at stop lights and wait for them to turn green. I figure I am a good rep of cyclist to the motoring public.
Also since I ride a T**** and can stay clipped in all during the stop and start, without having to put a foot down, it just makes obeying a stop light or stop sign that much easier.

Last edited by rydabent; 02-04-23 at 09:10 AM.
rydabent is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 08:39 AM
  #29  
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 15,280

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2934 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 228 Posts
Originally Posted by rydabent
Being old, and in no hurry what so ever, yes I stop at stop lights and wait for them to turn green. I figure I am a good rep of cyclist to the motoring public.
We need lots of riders like that so that drivers don't get too upset with the rest of us.
wphamilton is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 08:58 AM
  #30  
Senior Member
 
raqball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by northernlights
Never understood why anyone wouldn't stop for a red light or sign. Some people seem to have a death wish. Those who run red lights or engage in other reckless behavior are future Darwin Award contenders. They get zero sympathy from me. They are a danger to themselves and everyone on the road.
Agree!

Meanwhile in Chicago.

raqball is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 09:15 AM
  #31  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,794
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1027 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 204 Posts
Of course I follow traffic signals. If I want the same rights as any other vehicle, it's not unreasonable to expect to have the same responsibilities.
OBoile is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 09:35 AM
  #32  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by northernlights
Never understood why anyone wouldn't stop for a red light or sign. Some people seem to have a death wish. Those who run red lights or engage in other reckless behavior are future Darwin Award contenders. They get zero sympathy from me. They are a danger to themselves and everyone on the road.
talk about a black and white, all or nothing, zero latitude position for interpretation and discussion. good for you.
adablduya is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 09:42 AM
  #33  
Senior Member
 
prq9218's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Lacey, WA
Posts: 56

Bikes: Giant Roam 2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I follow lights at main intersections, but if it's a residential street with a stop sign, I'll just slow down to make sure no one is coming.
prq9218 is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 10:14 AM
  #34  
Senior Member
 
Milton Keynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,947

Bikes: Trek 1100 road bike, Roadmaster gravel/commuter/beater mountain bike

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2281 Post(s)
Liked 1,710 Times in 936 Posts
I live in a small rural town, so no traffic lights. I do most of my riding early in the morning when there's extremely little traffic, so most of the time I treat stop signs like yield signs. I know which streets are busiest, so I tend to slow way down for those intersections. But even then, I'm looking back & forth up & down the street to make sure no vehicles are coming from either way, even when I have the right of way. You never know when someone will be texting and not notice they have a stop sign. It's usually also a given that at 5 AM when I'm riding you can hear vehicles and see their headlights. If I don't hear or see anything chances are I'm OK to continue through the intersection. But, during the day when there are many cars about, I tend to stop at stop signs.

However, if I'm riding in another town I'm not too familiar with, I obey all traffic signs and signals. If I don't have the home field advantage then I feel like I'm playing with fire.
Milton Keynes is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 10:33 AM
  #35  
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Land of Angora, Turkey
Posts: 2,476

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 687 Post(s)
Liked 220 Times in 163 Posts
Red Lights: Full stop, and I almost always wait for green. State law allows cyclists to proceed after 45 seconds if traffic is clear. On occasion, I proceed this way through red, but only for controls that are not activated by bicycles and when no automobiles are present to flip the light.

Stop Signs: Daytime: full stop. When other vehicles are present, I put a foot down (our locals don't understand my trackstand and it causes confusion). After dark, I sometimes do the California roll, due in part to a lack of vehicles and a concern for personal safety. When it is my turn at a 4-way stop, I take it - while watching cautiously for drivers that might fail to use turn signals or count to 4.

Yield Signs: I slow down and yield.

Pedestrian Crossings: Pedestrians have the right of way, and I give it to them.

College Campus: Full obedience of all traffic signals. I want to be a good role model for the college students (whom often have very poor bicycle skills). It is particularly amusing to confuse drivers, who believe that I am a college student because I'm on a bike, even though I'm old enough to have children in college.
wipekitty is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 10:35 AM
  #36  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 477

Bikes: Trek Domane, Trek 2120, Trek 520, Schwinn Voyager step through

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 170 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 78 Posts
Originally Posted by northernlights
Never understood why anyone wouldn't stop for a red light or sign. Some people seem to have a death wish. Those who run red lights or engage in other reckless behavior are future Darwin Award contenders. They get zero sympathy from me. They are a danger to themselves and everyone on the road.
Seeing this reply on a bike forum is unbelievable.

First who are cyclists a danger to? Perhaps you can let us know about the bike running into car that killed the driver. Knowing that will be difficult to find, perhaps you will be able to share the data for bicyclists killed running stop signs/lights. It will represent a minority of the accidents.

Now take the time to learn how the most lethal accidents happen. I believe you will find they happen when cyclist are following road rules.

The biking community needs to focus on the right things. Since the majority of cyclists do not stop at signs/lights, let's realize it is not dangerous now. And it would make cycling safer if yielding would become part of the traffic code.
debade is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 10:41 AM
  #37  
Senior Member
 
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 2,105

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 762 Post(s)
Liked 555 Times in 322 Posts
I go when it's safe to go, not when a sign or light tell me it's safe. Granted most of my riding is through neighborhoods with stop signs
Flip Flop Rider is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 11:14 AM
  #38  
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,715

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 44 Posts
No, I don't always obey them, but I take them under advisement. See also: the haiku in my signature.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 11:26 AM
  #39  
Senior Member
 
raqball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by debade
Seeing this reply on a bike forum is unbelievable.

First who are cyclists a danger to? Perhaps you can let us know about the bike running into car that killed the driver. Knowing that will be difficult to find, perhaps you will be able to share the data for bicyclists killed running stop signs/lights. It will represent a minority of the accidents.

Now take the time to learn how the most lethal accidents happen. I believe you will find they happen when cyclist are following road rules.

The biking community needs to focus on the right things. Since the majority of cyclists do not stop at signs/lights, let's realize it is not dangerous now. And it would make cycling safer if yielding would become part of the traffic code.
One of the worse replies I've ever read, and that says a lot.

1. Cyclists who regularly and knowingly violate the law are a danger to the public and other cyclists. There are 2 recent threads here when a cyclist has killed a pedestrian. They cause driver anger and road rage against other cyclists and they put motorists who strike them in danger. A secondary accident after striking the cyclist? An accident caused by avoiding striking the cyclist? The grief of knowing you killed someone even though it may have been the other person's fault? I can go on but why bother.

2. Most (more than 50% easily) of the cycling related accidents I read about are cyclist error / violation of law. Sure there are plenty caused by inattentive motorists but I mainly read about accidents caused by slaloming and running red lights.

3. The majority of cyclist I see do stop at red lights. Not sure when you live but it's not a place I'd want to visit. I say about 30% of the cyclist I see on a daily basis do not stop for red light and the other 70% do.
raqball is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 11:29 AM
  #40  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,501

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1425 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 215 Posts
Originally Posted by Robert P
...otherwise blow through red lights and stop signs?
Lights? Signs? What are those?

I am too busy staying focused on the moving objects (and the ne'er-do-wells curbside) that/who will injure or kill me if I get distracted by pretty lights or signs. Unless, of course, I notice the traffic furniture is LEANING and might fall on me, then I worry about it.

And I do not BLOW through any intersections. I look both ways, even if it is a one-way street.

Originally Posted by Doohickie
See also: the haiku in my signature.
Covers it nicely.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 08-22-17 at 11:49 AM.
JoeyBike is offline  
Likes For JoeyBike:
Old 08-22-17, 11:54 AM
  #41  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,501

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1425 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 215 Posts
Originally Posted by raqball
The majority of cyclist I see do stop at red lights. Not sure when you live but it's not a place I'd want to visit. I say about 30% of the cyclist I see on a daily basis do not stop for red light and the other 70% do.
99.99% of cyclists where I live do not stop. And A LOT of people cycle in New Orleans. Guess what? No mayhem. The local cyclists get it, the local motorists get it, the cops get it. The whole rhythm of the thing works just fine when everybody is on the same page.

Motorists here APPRECIATE the fact that it is very unlikely a cyclist will be "in their way" when the light goes green. This is all they care about. EVERYBODY wins when we run red lights. And, we are not into CONTROLLING each other for the most part.
JoeyBike is offline  
Likes For JoeyBike:
Old 08-22-17, 12:00 PM
  #42  
Senior Member
 
raqball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
99.99% of cyclists where I live do not stop. And A LOT of people cycle in New Orleans. Guess what? No mayhem. The local cyclists get it, the local motorists get it, the cops get it. The whole rhythm of the thing works just fine when everybody is on the same page.

Motorists here APPRECIATE the fact that it is very unlikely a cyclist will be "in their way" when the light goes green. This is all they care about. EVERYBODY wins when we run red lights. And, we are not into CONTROLLING each other for the most part.
All of the above is highly doubtful. Sorry not buying it, nice try though.
raqball is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:21 PM
  #43  
Señor Member
 
elocs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Hello Wisconsin!
Posts: 441

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Robert P
Or do you only stop at intersections if you perceive there's a reason to - i.e. traffic dictates it - and otherwise blow through red lights and stop signs?
Yes I do to at least be an example for motorists to see that not everyone on a bike just obeys traffic laws when it is convenient for them to do so. I have also come to a stop sign when there are kids around and I want to be an example to them as well that adults on bikes obey the rules of the road and so should they.
Here in Wisconsin we have the law that if a bicyclist or a motorcyclist comes to a red light that they believe is vehicle activated to change that they only need to wait 45 seconds and then can cross or turn if it's safe to do so.
elocs is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:34 PM
  #44  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,501

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1425 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 215 Posts
Originally Posted by raqball
All of the above is highly doubtful. Sorry not buying it, nice try though.
Freedom is a foreign concept to most Americans. I don't blame you for your skepticism if you have not experienced it.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:39 PM
  #45  
Senior Member
 
raqball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Freedom is a foreign concept to most Americans. I don't blame you for your skepticism if you have not experienced it.
You can't be serious? Nothing really to say about that bolded remark other than WOW!

Freedom does not mean you can knowingly and intentionally violate the law because you don't agree with it, don't like it, or want to shave 11 seconds off your commute. I realize you advocate breaking the law constantly so I take this into consideration when reading your posts.
raqball is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:39 PM
  #46  
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,207

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3640 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 51 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY
You might say that I treat every intersection, including those where I have the legal right of way (green light, or cross traffic having a stop) as if I had a yield sign. Slowing, observing, and proceeding if/when safe.
+1. It is all situational. On a small road, for me to stop, put a foot down, bring the foot back up, and get going again (especially if any hills or clipped in shoes are involved) is a long sequence of events that neither I nor anyone around me in a car wants to deal with.

Originally Posted by northernlights
Never understood why anyone wouldn't stop for a red light or sign. Some people seem to have a death wish. Those who run red lights or engage in other reckless behavior are future Darwin Award contenders. They get zero sympathy from me. They are a danger to themselves and everyone on the road.
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Motorists here APPRECIATE the fact that it is very unlikely a cyclist will be "in their way" when the light goes green. This is all they care about. EVERYBODY wins when we run red lights.
One of the rare points I'll agree with him on. I don't want to be the lead vehicle when the light turns green, with a line of cars behind me. Now, I don't blow through the control device, I make it a rolling stop, but if it is clear, safe, and practicable for me to go, I will.

EDIT: And if I ever am ticketed for doing so, I'll acknowledge that I broke the law and pay the fine.

Last edited by jefnvk; 08-22-17 at 12:47 PM.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:54 PM
  #47  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Washington Grove, Maryland
Posts: 1,466

Bikes: 2003 (24)20-Speed Specialized Allez'

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Yes. If there is someone wanting to go ROR. I move over a little to the left. So they can get by, IF there is space to do so. But I will not go through a red light for anyone, other than Police/Fire/EMS.
Chris0516 is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 12:56 PM
  #48  
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,715

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by raqball
All of the above is highly doubtful. Sorry not buying it, nice try though.
You haven't viewed many of JoeyBike's videos, have you?
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 08-22-17, 01:01 PM
  #49  
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 15,280

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2934 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 228 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
99.99% of cyclists where I live do not stop. And A LOT of people cycle in New Orleans. Guess what? No mayhem. The local cyclists get it, the local motorists get it, the cops get it. The whole rhythm of the thing works just fine when everybody is on the same page.

Motorists here APPRECIATE the fact that it is very unlikely a cyclist will be "in their way" when the light goes green. This is all they care about. EVERYBODY wins when we run red lights. And, we are not into CONTROLLING each other for the most part.
Six or Seven years ago a cop yelled at me through his loud speaker for crossing against a light. It was ironic because at the time I was like some of these guys, minding all the stop signs and traffic signals without thought and believing that it was being a good example. But this time, I was literally the only cyclist who bothered to wait, traffic had been clear and still was, and as I sat there it became increasingly stupid. So I went across, and got yelled at.

It got me thinking, why? Legal adherence obviously, but beyond that why, and why was I the cop's target? I realized that the only reason *I* was the one getting growled at was that he had seen me stopped there, and then proceeding as if I were unsure of what to do, triggered his LEO instinct to reinforce the law. It wasn't that I crossed, but because I hadn't already and was therefore an anomaly in the pattern.

When you consider it analytically, that's really the key. When a law is universally ignored, or even mostly ignored, and it is not enforced, it's not a law. Literally. Sure it's on the books and you could be ticketed, but if you prove those two things it doesn't stick. So I continued to look into it analytically; perhaps there is good reason to slavishly obey every sign and light even though it's not, in practice, "the law" for bicycles, and what I found is that in general, it's better NOT to. Effectively, the cop helped me realize that cycling is not driving, that no one really cares if you aren't making a problem for them, and keeping yourself aware and choosing how to proceed is far safer than routinely following MV rules without thinking.
wphamilton is offline  
Likes For wphamilton:
Old 08-22-17, 01:01 PM
  #50  
Senior Member
 
raqball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 121 Posts
Originally Posted by Doohickie
You haven't viewed many of JoeyBike's videos, have you?

I have not. I don't have any interest in watching videos or reading blogs where the poster of them advocates breaking the law.
raqball is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.