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Reason for running red lights

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Reason for running red lights

Old 06-27-15, 07:14 AM
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Reason for running red lights

I just read an article in the Washington Post. A couple reasons cited by the author was a sense of defiance to the motor based transportation system and another was a sense of risk taking. It's like an adrenaline rush.

When I think about it, those make more sense over some of the other things people bring up.
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Old 06-27-15, 07:15 AM
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I only run them :
1. they don't sense my presence
2. it's dead empty road
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Old 06-27-15, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi
I only run them :
1. they don't sense my presence
2. it's dead empty road
I agree with this too. I don't even run the ones that don't sense my presence unless traffic won't be offended if I go. Stop signs is about the same thing, I always stop unless I'm on a country road and I can see at least 1/4 mile then I will slow down and head on across without stopping. Keep in mind though, any running of a red light or stop sign witnessed by a cop they can write you a ticket, most of the time they won't but they can so it's wise to check for cops before doing such an activity.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
When I think about it, those make more sense over some of the other things people bring up.
Does it still make sense when an innocent driver's life is ruined by injuring or killing some idiot cyclist running a red light for any of the reasons stated by the author? There is no excuse for running red lights (or riding on pavements).
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Old 06-27-15, 08:23 AM
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There is a traffic light in my area that will turn green only when it senses the car. The sensor will not detect bicycle. I have made several attempts to have it fixed with my local traffic dept. They have adjusted the sensor to make it more sensitive, but it still will not turn green light to me.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:28 AM
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Cars (and bikes) are allowed to turn left on red at intersecting one-ways here; I ride through several T intersections, where traffic comes from the left relative to me and can only turn left onto the road I'm on, so I feel justified in going straight through those reds in a bike lane (not a car lane).

Conversely there is one spot where I am turning right onto a T and I usually can't go right on red there because cars do and they take the corner so tightly that they are in the bike lane for a while. Even if they're not in the bike lane while waiting to turn.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Gege-Bubu
There is a traffic light in my area that will turn green only when it senses the car. The sensor will not detect bicycle. I have made several attempts to have it fixed with my local traffic dept. They have adjusted the sensor to make it more sensitive, but it still will not turn green light to me.
Have you tried laying the bike down on its side above the sensors? This is what I was taught to do years ago and it is slightly more successful at some lights than simply riding over them.

As for running reds, I will occasionally do it when there is no traffic and I am being impatient, but when waiting at the light with cars, I can feel their opinion of cyclists improving by the second.

Stop signs, however, are just a suggestion.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:30 AM
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Also, a state law recently came into effect here allowing bikes to run reds if they are not sensed. The law requires they wait a cycle but in practice it's immediately apparent when you've missed your turn. So, woohoo carbon wheels.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
a sense of defiance to the motor based transportation system and another was a sense of risk taking. It's like an adrenaline rush.
When I worked as a courier in a large city ~15 years ago, I could make it across town without taking (what I thought of as) unacceptable risks, including running red lights, as fast as any of my colleagues. I realized they were darting between cars and running reds because they had no respect for the law or their own safety, and enjoyed showing everyone.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:42 AM
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I don't run them either, except ... at a T in the situation that HardyWeinberg mentioned, and sometimes at a big intersection with all-red I'll jump it a few seconds to get across before the rest of the traffic.

In these examples, it isn't a sense of defiance or risk-taking adrenaline. It's actually safer and less disruptive to "run" the red in these cases than to wait at the light.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
Also, a state law recently came into effect here allowing bikes to run reds if they are not sensed. The law requires they wait a cycle but in practice it's immediately apparent when you've missed your turn. So, woohoo carbon wheels.
Not in all states, unfortunately.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by fenice
There is no excuse for running red lights (or riding on pavements).
No excuse for riding on pavements. You have to be kidding.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:47 AM
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I understand "dead red", although in my city it's pretty rare in practice. Even on low volume road a vehicle is typically not far behind. Generally I perceive running reds to just be a selfish sense of entitlement. I see it frequently with cyclists who don't even do the equivalent of proper stop sign stop. It's a gradually increasing practice with motorists to treat red lights as stop signs. I also regularly see cyclists that will go to the far right sometimes sidewalk to line jump, then go back to taking the lane, holding up the line of cars they just passed.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:50 AM
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If there are cars along side me at a red light, or stop sign, I never ever run it, I feel it's important that drivers see not all cyclists are ruthless and think the laws of traffic don't apply to them, but complain that they have the same rights as a car.

On empty country roads I'll run a stop sign if I can see there's no cars coming.
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Old 06-27-15, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
No excuse for riding on pavements. You have to be kidding.
No, I'm not - I've never done it nor will I ever do it.
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Old 06-27-15, 09:18 AM
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I guess we would have to know what "riding on pavements" means ?
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Old 06-27-15, 09:22 AM
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I ride about 20 miles at a time , 5 times a week. I run at least 5 red lights a ride. Cause I want to. I dont care what any one thinks about it
I am 62 been riding my entire life and dont wear a helmet.
Most fatalities of bike riders happens when, they are hit from behind and are riding perfectly legal, not from running red lights.
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Old 06-27-15, 09:25 AM
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I don't run them. I look both ways and then proceed safely across the intersection.
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Old 06-27-15, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Willbird
I guess we would have to know what "riding on pavements" means ?
Huh? Obviously "the pavements" is where people walk at the side of the road, i.e. "sidewalks" in North America. Pavement = sidewalk. The first streets were paved on the sides where people walk, and the middle where the horse-pulled carriages travelled was mud.

You've never heard the expression "pound the pavement"? You thought perhaps it meant sitting in the middle of the street and banging on the asphalt with your fist?
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Old 06-27-15, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi
I only run them :
1. they don't sense my presence
2. it's dead empty road
+1 Same here
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Old 06-27-15, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi
I only run them :
1. they don't sense my presence
2. it's dead empty road
This. Come to a stop, no one around, go!
I do roll stop signs though, but only on backroads where I'm familiar with the traffic patterns (as in, there's usually no one coming). Slow down, look both ways, no one coming, keep rolling.
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Old 06-27-15, 09:49 AM
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I think I may have traumatized several riding partners over the years by running virtually every red light I encounter. My reason? . . . because I don't feel like getting off the bike.

My early biking days were in the streets of NYC where there is a traffic light every 250 feet. That's TWENTY of them to a mile. There's no way to get a workout stopping every time a light turns red. So seasoned riders learn to use various methods to stay on the bike until traffic allows you to proceed. Over the years I've maintained those habits for the most part, even though I ride now days in much more open conditions.

But that's just me, your mileage prolly varies.
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Old 06-27-15, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
Huh? Obviously "the pavements" is where people walk at the side of the road, i.e. "sidewalks" in North America. Pavement = sidewalk. The first streets were paved on the sides where people walk, and the middle where the horse-pulled carriages travelled was mud.

You've never heard the expression "pound the pavement"? You thought perhaps it meant sitting in the middle of the street and banging on the asphalt with your fist?
why mention "riding on pavements" in a thread about running red lights?
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Old 06-27-15, 10:11 AM
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I think it is painfully obvious to any rational person that running a red light anywhere there is the possibility of traffic is borderline motarded.
Out on a familiar country road where you can see a 1/4 mile + in all directions and you run a red light? A whole different story. Again, it comes down to rationality and plain old common sense imo.

Please continue with the irrational discussion...
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Old 06-27-15, 10:13 AM
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I feel like the other poster is probably just trolling, but for anyone interested in stats...

Fatality Facts
Thirty-eight percent (38%) of bicyclist deaths in 2013 occurred at intersections.

1. Most fatalities occur on urban arterial roads
Fatalities were concentrated on high-speed “arterials” designed to speed motor vehicle traffic through urban areas. The second most frequent road category for cycling fatalities was local streets in urban areas.
8 Takeaways From the Bike League?s Study of Cyclist Fatalities | Streetsblog USA
2. The most common type of crash was being struck from behind - In 40 percent of the cases, the victim was struck from behind
(By "crashes" they seem to mean "crashes that resulted in a fatality")

3. In urban areas, cyclists were more likely to be killed at intersections
Cyclists traveling in rural areas were 3.7 times more likely to be struck and killed at a location that was not an intersection than urban cyclists.

4. Most victims were wearing a helmet
In the 150 cases where helmet use was cited in a crash account, 57 percent of the victims were wearing a helmet.

Seems like the first most dangerous place to be riding is on high speed arterial roads, second most dangerous is at intersections.

Last edited by BillyD; 06-27-15 at 04:45 PM. Reason: helmets edit
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