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

PrettyboyTim

New Member
Location
Brighton
Cab said:
Yep, they get complaints about it (I'd be fascinated to see a demographic breakdown of those complaining about it). That in itself doesn't justify spending resources on it though. Why should it?
Well, if they get a lot of complaints about people getting hurt or narrowly avoiding getting hurt because of somebody else's lawbreaking activity, shouldn't they look in to it?
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
where I cycle the majority rlj

I was waiting at to cross Holloway road this morning with about seven cyclists and loads of traffic, long lights, come the bit where the ped lights to the left go green and it's safe to cross the huge junction, with cars waiting in all directions, five of the bikes set off, very very visible indeed

I really did cringe at the spectacle, especially as it only gave them a 15 odd second head start

I've slowly become a bit of a RLS fascist now, I make apoint of stopping at almost everything now, and I've started to scowl at those carrying on
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
Neither has it for cyclists. But that's not what we're talking about.

Of course they are a resource to cut RLJing. You've given the example of a junction where you don't think the camera is working, or where you claim there are regulars who ignore this. What about those who aren't familiar to the junction? What about all of the other cameras?
What about them? Theres a staggering number of cameras, and an amazing number of red light jumping motorists. If the cameras were a realistic deterrent, we wouldn't see so much RLJing, and if they were being used to prosecute motorists for that then the courts would be full of this. Ain't happening though.

Anyway, you're dragging the argument off a bit. All I said was that there are measures used to address the problem of RLJing cars, as there are to address the problem of RLJing cyclists.
No, I'm not. Those measures are clearly not being used to stop cars RLJing. In principle they could be, but the lack of wave after wave of prosecutions suggests otherwise.

Maybe they should introduce license plates for bikes then. That would relieve the police. Not that I'm advocating it at all, it's a ridiculous idea.

They do things to catch RLJing bikes, RlJing cars, pavement cyclists, cars in bus lanes, etc etc. Any suggestion that the authorities are picking on cyclists is ignoring the bigger picture and ridiculous.
If you'd like to point to where I've said that the authorities are picking on cyclists, I'm curious to hear. You've constructed the straw many that I'm opposed to this because its picking on cyclists and tried to topple that down. Well done, straw man dead. My opposition to this is actually because its a foolish way to spend resources.

The rest of your post is just dragging the thread of the argument from side to side.[/QUOTE]

I think that you're rather ignoring the points I've put forward. Not sure why you're doing that.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
tdr1nka said:
If you have Police stopping cycle RLJ's, it surely stands to reason their presence at a junction should not only deter motorists from jumping the lights, they'd be able to catch them at it too?

T x
You'd have thunk. I've never seen it happen though.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
PrettyboyTim said:
Let's get things in perspective here: RLJing by cyclists is rife among a sizeable minority - and the Police have decided to do a limited-time crackdown on it. What's the problem?
The argument that I have put forward is that any expenditure of resources specifically on this will neither work nor will it be effective. Don't get me wrong, I'd take great personal satisfaction in seeing RLJing cyclists beaten with mackerel, its just that I don't see any reason to believe that the police should specifically target that.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
PrettyboyTim said:
Well, if they get a lot of complaints about people getting hurt or narrowly avoiding getting hurt because of somebody else's lawbreaking activity, shouldn't they look in to it?
In an ideal world, yes.

In the real world the stats they have don't support the claim that this really is a highly dangerous activity.

They have limited resources.

Should they target things that are demonstrably dangerous or those that spook people a bit?
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
Tynan said:
where I cycle the majority rlj

I was waiting at to cross Holloway road this morning with about seven cyclists and loads of traffic, long lights, come the bit where the ped lights to the left go green and it's safe to cross the huge junction, with cars waiting in all directions, five of the bikes set off, very very visible indeed

I really did cringe at the spectacle, especially as it only gave them a 15 odd second head start

I've slowly become a bit of a RLS fascist now, I make apoint of stopping at almost everything now, and I've started to scowl at those carrying on
Sounds very, very familiar :biggrin:

For some reason, cyclists who undertake me and turn right through the red light in front of me really get on my nerves, perhaps more than anyone else on the road.
 

Tynan

Veteran
Location
e4
indeed, I cut it out after going out for a drink a few times a while back and the first question I got asked by almost everyone, when I mentioned cycling, was 'do you jump red lights', closely followed by 'do you ride on pavements'
 

domtyler

Über Member
PrettyboyTim said:
Well, if they get a lot of complaints about people getting hurt or narrowly avoiding getting hurt because of somebody else's lawbreaking activity, shouldn't they look in to it?
It's a proven scientific fact that 98% of RLJ complaints are phoned in by people doing 40 in a 30 while on their moby's! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
 
Cab said:
Blitzing cyclists on a single issue doesn't work, at least not when I've seen it done. I've seen this happen with RLJing, I've seen it with lights, and a month after the blitz the streets here in Cambridge are as infested with RLJers or unlit cyclists as they were before. Therefore I don't accept that the problem isnt solveable with a crack down.

And even if it was, there are more worthy targets that cause more harm and distress.

To solve this you have to address what the cause of the problem is, just fining those you catch over a fortnights period doesn't do that. And the cause of this problem on our roads, like many others, is that there is an endemic opinion that if you're not obviously causing any harm it is okay to break the rules. So its the same as motorists RLJing, speeding, etc. You can't have a once in a while crackdown and expect it to cause a cultural change.
To solve the problem it needs to be approached in a number of ways. I like these three words: education, humiliation and ramification.

People need to be educated that red light jumping can be dangerous, is against the law and is not morally acceptable. They need to realise that as a minority group being seen as law breakers (anarchists even!) brings with it animosity and the resulting dangers.

Humiliation, i.e. of the sort that is associated with being labeled a drink driver. Of course this would be to a lesser degree, but it needs to become socially unacceptable. We need to instill embarrassment at being labeled a RLJ.

As for ramifications that requires knowing that you could get caught and punished for RLJing. Blitzing sends out a message, that the police will prosecute if you are caught and that the police take it seriously. People will think twice about doing something if they know they can be penalised.

Now I agree that often too much emphasis is placed on ramifications, but it is a vital part of stopping RLJing.

Education is the job of the police, government, ROSPA etc. More work is needed here and others are better qualified than I to determine what should be done.

Humiliation to some extent falls on us, the CTC etc. We need to make it known on the net and on the streets and in the media that certain behaviours are not acceptable. In that respect the programme on road rage the other night did a good job. If I was RLJer watching that I am sure I would think twice about doing it again, because it did come across as socially unacceptable. I suppose I do my small part by pulling folk up who red light jump. It works for me because I don't see it often (not as many cyclists in Glasgow). I'm not sure I would bother in London.

I don't have the answers cab, but I do know that we need the police from time to time to remind us all that RLJ is not on.
 
U

User482

Guest
domtyler said:
It's a proven scientific fact that 98% of RLJ complaints are phoned in by people doing 40 in a 30 while on their moby's! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
Quite. Hence my response to the question from motorists:

"Do you RLJ?".
"No. Do you ever break the speed limit?"
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
magnatom said:
I don't have the answers cab, but I do know that we need the police from time to time to remind us all that RLJ is not on.
I agree with you here (and indeed with much of the rest of what you have said). Its just the methodology I don't agree with; blitzing a crime once in a while isn't in any way a good way to change the culture.

Presently, police ignore red light jumping cyclists. I've seen it many times, heck, I've seen our local PCSOs go through red lights on their bikes. We sometimes see a local blitz on such things as red light jumping, lack of lights, etc. It doesn't make people think 'oh no, we're in the wrong', it just makes them think 'I can't do it here and now because I'd get caught'. Its exactly like the effect that highly visible speed cameras have, they don't make poeple think 'oh no, I must not speed, its wrong', the attitude becomes 'I can't speed here and now because I'd get caught'.

You get to the end of the blitz period and nothing has changed. Happens here nearly every year.

So yes, I agree, something has to be done, but this is the wrong approach. If the proposal was 'lets blitz red light jumping road users while simultaneously putting real effort into educating people, we're not going to concentrate on the least harmful, the least dangerous road users we're going to go for everyone' then I'd be all in favour. If it was a meaningful proposal to change things on the roads for the better then that would be great. But to specifically crack down on RLJing cyclists for a couple of weeks... Waste of time and effort.
 

Cab

New Member
Location
Cambridge
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I'd apply the same logic to speed cameras. Highly visible cameras, well labelled, with (usually) pitiful penalties and a lack of accompanying education to improve behaviour... Doesn't work.

Hide the cameras, publicise the negative effects of speeding more assertively, increase penalties just a a little bit, and you have my full support.
 

cupoftea

New Member
Location
London
I was at the lights by Tower Bridge on Monday morning and Plod was playing games. So I asked a PSO what they were doing, he replied that they were targeting cyclists RLJing, and people blocking the ASL box, I then point out that Taxi behind me had his front wheel over the rear white line. He said oh he’s not blocking the box. At this point the lights changed and I couldn’t be bothered. What should I have expected?

This junction gets a lot of attention, because coming the other way theirs a left feeder lane that pedestrian need to cross and that a number of cyclists feel it’s safe to jump.

I should say that I’ve had words with peds here, but only because they’re crossing when they shouldn’t. They seem happy to stop for cars but when you turn up they just keep walking or rush out in front. They just see you as gap in the traffic.
 

domtyler

Über Member
Cab said:
......

But to specifically crack down on RLJing cyclists for a couple of weeks... Waste of time and effort.
No it's not, it allows the station supervisor to do a few press releases and inform the local nag brigade that they are doing something about it at the local community meeting.
 
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