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Red or amber? Just sail on through...

Cyclists in Brussels are now allowed to ignore red traffic lights.

Brussels Secretary of State for Road Safety, Bianca Debaets and Brussels Minister of Transport Pascal Smet installed new cyclist signs on Thursday morning which indicated that cyclists may continue straight or turn right at junctions even when the lights are amber or red.

The new signs, B22 and B23, have been put up at all junctions where this is safe for cyclists following a test phase.

“It is a provision which exists since 1990 in the Netherlands and which exists also in France and Germany,” Bianca Debaets told the Brussels Times.

Out of the 475 intersections in Brussels with traffic lights that are managed by Brussels Transport, 348 have been fitted with the signs, with 40 more yet to come.

It is the first region in the country to do so.

Also this week, the New York Department of Transportation also backed a bill allowing cyclists to go through red lights at some junctions.

At around 1500 intersections, cyclists would be able to follow pedestrian signals, giving them a head start before cars start moving.

They would still be required to give way to pedestrians.

 "As a bicyclist myself ... I know that the small head start over the traffic at LPI intersections will give me an added sense of security, knowing that surrounding vehicles will spot me," Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who is sponsoring the measure, told the New York Daily News.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.