Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Should cyclists be allowed to ride through red lights? Campaigners split on safety benefits

Gregory Kinsman-Chauvet, the founder of Bike for Good, thinks road safety could be improved by letting those on bikes continue through red lights after giving way to pedestrians

Leading cycling campaigners in Scotland have been discussing the potential road safety implications of allowing cyclists to ride through red lights.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday figures from campaign groups such as Bike for Good, Cycling Scotland and Spokes shared differing opinions on the matter, with disagreements over whether such changes were necessary and what safety improvements they would have.

As per the Highway Code, informed by the Road Traffic Act 1988 section 36, cyclists 'must obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals' and 'must not cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red'.

This differs from road laws in other parts of the world, notably in some parts of the United States and France where cyclists are permitted to proceed at red lights in certain circumstances, something Gregory Kinsman-Chauvet of Bike for Good believes should be implemented closer to home.

"After reading various studies proving that removing the obligation for cyclists to stop at red lights increased safety, I decided to test it myself," he told the Scotsman's Sunday sister paper, arguing a change of road rules could allow those on bicycles to travel through red lights at specially marked junctions after giving way to pedestrians.

Copenhagen cyclists at red light (Heb, Wikimedia Commons)

"In Paris and Lyon last summer I had the opportunity to experience this and quickly felt much safer on the road. At junctions motorists knew they had to prioritise cyclists and were more cautious — it's time to change mindsets."

However, not everyone agrees, Cycling Scotland's cycling safety manager Simon Bradshaw suggested Scotland's road laws are too different to France's to be compared and questioned if such action should even be a priority.

"There are many actions needed to improve safety for people cycling and we don't believe that permitting people to cycle through red lights is one of them," he said.

"Red lights — and green figures — ensure people can cross roads more safely and confidently. Scotland also has very different rules of the road to France, making it complex to replicate. The recent updates to the Highway Code, if followed, make our roads safer for everyone."

Likewise, Ian Maxwell of the Lothian cycling campaign group Spokes, told the Sunday newspaper he does not believe the matter is "necessary".

red light CitizenM_Glasgow_Hotel_02

"I would like to see all motorists respecting advance stop lines before we try this approach," he explained.

"There is also the question of why this particular priority is necessary. Cycling is already a fast and reliable way of getting through city centres, even if you have to wait at a few red lights."

Just last year Colorado approved a bill to let cyclists ride through red lights with the aim of cutting collision numbers by reducing interactions at junctions between drivers and people on bikes.

The rule change does still require riders to briefly stop at red lights to give way to any vehicles or pedestrians before continuing on their way.

Elsewhere, in Paris, since 2015 cyclists are permitted to travel straight or make right turns through reds when at specially signed junctions, a law change that followed a successful pilot scheme.

> Cyclists in Paris allowed to ignore red traffic lights

"They [red lights] were installed so that car drivers would let pedestrians cross the road, to regulate the flow of traffic and to moderate the speed," Christine Lambert of the campaign group Mieux Se Déplacer à Bicyclette (MDB) said at the time.

"But bicycles don't go fast and don't make any noise. It's idiotic to stop for nothing. You waste energy and it slows you down. The best safety assets for cyclists are your eyes and your brain."

Coverage of cyclists and red lights here in the UK is often a divisive topic, with headlines such as 'Red light Rats!' appearing in the Mail on Sunday after the paper accused 26 "rogue cyclists" of jumping lights outside Buckingham Palace.

The story of last August led to accusations of the article being "manufactured" and "dehumanising" after it was discovered the road was closed to motor traffic and police officers had urged bicycle riders to continue through the lights.

Earlier this month a Deliveroo food delivery cyclist based in Edinburgh spoke out about the pressures of the job and said the struggle to make ends meet leads many couriers to break traffic laws, such as jumping red lights.

> Most delivery cyclists jump red lights and ride on pavement to avoid losing income, says Deliveroo rider

"I do not have any issue with laws, and as a recreational club cyclist, I feel some obligation to not give cyclists a bad name and fuel anti-cyclist attitudes held by many motorists. Riding for Deliveroo, I have the opposite mindset," he said.

"If every road law was to be followed, it could easily add five minutes to a delivery, which would cut my income by 20 per cent.

"My normal 'Roo' daytime income averages £10-12 per hour. To reduce that by 20 per cent is therefore not realistic. Most Roo cyclists will, like me, not follow all road laws."

What do you think? Should cyclists be allowed to ride through red lights in certain circumstances? Would a change in the rules improve road safety for everyone? Is a change even necessary?

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Add new comment

108 comments

Avatar
Steve K | 1 year ago
4 likes

On the subject of early release lights, a random thing some other cyclist do that irritates me...

Some cyclists roll past the stop line, so they can't see the early release lights, just the main lights.  Which then means they don't move off when the early release lights change, and just get in the way.  Rolling past the line seems worse that pointless (in general, and specifically in these circumstances).

Minor rant over. 

Avatar
jaymack | 1 year ago
0 likes

Jumping red lights whilst very temptingly is just daft. If it's a matter of cyclist versus motor vehicle there is only going to be one winner and it ain't going to be the person on the bicycle. Your family will be more thankful that you've come home safely than they would be that you're top of the leader board.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
3 likes
jaymack wrote:

Jumping red lights whilst very temptingly is just daft. If it's a matter of cyclist versus motor vehicle there is only going to be one winner and it ain't going to be the person on the bicycle. Your family will be more thankful that you've come home safely than they would be that you're top of the leader board.

What a stupid thing to say.

The entire point of cyclists treating red lights as stop signs is that it leads to better safety. I don't know why you think that a cyclist v motor vehicle collision needs to be clarified when there's less chance of that happening if you allow cyclists to go through the junction when they choose rather than forcing them to go at the same time as those motor vehicles that you think are winners.

What's a leader board got to do with this discussion?

Avatar
jaymack replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

You may never been hit by one of our fellow cyclist jumping a red light desperately trying to get a good segment time. I have and it really, really hurt, the cyclist was bashed up badly too, a bag caught in his front wheel really did have the effect my O'level physics suggested it would. I've also been in the position of trying to comfort a dying motorcyclist that really all was well, not to move and await an ambulance 'cos he'd taken the chance of nipping through a light that had just changed. It's not really an experience that leaves you. I'd love to say that it's always 'two wheels good', but trying to gain those few moments aren't worth the risk be they simply to get to work, to the station or home. If another cyclist wishes to take the risk then it's up to them but it may be more than their life that is changed

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
4 likes
jaymack wrote:

You may never been hit by one of our fellow cyclist jumping a red light desperately trying to get a good segment time. I have and it really, really hurt, the cyclist was bashed up badly too, a bag caught in his front wheel really did have the effect my O'level physics suggested it would. I've also been in the position of trying to comfort a dying motorcyclist that really all was well, not to move and await an ambulance 'cos he'd taken the chance of nipping through a light that had just changed. It's not really an experience that leaves you. I'd love to say that it's always 'two wheels good', but trying to gain those few moments aren't worth the risk be they simply to get to work, to the station or home. If another cyclist wishes to take the risk then it's up to them but it may be more than their life that is changed

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together. The entire point of trying to amend road rules is to improve safety and initiatives like the Idaho Stop have improved safety for cyclists over in the U.S. so it seems perfectly logical and desirable to see whether we can take advantage of the same rule changes.

Just because you've seem some idiots on the road doesn't mean that road laws are perfect and nothing needs to be done - what we want to do is move towards Vision Zero to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. I don't understand why you seek to oppose that.

Avatar
JustTryingToGet... replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
5 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
jaymack wrote:

You may never been hit by one of our fellow cyclist jumping a red light desperately trying to get a good segment time. I have and it really, really hurt, the cyclist was bashed up badly too, a bag caught in his front wheel really did have the effect my O'level physics suggested it would. I've also been in the position of trying to comfort a dying motorcyclist that really all was well, not to move and await an ambulance 'cos he'd taken the chance of nipping through a light that had just changed. It's not really an experience that leaves you. I'd love to say that it's always 'two wheels good', but trying to gain those few moments aren't worth the risk be they simply to get to work, to the station or home. If another cyclist wishes to take the risk then it's up to them but it may be more than their life that is changed

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together. The entire point of trying to amend road rules is to improve safety and initiatives like the Idaho Stop have improved safety for cyclists over in the U.S. so it seems perfectly logical and desirable to see whether we can take advantage of the same rule changes.

Just because you've seem some idiots on the road doesn't mean that road laws are perfect and nothing needs to be done - what we want to do is move towards Vision Zero to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. I don't understand why you seek to oppose that.

Had a muppet nearly do me in this morning doing exactly that. I'm in front at the red light, muppet stayed on my back wheel through the junction... on crappy road surface and despite the right turn we were heading into being chocka... the arsehole had no where to go but decided to drive like a dick for shits and giggles. It would have been safer for me to ahead before the light turned but I don't jump red lights*

*actually I have jumped that red light a couple of times, 4:30am, no other soul around and the sensor doesn't pick up my bike so doesn't turn green for me.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together.

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

We've got some early release lights here in Bristol and they do seem a good idea although I don't know if they delay motor traffic by a small amount or whether they use the gap in timing between the different directions. They're better than nothing, but I think the decriminalisation of cyclist RLJing would achieve the same or better results with a zero cost outlay (depending on whether it's just decriminalisation or changing all the junctions).

The junction at The Triangle (Clifton, Bristol) has just one lane of merging/active traffic, so going straight ahead can almost always be performed safely (note the early release light): https://goo.gl/maps/BECd1irX3yR6n97u5

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes

I can see how the Idaho stop can work on basic crossroads or T-junctions, I would have less faith in it at highly complex junctions. Below is one of my local junctions (Camberwell Green) that I cross three or four times a day from various directions: as you can see, there are up to six lanes of traffic from each direction, further complicated by special rules for buses etc, it's not an environment into which it's safe in any way for a cyclist to go through on red, indeed I've seen several cycllists hit or be hit by cars there doing just that. Since they introduced early release lights for cyclists, 95% obey them (I think people don't mind waiting a little if they know they'll get a safe release in return) and there are virtually no incidents except those caused by the local hoppers whipping through on 30mph scooters.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

I can see how the Idaho stop can work on basic crossroads or T-junctions, I would have less faith in it at highly complex junctions. Below is one of my local junctions (Camberwell Green) that I cross three or four times a day from various directions: as you can see, there are up to six lanes of traffic from each direction, further complicated by special rules for buses etc, it's not an environment into which it's safe in any way for a cyclist to go through on red, indeed I've seen several cycllists hit or be hit by cars there doing just that. Since they introduced early release lights for cyclists, 95% obey them (I think people don't mind waiting a little if they know they'll get a safe release in return) and there are virtually no incidents except those caused by the local hoppers whipping through on 30mph scooters.

I agree - complex junctions can have vehicles moving from unexpected directions so it can be safer to wait for a green light. It does however raise the question of why the junction needs to be so complicated and whether it could be redesigned, but that's a much tougher problem than making ordinary junctions safer for cyclists.

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
0 likes

I hate cycling thru that junction tho I often do on the way to Peckham BMX track.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
Rendel Harris wrote:

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

We've got some early release lights here in Bristol and they do seem a good idea although I don't know if they delay motor traffic by a small amount or whether they use the gap in timing between the different directions. They're better than nothing, but I think the decriminalisation of cyclist RLJing would achieve the same or better results with a zero cost outlay (depending on whether it's just decriminalisation or changing all the junctions).

The junction at The Triangle (Clifton, Bristol) has just one lane of merging/active traffic, so going straight ahead can almost always be performed safely (note the early release light): https://goo.gl/maps/BECd1irX3yR6n97u5

Ah, I remember when there were all those wands there to mark out extra footway and a cycle lane... angry

The early release lights are, IMO, generally a good idea - they give cyclists an opportunity to start moving and establish themselves in the lane before the motorists look up from their phones and put their foot to the floor.

Only downsides are (1) food delivery motorcyclists/scooterists, who think a bicycle ASL is for them, and (2) the rare attentive motorist who sees a green light and their hindbrain tells them to hit the accelerator before the rest of their brain realises that its the bicycle early release light...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
1 like

Wonder what happened to those wands, brooksby?

I really don't think this is a big issue - a more useful one would be that junctions are not convenient for anyone except motor vehicles and many don't even feel safe. (Here's how to fix that - different routes, no juction at all, not stopping at junctions and roundabouts [Dutch-style, UK style] ).

I'd slightly favour "early release" / "advanced cycle release" lights over "cyclists treat red as a stop sign"  Again I think this in the "marginal gains" category and certainly won't encourage more cycling.  Having seen how late and how fast motor vehicles can come through junctions* I'd probably stick to the lights anyway.  I suspect it won't decrease the amount of casual abuse directed at people cycling either.

I suppose the counter-argument is that such a change clearly says to cyclists "fix light issues (e.g. not being detected) yourself - but it's on you to look out for yourself and it's strictly 'proceed with caution' at all junctions".

If fiddling with lights a more convenient solution for cycling might be to add a "cycle scramble" / all-ways green phase.

* And that's absolutely fine of course because it was not safe to stop, the speed they were going, or the red was not "established"...

Avatar
Backladder replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
5 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together.

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

But that would delay motorists by many thousands of milliseconds, no amount of road safety is worth that!

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together.

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

As long as the red ligt is treated as a stop (and give way) rather than just ignored there should be no issue crossing an active lane.

This law would save addressing all the junctions controlled by sensors which simply do not detect cyclists, which can be an issue outside of peak times.

Avatar
Matthieu replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's also plenty of times that cyclists have been killed by vehicles as they both move off from the green light together.

Indeed there have been, but I do think that's a better argument for early release lights for cyclists that allow them across a junction whilst all other traffic is held (we have quite a few in my neighbourhood and they work brilliantly) rather than allowing cyclists through a red light and across an active lane.

This is just the beginning for adequate facilities for bikes. In London, we have a crucial lack of adequate lanes more or less everywhere, except for a few main roads, but at each junction, there are issues. But yes, most of the time, it would be nice to have the release lights so that we can cross also safely before the fast cars arrive. For that we need to be able to get to the bike SAS and also fine non cyclists that are there properly.

This is also where I have to say that the Scotland advocate is clearly out of line and needs to be replaced. I would also fault here RoadCC for not explaining the new signals that are available in france and that are the subject of this discussion (also, a side note, to promote cycling, you need to promote soft speed changes as well, and that where the Scotland advocate is failing utterly, as they clearly don't understand how to promote cycling, please get another one that KNOWS what the science is).

These signals are not for any type of crossing. They are only acceptable if they don't cross another car flow coming in, and they are yield the way, always. So they are a complement to the release lights, not a replacement because the lights are mandatory for crossing, yield the way is only for non crossings (and they are still not adequately understood by everyone in Paris, to be fair).

Typically where it would make sense in London is around Regent's Park, counter clock wise. It would be far better to have also a dedicated lane for everyone, and this signal to yield the way on all red lights. This would fluidify the traffic. The fact that it's used for cyclists to break some speed record is a problem though and the same speed limit that applies to cars should be enforced there at the same time. BUT, if on top we change the facilities there and make it even one way only for cars, we could have a bidirectional lane that is safe for everyone AND a lane where these kind of signals could be tested.

London is clearly way behind most European capitals and need to up its game, get more data on cyclists behaviors and how to promote, through facilities, better, safer cycling. But if even the advocates don't know what they are talking about, we first need to change them for people that get to the information and the data.

Avatar
jaymack replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

I don't seek the opposite I'm just not an advocate for jumping lights for the reasons I've outlined. I'd be in favour of designated lights for cyclist rather than rule changes 'cos I just don't trust the pillocks behind the wheel. They don't seem to understand anything new fangled like the recent Highway code changes

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
1 like
jaymack wrote:

I don't seek the opposite I'm just not an advocate for jumping lights for the reasons I've outlined. I'd be in favour of designated lights for cyclist rather than rule changes 'cos I just don't trust the pillocks behind the wheel. They don't seem to understand anything new fangled like the recent Highway code changes

Rendel has also brought up the early release lights for cyclists/scooters and although I think they're a good idea, I'm not sure if they go far enough and of course there's expense involved in changing junctions. It'd be interesting to see if they provide more or less benefit than just decriminalising RLJing.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm a bit leery of just saying "suggest cyclists ignore (some) red lights".  This is mostly because the UK is at such a motorcentric point.  That has consequences such as "motorist aren't looking for anything but other motorists", "it's a war on the roads - between drivers (and good luck to anyone else)" etc.

On the other hand it's a "quick win" and "cheap intervention".  However that in itself should indicate caution - UK has repeatedly gone for "cheap and quick" and many of these measures have actually put people off (because they're not joined up / actually make things feel less safe).

Some countries (Thailand one I've seen) have a more "traffic rules by negotiation" method in practice but a) this seems to rely on congestion to ensure slow motorists b) few motorists are arguing with elephants and c) I think they have a pretty unenviable safety record anyway.

Early release lights can help - again with the caveat of UK motornormativity.  That means that the numbers of motorists who see these and take them as their own green may not be small and that situation will persist for a long time.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
3 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

I'm a bit leery of just saying "suggest cyclists ignore (some) red lights". 

It's not about ignoring them, but treating them as a stop-and-give-way sign instead.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

I understand - but I suspect we're at a toxic "stable point" now.  There are very few non-motorised road users in most places (couple of % of cyclists basically).  Though people don't realise it all public space is completely set up for driving.  So the idea of "using the same space but not obeying the rules" will further trigger our "cheating" or "othering" psychological features.

I think the "happy with understanding another mode with different requirements" thing only really kicks in when there are lots of that mode.  So it needs cyclists about.  Plus either you occasionally cycling on the road yourself, or friends / family that do.  I'd also help to see cyclists using special dedicated spaces around the place and that being just fine.  (Contrast UK's "we made the pavement a cycle-path as well" and other conflict-creating stuff).

Note that most drivers aren't jealous about pedestrians "filtering" past on the pavement while they're sat somewhere even when those pedestrians then cross the road - using the "car infra".

Anyway this is all moot because I bet about zero people would be tempted out of their cars by "current road infra but with some relaxed rules at junctions".  I doubt that will make things that much better for many existing cyclists!  I'd probably not change how I rode much due to self-preservation and knowledge of the unhelpful junction designs and wild drivers about...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
2 likes

I don't think we're at a "stable point" at all.

There's some competing forces at play

  • increased congestion as more people buy more cars
  • air pollution increasing and killing more people
  • wage stagflation making it more difficult for people to run cars
  • people working from home more often
  • climate change destroying infrastructure

I don't think traffic will look the same in 10 years time, but which way it goes is difficult to predict. I could add electric vehicles to the above list, but I think they're mainly a marketing distraction and not feasible until battery tech moves away from lithium.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Interesting summary!  Competing visions of the future on display here: rich_cb's optimistic "autonomous tech" for the win (plus "demographic changes" - which I'm sure is true), Martin73's bitter "tragedy of the commons", maybe some kind of critter-cal mass revolution...?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

By "stable point" I mean there are a lot of forces resisting much change from our current motoring-based transport system.  In fact I think we'll tolerate worse congestion, more expense and certainly more death and pollution, and the current direction of travel is overall still "more cars".  For congestion, even if some quit driving I suspect this then creates space and more fill it.

I just don't see driving as a habit suddenly disappearing unless the fuel runs out.  But cultures do suddenly collapse, so...

Optimistically - cycling for example has the advantage of being distributed, low-resource requirements, individual, super-efficient.  It still hasn't become extinct in the UK (though tiny).  So like mammals existing as mouse-sized creatures until the dinos died out it can always pop up to fill some gaps.  It might also "drift in" to the transport mix by being used for some journeys even as we still rely on cars.

I'm going to settle for "the future will look quite like now, but less so the further we get from the present".  That should have me covered - barring asteriods, nuclear / biological war or some technological singularity.

Avatar
ktache replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

I think traffic and congestion will be worse in ten years time.

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to ktache | 1 year ago
2 likes
ktache wrote:

I think traffic and congestion will be worse in ten years time.

That certainly seems to be the direction we're heading in.

Avatar
Backladder replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like
chrisonatrike wrote:

 

Note that most drivers aren't jealous about pedestrians "filtering" past on the pavement while they're sat somewhere even when those pedestrians then cross the road - using the "car infra".

I think that is because they don't see the same pedestrians filtering past them at every set of lights for several miles.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Backladder | 1 year ago
2 likes

There's something to that. However I've received abuse and missiles when the relationship hasn't even been that long. Of course there are idiots everywhere and I could have been collecting on behalf of another. Nevertheless I was still collecting.

Your point on momentum is spot on though - efficiency when steadily moving is cycling's killer selling point. Read somewhere that making a casual cyclist stop is energetically equivalent to adding another hundred metres to the journey - that adds up fast in the UK!

... however I think there are much better / safer ways to resolve that (separate infra, allowing cyclist to take short cuts motorists can't, smarter lights...). Albeit these have to be done one- by- one in the UK and each may be a battle.

Avatar
Backladder replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
chrisonatrike wrote:

I'm a bit leery of just saying "suggest cyclists ignore (some) red lights". 

It's not about ignoring them, but treating them as a stop-and-give-way sign instead.

From memory of when I used to commute through a relatively small town, my incentive for red light jumping was conservation of momentum, once I've actually stopped then I might as well wait a few seconds for the green light. It may be different in London and other large cities, I havent ridden enough in the city recently to know.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Although "Vision zero" is much better than the current approach (maximum throughput of motor vehicles consistent with safety) an aside:  this often comes over as more "slogan" than plan.  I appreciate there are various versions of "Vision zero" and I have tried to understand the detail where it's actually given (not always).

That's why I keep pointing to the Dutch "sustainable safety" model.  There is a clear goal which is a positive goal ("safe and efficient movement of people") rather than just "no deaths".  The latter suggests fixing what's already there, the former a whole new direction.

The overall goal in the "sustainable safety" model is served by a set of principles and applying those leads to the design detail and rules.  Finally one of the principles is a requirement for a feedback process.  So issues (crashes, problems with rules etc.) aren't just viewed through the "someone - an isolated wrong 'un - done wrong / it was just one of those things" lenses we have here. Applying a more "systems-based" approach to issues can lead to recognition of less-than helpful designs, or prompt more training or rule changes.

Pages

Latest Comments