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Questions asked after another police force keen to highlight crackdown on cyclists jumping red lights

Greater Manchester Police is the latest force to share pictures of officers disciplining cyclists for riding through red lights

Questions have been asked of Greater Manchester Police after the force shared news of a crackdown on cyclists jumping red lights in the city centre, with many doubting the operation is an effective use of resources.

The force's transport unit is the latest to ask riders to stop at red lights. Last week, the Metropolitan Police sent 14 officers on a 90-minute operation in Hackney to deter red light jumping cyclists — 18 were fined.

> Police in Hackney catch 18 red light jumping cyclists in 90 minutes

On Friday, Derbyshire Police also shared a video of a rider passing through a red light, saying the individual was fined, and accompanied the clip with a message insisting "cyclists must stop".

However, the Manchester post, below, has attracted a significant amount of responses questioning why the force is "prioritising" less dangerous offences, and others asking for more effective use of police resources.

The GMP Manchester City Centre account tweeted to its 176,000 followers: "Traffic offence reports were issued during this deployment, however officers have also utilised education alongside enforcement. By highlighting the dangers and refreshing their knowledge of the law we hope to reduce the risks to all road users, not just cyclists."

> Derbyshire Police share video of cyclist fined for jumping red light — insist "cyclists must stop"

Despite the explanation, many responses centred on questions around police resources, prioritising more dangerous offences, and doubts about if similar offences by other road users were also being targeted.

Prominent road safety campaigner CyclingMikey, who submits videos of law-breaking drivers to the police, called for more "evidence-led" policing.

> "Tired of road crime": CyclingMikey on episode 16 of the road.cc Podcast, plus how to make the most of your lunchbreak 

Another asked: "Did you see any cars speed up and go through changing lights? I see that frequently and is much more dangerous."

A campaign group dedicated to making the A56 in the North West of England safer for all users suggested there are "far more serious" dangers on the road that police should be looking to crack down on.

Pompey Cyclist suggested: "Now do cars. Because, you know, they actually cause danger and that wouldn’t be a total waste of our money."

Another added: "I wonder why you don’t do this with drivers? After all everybody should be held to account." While someone else asked why there were no pictures of an operation cracking down on red light jumping drivers at the same junction?

Stephen Hines replied: "Did you take the opportunity to stop any drivers at the same time? Enforcement is great, but it would be nice to see all road users held to the same standard, and it might be nice for the cyclists to know how many other offences were dealt with in the same operation."

However, not everyone questioned the police action. Many comments thanked the force for its work.

One cyclist said: "Thank you for this, I'm truly fed up with getting abuse from drivers for [those] that don't stop at lights. Now, about those drivers. Mostly the abuse is because I've asked them to put their phones down or not pass so closely... You're going to be targeting them next right?"

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.

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137 comments

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Grumpy17 replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
1 like

they will enforce the laws that are easy to enforce. If a crime is reported for example that Requires even a small amount of investigation i.e. a couple of statements they'll just bin it off.Something wrong with The calibre of  who they're recruiting these days. Then again ,he was a good lad,you know,that Couzens fella...

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wtjs | 2 years ago
5 likes

"Did you take the opportunity to stop any drivers at the same time? Enforcement is great, but it would be nice to see all road users held to the same standard"

It would be nice if the police ceased failing to act against RLJ drivers- even though I haven't yet caught any exceeding Rendel's 3 seconds after the lights turned red!

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Rendel Harris replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
5 likes
wtjs wrote:

It would be nice if the police ceased failing to act against RLJ drivers- even though I haven't yet caught any exceeding Rendel's 3 seconds after the lights turned red!

It's not "my" rule, that's what I was told by a Met officer! I'd be happy for anyone who goes through red at any time to be sanctioned.

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lukei1 replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
0 likes

Yup, the Met have told me this, at least 2 seconds otherwise the Magistrate will give the driver the benefit of the doubt apparently, even though they've already had 3 seconds of Amber to stop as required. Sigh

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wtjs replied to lukei1 | 2 years ago
0 likes

the Met have told me this, at least 2 seconds otherwise the Magistrate will give the driver the benefit of the doubt
There's a lot of this about being 'told'- now somebody should show us where any police force has written down anything about a free pass for going through traffic lights X seconds after they turned red!

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brooksby replied to wtjs | 2 years ago
2 likes

There's one junction on my commute where I like counting how many cars go through the red lights - a traffic light controlled junction between the A369 (Abbots Leigh Road) and the B3129 (Beggar Bush Lane).

https://goo.gl/maps/N4qjwoym5PH1Fcrr5 - this is a streetview travelling toward Bristol, with Bebbar Bush Lane being the road going off to the right.

In the evenings, there are ALWAYS two or three cars which jump the red lights either going toward Bristol or into Beggar Bush Lane.

 

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wtjs replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
2 likes

I like counting how many cars go through the red lights
This sounds to be a junction like 'mine'- no cyclists go through these on red because they would soon be dead- that type of junction must be in cities with loads of other lights around and slow moving traffic. The offence of 50+mph vehicles coming through lights 2 seconds after they turned red persists because the police don't view it as a serious offence

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

There's one junction on my commute where I like counting how many cars go through the red lights - a traffic light controlled junction between the A369 (Abbots Leigh Road) and the B3129 (Beggar Bush Lane).

https://goo.gl/maps/N4qjwoym5PH1Fcrr5 - this is a streetview travelling toward Bristol, with Bebbar Bush Lane being the road going off to the right.

In the evenings, there are ALWAYS two or three cars which jump the red lights either going toward Bristol or into Beggar Bush Lane.

I often cycle along Beggar Bush Lane and turn right (towards Bristol) at that junction but have not seen any RLJing there - must be a rush hour thing.

My vote for worst lights for RLJing would be at Temple Gate roundabout. Interested parties could just sit there and catch vehicles RLJing all day long

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4479818,-2.5826971,3a,75y,132.86h,81.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siUT8t-Ltft1Qj-ivpQC93w!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
(sorry for the big lorry in the way)

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
3 likes

The RLJs with motors tend to be the ones going straight on (Bristol --> Portishead or vice versa) or the ones turning left into Beggar Bush Lane.

Oh! Wait! that's all the options.

Yeah, maybe it is a (particularly evening) rush hour thing...

 

PS - and this is a junction with beg buttons if you don't have a motor.  If you press the button, then you get slotted in at a point in the lights cycle (the same point, so you may be waiting a long time).  And, to go straight on on the shared-use path travelling from Bristol toward Portishead means you have to press three separate beg buttons surprise

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Samtheeagle replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

Here are the results of the worst RLJing location - 184 a day. UK roads where the most drivers are caught running red lights revealed | This is Money . I read somewhere that up to 12m drivers are issues with FPN per annum in the UK.  I dont have a problem with this promotion of police legit stopping cyclists RLJing as it addresses the "cylists jump red lights with impunity" mantra i hear all the time.

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sheridan replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

There's one junction on my commute where I like counting how many cars go through the red lights - a traffic light controlled junction between the A369 (Abbots Leigh Road) and the B3129 (Beggar Bush Lane).

https://goo.gl/maps/N4qjwoym5PH1Fcrr5 - this is a streetview travelling toward Bristol, with Bebbar Bush Lane being the road going off to the right.

In the evenings, there are ALWAYS two or three cars which jump the red lights either going toward Bristol or into Beggar Bush Lane.

There's two similar junctions on Cable Street in London - yesterday there were about three or four motor vehicles parked (not moving) on each junction when the lights changed to the cycle phase.  On a normal day I usually see two or three go through on amber and a few more on red.  I dread to think how many go through each day.

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pockstone | 2 years ago
8 likes

Is this part of the 'Highway code- cyclists getting a free ride -(no pun intended)- better make sure they know who is ( still) boss on the roads' campaign of misinformation/deliberate confusion. Some perverse attempt by the Police to placate so called 'irate', 'road rage gonna happen', aggrieved motorists. Head them off at the pass by coming down on cyclists?

Not defending RLJs, but we all know who does the most harm, most often by jumpng lights.

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
9 likes

I'm still not buying the "giving anti-cycling people free ammunition". You don't hear Highway Code protesters complaining about speeding drivers giving cyclists free ammunition, do you?

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
6 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I'm still not buying the "giving anti-cycling people free ammunition". You don't hear Highway Code protesters complaining about speeding drivers giving cyclists free ammunition, do you?

You're forgetting that we are part of a homogenous hive mind. But then of course, so was I...

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Mungecrundle replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
8 likes

You are only stating what we are all thinking...

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brooksby replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
0 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

I'm still not buying the "giving anti-cycling people free ammunition". You don't hear Highway Code protesters complaining about speeding drivers giving cyclists free ammunition, do you?

You're forgetting that we are part of a homogenous hive mind. But then of course, so was I...

Resistance is futile...

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Ride On | 2 years ago
5 likes

Sounds like there is a problem at that particular junction and perhaps police are responding to complaints that have been made.

The police have always "got something better to do" so just stop at red lights.

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