red light jumping endemic in London.

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by spindrift, 13 May 2008.

  1. spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    Charge of the red light brigade

    David Williams, Motoring Editor
    Related Articles

    placeDeferredAd('sky', 'AAMSZ=120x600');Red-light jumping is at "epidemic proportions" in London, a survey reveals.

    Pedestrians are being put in danger by road-users who race through traffic lights each time they go red.

    The survey for the Evening Standard found one in every 25 - including motorists, cyclists and bus drivers - routinely "runs" traffic lights.

    At Trafalgar Square, researchers spotted 117 road-users charging through lights after they turned red over a three-hour period. Fifty one were cyclists, 13 were motorcyclists and 23 were car drivers.
    Eighteen vans shot through on red, as well as four police vehicles not on emergency calls, three lorries and five buses.

    The survey was repeated at other locations in central and outer London with similar results.

    It comes after Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle through six separate red lights on his journey to and from work at City Hall.
    The survey was carried out by the Institute of Advanced Motorists' head of road safety Kevin Delaney, who said:

    "We are seeing the growth of motorised anarchy. Drivers are realising that shorter green phases increase the length of their queue at traffic lights and are more willing to gamble on the first few seconds of the red light.
    "But as far as cyclists in central London are concerned, the laws of the road do not apply to them."

    (Edit-self-gratification artist)

    Mr Delaney, former head of the Met's traffic division, added: "Many cyclists simply ignore red traffic lights, placing themselves, pedestrians and other road-users in danger. It is a quick route to the cemetery."
    During the survey most of those who jumped red lights did so within seconds of lights changing.
    Motorists and cyclists who did stop at red often put pressure on pedestrians still trying to cross by surging forward.
    At Piccadilly Circus 101 roadusers jumped red lights in three hours, including 43 cyclists, 27 car drivers, eight motorcyclists, one lorry driver and 22 vans. A similar pattern emerged at the junction of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street.
    In outer London red-light jumping was less frequent and at junctions policed by red-light cameras only cyclists went through red lights.
    Mr Delaney demanded tough action to end red-light running.
    "It needs a co-ordinated campaign with police stopping people who do it," he said. "It should be backed by a major publicity drive highlighting the dangers."


    Evening Standard photographer Alex Lentati took the pictures above at the Admiralty Arch junction in Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon. He estimated that about 20 people an hour jumped the lights.

    He said: "All kinds of vehicles were going straight through the red light, one after another. I saw one of the yellow DUKW buses go through with a contingent of passengers. He just did not seem to want to stop.

    "Cyclists were the ones that went through the junction most often - the traffic lights might just as well not have been there.
    "A Bentley convertible driver passed red a good second after the lights changed. He seemed more interested in the sunshine than the traffic lights.

    "You would expect a professional taxi driver to know better than to go through a red but he did.

    "It might have been a bit more difficult for the bus driver because it's such a long vehicle. Possibly the lights were on amber when he went through but he should have tried to stop."
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I feel that cyclists should always try to stop at the lights when practicable.
  3. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Cyclist should stop at reds...just like other road users. It's simple enough.

    Interesting slight bias here though. It appears that cyclist numbers are twice the number for cars (whick is the case), but if you add other motor vehicles then motors = Cyclists.
    Actually then, we're as bad as the motorised road users which we disdain.
  4. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    So what percentage of each vehicles stopped?

    Sensationalist nonsense, red light jumping done sensibly doesn't cause accidents

    I stop for red light btw
  5. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Veteran

    For those of us who cycle in central London, this is no surprise and certainly no surprise at Trafalgar Square/Admiralty Arch. This is one of the most dangerous intersections in London IMO and whilst I do not condone RLJ's I suspect it could be justified for cyclists here because cabbies, buses and motorcyclists often make it too dangerous for cyclists to navigate this junction at a reasonable speed or use the ASL properly and safely which is often full of motorcyclists and scooters. The light phasing is way too short and is a direct result of pedestrianising Trafalgar Square. As a result Northumberland Avenue, Pall Mall, The Mall, Whitehall (and others) all converge on one point. The roundabout there is far too small to deal with the level of traffic. Taxis have to queue for a long time to get out of the Mall and there is a general impetus to jump the lights. I have nearly been hit there on several occasions from cabbies coming from the Palace who have jumped a red. If ever there was a place that was crying out for light related speed/jump cameras this is it.

    Having said that, from a journalistic viewpoint, it's just plain lazy. It's a bit like a reporter going to the Western Front during World War I and then being surprised and shocked that people were being killed.

    As far as cyclists thinking that the laws do not apply to them; in London, especially among commuters I would have to agree. Regrettably.
  6. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    The same could be said for drink driving and speeding, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

    I've seen two near misses involving RLJers in the past week, one with a cyclists and another with a car, both could easily have been avoided if they had just waited at the lights for another minute.

    RLJing is just impatience, if you're in a hurry leave earlier or arrive late.

    Good :tongue:
  7. Origamist

    Origamist Guru

    Do you have a citation for the TRL report from 2007?

    I am interested as it contradicts the data on "general" red light violations at ASLs in the following TRL report:

    Behaviour at cycle Advanced Stop Lines Author: D Allen, S Bygrave, H Harper Date: 2007 Reference: PPR240
  8. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Yes, and maybe the thing that NASA have found that everyone has been looking for for fifty years is a flying pig! :tongue:
  9. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    Without also knowing how many of each type of road user stopped at the red light, these aren't very useful figures. Though I suspect it will remain true that more cyclists rlj than others. Interesting as noted above that motors were broken down into various categories but all cyclists were as one, no distinction between couriers, roadies, MTBs, POBs etc. Of ocurse if the car in front has stopped no other cars are going to be able to rlj, wheras for cyclists this isn't the case.

    Agree with all others, only correct course of action is to stop, and enforce it across all road users.
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    My only reservation about changing the status quo is that jumping a red light can assist a cyclist greatly while traversing a complicated and potentially dangerous junction, for instance where the cyclist needs to cross several lanes of fast moving traffic. Having to stop may mean then having to completely stop at the side of the road, maybe dismount and cross at a crossing instead, hardly makes for a convenient journey!

    Pre empting a green light can also enable the cyclist to make a head start and claim lane position in advance of the throng of revving engines behind. For these, and numerous other reasons, I would keep the present enforcement as it is until evidence is produced that shows unequivocally that many lives are being lost in this way.
  11. Origamist

    Origamist Guru

    How do you propose to delineate between cyclist sub-groups? Is a POB the same as utility cyclist? Why stop at only four? Why not include recumbents, folders, unicyclists etc? Maybe we should drill down ever further - full sussers as opposed to hard-tails, let's also start detangling couriers from fakengers, TTers from audaxers, etc
  12. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Wouldn't it be simpler just to have a different category for each brand and model of bike?
  13. Origamist

    Origamist Guru

    Far too reductive. I'd want frame size, year and colour scheme too.
  14. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    Well they did lump all taxis together rather than distinguishing between the obviously non-trival differences of a black cab, mini cab and private hire, so I thought I'd allow them some leaway with the cycling groups.

    What sub-group of cyclists is most or least likely to rlj?
  15. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Words of wisdom. I would add only that RLJ at least reduces the extent of the goat-**** jockeying for position that greets every London light turning green - one of the most hazardous phenomena on the roads.

    The good thing about the current state of the law is that it gives the police discretion over when and how to enforce - which they do, when circumstances call for it - and when to turn a blind eye. In exactly the same way they stop motorists speeding dangerously and inconsiderately, while gently ignoring the fact that the fast lane on every motorway in the country is doing 84MPH, give or take.

    As to those who think RLJ is wrong, period ('it's simple'), it's not (and it's not). Oh, and I presume you'd never go above 70 when you're on the M4...
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