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Blowing Red Lights

Old 04-20-15, 06:36 AM
  #51  
Tinacha2
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
I got a cell phone, which can be used to report unsafe/illegal activity. 80% of the time, my call results in police catching the person.

- Andy
Just curious, how do you know? I've reported safety & criminal activity to my local police and I don't think I've ever received a call-back from them telling me the outcome.
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Old 04-20-15, 06:43 AM
  #52  
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I slow way down and look before going thru stop signs. I completely stop and look before going thru redlights but do not have too many of them to deal with. I can only imagine the discussion if a Barney Fife wannabe, pantywaist successfully chased me down.
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Old 04-20-15, 08:39 AM
  #53  
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How would the OP chase down the offending red-light runner without running red lights himself?

These red light debates are getting rather tiresome. I think most would agree that "blowing" red lights without slowing down is reckless and presents a bad image for cyclists. However, karma is likely to catch up with such offenders in the longrun, either in the form of a ticket or collision with a car.

The OP isn't clear whether he is opposed to cyclists who stop for red lights and then proceed when the coast is clear. Many of us who commute or ride in urban areas treat red lights as stop signs. The reasons are that many traffic signals do not detect bicycles and those with many red lights on their routes could take forever getting anywhere by waiting for every light to change. If you want to be legalistic and sit at every red light until it changes, be my guest. However, don't presume that lecturing such red-light runners will make any difference to them or the world. I personally wait for most red lights, but run certain signals (after stopping) because I don't see the point in waiting for hours at traffic lights. Some of the lights on my regular routes absolutely will not change unless a car comes along to trip the signal, and don't try to tell that's due to some fault of mine. I've sent emails to city, talked to the city bike coordinator and tried various means to trip signals, but the problems are never fixed.
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Old 04-20-15, 09:08 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
These red light debates are getting rather tiresome. I think most would agree that "blowing" red lights without slowing down is reckless and presents a bad image for cyclists. However, karma is likely to catch up with such offenders in the longrun, either in the form of a ticket or collision with a car.
i agree with this and the person who wrote that Darwin will sort this out over time. unfortunately cyclists blowing lights and/or cycling dangerously like nearly running into pedestrians and taking right of way that isn't theirs from motorists and peds, happens all the time and everyday. in NYC i see it tons. it does reflect badly on all of us cyclists. just like the motorists who are crazy negligent/oblivous and those that drive with an intent to scare or harm ("buzzing" or other things), have cornered all motorists into a "them" category. it's not that. cyclists and motorists at some point leave their mode of transit behind and we are all peds getting around from here to there. everyone chooses their own path.

unfortunately, for road rules to work, everyone needs to observe them or it gets messy in a hurry - while people who continually disregard rules, get us and them killed in the long run. it's just not OK.

agree that cyclists stopping for red lights then proceeding thru an empty intersection vs, just blowing thru without even yielding is a huge difference. yes in amsterdam, if it was clear, cyclists keep going otherwise it does get backed up rather quickly. in that locale, don't be self-righteous, do the common sense thing.

i think it is equally annoying when cyclists just stop in the bike path to fiddle with their damn phones or chat and not pay attention to the road and who might be coming behind them. motorists do this too (stop in a moving lane) and they are drivel. drivel!!! if you need to stop, you move out of the moving lane, preferably in a safe considerate manner.

as a driver i wouldn't pull these motorists over as a citizen's arrest so i would advise the OP to no, just mind your own business. but with car dash cams and go-pros, the law could enable citizens (motorists, cyclists and peds) to do this and spark justice for the everyday man and woman just trying to get to work alive and well. think of how many less accidents and subsequent traffic there will be! i look forward to when there are drones to observe then ticket people like this when they come to a stop. haha. i wish. until then, we are stuck with the way things are now.

in any case. instead of complaining/ranting ending in nothing, let's brainstorm traffic-bettering ideas to take to our local politicians. or start a petition. haha. anyone have any?
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Old 04-20-15, 10:19 AM
  #55  
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I must be commuting on the wrong routes cause I rarely see people BLOW lights. I see a fair bit of Idaho stops which I have no problem with. I'm curious as to why the OP has such an issue with it. In NYC Darwinism will take the form of a city bus and take care of the minority of people who blow lights. P

Last edited by walrus1; 04-20-15 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:56 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by EricL View Post
Blowing a red light = not slowing down at all.
Running a red light = crossing the intersection while the light is red.
Big difference. The former is always a risk, but if you stop, there is no traffic the other direction, and you know you won't trip the light, where is the harm?

Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
i run traffic lights in full view of law enforcement officers on a near weekly basis with complete impunity. my interpretation of this lack of enforcement is that they have better things to do than ticket cyclists for doing things that harm no one and are 100% legal the next state over.
I donít run traffic lights when a cop is around out of respect for the uniform.
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Old 04-20-15, 11:01 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by RR3 View Post
I slow way down and look before going thru stop signs. I completely stop and look before going thru redlights but do not have too many of them to deal with. I can only imagine the discussion if a Barney Fife wannabe, pantywaist successfully chased me down.
I recall an Andy of Mayberry episode when Gomer Pyle "arrested" Barney Fife for a traffic violation, yelling (and irritating Barney) in Gomer's Southern accent, "Citizen's arrest...Citizen's arrest."
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Old 04-20-15, 11:05 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I recall an Andy of Mayberry episode when Gomer Pyle "arrested" Barney Fife for a traffic violation, yelling (and irritating Barney) in Gomer's Southern accent, "Citizen's arrest...Citizen's arrest."
Hilarious. I remember it too.

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Old 04-20-15, 11:11 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I don’t run traffic lights when a cop is around out of respect for the uniform.
I do the same thing, and it often leads to interesting conversations with the cops involved. The police here generally have no issue with cyclists "safely" ignoring traffic signals.

All this talk is about signals but misses the point that safety is about traffic. Regardless of signals or signage, cyclists have to be aware of and compensate for other traffic in or approaching an intersection. Riding as if there were no signs or signals and following basic rules of the road affords cyclists more safety than blindly assuming that following the law is enough. For example, you might have a green, but that doesn't mean that someone entering from the right and making a legal right on red sees you.
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Old 04-20-15, 12:31 PM
  #60  
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+1 @FBinNY! Now if only the local drivers would start thinking about the safety aspects to themselves and others instead of seeing what they can get away with! On my commute through old town Alexandria, there are people begging with signs for bikes to stop at the stop signs. Where are the signs for the 4 wheeled imitators of the "running of the bulls?"
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Old 04-20-15, 12:37 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Your answer to the following question is dispositive:

Are you a peace officer?
Correct... unless OP is Batman or The Punisher, leave the guy alone.

Actually, I think Batman was deputized in some versions.
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Old 04-20-15, 12:52 PM
  #62  
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Lead by example..
V
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Old 04-20-15, 02:00 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
+1 @FBinNY! Now if only the local drivers would start thinking about the safety aspects to themselves and others instead of seeing what they can get away with! On my commute through old town Alexandria, there are people begging with signs for bikes to stop at the stop signs. Where are the signs for the 4 wheeled imitators of the "running of the bulls?"
Maybe this is experience based and they've learned that cyclists are either more likely to stop and engage hem or more generous or both.
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Old 04-21-15, 04:06 AM
  #64  
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I just had someone run a red light in front of me... not a stale yellow (which snags me occasionally)...

I was making a left turn from a shopping center to the main road, controlled by a light.
I think there was a car in front me.
Me on the bike.
And a car behind me.

So, this bike cuts across the intersection between the first car to make the turn, me, and the car behind me (I don't remember if it was right in front of me, or right behind me, but he almost ran me over).

And, obviously he would have gotten the green 15 seconds later

I'm not very vocal in traffic, but I found it so annoying.
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Old 04-21-15, 06:39 AM
  #65  
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I stop at lights because I'm old and out of breath.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:14 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Riding as if there were no signs or signals and following basic rules of the road affords cyclists more safety than blindly assuming that following the law is enough. For example, you might have a green, but that doesn't mean that someone entering from the right and making a legal right on red sees you.
Law-abiding cyclists who believe that the magic green traffic orb endows them with invulnerability worry me far more than people who treat signals as yields.
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Old 04-21-15, 10:40 AM
  #67  
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Bike cops are just as much scofflaws as the most reckless rider I've seen.
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Old 04-21-15, 11:17 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by velocity View Post
Lead by example..
V
I do. IMO, cyclists who do not support or practice the Idaho stop are holding back cycling equity.
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Old 04-21-15, 04:05 PM
  #69  
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when it comes to Traffic laws and blowing red lights the only law thats important is survival. sometimes you have to blow a light to get away from a pack of cars driving too close or the streets are empty, your running late to work , no cops around whats the point of stopping. especially going down hill . dont say cause its the law... Laws arent made to protect us laws are made to Protect The 1% against us and generate revenue (of course i agree with the obvious ones like murder and theft) , but thats another discussion i won't get into now.... i agree with all safety concerns of breaking traffic laws.. but if breaking that law causes you to be safer in that situation i'm all for it .

one time a car was trying to run me off the road , i had to run the light and on to the sidewalk to get away from him and not get killed . a cop saw the whole thing . the guy sped off cop didnt give chase but stopped me and said he didnt blame me for doing it , but in general dont run red lights and ride on the sidewalk and let me go with a warning .... ............. .
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Old 04-21-15, 06:36 PM
  #70  
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Cyclists do get ticketed in my town. Running a red light/stopsign is about $150 or $200, the same as the fine for a motorist.
There are some intersections where cyclists blowing stops (full speed, not even looking) is common when a car has right of way. When the police get complaints from the general citizenry, they will set up a trap for the scofflaws.
There is a group ride from a LBS that uses the same streets at the start and finish of their route. It's about 12 cyclists and I have watched them blow a stopsign at about 20mph causing the cross traffic to slam on the brakes.

There is a nice downhill in town where it's easy to coast over 30mph. The speed limit is 20mph. There is an unprotected crosswalk for families to get from a parking lot to a zoo entrance.
I know of at least one cyclist who got a speeding ticket there after blowing through the crosswalk.
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Old 04-22-15, 12:33 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Tinacha2 View Post
Just curious, how do you know? I've reported safety & criminal activity to my local police and I don't think I've ever received a call-back from them telling me the outcome.
Because i either stick around or they call me.

- Andy
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Old 04-22-15, 06:04 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post
...I know of at least one cyclist who got a speeding ticket there after blowing through the crosswalk...
If I got a speeding ticket on my bike I would have it framed, wear my cycling kit to court and snap a selfie with the judge!
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Old 04-22-15, 07:59 PM
  #73  
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I've had a few great unplanned rides with the same stranger who breaks traffic rules the same way I do.

I will always run the red lights that I run. This karma of which some speak has never harshly criticized my riding, only rewarded it.

Don't ever admonish the crazy criminal, if that's what you think of the red-runner.
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Old 04-23-15, 05:51 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I often run 10+ lights in a row on my way to work and I do this in full view of God, Safety Nannies, and the Pohlees (my route take me by a court house and the main police station). It's safe, efficient, and kinda fun.

The ironic thing is that the busy body cyclists who bunch their briefs into a knot over red light yielding also violate *THE LAW* just about every time they ride. I guess some laws matter more than others...
Best post on the forums in years. But Kingston two posts above is running a close second.

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Old 04-23-15, 09:18 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by capejohn View Post
Best post on the forums in years. But Kingston two posts above is running a close second.
Thanks. I have had lots of practice responding to the "they make us look bad" crowd here and elsewhere.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 04-23-15 at 06:46 PM.
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