Should police swoop on cyclists who ignore red lights? (ES poll)

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by patheticshark, 8 Jan 2008.

  1. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Horses for courses Dom' horses for courses !

    Yoo hypocrite !
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Why do you have such an unhealthy obsession with animals and young boys? :biggrin:
  3. Old Walrus

    Old Walrus Veteran

    I don't know what my colleagues were doing almost running him off the pavement, just plain stupid & unjustified!
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I don't know how many people are killed or seriously injured by red light jumping cars, if, as you say, it is a very small number then there should be a correspondingly small amount of resources devoted to combating this.

    My one and only priority, were I to have it within my power to make a difference, would be to reduce the death toll and serious injury toll on the roads, closely seconded by reducing the massive adverse impact on society that cars have.
  5. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I'm not convinced that you could make a convincing argument that RLJing cars are no more dangerous than bikes.

    Its clearly reasonable that if a cyclist is caught RLJing, he's fair game for being fined if a copper happens to be about. He's broken the law, he's got it coming. But really, considering how little harm is actually done, to actually put special effort into stopping cyclists doing this... I dunno, it just seems disproportionte to the harm they're doing. That same amount of effort would surely be better spent on tackling crimes that do more harm.
  6. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Really? What are you basing that on? I've never seen a car stopped for this, I've seen cyclists stopped for it lots of times.
  7. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Grow up Dom' - grow seriously up !
  8. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    You're basically saying that all crimes are equal and thus all laws should carry the same weight. I think you should go away and think about this before posting again.
  9. Some hope.
  10. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Course they should get stopped and fined. Probably only in London though, not much point anywhere else. It's mainly only for image, the media and tourists - but there's nothing wrong with that.
    Reason 1, whenever a cyclist is stopped and fined in London, lots of motorists are likely to see it - that's a lot of motorists that have just had their prejudices that cyclists get away with jumping red lights wiped out. Not to mention tourists - if tourists see it, they're going to think not only how good we are at cracking down on road safety infringements but also what a technologically advanced country we are. Whatever the police may pretend, the main objective is the image projected - but what's wrong with that? As the pro-speed camera lobby keep banging out - if you break the law you run the risk ofbeing punished, it's very easy not to get fined, just don't break the law.
    Reason 2, and the main reason, a cyclist who is stupid enough to get stopped by the police for RLJing can't be a very observant cyclist! As was demonstrated on Road Rage on BBC1, one of the police officers said "we're not exactly hiding!" If you're in so much of a daze you can't see a bloody policeman on a distinctive white bike in reflective gear, chances are you haven't got much chance of seeing something coming over a junction, so they need to be given a kick up the arse into taking responsibility for their own safety.
    FWIW I must admit I do actually RLJ a lot less than I used to, although I have done it in full view of police waiting at lights in a van (i.e. not on a shout) before and they haven't batted an eyelid - although most of thetime I do it it's completely safe and without risk of it being in sight of a police officer. I never wait at lights 'pointlessly' though.
  11. col

    col Veteran

    Ah but did they?Iv found that people on the recieving end of being in the wrong,tend to exagerate,or even tell lies,to somehow blame someone else for their wrongdoing.
  12. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Except, of course, when they do sleep. Or, rather, when they're not on. Which seems to be a heck of a lot of them.

    But it isn't really a good comparison; speed cameras don't take up much police time. Many of them take up no police time or effort. Posting someone at a junction to stop anyone red light jumping on a bike takes more time and effort, admittedly to stop a crime, but to stop a crime that doesn't much harm anyone (if the accident stats are to be believed).

    More people are killed, hit by cars, on pavements, than by bikes. Put that police officer in a suburb, have him arrest people as they drive on to pavements. Such expenditure of effort would be more worthwhile.
  13. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I see those cameras every day, and I see the same vehicles RLJ at those junctions every day. To the best of my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong), the incidence of red light jumping by cars has not declined at all in recent years; go on, try going to the police station and say you were nearly hit by an RLJ and that theres a camera there, they'll tell you that they don't have resources to look into 'nearly hit'. So I don't accept that such cameras really are a resource to cut RLJing, at least they're not a resource being used as such.

    In that context, and in the context of RLJing cyclists actually causing orders of magnitude less harm than cars, I just don't see that the presence of cameras is relevant to an argument that the police should be paying someones wages to stop cyclists doing something illegal, irritating but ultimately hardly important.

    If a CCTV camera catches a murder, it will only be the first part of a large expenditure of resources in following up the crime. Thats worth doing; it isn't generally thought to be worth doing with, say, red light jumping, which is why there aren't hoards of red light jumping motorists in court. With or withoug cameras, its a resource issue.

    And when resources are an issue you've got some simple choices; red light jumping cars or red light jumping bikes? Grafitti or RLJ bikes? Dangerous overtaking motorists or RLJ bikes? You've got limited resources, do you focus your energy on cyclists breaking a law that isn't really harming people (irritates the hell out of me, but thats a different matter) or do you use those resources on something that does cause genuine harm?
  14. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    I don't buy this bollocks that some people are spouting that RLJing on a bike is 'mostly harmless' and prosecution by the Police is petty and they should be concentrating on bigger crimes. RLJing is dangerous, and pedestrians can get hurt or killed by those who do it. Sure, you're more likely to get killed by an RLJing lorry than an RLJing bike, but that's scant comfort to those pedestrians who get hit by cyclists and have to look out for some self-centred twat on a bike despite the fact they're crossing on a green man.

    The thing is this: jumping a red light, regardless of what kind of vehicle you're riding/driving can be safe in some circumstances. If you feel that you can safely cross a red on a bike, why shouldn't someone on a motorbike or a car or a lorry, as long as they are careful? The answer is that people can't be trusted to make that decision accurately, even if they think they can.

    Lights are there for a reason. They ensure that those who should have priority on the road at that time have it regardless of the ability of the others, as long as the road signals are obeyed.

    We can't have some two-tier system where those with the leet skills to cross reds safely have different rules from those who can't. The law must be applied evenly.
  15. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I'd love to agree with you, because I hate RLJing cyclists. I really do.

    But there aren't any accident stats that I've ever seen that back that case up. The fact, as far as I can see it, is that cyclists aren't causing carnage by going through red lights. And as thats what the stats say (or rather, we have no stats that say that they ARE causing a big problem, at least not that I've ever seen) why should police resources be spent on this?

    I agree. Thats why I'm opposed to people RLJing. I'm also opposed to spending resources on staking out crossings specifically to stop cyclists doing this; by all means if a copper sees it happen then get hold of the cyclist and impose a fine or whateve. But it doesn't seem appropriate to spend more resources on this that could be more profitably (in terms of preventing harm) be spent elsewhere.

    The law isn't applied evenly either in theory or in practice; some roads have more scrutiny than others, some road users have more stringent checks on vehicle safety than others, etc. The argument that the law must be applied evenly... Why? Isn't there a practicality issue here somewhere?
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