Locking wheels and RLJing

karan733

New Member
Coming down this hill http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=northampton&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Northampton,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&ei=TE_0S8uWN4-ksQau8fnLAg&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA&ll=52.219702,-0.89736&spn=0.030603,0.090895&z=14&layer=c&cbll=52.219263,-0.89758&panoid=dOFxEmCHYwpcGhC_nY_sYQ&cbp=12,13.96,,0,19.1 earlier today on my way home, the lights turned amber when I was just behind the bus stop box. At this point im usually doing 20+ and have run the red light in the past if in the same position but today there was actually a ped waiting to cross (rather than school kids setting it off and walking away) so pulled on the brakes hard, and after a few seconds realised that the rear was squirming around under the load of braking, which was cool and a bit unnerving all at the same time ;)

But it got me thinking, is it wrong to RLJ when the alternative is to brake so hard that youre only just in control of the bike? Even when I have run the light in the past, I honestly didnt think I could slow down to a stop safely, and today has just confirmed that is the case.

Or am I just trying to justify doing something illegal?
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
you're supposed to anticipate the lights, the amber is there for a reason, you're supposed to stop on that, ignoring it and then finding yourself unable to stop for the red is no excuse

you wouldn't excuse it in a car if you were waiting to cross with your children would you

and ride at a sensible speed for the road conditions
 

HaloJ

Rabid cycle nut
Location
Watford
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't fast speed stripping done by the front brake due to the weight distribution?
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
if you think about it first, yes, if you don't you tend to be hnched over the front though init
 
OP
karan733

karan733

New Member
Tynan said:
you're supposed to anticipate the lights, the amber is there for a reason, you're supposed to stop on that, ignoring it and then finding yourself unable to stop for the red is no excuse

you wouldn't excuse it in a car if you were waiting to cross with your children would you

and ride at a sensible speed for the road conditions
True that, but I hit the brakes at amber, and stopped at the line. I just didnt think it was especially safe as my braking distances are a lot longer than a cars, which is what the amber to red time delay has been designed for? :laugh:
 

NigC

New Member
Location
Surrey
I would be pretty sure that the same applies for bikes as it does motor vehicles: If you have to make an emergency stop when the lights go amber, then you should carry on.

The problem on a bike is that this could mean you're left with a situation where you can't stop in time, but your speed is too low to make it safely through the lights.

I'd say the best approach here would be to take off a fair bit of speed before getting close to the lights - regardless of their colour. Then if they stay green great, but if not you're still able to stop without all the dramatics.
 

Matthames

Über Member
Location
East Sussex
I approach traffic lights like this:

Green - Prepare to stop
Amber - Stop
Red - Stop

Seeing a green light that has been green for a while, chances are it is going to change. With crossings you can anticipate when the lights are possibly going to change. I quite often take a look at the pedestrian push button to see if the light is on, if it is I anticipate that the lights are going to change and thus alter my speed.

The particular crossing in the OP I would probably consider slowing down to approach it. You can see in street view that a motorist has fallen foul of this crossing and has skidded across it.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
Amber is stop with the qualification that amounts to 'if it safe to do so'. I can end up going through an amber light unwillingly because the tw*t behind me gets really close & I don't trust them to actually stop.
 

Bromptonaut

Rohan Man
Location
Bugbrooke UK
You're heading from the Queen Eleanor interchange towards town? TBH there are enough hazards on that stretch that stopping for a red shouldn't be a problem.

Any green light is only going to change one way and, as this is a Pelican or similar crossing, the Peds looking lost at the kerbside give some additional clues.
 
OP
karan733

karan733

New Member
Bromptonaut said:
Peds looking lost at the kerbside give some additional clues.
Now that night has sunk in, I think youre right. Defensive riding probably means knowing a ped at a pelican is a red light waiting to happen.

Where abouts in Bugbrooke are you? I play for their local cricket team, not St Michaels mind...
 

Guvnor

Active Member
Location
Essex
karan733 said:
Or am I just trying to justify doing something illegal?
Yes you are.

User3143 said:
If you think that braking could cause an accident to either yourself or other traffic then you can RLJ.
Can't see that standing up in a Court of Law, could you?

"Yes your honor, i know i ran through a red light, knocking that person over and causing them sever injuries but i was traveling too fast to brake in time".......

Can't see it myself.
 

PBancroft

Senior Member
Location
Winchester
Matthames said:
I approach traffic lights like this:

Green - Prepare to stop
Amber - Stop
Red - Stop
Interesting - I like it. There is a pedestrian crossing on my commute which a goodly number of drivers seem to treat as follows:-

Green - Keep Going
Amber - Keep Going
Red - Put Foot Down and Keep Going

Seen this more than once. Highest count was three cars running the red, one with ped actually halfway across. :smile:

What upsets me most about this is that this crossing is a stones throw from a Sixth Form College and a Children's Home. If someone does get hit chances are its going to be a kid.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
One thing that has been done recently in some areas is to decrease the amber time, this means there is often a zone where you have to be doing significantly less than the speed limit if you don't want to run a red light without having to do an effective emergency stop. You can argue all day long that you should slow down etc. but if the speed limit is 30mph then the amber phase should be long enough that it does not require very heavy braking to stop from that speed to avoid going through a red light.
 
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