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Cyclists are often accused of causing havoc on the road and being a threat to safety – but the stats tell another story

Cyclists stand accused of putting themselves and others in danger on Britain's roads by constantly breaking the law. Certain newspapers seem obsessed with cyclists supposedly terrorising the streets and you see comments on social media all the time condemning the behaviour of 'Lycra louts'.  

We reported on road.cc a couple of weeks ago that Talksport presenter Andy Goldstein had stated on air that 95% of cyclists jump red lights (among other gripes about cyclists). This kind of claim is common, but what's the truth?

London cyclists at traffic lights (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk).jpg

Comments on social media frequently cite the fact that many cyclists don't wear helmets or bright clothing as evidence that we're all criminals. You'll know that this is nonsense. The Highway Code advises cyclists to wear a helmet and light-coloured clothing in daylight, and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark but, of course, these aren't legal requirements.

You'll also see comments complaining that cyclists are flouting the rules by wearing earphones, riding two abreast, positioning themselves in the middle of the lane, and not using cycle lanes. Again, you'll know that none of these things is illegal.

Cyclists at traffic lights (©Toby Jacobs)

Jumping red lights is perhaps the classic complaint about cyclists. It's an old favourite. This one at least gets off to a better start than most in that jumping red lights is against the law (some cyclists jump red lights because they feel safer moving into open space at signalised junctions rather than waiting for the following traffic to accelerate into that junction when the lights turn green – but the rights and wrongs or jumping red lights are a topic for another day). 

How many cyclists jump red lights, then?

Back in 2007 (yes, we're going back a bit here, but there's not a lot of quantitative evidence out there), Transport for London's Road Network Performance & Research Team looked at the proportion of cyclists who jumped red lights at five sites in the capital and said, "An average of 16% violated red lights, whilst the remaining 84% obeyed the traffic signals. Therefore it can be concluded that the majority of cyclists do not ride through red lights." 

More recently, in a 2013 YouGov survey 27% of London cyclists said they ignored red lights occasionally while another 8% said that they did so often. This survey relied on self-reporting and we couldn't judge its accuracy.

Many road users will tell you that the figures are higher than this. You'll sometimes hear claims of people seeing dozens – maybe hundreds – of cyclists jumping certain traffic lights every day. They might be right. How much of a safety concern is this? Let's have a look at some more stats...

 From 2007-16, no pedestrians in Britain were killed by red light jumping cyclists, while around five a year were killed by red light jumping drivers. For pedestrians hit by red light jumpers, just 7.6% of those slightly injured and 5.4% of those seriously injured involved cyclists. The other 92%-95% involved motor vehicles. 

The percentages relating to cyclists are higher in London, where the concentration of pedestrians, cyclists and traffic lights is particularly heavy: 16% of pedestrians injured or seriously injured by red light jumpers were hit by cyclists, the other 84% involved drivers/riders of motor vehicles.

Judged purely on the number of casualties, red light jumping motorists are a far greater problem than red light jumping cyclists.

If it sounds like this is turning into an 'Us versus Them' thing, bear in mind that almost everyone on the road.cc staff is a motorist as well as a cyclist, the vast majority of you road.cc readers are both, and about 90% of British Cycling members also drive. However, if cyclists are singled out for breaking the law it makes sense to examine the degree to which other road users stick to it as a means of comparison.

According to the Department for Transport's Vehicle Speed Compliance Statistics, 48% of car drivers exceeded the speed limit on motorways in 2017, 52% exceeded the speed limit on 30mph roads, and a massive 86% exceeded the speed limit on 20mph roads under free flow conditions. 

How big a problem is exceeding the speed limit? Well, more figures from the Department for Transport say that in 2017 it was reported as a contributory factor in accidents that resulted in 220 deaths, 1,493 serious injuries and 5,855 slight injuries (travelling too fast for the conditions but within the speed limit was reported as a contributory factor in many, many more injuries and deaths). A massive problem, then.

The consequences of cyclists jumping red lights are small compared with the consequences of motorists jumping red lights, and they're tiny compared with the consequences of motorists speeding. In fact, all of those usual gripes you hear about cyclists – riding on the pavement and the like – result in very few casualties

Despite that, it's cyclists who are routinely denounced as “a dangerous nuisance”, “a threat to safety" and the like on social media, and you'll encounter headlines like "Cyclists kill or maim two pedestrians every week, according to statistics" in The Express... ignoring the fact that between 2007 and 2016 motor vehicles were involved in 98.5% of collisions where a pedestrian was seriously injured and 99.4% of collisions in which a pedestrian died. The biggest threat to pedestrians certainly doesn't come from cyclists!

Mile for mile, pedestrians are more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle than by a bicycle. From 2012 to 2016 in Great Britain, for every one billion miles ridden overall, cycles were involved in 1.4 pedestrian fatalities. For every one billion miles they were driven, cars were involved in 1.9 pedestrian fatalities. 

Cyclists breaking the law can sometimes have major – occasionally tragic – consequences, but why do so many people seem convinced that the problem is bigger than it actually is? There's a huge disparity between perception and reality here.

We'd guess – and it is a guess – it's partly because jumping a red light and riding on the pavement are so much more obvious than a motorist doing 35mph in a 30 zone. Plus, some people simply seem to believe that speeding at 85mph on a motorway in a two tonne vehicle is perfectly acceptable in a way that riding a push bike at night with a light out isn't.

Research prepared for the Department for Transport also suggests that drivers can exaggerate the misbehaviour of cyclists because of a tendency to see us as an ‘out group’, and are prone to “overgeneralise from the behaviour of individual members of an ‘out group’ to the behaviour of members of the ‘out group’ as a whole.” 

We'll leave the final word to Sam Jones, Cycling UK’s senior campaigns officer.

“Sometimes it feels as though cyclists are represented in the national media as the ‘real danger’ of our roads," he said. "The reality is that we cause negligible harm, but are disproportionately at risk of suffering serious injury. While that might seem to paint a grim picture for us cyclists, it’s worth bearing in mind Britain’s roads are relatively safe, and the benefits of cycling will always far outweigh any risks.

“Just because cyclists represent a smaller risk to other road users, that doesn’t justify inconsiderate or dangerous cycling. Cycling UK would encourage everyone to cycle considerately and within the boundaries of the law.

“The main problem is the shocking injustice that victims of road traffic incidents all too often face. It’s high time the Government took this problem seriously and ended the injustice suffered by far too many families who are being let down by the system.”

Cycling UK has compiled an excellent document to counter many of the accusations most commonly fired at cyclists, by the way. Check it out here.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

36 comments

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ktache [2215 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes

Thanks Mat, fine article.

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JohnMcL7 [3 posts] 1 week ago
7 likes

This is a well written article that makes a lot of good points but I feel it's preaching to the converted, what I wonder is why do so many people believe cyclists are so dangerous?  Putting stats aside as a pedestrian I'd fancy my chances far better being hit by a cyclist rather than a car and as a motorist, a car running a red light is a genuine concern to me whereas a cyclist is no threat at all just to themselves.

What I find particularly alarming is when well educated individuals such as Sir Robert Winston who you'd think would be someone who could understand statistics, criticises cyclists for the danger they cause.  Is it as simple as people wanting ammunition to fuel their own anti-cycling beliefs?

I find it strange how many people just accept that cars will kill and seriously injure many people every year it's just ignored.  When Charlie Allison was in the headlines and last year when an e-bike rider tragically killed a pedestrian, I saw many people expressing their concern about the increasing threat cyclists posed and that new laws were urgently required to stop this problem.  In a forum thread that had been open for over two weeks discussing the e-bike pedestrian death I pointed out to these people so gravely concerned about the threat cyclists pose that in the time the topic had been open it's likely many people had been killed or seriously injured by motorists.  That doesn't seem to count though.

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ShaunC [7 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

Unfortunately some cyclists don't do any favours for other cyclists. The number of times I see red light jumpers when pedestrians or women with prams have been waiting to cross is alarming.

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ConcordeCX [1201 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

Good article, whiich provides useful disinfectant when people throw the lycra lout dead cat on the table. As long as people are talking about lycra louts they're not talking about or, more importantly, legislating against motorists. 

 

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Jimthebikeguy.com [271 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

Theres a weird rabid phobia in this country. Trying to find a rational explanation is impossible because the behaviour is irrational. I think its a mixed form of racism, self loathing, hatred towards people doing something different that people cant comprehend themselves doing, and a god given sense of entitlement from car drivers. I also think it may be to do with the appearance thing, i.e the wearing of lycra.

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kil0ran [1725 posts] 1 week ago
8 likes

Another child killed riding a bike this weekend, and yet more really odd reporting

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-50282387

"The boy was on a bike when it clashed with the car "

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Global Nomad [27 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

thanks once again for another article that says much the same thing as has been stated foryears..., It would be good to have data, anecdotal or otherwise, for how many pedestrains ignore red lights..or put themselves in risky positions by not looking before stepping into the road or wearing headphones. I know it is different but ultimately it is about sharing space and being considerate to each other..

I'll hold my hand up as a more than occasional red light transgressor, with the caveat that all my riding is based around being able to stop for the unexpected...so slow down, look once, look twice, proceed. if there is a pedestrian then stop until they have crossed...40  years riding in London makes you alert to everything but not infallible. 

The cyclists I feel are dangerous (to others and themselves)  are the ones who are unaware of how people and traffic move and put themsleves in high risk positions on the road....it makes me nervous to think they'll end up in hospital for poor road craft.

 

 

 

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MarsFlyer [28 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

The other major difference is that red light jumping cyclists often do it when the lights have been red for a while and go through slowly, whereas most drivers going through red lights do it at speed to get through a light that has just changed. The cyclist is mainly putting themsleves in danger, whereas the driver is putting pedestrians and other road users into danger. 

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CyclingInBeastMode [131 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
ShaunC wrote:

Unfortunately some cyclists don't do any favours for other cyclists. The number of times I see red light jumpers when pedestrians or women with prams have been waiting to cross is alarming.

no it doesn't give other people who ride bikes a bad rap or doesn't not do them a favour, just like moron drivers doing far worse at red light, and on pavements/footways and pretty much everywhere else don't for all drivers.

The facts as they stand prove peds do more harm to themselves than people on bikes when the two groups are in a collision, we know this from a government review last year.

In the grand scheme of things dangerous cycling is infinitsimally small, you're 5x more likely to get killed by lighting in the UK than you are being killed by an at fault cyclist.

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Boatsie [537 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
MarsFlyer wrote:

The other major difference is that red light jumping cyclists often do it when the lights have been red for a while and go through slowly, whereas most drivers going through red lights do it at speed to get through a light that has just changed. The cyclist is mainly putting themsleves in danger, whereas the driver is putting pedestrians and other road users into danger. 

Yeah aye.. I don't know about all but I tend to jump at the end of the red cycle. Been stationary, know lights routine, road is clear and (not putting myself in danger), a 2 metre jump allows me space while starting to build momentum again (not so much fore aft space, between the quarter islands space eg 2metres from side of passing cars).
Red light cameras down here are complimented with speed cameras. Originally lots were discouraged from running a red although encouraged to sprint intersections instead. Caution, smile, speed cameras nowadays too.
Naughty drivers  1

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Mungecrundle [1600 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

Would be interesting to get a viewpoint from someone who knows a lot more about human psychology, but I was wondering whether there is a much more personal and therefore memorable element about a close miss with a cyclist where you get to see the person and possibly engage in verbal dialogue compared to the anonymity provided by a car?

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Boatsie [537 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

Would be interesting to get a viewpoint from someone who knows a lot more about human psychology, but I was wondering whether there is a much more personal and therefore memorable element about a close miss with a cyclist where you get to see the person and possibly engage in verbal dialogue compared to the anonymity provided by a car?

I've no qualifications; I was once spoken to as a martial arts expert though. (I achieved a white belt. Lol. Sort of a budget in a sense. No point owning more than 1 belt. Limited language but never really learnt to branch few moves I learnt. Psychology? Used to jog 1.5km including a double crossing of highway with my eyes shut. At work a 2 tonne gantry toppled whilst suspending about 1 tonne of road train v8 block and part chassis rails. The 'H' beam hit my head as 3-5mm edge of beam found rest upon my stance. I was knocked out dude and when I found conscious, stars circled my eyes, my boss looked confused and was asking questions while I was too scared to move jaw as yaw balance was required to keep stance. (Didn't even bleed nor bruise. Amazing aye)

Bicycles have superior primary safety, eg avoidance of collision. Secondary safety low. Eg gone if ya get hit.
Cars have excellent secondary safety as pilots are cocooned in a safety cell. Seems like a lot of drivers are complacent knowing that they can afford an accident without self harm.
Hence invading a drivers privacy of saftey cell might appear to be personal whereas invading requirements of a cyclist to maintain primary safety might not be as personally felt because machine was breaching space and an auto isn't felt as personal as a persons directed voice.

Smile  1 ride a mile.

Alloys rule. Yeah

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kt26 [8 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

I have been musing recently that there might be an secondary perception issue in that it is well understood that getting hit by a motor vehicle could be fatal, as such it is considered and easy thing to do. However it is less well understood that you can have a fatal accident just falling over and hitting your head, and so less well understood that a collision with a cyclist cause such harm, as such viewed as more difficult to achieve so then viewed in someway that the cyclist must have been behaving in a way far more dangerous than a motorist who's actions had the same result.

People seem to have a disconnect between probability and risk, in that you are far more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to an airport than on a plane, yet many people still fear flying.

The point that has irked me more recently, the complete disconnect that 1/20 people die prematurely each year from air polution. Yet still "green" active transport is demonised. We are facing as a society many crisis which have a link to motorised personal transport, obesety, polution and road death on a scale that makes the most wars look pretty safe. Yet still soceity finds ways to demonise those looking for better solutions.

I get very angry with the vitrol I read on this subject, having been hit 3 times and more near misses than Fidel Castro. I am well aware when I leave for work in the morning, leave to come home in the evening, or go out for a leasure ride on the weekend - it might be my last, the persons responsible will be told "it's alright these things happen" (if they actually stop or even have enough empathy to care at all). It is something that is on my mind a lot, might have stopped altogether by now if I wasn't so stubborn.

I hope one day the situation improves, but the realist in me has only seen in get worse and I don't yet see any light in this cave.

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Sriracha [323 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

"The biggest threat to pedestrians certainly doesn't come from cyclists!"

No indeed, but you could say the same for the threat from cars over 500bhp. There simply are not that many of them. Which does not make it a worthwhile argument.

If it transpired that 16% of such cars jumped red lights, there would rightly be calls to curb these reckless high performace drivers, despite their paucity of numbers. Indeed, it is telling that you chose to truncate from the quote the final sentence. To help I have put the bit you edited out in bold:

"... an average of 16% violated red lights, whilst the remaining 84% obeyed the traffic signals. Therefore it can be concluded that the majority of cyclists do not ride through red lights. However, the 16% that do must be discouraged from ignoring traffic signals. "

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danhopgood [59 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Well said Sriracha.  Everyone needs to play by the rules.  For me it all boils down to  a need for better infrastructure backed up by better enforcement.  Who's gonna pay though?  Until society sees the light and stumps up it'll be the vulnerable road users.....

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hawkinspeter [4226 posts] 1 week ago
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danhopgood wrote:

Well said Sriracha.  Everyone needs to play by the rules.  For me it all boils down to  a need for better infrastructure backed up by better enforcement.  Who's gonna pay though?  Until society sees the light and stumps up it'll be the vulnerable road users.....

It could be funded if we decided to crack down on speeding motorists and use some of their fines. After all, everyone needs to play by the rules.

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ktache [2215 posts] 1 week ago
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I find it odd that the 16% of cyclists who jump red lights rougly equates to the 14% of motorists who actually abide by the law in a 20mph speed limit.

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Boatsie [537 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Play by the rules.. Yeah aye.
My mate said a big White shark (6metres) swam near our local coast on Thursday (start of November). They grow huge man and they remain intelligent . Before I was a child, older men (younger boys then) used to sail their dinghies out to regularly swim with an 18footer. Never harmed any of them.
Society has a huge problem of over population. That mobs pointed at rubbish and to top it off our local gulf (a natural estuary) has changed from a weedy bottom protecting small fish to a sandy base which brought in a fishing ban coinciding with Thursday November 1St.
Retarded blamers are now pointing at herbicides washing down an upper river from crop sprays and suggesting such with a 3 month half life is destroying our grass. I'm sure drag nets are aiding such removal.
Dude, we share our life host; planet Earth. I'm lazy too. Each year I guess I ride to work half, drive half although I want to ride all time. Cycists are active, clearly we understand that strength is numbers hence our want to be part of a large school yet at the same time, our society is destructive and growing stronger!

We're prey man.. I swam the local shipping channel with my past canine (a natural shark attractent). 6 dolphins circled us the entire swim of the channel, dog was tired, hugging me during back swim. They appreciate people who clean up. Lots called me a tramp, a bum, a derro because years I'd work a full time job and walk the dogs upto 480km pw picking up rubbish between work hours.
I've had enough. I'm tired. I'm fat or something and everyone else is going to need to clean this planet.
An awesome speak I heard was such that if all limited to 2 child families then human population would slowly reduce and we'd all cope.
Society is shocking, obesity, lack of people remembering how enjoyable walking and cycling is and pushed as slaves beyond their ability to find such simple enjoyment.
What's brown and looks like a stick?

A stick. This society has ability to allow men that simply enjoy a stick to encourage population but idiots want destruction because they'll never be me. King.

I'm happy, my wide tyre bike rolls but I could have bought a better one new at near same cost.
My skinny tyre bike is awesome but I can't get aero rims onto such with my 7 speed 126mm. Doesn't matter, db cromoly. Feels great.
Fixie builds legs quick but often too scared to use.
I don't need a brain. Looks like we're destroying our need. Higher population and expanding, more cars in a greater hurry. Best luck on a bike bro. I'm glad I enjoy riding too.

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Mungecrundle [1600 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

From my own observations on my regular lunchtime walk alongside a moderately busy small rural town A road, somewhere between 7% and 15% of drivers at any one time are doing something that could be enforceable by fine / points:

Active use of a mobile phone
Eating, drinking, smoking
Reading delivery notes or paperwork
Blatant speeding
Jumping red lights

Plus apparently there are a significant number driving whilst untaxed, unlicensed, un-insured, without a valid MOT or with vehicle defects. Not to mention those who are inebriated or unfit to drive through drugs - prescription or otherwise.

In my home town in the last 5 years there have been multiple pedestrian fatalities involving a motor vehicle, including a fire engine on an emergency callout.

I'm not saying that people using bicycles in an antisocial way should get a free pass on account of someone else is doing something worse, but when it comes to policing and allocation of limited resources to improve pedestrian safety, cyclists have to be a long way down any evidence based list of priorities.

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McVittees [87 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I'm not excusing any bad behaviour by car drivers but I think one reason cycling is so demonised and annoys so many is the anxiety (then expressed as anger) caused by sharing the road with such a vunerable user.   I think this is also why the debate often becomes so polarised: a cyclist hit by a car is potentially dead or seriously injured and in 99% of cases this something neither wants, but its potential creates a lot of fear.  Therefore, if people see something that regularly causes them stress, then rightly or wrongly, they are probably going to want to bemoan it.  

Having said that, there are a lot of very angry / thoughtless / stupid people who really ought not be allowed behind the wheel of a car...or the bars of a bicycle.

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hawkinspeter [4226 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
McVittees wrote:

I'm not excusing any bad behaviour by car drivers but I think one reason cycling is so demonised and annoys so many is the anxiety (then expressed as anger) caused by sharing the road with such a vunerable user.   I think this is also why the debate often becomes so polarised: a cyclist hit by a car is potentially dead or seriously injured and in 99% of cases this something neither wants, but its potential creates a lot of fear.  Therefore, if people see something that regularly causes them stress, then rightly or wrongly, they are probably going to want to bemoan it.  

Having said that, there are a lot of very angry / thoughtless / stupid people who really ought not be allowed behind the wheel of a car...or the bars of a bicycle.

That's not entirely logical as the majority of cycle related injuries are caused by poor driving of motor vehicles. If people were being triggered by that, they'd be demonising the drivers that jump red lights, speed, drive distracted etc.

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kt26 [8 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
Sriracha wrote:

"To help I have put the bit you edited out in bold: "... an average of 16% violated red lights, whilst the remaining 84% obeyed the traffic signals. Therefore it can be concluded that the majority of cyclists do not ride through red lights. However, the 16% that do must be discouraged from ignoring traffic signals. "

I agree so long as the traffic signals are fit for purpose - in both the places I have lived in the UK I have come across so called "smart" traffic lights that seem incapable on picking up cyclists. In early morning rides when cars aren't about (the whole reason I leave early) to continue your journey you have no option but to cross a red light or wait in excess of 5 minutes for a car to turn up and trigger the lights - obviously you also must take responsibility for doing so safely.

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vonhelmet [1483 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
kt26 wrote:
Sriracha wrote:

"To help I have put the bit you edited out in bold: "... an average of 16% violated red lights, whilst the remaining 84% obeyed the traffic signals. Therefore it can be concluded that the majority of cyclists do not ride through red lights. However, the 16% that do must be discouraged from ignoring traffic signals. "

I agree so long as the traffic signals are fit for purpose - in both the places I have lived in the UK I have come across so called "smart" traffic lights that seem incapable on picking up cyclists. In early morning rides when cars aren't about (the whole reason I leave early) to continue your journey you have no option but to cross a red light or wait in excess of 5 minutes for a car to turn up and trigger the lights - obviously you also must take responsibility for doing so safely.

It's legal to cross a non-functional traffic light. You treat it like a give way.

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quiff [214 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
MarsFlyer wrote:

The other major difference is that red light jumping cyclists often do it when the lights have been red for a while and go through slowly, whereas most drivers going through red lights do it at speed to get through a light that has just changed. The cyclist is mainly putting themsleves in danger, whereas the driver is putting pedestrians and other road users into danger. 

I think your point is mostly about the relative risks involved, but I think the different behaviours of RLJing cyclists and drivers is also why people seem so enraged by RLJing cyclists. Generally, drivers flouting red lights seem to be amber gamblers, squeezing through a light just before (or after) it turns red. Cyclists flouting reds may be (1) amber gamblers (who will sometimes do it because they're not sure the car behind them will stop if they do...), (2) 'marginal anticipators' who are making a sharp start as or just before a light goes green to get away from vehicles behind, or (3) just sailing through a light which has been (and will be) solid red for some time.

In my experience, category 3 is very rare in drivers , and on the very few occasions I have seen it, it is truly shocking. This sort of RLJing is more common in cyclists, and I think it's this type which is noticeable and pisses people off.

On your relative risk point, to play devil's advocate, someone doing a category 1 or 2 RLJ may well be passing through the junction on a brief 'neutral' phase, when no other road user has a signal to proceed, and may therefore pose relatively little risk of incident. The category 3 cyclists I see though often (not always) show a complete disregard for other (more vulnerable) road users who actually have priority at that time. Some do proceed with caution, but I see many who blow through reds at speed.            

 

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stevemaiden [12 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

I'm old enough to remember the 70's, and being a 'cyclist' in modern Britain is like being a black man or Asian woman in 70's Britain. We are harassed daily, receive unequal treatment by the courts when one of us is killed, are harangued by the press, ridiculed by large portions of the public, recently banned by a council from congregating at a cycle shop, and many are negligently killed each year by people with no care for our safety. Well I don't want to feel uncertain about making it home alive when setting off for a ride, and why should hundreds of thousands of us suffer that? So what turned things around for that other minority group, the ethnic minorities? As I remember it widespread riots made politicians take the issues seriously then legislation followed. How do societal issues ever undergo fundamental change?

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Rick_Rude [450 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Cycling's biggest problem is its biggest attraction. Anyone can get on one.

Even among those who cycle regularly I'd argue some shouldn't be on the road. A guy at work who only rides and doesn't drive because he was famously shit at it is also pretty shit at riding. Some people shouldn't be allowed on the roads at all, they just have no natural balance or spacial awareness. They're like drunks except they're not.

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kt26 [8 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
vonhelmet wrote:
kt26 wrote:
Sriracha wrote:

"To help I have put the bit you edited out in bold: "... an average of 16% violated red lights, whilst the remaining 84% obeyed the traffic signals. Therefore it can be concluded that the majority of cyclists do not ride through red lights. However, the 16% that do must be discouraged from ignoring traffic signals. "

I agree so long as the traffic signals are fit for purpose - in both the places I have lived in the UK I have come across so called "smart" traffic lights that seem incapable on picking up cyclists. In early morning rides when cars aren't about (the whole reason I leave early) to continue your journey you have no option but to cross a red light or wait in excess of 5 minutes for a car to turn up and trigger the lights - obviously you also must take responsibility for doing so safely.

It's legal to cross a non-functional traffic light. You treat it like a give way.

Thanks, I appreciate your point however there is an onus to prove the light is defective which I feel the plod will argue isn't the case when they turn up with the their police car and the light turns green.

My bigger issue is that this is such a problem, many a time I have found myself having to try and role my bike repeatedly over a narrow unresponsive sensor, or pull forward and gesture to the car behind to pull forward over the sensor because I can't set it off and you can't see the way is clear.

Otherwise I obey traffic signals, and shake my head at those that don't. But it isn't hard to see how such experiences would drive some to lose respect for and ultimately disregard them.

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hawkinspeter [4226 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
stevemaiden wrote:

I'm old enough to remember the 70's, and being a 'cyclist' in modern Britain is like being a black man or Asian woman in 70's Britain. We are harassed daily, receive unequal treatment by the courts when one of us is killed, are harangued by the press, ridiculed by large portions of the public, recently banned by a council from congregating at a cycle shop, and many are negligently killed each year by people with no care for our safety. Well I don't want to feel uncertain about making it home alive when setting off for a ride, and why should hundreds of thousands of us suffer that? So what turned things around for that other minority group, the ethnic minorities? As I remember it widespread riots made politicians take the issues seriously then legislation followed. How do societal issues ever undergo fundamental change?

Maybe a teeny bit of exaggeration there.

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nniff [324 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

1.8% of vehicles are untaxed.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...

In addition, there are vehicles that have no MOT and/or are uninsured.  Those that are untaxed are likely to lack one if not both of these.

In addition, there are vehicles with a SORN that are on the road and are therefore unlikely to have insurance or an MOT.

On top of that, there are drivers without licences and those driving whilst disqualified or unfit.

Then there are vehicles with MOT's that would fail if tested.

Add the frustrated red light jumpers who have to stop because the car in front does.

It makes it a joy to be out on the road :o)

 

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alansmurphy [2326 posts] 1 week ago
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Rick_Rude wrote:

Cycling's biggest problem is its biggest attraction. Anyone can get on one.

 

Even among those who cycle regularly I'd argue some shouldn't be on the road. A guy at work who only rides and doesn't drive because he was famously shit at it is also pretty shit at riding. Some people shouldn't be allowed on the roads at all, they just have no natural balance or spacial awareness. They're like drunks except they're not.

 

I'd say the bit I bolded is more the point here - cars very weirdly are seen as a sign of wealth, of power. Those in a £500 Corsa still feel superior and more entitled to somebody on a £8k bike!

 

As for those incapable of riding well, I'd suggest that's around 0.0001% and still a significantly lesser risk than those in cars. I'd suggest the majority of shit riders choose to ride that way...

 

 

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