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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 17:31 
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There's a new (?) campaign site at http://www.stopatred.org

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The aims of the campaign are stated as:

"Stopatred is a campaign to improve the status of cycling in the eyes of the public and policy-makers alike, and to tackle the attitudes of those cyclists whose behaviour perpetuates the image of cyclists as a low-status social 'out-group' on wheels.

Its specific focus is on the disregard of traffic signals.

It also has two general aims:
* To encourage cyclists to show courtesy towards other road users and pedestrians.
* To encourage greater compliance with the laws of the road."


It looks like road safety at its best to me because it is a positive cultural influence.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 17:49 
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I think this was discussed here a few month ago.
Despite it being a good idea, I think that the only way to stop some of these idiots is via the 'clarkson method' :lol:
Speaking of which, one guy yesterday rolled past me at a set of lights on a t-intersection... looking left :shock: He didn't notice the 4wd about to run him down from the right until I yelled at him. Fortunately the driver was a little more awake.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 17:53 
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I support this.

I see this campaign meets much critisism on T2000 and the likes. The main arguement is that the campaign seems to imply that cyclists who ignore red lights etc are a danger.

The arguement against Stop at Red is that illegal cyclists do not kill.

To me, this would suggest that cyclists are above observing the highway code.

On one hand, groups like us are told "Obey speed limits because it is the law", yet on the flip side of the coin we are told that the Stop at Red campaign is wrong because "Cyclists don't kill people when they break the rules"

This strikes me as double standards. It's apparently ok for a minority of cyclists to ignore the law because they don't hurt anyone, yet better car drivers must adhere to the law regardless of skill, because we're criminals if we transgress the law.

So which is it? Legality for legality's sake? Or enforcement based upon discretion and only targeting dangerous road users?

The two seem to be mutually incompatible polices, yet many lobbyists seem to advocate both, albeit one policy for one set of road users and the other policy for a different set of road users.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 20:02 
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Isn't the argument against that it highlights behaviour by one group of cyclists, who are mostly in London, and holds the implication that this is general behaviour.

I'd love to see all cyclists obeying the law, and I personally hate RLJs and pavement cyclists.

I would guess that amongst the RLJ fraternity there are some who don't know that what they are doing is against the law, some who would like the law changed so it is legal, and some who just don't care a hoot. The latter group is unlikely to be looking at any Stop at Red propaganda.

Possibly if there were hundreds of grannies killed each year by RLJs it would make a lot of sense, but the number of people killed by cyclists each years hovers very, very close to 0.

How about a parallel campaign, "Obey the Speed Limit". Sounds good to me - speed limits are there for a reason, as are red lights...

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 20:06 
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T2000s argument is flawed, because they can still indirectly cause death - either their own, or by causing a driver to swerve into a third party such as a pedestrian.

It seems to me the T2000 is anti-criticism of pedal power probably because you can't cycle long distances in reasonable time periods thus forcing the use of their public transport sponsors - cars also allow the long-range options and go point-to-point which public transport doesn't.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 20:11 
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I don't have a problem with stopping at red lights...until I come across a set that don't register my presence and I have to either jump them (slowly and carefully, making sure I don't piss anyone off) or wait like a lemon for a car to turn up to change the lights for me. I don't feel I'm above the law on my bike, but it is sometimes safer to roll through red lights just before they go green than to go through legally with all the other traffic.
All that said, if there's traffic around I stop on red. I can't help feeling a stop at red campaign for car drivers would be a good idea though - I see more and more jumping the lights.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 20:13 
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I understand where you're coming from B cyclist, and I don't dispute for a second that cyclists rarely, if ever, kill people through dangerous cycling.

What I get a bit miffed at is, as I said above, the double standards that seem to be applied here.

Cyclists don't harm people by RLJs - fine, I accept that.

Most people who exceed the speed limit dont harm people either.

So why are people in motorvehicles being told to obey the law, whilst RLJ cyclists are being played down because it doesn't hurt anyone?

What bugs me is that it's usually the same group of people preaching both these messages.

Now if the lobbyists/objectioners to the above would decide whether they want law enforcement ranked above common sense or vice versa then they would do themselves a service towards their credibility.

I know that an RLJ cyclist is no big deal in practical terms, but I also know that edging over the NSL is no big deal either. Cyclists dont jump lights when there's an HGV crossing their path, and motorists dont put the foot down when it's busy/slippery/foggy etc.

I can't understand therefore why a blind eye is turned to the RLJ cyclist whilst the car driver doing 85 on an empty DC/motorway becomes the latest contributor to the treasury - and that not enough of said drivers are being pinged and we need limiters etc.

Why do they only want the law enforced for one group of road users?

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 20:42 
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Can Rhythm Thief say why most cyclists won't use the special facilities put in a major junctions and roundabouts in recent times specially for them? Like near me where separate paths round a signalled roundabout have been installed, (AND IGNORED) by most cyclists.

Do you cyclists really like 44-tonne artics bearing down behind you with a Bulgarian or Turkish driver in them, who has been driving for 24 hours already ?

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 21:52 
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safedriver wrote:
Can Rhythm Thief say why most cyclists won't use the special facilities put in a major junctions and roundabouts in recent times specially for them? Like near me where separate paths round a signalled roundabout have been installed, (AND IGNORED) by most cyclists.


Well, speaking personally, I don't like these facilities because generally they're not as convenient to use as the roundabout or junction or whatever. That's inevitable, because the road is designed to maintain the flow of traffic, while the cyclepath has been shoehorned in around it. That's disregarding the fact that there aren't many such facilities round here. I will try one day, when I'm not in a particular rush, to get to work on cycle paths and junction avoidance schemes and see how much longer it takes. Personally though, I'd be happy if they just spent the money on making traffic lights respond to my presence.

safedriver wrote:
Do you cyclists really like 44-tonne artics bearing down behind you with a Bulgarian or Turkish driver in them, who has been driving for 24 hours already ?


Oddly, I do get a kick out of sharing the road with other traffic, especially when I'm the fastest thing on the road! As the driver of a 44-tonne artic myself, I know how easy cyclists are to see from the cab of a truck, especially if (like me) they're well lit and wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 21:59 
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Ah .. but even if the cyclist does manage to get away unscathed by jumping the red light.. he does not realise how lucky he could have been.. Coud be the astute driver diffused the danger by stopping and cursing inwardly over this crass stupidity.

Methinks I rather like the idea of registration via clothing .. am warming to it :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 22:31 
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Before this goes any further, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I hammer around the West Midlands looking for red lights to violate and frightening old ladies trying to cross the road. Well, not always (I'm joking, of course!)
All I'm trying to say is that when it's 3.30am and I'm trying to get to work, and it's raining, and I'm a bit late because I like my bed a bit too much, and I come across a red light where I can see and hear that I'm the only wheeled vehicle around but I wait because the light's red...and it remains red until a car comes and activates the sensors in the road - then I don't feel guilty about rolling through the red, having first made sure it's safe to do so. I won't run red lights when I'm going to work at more sociable times, simply because there are normally plenty of cars around and I know it pisses drivers off when cyclists jump red lights. 99% of the time I ride my bike the same way I drive my truck, only without going quite so wide on corners.
All that said (just let me find my devil's advocate hat...ah, here it is), I think that if you say "creeping over an arbitrarily set speed limit isn't dangerous" as most of us here do, you can also say "riding carefully through an arbitrary red light isn't dangerous". The key word is "carefully". And "arbitrary"; I find a lot of recently - installed traffic lights (the ones on nearly every roundabout in Wolverhampton spring to mind) are great in the rush hour, but utterly annoying early in the morning or late at night when the roundabout could be used perfectly safely by running ALL the red lights, in a car or on a bike. Not that I would, of course, but I hope it illustrates my point.
Registration for cyclists? Nice idea in theory, but would we all be happy to pay? Shouldn't there be at least one method of transport free of regulation (excepting the normal rules of the road) and red tape?

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 22:50 
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B cyclist wrote:
How about a parallel campaign, "Obey the Speed Limit". Sounds good to me - speed limits are there for a reason, as are red lights.


That's quite a challenging suggestion, well worthy of debate.

The reason that I would speak strongly against it that to drive AT the speed limit, or to drive BY the speed limit is actually dangerous.

It's great to have people obeying the rules. But in each case we have to balance the value of the rule against the value of alternative. Speed limits do good work without blind obedience. With blind obedience we actually replace vital 'safe speed behaviour'.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 23:07 
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Red lights serve a real visible purpose though. You can seen the danger .. common sense tells you of the dangers and with decent settings - they keep traffic flowing better.

I approach all lights and roundabouts prepared to stop but ready to go.. in other words I slow down to make sure I can stop in time if these lights change or if a car is on the roundabout.

Speed limit? I drive and adjust according to the road conditions and this is where common sense kicks in for most. All of us - and it does not matter if on the bike or in car .. but our speed will be average to the lolly bit over the distance it will fluctuate to a bit below or a bit above... and it's if you are unlucky enough to be pinged and at the tolerance threshold.. person can be perfectly safe.

And again as RT points out ... if you are the only thing on the road at the time... then accident would appear to be a bit unlikely.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 23:24 
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Mad Moggie wrote:
and with decent settings - they keep traffic flowing better.

Hard to find any with decent settings. On my normal route to work the queues disappear whenever a set of lights is broken.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 00:50 
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http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6460

:wink:

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 01:01 
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Rhythm Thief wrote:
I don't have a problem with stopping at red lights...until I come across a set that don't register my presence and I have to either jump them (slowly and carefully, making sure I don't piss anyone off) or wait like a lemon for a car to turn up to change the lights for me.


They change eventually though..

For all you know a car could come hurtling through.

It's a bit like trying to dodge the railway crossing before the train comes :roll:






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I don't feel I'm above the law on my bike, but it is sometimes safer to roll through red lights just before they go green than to go through legally with all the other traffic.


ASL were designed for this and I do not have a problem (nor do our lads and lasses out there) seeing a cyclist just edge past the post to get a firm push off when the change to green anyway.

We do have a problem with going through on red though :roll: :wink:

Quote:
All that said, if there's traffic around I stop on red. I can't help feeling a stop at red campaign for car drivers would be a good idea though - I see more and more jumping the lights.


Um .... they get fined up to 6 points if copped depending on the gravity of the offence.

I would like to see the return of "amber gambler" on the telly as well as Reggie Molehusband :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 07:10 
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In Gear wrote:
They change eventually though..

For all you know a car could come hurtling through.

It's a bit like trying to dodge the railway crossing before the train comes :roll:


Well, not really, in that trains are often going over 100mph (not common for cars in Bilston) and once you're through one level crossing barrier your escape is cut off by the second one. Don't forget that you can hear and see much more on a bike too. At least two sets of lights on my way to work don't "change eventually" for cyclists, or indeed at all. At 3am there's precious little traffic around to change the lights for me; later in the day, it's different.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 09:09 
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In Gear wrote:
They change eventually though..


Well, I know of several sets round me that do not change eventually. They are set one way until a car arrives.

The seem to be set at junctions where visibility is poor, but the 'side' road traffic is almost non-existent.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 09:15 
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safedriver wrote:
Can Rhythm Thief say why most cyclists won't use the special facilities put in a major junctions and roundabouts in recent times specially for them? Like near me where separate paths round a signalled roundabout have been installed, (AND IGNORED) by most cyclists.

Do you cyclists really like 44-tonne artics bearing down behind you with a Bulgarian or Turkish driver in them, who has been driving for 24 hours already ?



On some major roundabouts that I use, one of which has three lanes, using the roundabout takes 10 secs or so. Much like a car. I can (and do) negotiate it at 20mph or more. I grab the middle of my lane before I set off, indicate clearly, and cycle with authority.

The alternative is effectively to walk. Depending on the priorities given, you can make up a time for how long it takes. I don't really want to be corralled into 2nd rate facilities.

Do you drivers really like 44-tonne artics bearing down behind you with a Bulgarian or Turkish driver in them, who has been driving for 24 hours already ?


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 09:19 
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Before this goes any further, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I hammer around the West Midlands looking for red lights to violate and frightening old ladies trying to cross the road.


Rather that than the other way round, at least:

Frightening red lights and violating old ladies... :o


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