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Any Red Light Runners Here Ever Been Hurt?

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Any Red Light Runners Here Ever Been Hurt?

Old 10-15-09, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
How many articles can you dig up describing cyclist who ran a red light without incident?

(I hope you get my point.)
I doubt the fact that I successfully ran 15,999 out of 16,000 red lights would be much consolation to my family. Or for that matter that millions of other cyclists successfully ran red lights the day I got killed.

The mugging avoidance circumstance that Joey brings up I get. I'm not going to sit or even stop at a red light if I'm in a notorious area for crime and there are people milling about that look threatening.
At that point stopping at the red is more risky than going through. Rarely does that come up on my commute though unless I work really late.

When I see cyclists going through reds I can pretty much guarantee that 90% of the time it's not because they're worried about muggers, they'd just rather not stop.

Last edited by tjspiel; 10-15-09 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 10-15-09, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel
I doubt the fact that I successfully ran 15,999 out of 16,000 red lights would be much consolation to my family.
Only people running reds get killed on bikes?
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Old 10-15-09, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Only people running reds get killed on bikes?
Of course not, but it is apparently more common than you realized and it's very easy to avoid.
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Old 10-15-09, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
How many articles can you dig up describing cyclist who ran a red light without incident?
hah easy answer.... most will be about JoeyBike
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Old 10-15-09, 09:36 AM
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One summer back in 1973 while I was in college I worked the graveyard shift at a 24 hr grocery store. After getting off of work I was riding my Schwinn Varsity back towards campus. It was Sunday morning and there wasn't another soul out on the streets.

I'd built up a to a pretty good speed when the light at the approaching intersection turned red. I saw there was no traffic so I blew through the light. What I didn't know was there was one of Lincoln's finest hiding behind a billboard and he saw me and pulled me over.

After the resulting lecture he gave me a warning ticket. I haven't run one since.
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Old 10-15-09, 09:49 AM
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I had a close call, once. Frighteningly close. I think the car went up on two wheels avoiding me. He was going way too fast. He had a yellow, so accellerated rather than slowing down; I had a red.

It kinda put me off running red lights for a while.
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Old 10-15-09, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wheeldeal
To begin, I run about 100 or more red lights on a daily basis on average. My roundtrip commute is roughly 15 - 20 miles (depending on the day). That's roughly 300 - 400 traffic lights I have to go through on a daily basis.
So you have a traffic light every 200-350 feet?
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Old 10-15-09, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wneumann
So you have a traffic light every 200-350 feet?
Correct. Roughly an intersection every 250 - 300ft. At each intersection there's a 95% chance that a traffic light is present and a 5% chance of a stop sign being present.

Scratch that.....make that a 98% chance of traffic light and 2% chance of a stop sign.

Here's where I live.

This is where I work

This is where my girlfriend lives

You can use use street view to see my riding environment.

Last edited by wheeldeal; 10-15-09 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:10 AM
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red lights

No issues running some of the reds I encounter. Of the 6 that I have to go through, the heavy, suburban auto traffic requires some stopping and some just looking.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
What I advocate is -Look both ways before you cross the street - no matter what the situation.
What I advocate is following the rules of the road and obeying applicable traffic laws UNLESS doing so will put you in danger. What I don't advocate is breaking the law for convenience or because you think it's cool, or because the rest of the herd seems to do it.

Yeah, I break the law for my own convenience too...but I don't brag about it or advocate others doing it or try to justify it.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:30 AM
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I love this thread, now I dont have to be a closet red light runner.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:35 AM
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copy of a post I did in A&S

not a red light but flashing red of train crossing....... key thing that came out of the discussion was how fast and quiet trains can be. Points to the whole.....running a red light is not a good idea, because despite what you think your really may not see/here everything that can take you out


What is sad is this was a totally preventable death, had the cyclist not crossed against a red (with lowered gates)

https://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_12545818

The bicyclist who was struck and killed Friday afternoon by a Caltrain south of the San Jose Diridon Station has been identified by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office as Charles Subia, 38, of San Jose.

A Caltrain spokeswoman said Friday that the fatal collision appeared to be accidental.

The 4:10 p.m. incident occurred after the gates at the Auzerais Street crossing had been lowered for an Altamont Commuter Express train traveling northbound, Christine Dunn, a Caltrain spokeswoman, said Friday. After the ACE train went by, Subia went around the lowered gates into the path of the unoccupied Caltrain, which was traveling southbound about 35 mph.

"It looks as though he waited for the ACE train and then did not look in the other direction," Dunn said. "Trains are not as noisy as you think, so you should never ever go around a lowered gate."

Subia was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:39 AM
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Never had a problem running a red, but I also don't close my eyes, speed up, and ignore traffic when I reach an intersection. Usually I do the opposite of those.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel
I doubt the fact that I successfully ran 15,999 out of 16,000 red lights would be much consolation to my family. Or for that matter that millions of other cyclists successfully ran red lights the day I got killed.
Okay, I see you missed the point.

Point is, four articles about people injured while running red lights is not an indicator of how risky or how dangerous is actually is.
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Old 10-15-09, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
copy of a post I did in A&S

not a red light but flashing red of train crossing....... key thing that came out of the discussion was how fast and quiet trains can be. Points to the whole.....running a red light is not a good idea, because despite what you think your really may not see/here everything that can take you out


What is sad is this was a totally preventable death, had the cyclist not crossed against a red (with lowered gates)

https://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_12545818

The bicyclist who was struck and killed Friday afternoon by a Caltrain south of the San Jose Diridon Station has been identified by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office as Charles Subia, 38, of San Jose.

A Caltrain spokeswoman said Friday that the fatal collision appeared to be accidental.

The 4:10 p.m. incident occurred after the gates at the Auzerais Street crossing had been lowered for an Altamont Commuter Express train traveling northbound, Christine Dunn, a Caltrain spokeswoman, said Friday. After the ACE train went by, Subia went around the lowered gates into the path of the unoccupied Caltrain, which was traveling southbound about 35 mph.

"It looks as though he waited for the ACE train and then did not look in the other direction," Dunn said. "Trains are not as noisy as you think, so you should never ever go around a lowered gate."

Subia was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
Moral of the story, don't run reds when it's not safe to do so.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:00 AM
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I don't mean to muddy the waters here (OK, maybe I do)... But we might be comparing apple and oranges to some extent. Bear with me:

If you live in an urban area where there's a stoplight every 300 feet and vehicle speeds are (relatively) low, your attitude and strategy regarding lights might need to be different than that of a suburban commuter. Where I live (definitely suburbia) there are relatively few stop lights - and there need to be more. Posted speed limits are high and actual speeds are higher. Drivers are distracted and things happen very fast. I never run red lights. The cost of mistake would just be too high.

Having said that, I know things are much different in city centers. Maybe I'd be a red light runner if I lived and rode in that environment. Perhaps it would even be a safe and convenient thing to do using Joey's methodology...

Still, attempting to advocate a behavior other than always looking both ways at every intersection isn't the wisest thing. Once you move beyond that simple rule, you generally start adding risk - not subtracting it.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
Okay, I see you missed the point.

Point is, four articles about people injured while running red lights is not an indicator of how risky or how dangerous is actually is.
Cool, so let's get rid of stop signals totally.
People are smart enough to know when they have the right-of-way, right?
I could live with that...but somehow me thinks that many others...not so much.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
Okay, I see you missed the point.

Point is, four articles about people injured while running red lights is not an indicator of how risky or how dangerous is actually is.
They also don't write articles about people who run red lights safely without dying or being seriously injured.

Another thing I want to bring up. I don't know if "running" a red is the correct term. When I hear that, I see a picture of someone seeing a red light and just hammering forward to "run" it.

I almost always slow down (and yield to pedestrians), then I stick my neck out to check from traffic, then I slowly cross. I don't "run" a red light. I cautiously "cross" the road on a red light.

The only time I "run" a red light is where there are 2 or more pedestrians crossing on a red (jaywalking). If I see them crossing, I'm normally less cautious. I have them to "block" me since they'll get hit first. And by where I live, pedestrians jaywalk ALL the time! Most jaywalkers do it when there isn't a car in sight.

And I absolutely just "run" the light without even looking when I see a baby carriage jaywalking.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
Moral of the story, don't run reds when it's not safe to do so.
Addendum: Just remember that everyone's focus lapses from time to time.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wheeldeal
They also don't write articles about people who run red lights safely without dying or being seriously injured.

Another thing I want to bring up. I don't know if "running" a red is the correct term. When I hear that, I see a picture of someone seeing a red light and just hammering forward to "run" it.

I almost always slow down (and yield to pedestrians), then I stick my neck out to check from traffic, then I slowly cross. I don't "run" a red light. I cautiously "cross" the road on a red light.

The only time I "run" a red light is where there are 2 or more pedestrians crossing on a red (jaywalking). If I see them crossing, I'm normally less cautious. I have them to "block" me since they'll get hit first. And by where I live, pedestrians jaywalk ALL the time! Most jaywalkers do it when there isn't a car in sight.

And I absolutely just "run" the light without even having to look when I see a baby carriage jaywalking.
Another good point. I think most people see red-light runners as just blasting through the intersection, to hell with everyone else, giving them the finger on the way through.

Speaking for myself, I'm like wheeldeal. I'm cautious, I don't get in other people's way, I'm more than happy to stop if I have to.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wneumann
Addendum: Just remember that everyone's focus lapses from time to time.
Right. Always be careful, whether the light is red, green, or yellow.

It's not like you need to be less careful when the light is green after all.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wneumann
Addendum: Just remember that everyone's focus lapses from time to time.
Not mine, I am perfect. Laws were made for you mere mortals, they do not apply to me.
Now please go out and get some virgins to sacrifice to me. (don't kill them, I hate it when you goofy humans f up good virgins)
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Old 10-15-09, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus
Moral of the story, don't run reds when it's not safe to do so.
No, Moral of story is don't run reds, because you can't be sure it is safe to do so.

Unless the guy was a suicide ( suicide by train is frequent) , he probably thought it was safe.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
No, Moral of story is don't run reds, because you can't be sure it is safe to do so.
Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. It varies from intersection to intersection. Some have better sightlines than others.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau
Never had a problem running a red, but I also don't close my eyes, speed up, and ignore traffic when I reach an intersection. Usually I do the opposite of those.
I imagine everyone that's been hit running a red usually checked for traffic before going through. But, people screw up now and then and it only takes once. It's not that hard to get complacent and sloppy, to misjudge speed or intent, etc. You can say that it won't ever happen to you and it very well may not, but I don't think it's wise to advocate running lights to anyone.
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