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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 10-14-09, 07:24 PM
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Any Red Light Runners Here Ever Been Hurt?

Just wondering, since I am always getting my arse kicked around here for running red lights:

Have any of you been hit, caused an accident, or in any way experienced/caused negative effects from running a red light. Close calls? Be honest. Maybe some details and what you should have done differently.

Those of you who do not run red lights, do you know of any adult, anywhere on earth, who has been hurt or killed in the act of running a red light? Prove it with a link, or reference a real person - not a friend of a friend's second cousin's dog catcher's nephew that you heard about twenty years ago. Someone you KNOW who got hit running a light.

============================

I will start: I know no one, in a city where everyone runs the lights, who has been hit. Once in the past 10 years, I did not see a car that was crossing from left to right as it was "eclipsed" behind an SUV. He had to hit his brakes, I had to sprint out of the way. Otherwise, I probably would have been hit in the rear wheel. That's all I got for the past decade of running lights.

Remember! No hearsay! You must know the person first hand or link to some news story on the Web that specifically mentions running a red and being injured/killed.
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Old 10-14-09, 08:09 PM
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Never been hurt running a red.

My two worst accidents were at an intersection on a green. One was a car door, the other was mechanical failure.

My closest call was on a fresh green, by a red light runner. Look both ways kids!
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Old 10-14-09, 08:21 PM
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I got hit in my car from someone that ran a red light. Red light runners only seem to think of themselves, and put their goal ahead of your safety.
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Old 10-14-09, 08:26 PM
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I haven't seen it happen but I have seen many people run reds. Many of them seem to have zero confidence while they do it, they look like fools and I get death glares from the nearest drivers.
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Old 10-14-09, 08:28 PM
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I've had one close call running a red light. I had just gotten out of work and zoned out. Had to slam hard on the brakes before I colided with a car. Scared myself and the driver. I didn't give cycling a good name then.

Most of the close calls I have are when drivers run yellow lights. There is an intersection from where I cross over to a walking bridge. Unfortunately drivers usually speed through at about 45mph even though its a 30mph zone. So instead of slowing down at yellow they just cruise through it. However the signal for me to cross is almost instantaneous with their red. Had an SUV swerve into an oncoming turn lane as I started pedalling out (view obstructed by a tree and lamp post). I think there was a cop car sitting in a parking lot behind me. Didn't do anything. I wonder if they are just there for show?
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Old 10-14-09, 08:44 PM
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I fractured my elbow in a crash stopping for a red light, does that count?
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Old 10-14-09, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by timmythology
I fractured my elbow in a crash stopping for a red light, does that count?
New clips?

My next topic will be related to the dangers of stopping at red lights. Your post will count there for sure.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:26 PM
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A couple of weeks ago I saw the light turning red just as I was passing under it as I flew through the intersection. I don't know how fast I was going (I was riding my beater to school - no speedo) but I was on the pedals pretty hard. Heard a guy in an SUV yell out his window, "Check the lights... A**hole!" I turned my head and flashed him the Devil Horns (instead of the finger) and stuck my tongue out ala Gene Simmons. I noticed that he couldn't help smiling just before I had to look back in the direction I was riding.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:48 PM
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I've haven't been hurt running a red since I don't do it. I've been very close to getting hit while going through a stop sign though. It's happened a couple times. Felt like an idiot.

My honest opinion is that it's entirely possible to run red lights in a manor that puts you or no one else in danger. My home town had no stoplights at all while I was growing up. People managed. The reason stop lights were eventually put in is that the main highway got so busy it was difficult to cross. Stoplights are about traffic control as much or more than they are about safety.

However, before the stoplights there were yields and stop signs. Coming to a complete stop (or a nearly complete stop) before continuing on is different from assessing the situation as you approach an intersection and then going through while barely slowing down. Peoples' ability to do that consistently well varies.

If the world was filled with excellent drivers and cyclists who were always "on" then there would probably be no need for stoplights at all. The problem is that even stupid people need to get to work. And you can't really make it OK for some people to ignore traffic lights while forcing obedience on others. What's the criteria going to be?

So my question to you, JoeyBike, is do you really want to advocate a strategy that works well for you to people who simply may not be as competent?
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Old 10-14-09, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel
So my question to you, JoeyBike, is do you really want to advocate a strategy that works well for you to people who simply may not be as competent?
What I advocate is -Look both ways before you cross the street - no matter what the situation. I'm guessing that more people get hit riding through green lights without looking than those running reds.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:09 PM
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I hear about it here in Portland every once in awhile.

Here's ya link: https://www.newsweek.com/id/149224

"a cyclist blew a red light and slammed into a pickup truck, which sent the biker to the hospital"
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Old 10-14-09, 10:18 PM
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What I thought you already responded to the video.
Unathorized JoeyBike video...

I have 3 stop lights on a 10 mile commute. No need to run them. Most of the time I can plan it to hit them green. All the accidents I know of around here are from side streets.

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Old 10-14-09, 10:26 PM
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Dead.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:30 PM
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Seriously injured.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:30 PM
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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. I'm guessing that more people get hit riding through green lights without looking than those running reds.
I'll go with that. It's really upsetting how often I have to stop rolling after I just started rolling because some ass decided he can squeeze himself through the intersection before traffic starts moving.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:35 PM
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Hurt bad.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:35 PM
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Ouch.
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Old 10-14-09, 10:54 PM
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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. I'm guessing that more people get hit riding through green lights without looking than those running reds.
The people who legally ride through green lights and get hit, get hit by somebody who ran a red.

Lot's knife had plenty of links. I'll bet those people who got hurt or died running red lights had never got hit running a light before and probably didn't know anyone else that had. People screw up. Obeying the traffic lights or at least coming to a near stop before proceeding through an intersection reduces the likelihood of a screw up leading to a catastrophic event.
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Old 10-14-09, 11:30 PM
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I pulled up to a red light at about midnight in Sacramento on a deserted 4 way traffic signal. There was one SUV already waiting at the read light. I stoped next to him, looked in all directions, no other cars anywhere to be seen. I go ahead and go. I then hear four or five big guys yelling that what I was doing was illegal from the SUV. They were teens or in college but they were all bigger than me, which is not saying all that much. When they got a green they came down the road and threw something at me, it missed. I was pretty worried that they were going to stop and doing something, or use the vehicle. I could have been over reacting a bit since it was late, I was alone, and I was new to commuting.

Looking back on it now that I am more seasoned I would not have been so worried. However, they may not have said anything to me if I had not run the light. Though, they may just have been drunk and looking for someone to annoy or antagonize so maybe if I did not run the light they still would have thrown something at me. Hard to tell.

With all that being said, I do run red lights occasionally when I am in the USA. However, it really really depends on the particular light I am at. I do not run intersections that I do not know well. However, I now live in South Korea and the rules over here are different. I run just about every red light, becasue so does everyone else. Its expected.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-15-09, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger
Thoughts?
Apparently you should fear carloads of young men more than running an otherwise safe red light.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:04 AM
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Nope. Only accident I've been in was at a 2-way stop, and I was going the way that didn't have to stop.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:07 AM
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Joey, excellent topic! I live in new york and I have to constantly run red lights (unless I want stop 100x on my commute). I recently saw a topic I was interested in, but the thread was locked for some reason.

I have ONE close call to share. 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. I stop when there are pedestrians or heavy traffic crossing in front of me. I treat red lights as stop signs most of the time.

On one occasion, I was crossing over a 4 lane road (two in each direction). I normally wait for this light since it's a busy intersection with cars traveling at high speeds. But I only saw one car coming. I inched up to the middle of the intersection right after the van passed. As I got up, I hear VRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM as a motorcyclist revved up really hard as he flew by me. He did it on purpose to send a message.

Being a motorcyclist myself, I generally look out for them as well. But I just didn't see him coming this time. It sent chills down my spine!!! It was my fault and it would've been a nasty wreck. I was glad he saw me and took the precaution to slow down and avoid me riding directly into his path. I'm also glad he taught me a lesson by scaring the crap out of me.

That was my one & only close calls. Most of my other close calls usually happens when I STOP for the red!!! When the light turns green, I make sure to look both ways before accelerating into the intersection. I've had many close calls with cars flying into the intersection trying to beat the yellow (which have turned red already).

Originally Posted by JoeyBike
What I advocate is -Look both ways before you cross the street - no matter what the situation. I'm guessing that more people get hit riding through green lights without looking than those running reds.
+ 1 million. I do this at each intersection! I don't care if I have a green light and it's a one way street. I still look both ways with my fingers covering the brakes. Actually, I cover my brakes 95% of the time when I ride (another motorcycle habit of mine).

Originally Posted by b_young
I have 3 stop lights on a 10 mile commute. No need to run them. Most of the time I can plan it to hit them green. All the accidents I know of around here are from side streets.
If I had your commute, I would actually HOPE the light turns red when I get there! I need a breather!

Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
I'm glad you posted those articles up. It proves how rare running red light injuries/deaths are. I'm assuming you went to google (or your favorite search engine) and typed in "cyclist red light injury". It is October 2009 and you are only able to manage to find 3 articles from 2008 and one article in 2009 that leads to death and/or serious injury. And all 4 of these accidents could've been easily prevented if the cyclists took Joey's advice of "looking both ways" before crossing.

The accident that killed the guy in 2009 happened about 1/2 mile from my house. We had a memorial ride for him. This was just a month ago.


I personally like traffic lights more than stop signs. Stop signs give drivers a decision to make. Red lights, on the other hand tells a driver to stay put until it turns green. I'm so glad we don't have "turn on red" where I live. That would definitely create more accidents (mostly auto accidents). But personally, I have more close callls with stop signs than with red lights.

All in all, with over 2,000 miles this year, I've had one close call. 2,000 miles is about equivalent to 40,000 intersections (with a traffic light at each intersection). Conservatively speakingg, if 1/4 of those were red, I ran about 10,000 red lights this year with just one close call with a motorcycle.

Was it worth it? I don't know. Probably not. One close call is one too many! But if I had to wait 1 minute at each of those lights I didn't run, I would've wasted 10,000 minutes this year. You do the math......that's exactly 7 full days of waiting at red lights. I wouldn't enjoy standing at an intersection for 24 hours a day, for 7 days straight.

Last edited by wheeldeal; 10-15-09 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 10-15-09, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wheeldeal
But if I had to wait 1 minute at each of those lights I didn't run, I would've wasted 10,000 minutes this year. You do the math......that's exactly 7 full days of waiting at red lights. I wouldn't enjoy standing at an intersection for 24 hours a day, for 7 days straight.
By my rough calculations, I run somewhere in the neighborhood of 16,000 red lights a year. Most do not last a full minute. If they were minutes, that would multiply out to about 11 days a year waiting for a light to change. I would guess it's more like 5-7 days of waiting for me in reality.

My #1 gripe is loss of momentum. I gotta earn momentum. I can't steal momentum from a dead dinosaur. So momentum is precious, and I want to keep as much of it as I can.

Close behind momentum is mugger avoidance. Every city rider I know in New Orleans has been the victim of an attempted or successful mugging/beatdown while cycling in the city. EVEN the ones running all the reds, but mostly the riders who are stationary for whatever reason. My turn has not come up yet, but I am very aware of the possibilities. Just yesterday I turned off my route when I noticed half a dozen teenagers were walking toward me blocking the entire street. Probably nothing, but why chance that?

The purpose of this thread is to hopefully show that the practice of running red lights is really hurting people in significant numbers, or not. Not scientific, but the best I can do.
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Old 10-15-09, 07:08 AM
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Never been hurt while running a red light. The only time I've ever really been hurt on a bike is when I wiped out on some ice.
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Old 10-15-09, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
How many articles can you dig up describing cyclist who ran a red light without incident?

(I hope you get my point.)
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