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Do you obey traffic signals?

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Do you obey traffic signals?

Old 08-25-17, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
In some cases and places, there local considerations that must be taken into account. There are a lot of street corners in New Orleans where you don't stop any longer than you have to, especially after dark. When it comes to safety, traffic is not the sole consideration.
Certainly there's exceptions to every rule if there's actual need, the law doesn't compel us to do something dangerous in the name of the law.
That said, ones simple desire, theoretical notion, or ability to deviate from the law wouldn't fall under that category.
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Old 08-25-17, 09:31 PM
  #127  
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From most to least important:

.............I
...........am
..........safe
..........legal
.......practical
......courteous
...advantageous
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Old 08-27-17, 06:11 AM
  #128  
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If the judge doesn't allow you to proceed if your bike doesn't trigger the sensor, I'd sure be tempted to ask if he thinks I should sit there for hours blocking the lane and sitting on the sensor, keeping a line of cars behind me for hours as well.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:30 AM
  #129  
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The cops could care less about bicycles running red lights or stop signs here. Ive ridden thru reds that a cop car was the first car in line and never been bothered.
The only reason to stop is if traffic wont let me go.
We can ride on the sidewalks here also.
This is in Poughkeepsie NY

Last edited by JIMBETHYNAME; 08-27-17 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Added city
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Old 08-27-17, 09:53 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by coominya
I have always understood it. It's basic laziness coupled with a superiority complex
Or, it's legal, like where I live.

~25 miles yesterday. Plowed through many stop signs and red lights.
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Old 08-27-17, 11:08 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by JIMBETHYNAME
The cops could care less about bicycles running red lights or stop signs here.
This is in Poughkeepsie NY
"Here" is the operative word.
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Old 08-27-17, 12:32 PM
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Just for laughs I decided to contact the local police for advice on how to deal with lights that never change. They got back to me saying they couldn't advise that I ever proceed through a red. Maybe I should bring a lawn chair and make myself comfortable. At least its on record with multiple officials that their traffic lights don't work, they are aware they don't work, and knowing that they chose to do nothing.

It seems like the sensors are simply misconfigured or poorly aimed. They are radar based and I believe both the aim and beam width is configurable as one of the rationale I was told for the choice of that sensor was its ability to be tuned to specific lanes while excluding the right turn lane. Out by the university I discovered I could trigger that light by riding left of the yellow line.
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Old 08-27-17, 03:46 PM
  #133  
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Here in Wisconsin:

... a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping as required under subd. 1. for not less than 45 seconds, proceed cautiously through the intersection before the signal turns green if no other vehicles are present at the intersection to actuate the signal and the operator of the motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle reasonably believes the signal is vehicle actuated.

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/sta...utes/346/VI/37
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Old 08-30-17, 11:00 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by JIMBETHYNAME
The cops could care less about bicycles running red lights or stop signs here.
COULDN'T care less.

And I don't do things based on what the cops think about stuff. I follow the law, which is the implicit contract for using the roads as a public space. I don't care in the least if there's a cop around. IMO if you behave any differently if there's a cop behind you than if you're alone on the road, you already know you're doing something wrong.
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Old 08-30-17, 12:43 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
IMO if you behave any differently if there's a cop behind you than if you're alone on the road, you already know you're doing something wrong.
Which was the dude's point I think. We don't behave any differently when a cop is around and don't believe we are doing anything wrong by crossing a street after carefully looking both ways. Neither do our local PD.

Laws are concepts written on paper stored in a courthouse somewhere. Bumpers are made of steel and plastic with thousands of pounds of force behind them and roam the streets around me. I wonder which one I am more concerned about?
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Old 09-16-17, 11:36 AM
  #136  
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Lots of 4 way stop signs around here. If there are cars anywhere near, I will slow way down, and roll through, typically slower than most cars! If there are cars at the intersection, I stop and put a foot down, signal if I'm turning, wave the driver though. I try to dictate what goes on rather than guess what the driver is going to do.
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Old 09-17-17, 05:38 AM
  #137  
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lights, 100%, always.
stop signs, if there is traffic 100%. If no traffic, its usually a rolling stop, slow way down, double check the intersection, stand up and mash the pedals. I do this mostly cause I don't like unclipping and trying to clip back in while trying to get rolling while entering and intersection.
crosswalks for sidewalks, I generally hit the button and wait. if there is no traffic coming or anyone turning I may go through, no sense in waiting when its allready clear. Have had several driver wave me through crosswalks too.
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Old 09-17-17, 07:48 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Shadowx
lights, 100%, always.
stop signs, if there is traffic 100%. If no traffic, its usually a rolling stop, slow way down, double check the intersection, stand up and mash the pedals. I do this mostly cause I don't like unclipping and trying to clip back in while trying to get rolling while entering and intersection.
crosswalks for sidewalks, I generally hit the button and wait. if there is no traffic coming or anyone turning I may go through, no sense in waiting when its allready clear. Have had several driver wave me through crosswalks too.
I hope you don't press the button, then go through if there is no car. I hate when pedestrian does that. It's annoying to be stopped at an intersection for no reason.
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Old 09-17-17, 07:54 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by SylvainG
I hope you don't press the button, then go through if there is no car. I hate when pedestrian does that. It's annoying to be stopped at an intersection for no reason.
I found that 9 times out of 10 the crosswalk lights change when the stop lights change and that pressing the button messes up the usual rhythm and makes we wait longer. I just wait for it to change with the light, or if the cars are all stopped in the right direction and nobodies turning I head through.

Last edited by Shadowx; 09-17-17 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 09-17-17, 07:57 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Shadowx
I found that 9 times out of 10 the crosswalk lights change when the stop lights and that pressing the button messes up the usual rhythm and makes we wait longer. I just wait for it to change with the light, or if the cars are all stopped in the right direction and nobodies turning I head through
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Old 09-17-17, 06:35 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Which was the dude's point I think. We don't behave any differently when a cop is around and don't believe we are doing anything wrong by crossing a street after carefully looking both ways. Neither do our local PD.

Laws are concepts written on paper stored in a courthouse somewhere. Bumpers are made of steel and plastic with thousands of pounds of force behind them and roam the streets around me. I wonder which one I am more concerned about?
Loving the aggressive in-your-face New Orleans' Live and Let Live natural-law attitude. Kind of like the American personality, 50 years ago. It is only offensive to a certain class of bureaucratic nanny, who are fun to tweak.

My practice is situational and binary:
  • When in the presence of other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians - comply with all traffic laws
  • When alone and streets are empty - ignore all traffic laws

Three benefits to this practice:
  1. Others witness a cyclist behaving respectfully, increasing community goodwill
  2. Most time and energy efficient
  3. When I post up the practice on BikeForums A&S, it offends the nannies and scolds
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Old 09-18-17, 08:50 AM
  #142  
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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?
Regardless of the traffic present I always stop for both traffic lights and stop signs. I have personally witnessed far too many close calls to think that it is a smart idea to just blow through red lights and stop signs.
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Old 09-18-17, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv
mostly.
sometimes if I'm blocking somebody waiting for me to clear out so they can right-on-red, i'll go straight if it's clear.
i'm a fan of keeping traffic moving. i hate not moving. one of the reasons i bike!
but if it's 5:30AM and no cars in sight, I'm rolling on the red.
If you were in a car or on a motorcycle would you do the same thing? We have the same right to use the streets as they do. IF they can wait their turn for the car or motorcycle in front of them to go when the light finally turns green they can wait for a bicycle as well.
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Old 09-18-17, 08:59 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by raqball
I alway do unless I encounter a dead red, but the law where I live allows going through a dead red.
I could be mistaken, but I am sure that the majority of states have language in their law that addresses a "dead red." And that after one has waited a predetermined amount of time that it is legal for them to proceed.
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Old 09-18-17, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by debade
I never stop at stop signs but I nearly always stop at lights.

I think it would be great for the biking community to work toward getting the 'Idaho Stop' as the State law in each state since it seems to reflect what most cyclists do. For those not familiar "The Idaho stop is the common name for a law that allows cyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign, and a red light as a stop sign. It first became law in Idaho in 1982, but has not been adopted elsewhere." In the case of right-turn-on-red, it took an oil crisis to implement the law. Cyclists have much less power so moving forward will take an effort. But, it you have the ability to work on this effort, I for one think it would be a good change to the ordinances.
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with that.

A) by adapting the Idaho stop in areas where it is not the law one is rewarding breaking the law by saying "well they're going to do it anyway. So let's pass a law that allows them to do what they are going to do."
B) I have not only witnessed far too many people who practice their own INTERPRETATION of the Idaho stop i.e. they end up treating a red light exactly as the Idaho stop law says to treat a stop sign i.e. as a yield sign, instead of stopping and making sure that it is safe to proceed. And I have read posts from far too many people here who have admitted that they do NOT practice the Idaho stop as written, but rather their own PERSONAL interpretation of the Idaho stop law.
C) a bicycle and operator weigh FAR less than a car does and such can get moving again with far less expenditure of energy.
D) I have personally never (unless I stopped in too high of a gear) have had any difficulty in starting again after stopping for a red light or a stop sign. And if I have been sprinting I actually welcome a red light or stop sign as an opportunity to catch my breath.
E) motorists "speed all of the time," so lets just do away with posted speed limits so that motorists can travel at whatever speed that they want, whenever they want, wherever they want.
F) it is my understanding that it actually has been adapted in parts of Colorado.

The bottom line is that I can not, and will not agree that the Idaho stop is a universally good law. And I think that the best thing is:

The Same Roads
The Same Rules
The Same Rights
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Old 09-18-17, 09:19 AM
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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.
+1,000,000
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Old 09-18-17, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulH
Agree. but don't think it is a death wish. I suspect it is the result of the self-marginalization of cycling. Perhaps people think of bikes in terms as sport or recreation, rather than as essential components of our surface transportation system. If you are just playing with a toy, rules don't apply. This marginalization may also attract people with a strong bias against authorities -- i.e, they do something because it is against the conventional norm. I don't claim any virtue for myself in following traffic laws -- I'm just using habit patterns that are highly uncomfortable for me to override. I have to force myself to do a right turn on red, whether in a car or on a bike.
Paul,

Based on how some people ride their bikes, I think that "death wish" is very accurate. As I have personally watched as both cyclists and pedestrians blatantly ignore red lights and stop signs. And then get upset with the motorist who passed them "too closely."

As I have witnessed far too many cyclists who all of a sudden launch themselves from a side street, a driveway or from the sidewalk and I never saw their head move. And no most of those did NOT have a visible mirror that they could have checked. They've just darted right out into traffic.

The same with pedestrians, I watched far too many of them jay walk. Some admittedly in the crosswalk, but still against the light.

So based on what I have personally witnessed the term death wish would apply.
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Old 09-18-17, 09:49 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy
If you were in a car or on a motorcycle would you do the same thing?

We have the same right to use the streets as they do. IF they can wait their turn for the car or motorcycle in front of them to go when the light finally turns green they can wait for a bicycle as well.
- I pretty much obey the law driving my car. There is one red light in particular I am not sure is working correctly that I will proceed through after waiting two minutes. If the light does not change, and the cross walk still shows "walk", and there is NO traffic, I'll go through. It's a side street on to a busy street, so I'm not going willy-nilly-pell-mell. I don't ride a motorcycle. If I did I'd stick to the same car laws.

- I agree and mostly wait my turn on my bike.
OK - I'll start obeying all the laws to the letter of the law......
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Old 09-18-17, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
It's situational.

Stop signs:
  • School zones, I stop and track stand briefly, even if there's no other traffic. Just a good habit for when the school year rolls around.
  • During school hours I stop and put a foot down, especially if there are parents around. Parent drivers at school drop off and pickup are the worst drivers. And I want to show the crossing guards that cyclists aren't the problem.

Other stop signs:
  • If there's no other traffic in sight, I slow and roll through.
  • If a vehicle is approaching from directly ahead or to either side, and we will both/all arrive at the intersection at approximately the same time, I stop, set a foot down and make eye contact with drivers before proceeding. Too often they'll wave me ahead, then change their minds and rush into the intersection. So I'll put both feet down and wait until they go. If they hesitate I'll fiddle with my helmet, water bottle, etc., to make it clear I'm not moving until they do.
  • If I arrive at the intersection clearly before the other drivers, I stop and track stand briefly, then roll.
  • If the only other vehicle is directly behind me, I slow and roll through. Most of the times I've been struck on a bicycle or motorcycle were from behind at stop signs. They always say the same thing: "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you!"<Snip>
I am sorry, but personally I have never even "almost" been hit from behind while stopped at either a red light or a stop sign. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened to you, just that it has never happened to me.

Did you signal before you stopped? Granted if the motorist is distracted they're not going to see it anyway, but if you aren't signalling than aren't you part of the problem?
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Old 09-18-17, 10:09 AM
  #150  
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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.
I disagree, while sitting on my bike at an intersection I have lost count of the times that I have had some "sidewalk jockey" blow through the red light and come dangerously close to hitting me. And NO I was NOT in a car at the time, I was on my bicycle when this has happened.

When I've called out to them that that is why they aren't supposed to run red lights they predictably have claimed NOT to have run the red light. IF that's the case why am/was I looking at a green light when they came flying off of the sidewalk headed at me?

By that logic since the "majority" of motorists also do not stop for red lights/stop signs and speed let's just do away with those traffic controls for them as well.

Same Roads
Same Rules
Same Rights
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