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Do you go through red lights at T sections?

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Do you go through red lights at T sections?

Old 02-22-06, 10:55 AM
  #26  
joejack951
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Originally Posted by MarkS
It looks like its running nearly 50/50 in this forum. Yet, now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever seen another biker waiting at this kind of intersection. Are people in the forum just more law-abiding than the average guy on the street, or what?
Most people here ride in a different environment than you or I so they base their answer on their experience. In a congested city with pedestrians and other cyclists, I probably would just wait for the light at this intersection. But, on my way to the bank which takes me through a very suburban environment like most of my riding, I have a T intersection just like you described except for no bike lane; there's a 10 foot wide shoulder instead. I've stopped here when there are cars turning, but yesterday there were no cars turning and I have a clear view across the entire road and well down the road feeding into the T. I slowed, looked, and went on my way. I stop at almost all other lights though (exceptions being late night with no one around).
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Old 02-22-06, 11:07 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by markf
I figured out a while ago that motorists are more likely to respect cyclist's rights on the road if cyclists play by the same rules as motorists. That's why I stopped running red lights and stop signs.
Believe it or not, I've actually had a motorist tell me I should go in that situation so its very hard to generalize. A thing to keep in mind is traffic rules were not formed with the safety bicycles in mind but with keeping automobiles moving and insurance claims down. With that in mind, I'll run a red in that situation if traffic in the perpendicular lane is completely clear. Especially if I'm sitting out in the lane with no vehicles stopped behind me. In my opinion, this is actually safer since I've reduced the (albeit low) risk of a car ramming me from behind.

Finally, out of curiosity, how many people out there, who follow all traffic laws, will jaywalk if its clear?
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Old 02-22-06, 11:09 AM
  #28  
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I've seen looks of surprise on the faces of many car drivers when I actually stop at a 4-way stop and let them go when they have the right of way. Also, I always get above average (more than usual) respect and less hassle from drivers who have just watched me actually stop at a stop sign, or wait for the green at a light. I therefore assume that most drivers see most cyclists breaking the law, and they appreciate it when I don't.

On the flip side, I see so many drivers approaching me as though I am going to suddenly veer left into their lane at any second, steering way the hell around and slowing down to far under the speed limit, that I assume that many cyclists really do stupid sh*t on the roads. Also, I've seen them. Last year there was a guy that I saw TWICE on my commute in the rural roads; he was riding in the middle of the oncoming lane, weaving ALL OVER the road, mainly taking up all of the oncoming lane.

I feel I'm representing for the cyclists. There are dozens of people at a light, watching, and I'm probably the most unusual thing to watch. I like to take the moment in the spotlight to show that all cyclists are not scofflaws who should be banned from the roads, I'm just another road user, just trying to get to work, following the same rules as everyone else, and expecting the same rights.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:23 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Don't you mean that you -Silent Shifter - are not someone special? And that you - Silent Shifter - would be become whiney? Don't extrapolate your views on to others.
No, I-Like-To-Bike I do not mean myself. As I already stated above, I do not run red lights or stop signs on bike or in a car. To me there is no difference.

I do not become whiney becuase I do not do these things, therefore I have nothing to whine about, nor be hypocritical.

And I mean all cyclists are nothing special becuase they are on a bike. If you are in a car at an intersection and see a red light, will you run it? Probably not (though some may). So why any different if you are on a bike?
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Old 02-22-06, 11:29 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by markf
I figured out a while ago that motorists are more likely to respect cyclist's rights on the road if cyclists play by the same rules as motorists. That's why I stopped running red lights and stop signs.
+1
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Old 02-22-06, 11:44 AM
  #31  
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Run red lights - no.
(Will sometimes do a right-on-red and U-turn on the side street. )



Originally Posted by markf
I figured out a while ago that motorists are more likely to respect cyclist's rights on the road if cyclists play by the same rules as motorists. That's why I stopped running red lights and stop signs.
Not sure if following the rules gains us any more respect, but it gives motorists one less reason to b1tch.

Last edited by cc_rider; 02-22-06 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:49 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Cycliste
+1
+2
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Old 02-22-06, 12:03 PM
  #33  
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If there really is no one around, and I've double-checked that, I figure it's okay to run a light or stop sign, as long as I've slowed enough that I could stop if I needed to after all. I have a situation like the one described by the OP on an occasional route (not my daily one), with about a 6' wide shoulder, and if there are people that would be turning onto my road in the travel lane beside me, I will usually stop so that (1) I set a good example, and (2) I don't freak them out thinking they're going to hit me. If there's no one around me, I usually don't stop. If there are only people behind me or coming towards me on the same road, I usually still stop, for reason (1).
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Old 02-22-06, 01:50 PM
  #34  
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I do not run red lights because:

1. I understand that traffic laws are there to protect the public as a whole and sometimes this means a small part of us may be slightly inconvenienced. If I think the laws need to be changed, and some of them do, I am willing to work toward that end within the system.

2. There is such an intersection on a route I use 3 to 5 times a week. I always stop on the red and people in cars do notice and appreciate it. It makes a good impression on the motorists. I know this becaise some have rolled down their windows and told me so.

3. Habit. I have been driving since 1961; professionally from 1973 to 2003 without getting a ticket for a moving violation (two overtime parking tickets and one equipment violation). I have been in three accidents; I was rear ended in my car, two parked cars were hit while driving a large (32 ton) truck on narrow city streets. No accidents, other than falling over, on the bike. Obeying the law has worked so far.... why change now?

4. In Oregon, running a red light or stop sign on a bike or in a car will get you a $242.00 ticket.

When people choose to live together, it is necessary to give up some individual choices to make things easier on the group. The trouble always begins when we choose not to follow the rules, however reasonable it seems at the time.

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Old 02-22-06, 01:55 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by SilentShifter
... since a bicycle is considered a motor vehicle in most states...
A bike might be a vehicle, but I doubt it's a motor vehicle. At least, it's not considered one in the states I've lived in.
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Old 02-22-06, 02:16 PM
  #36  
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I frequently run red lights and stop signs, but only if it is safe to do so. How do I decide when it's safe? I use my eyes, ears, and brain. The "gain motorists' respect" argument only gets me so far... My safety is more important than respect from random people, and I deem it far safer to get a headstart and roll down the lane alone, than to accelerate in the middle of a bunch of cars.

It may get me respect from some of the drivers, but another one may kill me by turning right into me because s/he didn't see me. Cars and bikes don't mix, especially if they have to play by the same rules. I will never advocate for cyclists to abide by the (car-)rules at all times. I will always advocate different rules for cars and bikes, like the split traffic signs in Holland, described above.
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Old 02-22-06, 02:44 PM
  #37  
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I don't run red lights, partticularly at T-sections. Even when there aren't lights, I am cautious at such intersections because of illegal or erratic behavior from motorists.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:01 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Dogbait
4. In Oregon, running a red light or stop sign on a bike or in a car will get you a $242.00 ticket.
Yeah, but if you're in a bike lane, with no access for autos, is it still considered running a red light?
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Old 02-22-06, 03:05 PM
  #39  
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I refuse to answer this question due to the excess amount of safety nannies occupying this forum.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:18 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
...any idea if that is a legal move in Oregon?
I am actually fairly certain that it is illegal; but sometimes I just get frustrated and this is the safest type of red light to run. You know... those days when every frigg'n stoplight you come across is red...
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Old 02-22-06, 03:22 PM
  #41  
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I was gonna say that I go through them, but today I caught myself stopping at one when I wasn't really thinking about it. Hmm.

I will say this is one of the the most common light types I see CARS running, so keep an eye behind you, if (like me apparently) you decide to stop.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:42 PM
  #42  
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I run most red lights if the cross street is clear and there are no cops around. Also, if the cross street is so wide that traffic may appear on the far side before I get across, I'll wait. It allows me to get a head start on traffic, as mentioned above, and keeps me moving through scary neighborhoods.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:03 PM
  #43  
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Some folks around here do what they term "slopping". A slowing down "stop" then go.

A friendly policeman told us he would give us a ticket next time he saw us blow through a light.

I tend to stop even if it feels silly with no other traffic.

Better safe than you fill in the blank.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:04 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
I refuse to answer this question due to the excess amount of safety nannies occupying this forum.
+1
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Old 02-22-06, 04:24 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I am actually fairly certain that it is illegal; but sometimes I just get frustrated and this is the safest type of red light to run. You know... those days when every frigg'n stoplight you come across is red...
I'm wishing a cop will give me a ticket for going through one, so I can go to court and plead my case. Maybe I'll get lucky and get a precident established.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:28 PM
  #46  
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I stop unless there is no traffic (I ride at 5:30 so there is frequently no traffic)

If there is one car approaching I'll stop. And then the light will change when they get there, and they'll have to stop as I pedal across... man, they need to improve traffic lights. Oh, and the one light I go through every morning will change from red, 3! cars can get through before it changes back. Only in the mornings though. I've pushed the yellow a couple of times on that one (as in the red goes while I'm less than half way through) because it is at the bottom of the only hill on the commute (well, railway crossing...)
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Old 02-22-06, 04:49 PM
  #47  
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I've talked my way out of the ticket a couple times explaining how much safer it is for me to be well in front of the two lanes of cars as the light turns green. The father in front the better. "Do you know why I stopped you ?" "Of course officer, it's because I didn't see your car soon enough and blew the red, which I assure you I will continue to do if I know you're not there"
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Old 02-22-06, 04:49 PM
  #48  
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I run signs and lights all the time.

I hardly ever come to a full stop at a stop sign, unless there's cross traffic; I just do a half-assed trackstand and move on. If a cop is there, I'll put my foot down. I've learned to do this without fully stopping.

I always stop for red lights, unless there's absolutely zero other traffic (I live in a small town, so this is common). If there's traffic, I'll wait for green, which seems to surprise a lot of motorists. This goes for T intersections, too. I'll wait, because even if I wouldn't be in cross traffic's way, they might not understand that and I'd still slow them down/piss them off.

Given the small amount of damage a bike can cause, and given our superior field of vision, it would make sense to me for most places (including here) to adopt Idaho's bike stop sign and stop light laws. Idaho law allows bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs (slow down, proceed if safe) and to treat stop lights as stop signs (stop; proceed if safe).

http://www.lostrivercycling.org/idcode.html (section 49-720)

Makes sense to me.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:14 PM
  #49  
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If there is absolutely no traffic I won't stop for stop signs but I will slow down so I could stop if I had too, lights on the other hand I will stop for in most cases. There are a few cases though where I'll run lights too, there is one light on my route that the light has to be tripped and if there are no cars around to trip it I'm not gonna sit around all day waiting for a car so I run it. Also there is a stretch that has almost no traffic and lights that are tightly spaced so if there is no other traffic I'll run those too.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:27 PM
  #50  
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I gotta say that's pretty cool of Idaho. Downright progressive and understanding.
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