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Red Light Runners

Old 10-05-14, 06:34 AM
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Red Light Runners

I've noticed a lot of cars and trucks running seriously red lights lately. I used to think they were unintentional or poor judgement. But it's clear these are intentional and essentially a blatant disregard to the red light. Many vehicles are accelerating through the intersection. I was on a four lane road with a center turning lane. I eased to a safe stop in the turning lane at the red light. I had been stopped for several counts when a vehicle blew through on my right. It was certainly intentional. As much as I'm against it, cameras my be inevitable and , in this case, justified. And we'll have ******** to thank. I understand that cyclists running red lights could be a problem in some areas. In my opinion, the general public's impression of cyclists running red lights is an exaggeration or mis-interpretation. I'm in a rural area and I frequently run red lights on my bike when it's safe to do so; when their are no cars or to extract myself from a vulnerable situation.
My point is, obviously, that cars running red lights are the REAL problem. Again, bicycles are NOT the problem.
I was addressed by a woman lately for blowing a stop sign in a rural village at low speed. I rarely respond to such things, but in this case i asked her if she does the same thing to all the cars that fail to stop.
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Old 10-05-14, 06:52 AM
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Where is see the most red light running, is the right turn on red. You are supposed to come to a stop and then if traffic is clear turn right. I was almost hit by one of those drivers that had no intension of stopping.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:23 AM
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I wonder how much the poor opinion of cyclists and "those bikers always run red lights" comes from cyclists actually going through lights that will not function for cyclists. I know which lights do not function on my routes. (yes I have waited full cycles for these at least once or more than once) and when I come up to those known lights I go as soon as I have determined that it is safe... to a motorist waiting at a cross street, this could appear to be "just another cyclist running a light..."

Just as an aside to this, I have one light near my home that functions perfectly for cyclists... it is camera operated, and it detects me on approach and often changes just as I get to the stop line... it is wonderful... and sadly rare.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:50 AM
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Sounds like the OP's city should at least do what my city did, install 500 dollar "minimum" fine for red light violations signs at various intersections. These signs seem to have caught the attention of a number of motorists, and how they now treat red light signals in our city.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Where is see the most red light running, is the right turn on red. You are supposed to come to a stop and then if traffic is clear turn right. I was almost hit by one of those drivers that had no intension of stopping.
Saw a NC State Trooper do this yesterday.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Sounds like the OP's city should at least do what my city did, install 500 dollar "minimum" fine for red light violations signs at various intersections. These signs seem to have caught the attention of a number of motorists, and how they now treat red light signals in our city.
My area threatened "red light cameras", but bowed to public sentiment against it. They raised issues of fairness and safety as well as how the technology would be paid for.
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Old 10-05-14, 08:17 AM
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In a lot of places, and when it comes to cars, when people do stuff en masse, it sort of becomes unwritten rule of the road.
For instance when I lived in Hell, ooops . . . I mean South Florida, they installed cameras to fine RToR red light runners. The friendly automotive populace in S. FL became so enraged, that they were seriously considering making RtoR Idaho stops for cars, based on the drivers opinion whether it is safe or not. If you hae ever had the misfortune of spending time in S. FL, you will understand how patently insane this thought is. But to a lesser degree, that happens everywhere. It used to be people ran yellows, then one car would sneak through the red, now as many cars go through the red as they can without actually making contact with the cars who have the green. Im for red light cameras. They would provide a never-ending supply of money for a county. But, tell people right up front this is an "idiot tax". You make the determination if you want to pay it yourself. It's not about safety or anything like that. Just separating selfish drivers from their cash
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Old 10-05-14, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
My area threatened "red light cameras", but bowed to public sentiment against it. They raised issues of fairness and safety as well as how the technology would be paid for.
Cameras were not installed in my city as well, and the signs are there strictly as a reminder, and generally will only be issued after a collision, unless viewed beforehand by an LEO, to the party that was determined to be at fault for running the red light
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Old 10-05-14, 10:29 AM
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I really don't see why we don't use more cameras, at least for red lights. I'd be totally OK with speed cameras as well.
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Old 10-05-14, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I really don't see why we don't use more cameras, at least for red lights. I'd be totally OK with speed cameras as well.
At least in Minnesota using red light cameras went to court. Decision was you have to ticket the driver, not the car. With the cameras it was difficult to prove who was driving the car, so the court said you can't use red light cameras. This is an issue in households with multiple drivers because the points went against the registered owner even if somebody else was driving.
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Old 10-05-14, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
I've noticed a lot of cars and trucks running seriously red lights lately. I used to think they were unintentional or poor judgment. But it's clear these are intentional and essentially a blatant disregard to the red light. Many vehicles are accelerating through the intersection. I was on a four lane road with a center turning lane. I eased to a safe stop in the turning lane at the red light. I had been stopped for several counts when a vehicle blew through on my right. It was certainly intentional. As much as I'm against it, cameras my be inevitable and , in this case, justified. And we'll have ******** to thank. I understand that cyclists running red lights could be a problem in some areas. In my opinion, the general public's impression of cyclists running red lights is an exaggeration or mis-interpretation. I'm in a rural area and I frequently run red lights on my bike when it's safe to do so; when their are no cars or to extract myself from a vulnerable situation.
My point is, obviously, that cars running red lights are the REAL problem. Again, bicycles are NOT the problem.
I was addressed by a woman lately for blowing a stop sign in a rural village at low speed. I rarely respond to such things, but in this case i asked her if she does the same thing to all the cars that fail to stop.
Equinox,

Ironically, one of the local stations has been doing an in-depth investigation into red light cameras. It was revealed that in many bay area cities that the in order to issue more red light tickets that the yellow cycle was shortened.

Also that same in-depth investigation has shown if I am not mistaken it was shown that the red light cameras really (particularly in light of the shortening of the yellow cycle) aren’t doing any good. Also sadly the in-depth investigation has shown that many of these contracts for these red light cameras are written in such a way that IF the city/county doesn’t issue enough red light camera tickets within a certain timeframe that the city/county owes the company money.

And in a more recent story there is a “new” lobby to discourage cities/counties from getting rid of red light cameras, and “surprise, surprise” it turns out this “lobby” is being spearheaded by the red light camera industry.

So, I am of mix opinion as to how effective they are. I mean IF a city/county has to shorten the yellow cycle in order to write more tickets then something is wrong. Add to that that typically speaking rear end crashes increase rather then decrease because people are no longer “rolling” through when it is safe to do so. And instead as soon as the light turns yellow the “slam” on their brakes.
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Old 10-05-14, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
I wonder how much the poor opinion of cyclists and “those bikers always run red lights” comes from cyclists actually going through lights that will not function for cyclists. I know which lights do not function on my routes. (yes I have waited full cycles for these at least once or more than once) and when I come up to those known lights I go as soon as I have determined that it is safe... to a motorist waiting at a cross street, this could appear to be “just another cyclist running a light...”

Just as an aside to this, I have one light near my home that functions perfectly for cyclists... it is camera operated, and it detects me on approach and often changes just as I get to the stop line... it is wonderful... and sadly rare.
Gene,

That is a VERY good question. I am sure that we “all” know of intersections that no matter how long we wait the light doesn’t change.

On the plus side, if I remember a story in the local news correctly. The Bay Area is suppose to be getting more and more camera controlled intersections. Which hopefully will make the streets safer for everyone.
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Old 10-05-14, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Equinox,

Ironically, one of the local stations has been doing an in-depth investigation into red light cameras. It was revealed that in many bay area cities that the in order to issue more red light tickets that the yellow cycle was shortened.

Also that same in-depth investigation has shown if I am not mistaken it was shown that the red light cameras really (particularly in light of the shortening of the yellow cycle) aren’t doing any good. Also sadly the in-depth investigation has shown that many of these contracts for these red light cameras are written in such a way that IF the city/county doesn’t issue enough red light camera tickets within a certain timeframe that the city/county owes the company money.

And in a more recent story there is a “new” lobby to discourage cities/counties from getting rid of red light cameras, and “surprise, surprise” it turns out this “lobby” is being spearheaded by the red light camera industry.

So, I am of mix opinion as to how effective they are. I mean IF a city/county has to shorten the yellow cycle in order to write more tickets then something is wrong. Add to that that typically speaking rear end crashes increase rather then decrease because people are no longer “rolling” through when it is safe to do so. And instead as soon as the light turns yellow the “slam” on their brakes.
These were the EXACT issues we had inout city and that's why they were never implemented. I think they were for a short time but they were being contested in court and they were all dismissed on the grounds that you can't ticket a vehicle. They were very short lived.
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Old 10-05-14, 04:10 PM
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Running red lights is a problem. No matter if the vehicle running the red light is a motor vehicle or a bicycle.

(FWIW, the right turn on red without stop, the other right hook, is the one that scares me.)

And in the are you kidding me what percentage of cyclists seen who run red lights are running dead reds?
To a first approximation, zero percent.


Now back to our regularly scheduled but "they" are worse apologists.


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Last edited by mr_bill; 10-06-14 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 10-05-14, 04:16 PM
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This will probably raise a big stink but lets ask-------------what cyclist are the biggest offenders of running red light? Is the the fully kitted "real cyclist", or is it just the average cyclist out for fun and exercise. BTW I am among the latter, and I always stop on red lights.
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Old 10-05-14, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
These were the EXACT issues we had inout city and that’s why they were never implemented. I think they were for a short time but they were being contested in court and they were all dismissed on the grounds that you can’t ticket a vehicle. They were very short lived.
It was also revealed that if one “dared” to challenge their ticket that in court that the fines/fees doubled if one lost. Presumably that was done to discourage people from challenging their tickets in court.

So given all that we are learning about the truth of red light cameras in the long run I do not think that they are worth it.

When I’ve been out with friends I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen the red light cameras firing for people who had taken charge of the intersection, i.e. they were out in the intersection waiting to make their left hand turn.

And I have to wonder how many drivers who were not actually breaking the law have gotten “caught” by the red light cameras. And how many of those when they’ve learned that if they fight and lose their fines/fees are doubled have opted NOT to fight their tickets?
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Old 10-05-14, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
This will probably raise a big stink but lets ask-------------what cyclist are the biggest offenders of running red light? Is the the fully kitted “real cyclist”, or is it just the average cyclist out for fun and exercise. BTW I am among the latter, and I always stop on red lights.
I don’t have the numbers, but I have seen plenty of cyclists both in kit and in regular street clothes running red lights. And it doesn’t matter if they’re on the sidewalk or in the lane. They run the red light as if it wasn’t there.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
This will probably raise a big stink but lets ask-------------what cyclist are the biggest offenders of running red light? Is the the fully kitted "real cyclist", or is it just the average cyclist out for fun and exercise. BTW I am among the latter, and I always stop on red lights.
In my area is seems to be almost exclusively the hipster/fixie crowd, but not very common to see in any case.
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Old 10-05-14, 07:50 PM
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In the D.C.-Metro region. It is rampant with 'red light runners'. Then they feign stupidity sitting at a red light when an EMS vehicle is either behind them, or only a few vehicles behind them.
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Old 10-05-14, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Running red lights is a problem. No matter if the vehicle running the red light is a motor vehicle or a bicycle.

(FWIW, the right turn on red without stop, the other right hook, is the one that scares me.)

And in the are you kidding me what percentage of cyclist who run red lights are running dead reds?
To a first approximation, zero percent.


Now back to our regularly schedualed but "they" are worse appologists.


-mr. bill
But are cyclists always running red lights? As I stated earlier... could a good portion of this simply be that motorists don't have a clue as to the real status of the lights in an area... that some just don't work for cyclists... and they perceive a cyclist going through that broken light as a red light runner...

The detection equipment is primarily designed for large motor vehicles... even guys on motorcycles have a difficult time triggering some lights.

Now the cyclists that pull up to lights where there are waiting cars going in the same direction.... that's a different story.... I know, I know, they want to get ahead of MV traffic... Which is why some locations put in bike boxes... but otherwise, yeah, that's an issue. When I see that , it kinda chaps my hide too. But how much of it is that, and how much is just cyclists knowing that the lights don't work and therefore taking off when it simply safe to do so?
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Old 10-05-14, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
I don’t have the numbers, but I have seen plenty of cyclists both in kit and in regular street clothes running red lights. And it doesn’t matter if they’re on the sidewalk or in the lane. They run the red light as if it wasn’t there.
Are they impeding traffic when doing so? Is there other traffic around? Are cars having to slam on brakes to avoid hitting these wanton cyclists? (I am sure it happens on occasion... just as an occasional motorist has to slam on brakes for a poor right on red motorist decision)

But let's face it... cyclists are going to be self preservationist... YOU SIMPLY DO NOT RUN LIGHTS IF YOU DON"T FEEL THERE IS A CLEAR WAY... otherwise you are quickly handed a Darwin Award and that's the end.
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Old 10-05-14, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
When I see that , it kinda chaps my hide too. But how much of it is that, and how much is just cyclists knowing that the lights don't work and therefore taking off when it simply safe to do so?
My guess, one in 10,000 cyclists occurrences of a cyclist proceeding through a red light is related to an inoperative traffic signal; though a much higher percentage (maybe 99.9+ %) are taking off when it is quite safe to do so.
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Old 10-05-14, 08:57 PM
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I am not a cyclist, I am a 61 year old guy who rides bicycles 120 miles a week year round in Michigan in street clothing. I ride without a helmet and run read lights on a regular basis and will not stop. (-: I dont care what you high and mighty cyclists think.
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Old 10-05-14, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
... I am sure that we “all” know of intersections that no matter how long we wait the light doesn’t change...
I honestly have no clue. Been cycling in my city from 15-56 years of age (car free since 1989) and have never waited to see if a red light "knew I was there" before proceeding when the coast was clear.
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Old 10-05-14, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I really don't see why we don't use more cameras, at least for red lights. I'd be totally OK with speed cameras as well.
While these were the rage aroud here for a while, the experience of a few years is that they have a very high "false positive" defective ticket rate. Meaning citations are mailed and fines assessed for provably innocent car owners. In NYS since the driver can't be identified, only the car can be cited, so it's treated the same way (legally) as a parking violation. Even then many plates are read poorly (provably wrong, when the photos are compared to the registered car), so many of these are being removed.

Where I live, the police know which stop signs and red lights are ignored, and work it the old fashioned way with a spotter car hidden around the corner, and the ticket issued 1/4 mile up the road. Since it's the driver, not the car cited, this is a moving violation, which has more impact.
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