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Blowing Red Lights

Old 04-18-15, 11:52 AM
  #1  
Colorado Kid
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Blowing Red Lights

A racer type blew not one but two red light, right in a row. What should I've done in this case? Said nother or chase him down and give him a ear full?
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Old 04-18-15, 12:11 PM
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It may be hard to catch him... unless you also follow him through the lights.

I'd ignore it if he was safe.

If he was doing something that was foolishly dangerous, you could point out that it reflects badly on all cyclists.

However, as I've gotten older, I've gotten less patient for poorly designed light switch mechanisms, especially left turns, but in general, I don't believe it is reasonable to expect bikes to go off the street to access light buttons. And, there are intersections where there are no buttons or way to reliably trip the light. How long should one wait for a car to come up behind oneself?

Also with safety, there may be some situations where it may be safer, and less disruptive to traffic flow to get through the intersection before a line of cars forms behind oneself.

I mentioned in another topic that I think there are certain lights that should be treated as stopsigns, especially at low traffic. Unfortunately that isn't the law... yet.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:15 PM
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There's no right answer to this question. This kind of behavior is out of control here in New York, and all the ears-full in the world can't change the people who do it. If you had chased him down and said something, you might feel better afterward, but he'd be out there making us all look bad the very next day. When you say nothing, YOU end up being the one who suffers from the frustration.

I just go out there and try to be the best example I can be, every day. I know it sounds self-righteous and that I might sometimes look ridiculous waiting at a red light when there isn't a single car, bike, or pedestrian anywhere in sight, but I figure my over-the-top adherence to the rules might balance the total disregard for them by others. Nah...it doesn't.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:17 PM
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Running red lights I view as more dangerous than running stop signs. However, there may be times when your bike does not trip the sensor and it's sort of a necessary evil. I wouldn't chase anyone down, however. I don't view it as my place to do that sort of thing.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:35 PM
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I was going to share a similar story about my ride home yesterday; I had a guy catch me yesterday on the MUT, just before we both hopped off to continue on side streets. The first thing I noticed was his bike; a vintage machine much like one I have. We started chatting, and determined that we were heading in the same direction which could have resulted in us riding 10-15 miles together. By the second stop light, it was evident that he wasn't going to obey any traffic laws at all, and I think he got the hint pretty quick that I wasn't interested in riding with him, because I wouldn't follow. All I could think of was how many drivers he was going to piss off on my regular route. Sure I could have told him that he's making all cyclists look bad, but I've come to realize that riders like him don't give two ****s about what others think. I continued on and ended up having a wonderful ride home solo like I usually do. While I would never, ever wish harm onto a fellow cyclist, if that guy continues to ride like I witnessed yesterday, it's only a matter of time before I read about him in the newspaper. I don't run lights. Ever. Not worth it.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:41 PM
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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?
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Old 04-18-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
A racer type blew not one but two red light, right in a row. What should I've done in this case? Said nother or chase him down and give him a ear full?
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...

Last edited by spare_wheel; 04-18-15 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Unfortunately that isn't the law... yet.
The law in OR requires cyclists to signal every turn and stop with the appropriate hand or arm signal continuously for 100 feet. I don't give a @#$% about light running but I really hate scofflaws who fail to signal and always make a point of chasing them down and berating them for making us all look bad!

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Old 04-18-15, 01:06 PM
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Certainly no point in giving him an earful. If he doesn't care about blowing red lights, he certainly won't care what you have to say about it. Probably wouldn't care what a cop said about it either. As @spare_wheel points out, everyone breaks the law. We all just have to decide which ones we are going to break.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:09 PM
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This is America , land of Ayn Rand ethics of self intrest. , .. They will Darwin themselves out some day.

Colorado has thawed out and the fancy race Bikes come out in the spring

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-19-15 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:10 PM
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I wouldn't have chased him down but if he and I ended up together at another light I'd say something. Eventually people begin to get the message that what they're doing is or is not socially acceptable and change their behavior accordingly. If you pull a girls bikini off and ra** her on a beach with a bunch of people standing around and none of them say anything you get a message that it's OK. If you blow stop lights and stop signs and nobody says anything then you get a message that it's OK.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
A racer type blew not one but two red light, right in a row. What should I've done in this case? Said nother or chase him down and give him a ear full?
Have you Ever been rear ended at a stop light or stop sign?
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Old 04-18-15, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
If you blow stop lights and stop signs and nobody says anything then you get a message that it's OK.
Ever biked in central Amsterdam? It's the bike scofflaw center of the freaking universe. In fact, it's glorious to see streams of cyclists continue crossing even though the light has changed...

Last edited by spare_wheel; 04-18-15 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
This is America , land of Ayn Rand ethics of self intrest. , ...
I don't think you understand much about Ayn Rand. She was not an anarchist but very much a believer in laws and in obeying laws. She was against over-meddling of government where it was not necessary.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:18 PM
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Your answer to the following question is dispositive:

Are you a peace officer?
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Old 04-18-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
This is America , land of Ayn Rand ethics of self intrest. , .. They will Darwin themselves out some day.
This is America, land of Mary "Mother" Jones and Emma Goldman!
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Old 04-18-15, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Ever biked in central Amsterdam? It's the bike scofflaw center of the freaking universe. In fact, it's freaking glorious to see streams of cyclists continue crossing even though the light has changed...
I've ridden thousands of miles in Amsterdam. Not sure where you read that but it's way off base. You will occasionally see someone on a bike run a red light but it's maybe one in fifty or a hundred. There have actually been problems where they have mis-programmed a light and not given enough cycle time to bicycle riders and ended up with huge congestion because everybody will sit and wait.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
I've ridden thousands of miles in Amsterdam. Not sure where you read that but it's way off base. You will occasionally see someone on a bike run a red light but it's maybe one in fifty or a hundred. There have actually been problems where they have mis-programmed a light and not given enough cycle time to bicycle riders and ended up with huge congestion because everybody will sit and wait.
Nah...If there is a big mass of cyclists crossing and only a few cars waiting its absolutely common to see motorists wait patiently for the large group of traffic to finish crossing regardless of a light change. It's fair, efficient, and sane approach. Likewise, few dutch cyclists will wait at a signal with absolutely no cross traffic...they just go.
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Old 04-18-15, 01:25 PM
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NL? with 40% of the nation on bikes 0.5% is still a Lot of people..


"Critical Mass Rides" Tended to Ignore traffic signs
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Old 04-18-15, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
A racer type blew not one but two red light, right in a row. What should I've done in this case? Said nother or chase him down and give him a ear full?
Are you a cop on duty? Or his parent or Guardian? Or if you feel compelled to "do something" are you equally compelled about motorists who violate the law?

If tha answer to all the above is no, then do nothing, and worry about yourself. He's not your responsibility, but if you feel somehow that he reflects poorly on you, then you need to let go of group mentality because it doesn't do anybody any good.
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Old 04-18-15, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Are you a cop on duty? Or his parent or Guardian? Or if you feel compelled to "do something" are you equally compelled about motorists who violate the law?

If tha answer to all the above is no, then do nothing, and worry about yourself. He's not your responsibility, but if you feel somehow that he reflects poorly on you, then you need to let go of group mentality because it doesn't do anybody any good.
I will tell you this I see the same type of riders pass between me on a bike and people on foot several times this year alone. Often people with pets or small Children . Sooner or later some one is going to do it while I'm on foot with my grandkids, they will go down you can count on it
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Old 04-18-15, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by plumberroy View Post
I will tell you this I see the same type of riders pass between me on a bike and people on foot several times this year alone. Often people with pets or small Children . Sooner or later some one is going to do it while I'm on foot with my grandkids, they will go down you can count on it
Roy
OK, so accept your premise that you should somehow intercede and tell him what's what. What exactly do you think you'll achieve? Do you actually believe that he'll modify his conduct because some busybody berated him. Be real, he'll write you off as some nut and go on with his day.

If/when there's a situation where a cyclist is a direct threat to you and yours then you may react appropriately, though be aware that in most states, if you push or hit a cyclist simply because he passed too close or too fast, that's assault and you can be prosecuted for it.
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Old 04-18-15, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
OK, so accept your premise that you should somehow intercede and tell him what's what. What exactly do you think you'll achieve? Do you actually believe that he'll modify his conduct because some busybody berated him. Be real, he'll write you off as some nut and go on with his day.

If/when there's a situation where a cyclist is a direct threat to you and yours then you may react appropriately, though be aware that in most states, if you push or hit a cyclist simply because he passed too close or too fast, that's assault and you can be prosecuted for it.
It isn't assault when someone puts you or yours in danger hit one of my grandkids being stupid and it may turn into assault when I beat them with their carbon bike.
You act like an idiot I will tell you about it You are free to stop and discuss it
It gets old having mostly people on high end road bikes dressed in full bike gear thinking they should not have to follow the rules
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Old 04-18-15, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bconneraz View Post
I was going to share a similar story about my ride home yesterday; I had a guy catch me yesterday on the MUT, just before we both hopped off to continue on side streets...and determined that we were heading in the same direction which could have resulted in us riding 10-15 miles together. By the second stop light, it was evident that he wasn't going to obey any traffic laws at all, and I think he got the hint pretty quick that I wasn't interested in riding with him, because I wouldn't follow. ...
I had a long-anticipated ride with a neighbor fall apart for the same reason a few years back. He was a reckless mountain biker who wanted to come along with me for a road ride, so we planned a route of about 60 miles in territory neither of us knew well. Within 15 minutes, I started getting pissed that he was ignoring all the traffic rules and he was resenting that I was slowing him up by obeying them. Ultimately, we hit one long traffic light. I stopped, but he plowed through and got so far ahead of me that there was no way I had the energy to catch up once the light finally turned green. We both ended up lost and didn't speak for a few weeks.

It's hard enough when you see strangers pull this kind of crap. But what do you do when it's a friend or family member?
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Old 04-18-15, 02:43 PM
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The other day, I told a guy flying a kite in the park at the end of the runway at Reagan National Airport it was illegal. Assumed he didn't know better. Common sense would tell most people flying a kite with planes landing overhead is dangerous, if not against the law. Probably saved the guy either a ticket or arrest or at a minimum, hassle by the police. Someone running a red light knows it's illegal and possibly dangerous, and doesn't need you chasing them down to let them know.
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