Why do cyclists run red lights?

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by Aushiker, 31 Jul 2012.

  1. Almost 40 per cent of cyclists have reported committing red light infringements, but fines should only be part of the strategy to improve safety, according to new research.

    Published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, a study by Monash University researchers Drs Marilyn Johnson, Judith Charlton, Stuart Newstead and Jennie Oxley, examined why Australian cyclists run red lights and the characteristics of those who do.

    The researchers, from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) surveyed more than 2000 cyclists and found that the most common reasons cited for riding through red lights could be at least partially mitigated by more inclusive road infrastructure, amendments to road rules and targeted education programs.

    Almost one third of respondents who had run a red light did so during a left hand turn. The next most common reason, cited by 24.2 per cent of infringers, was that they were unable to activate the sensors in the road, known as inductive detector loops, to trigger a traffic light change. Just over 16 per cent of cyclists reported a red light infringement when no other traffic - vehicular or pedestrian - was present.

    Dr Johnson said the study results implied that many cyclists felt it was safe to turn left against a red light.

    "The most obvious safety benefit for cyclists if they turn left during the red light phase is that they then don’t have to negotiate the corner with the vehicles," Dr Johnson said.

    "A well-planned trial with adequate signage would be a good first step to see if permitting cyclists to turn left on red at some intersections would improve cyclists’ safety."

    Dr Johnson said infrastructure adjustments could help resolve the problem of detector loops not being triggered by bikes and leaving cyclists stranded during low-traffic periods.

    "Cyclists across Australia were frustrated by their inability to change traffic lights," Dr Johnson said.

    "At some sites, cyclists can activate the signal change if they ride over the right spot. Painting that spot with a bike symbol may be an easy and very cheap solution. At other sites, we need to reconsider how these detector loops are calibrated to ensure all roads users can activate the signal change."

    Results showed that overall, men were more likely to infringe than women, as were people aged 18 to 29, compared to those in older age brackets. Cyclists who had been fined for a red light infringement while driving were 50 per cent more likely to have infringed while riding a bike.

    "Fines continue to have a place in enforcing road rules for cyclists, but these will be more effective when combined with measures to make the roads a more inclusive place for cyclists," Dr Johnson said.

    Source: Monash University

    For those interested the article in press is available for download.

  2. rusky

    rusky CC Addict

    You could argue that if a bike doesn't trigger the traffic lights, they are faulty therefore you can legally RLJ.
  3. lordloveaduck

    lordloveaduck Well-Known Member

    Same reason car drivers do. Same way that peds disobey crossing signs. Lifes to long
    to get hung up on what others do.
    Jodee1kenobi and skudupnorth like this.
  4. green1

    green1 Über Member

    They don't have to obey them, traffic does.
  5. lordloveaduck

    lordloveaduck Well-Known Member

    If the light is red and they go through....who's at fault when an accident happens.
  6. green1

    green1 Über Member


    Attached Files:

  7. Dan_h

    Dan_h Well-Known Member

    Reading, UK
    If you are still talking about peds the law is the same as if you hit a pedestrian anywhere in your car. The fact that there was a red light for the pedestrian is not relevant as it is only advisory and the fact that the car had a green light does not mean you can go no matter what, running pedestrians down is not allowed even if the light is green and you really feel like it!
    downfader likes this.
  8. MissTillyFlop

    MissTillyFlop Evil communist dictator, lover of gerbils & Pope.

    My driving instructor once said that green did not mean go, it meant "proceed with caution", which surprised me at the time (first lessonitis)

    I guess jaywalking isn't a crime here, so legally the onus would be in the driver - but what happens if a pedestrian steps right in front of a vehicle giving no opportunity for the driver/cyclist to stop? Surely the pedestrian must take the blame there?
  9. FatherCrowe

    FatherCrowe Active Member

    Totally agree, everyone who uses, crosses the road had a responsibility for their own safety & others. So if someone walks out in front of a car then surly you can't blame the driver. But as mentioned before a driver at a free light can't just plough someone down of they haven't finished crossing.
  10. 172traindriver

    172traindriver Legendary Member

    Went to London today, was on Oxrord St, Mrs was in Debenhams, I am outside taking in the weather and watching vast array of London cycle types passing by on bikes.
    Anyway traffic lights at particular part of Oxford St turn to red, fancy high powered Met Police car stops at red lights.
    Female cyclist approaches passes stopped police car and just continues through red light.
    Police vehicle doesn't chase after it.
    Just another day in london?????
  11. FatherCrowe

    FatherCrowe Active Member

    See that all the time!
  12. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    Why do some cyclists RLJ....?
    ....because they are arrogant and selfish, that's all.
    ShipHill, potsy, mattsr and 3 others like this.
  13. 172traindriver

    172traindriver Legendary Member

    Guess everyone has their views on this subject, but I think some motorists will get arsey and then try to take it out on cyclists.
    But I also realise a good number of motorists ares arses anyway.
    Can't win.
  14. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    No need to encourage them.
  15. 172traindriver

    172traindriver Legendary Member

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