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  1. #1
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    Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Should cyclists stop at red lights? Bike riders generally are required to obey traffic signals, but some treat lights as advisories, cruising through intersections while watching for cars. It sounds risky, but in fact cyclists might be doing their best in the face of poorly designed traffic laws, Alex Marshall writes on Streetblogh (see the link), which advocates more pedestrian-friendly streets. Making cyclists stop at lights can trap bikes in a dangerous swarm of automobiles, while proceeding through a red light separates bikes from car traffic.

    Do bicyclists need a separate system of traffic laws? Should bicyclists be allowed to cross intersections a few seconds before cars at some lights, as happens in Montreal? Another school of thought says that bicyclists should act like motorists and take up entire traffic lanes.

    Link:
    Streetsblog To Obey, Or Not to Obey


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 02-02-2008 at 12:42 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    I think that bicyclists should have to obey the laws of the road...I mean motorists should pay them some attention because come on they are on a bike but they shouldn't be able to just do whatever they feel like...idk that's how i feel!



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Should they/we? Yes.

    But I'm guilty of selectively ignoring traffic signals as much as anybody. Overall, I think bicyclists are better off if they expect to be treated and behave the same as any other vehicle on the road. IE, I can't expect to hastily cross to the left across two lanes of traffic with no signal, and expect motorized traffic to yield. I fully expect to get run over.

    Problem is bicyclists are not considered equal partners on the road to motorized vehicles OR too many drivers don't consider them such. Regardless of which, bicyclists are at a decided disadvantage in competing for road equality

    But most of the time when I do run lights or whatever, it's either to gain an advantage and get ahead of traffic so I'm seen and less likely to impede faster traffic OR not expose myself to traffic. IE - how many times have I almost been leveled by someone not looking up crossing bike paths and run me over at intersections.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    I think everyone on the road should take 100% responsibility for both theirs as well as others' actions. That means that motorists or riders assume that "even if they are in the right" they will take extraordinary measures to avoid an accident.

    Motorcyclists face a similar quandary. They are at greater risk because of their non-standard size and shape, yet they volunteer to put themselves at greater risk by continuing to ride. As an avid motorcyclist, I know, accept and take 100% responsibility for being seen and for being able to take evasive action at any time.

    Of course, this means I maintain situational awareness, be as visible to others as possible and attempt to never ride with my head up my derriere'.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    I think until bike riders start paying some kind of road use tax like everyone who buys gas they should stay the hell off my roads!!!



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I think everyone on the road should take 100% responsibility for both theirs as well as others' actions. That means that motorists or riders assume that "even if they are in the right" they will take extraordinary measures to avoid an accident.

    Motorcyclists face a similar quandary. They are at greater risk because of their non-standard size and shape, yet they volunteer to put themselves at greater risk by continuing to ride. As an avid motorcyclist, I know, accept and take 100% responsibility for being seen and for being able to take evasive action at any time.

    Of course, this means I maintain situational awareness, be as visible to others as possible and attempt to never ride with my head up my derriere'.

    I aggree with you. But with motorcycles, we have brake lights, turn signals, head lights, and can drive the pace of traffic. Motorcycles also stop at stop lights and stop signs. I do not think that lumping motorcycles into a Bicycle arrgument is fair. One of the most dangerous situations a Bicyclist can put themself into is when I am driving in my car on a county road, and I go over a hill (at 55 mph) and WHOA there is a bike. Do I swerve into oncoming traffic (also going 55) or do I run the guy on the bike over. Before you flame me, I am not against Bicycles, I just do not understand that situation, or argument for it.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrocker View Post
    One of the most dangerous situations a Bicyclist can put themself into is when I am driving in my car on a county road, and I go over a hill (at 55 mph) and WHOA there is a bike. Do I swerve into oncoming traffic (also going 55) or do I run the guy on the bike over.
    I like to ride my bike around Ames and I stay on either bike paths or very lightly used streets. But my best friend likes to ride his bike for distance on highways and one time I went with him on South Dakota which turns into a highway and heads down to Kelley. I will NEVER do that again just for the reason you mentioned. There were several instances that occured just like you said.


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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by wesley_w View Post
    I like to ride my bike around Ames and I stay on either bike paths or very lightly used streets. But my best friend likes to ride his bike for distance on highways and one time I went with him on South Dakota which turns into a highway and heads down to Kelley. I will NEVER do that again just for the reason you mentioned. There were several instances that occured just like you said.
    Like I said I am not agains guys on Bicycles I just do not understand wanting to ride in that situation. I had another incedent that almost turned real ugly for me. On the north side of Boone there is a county road that a buddy and I were on our Motorcycles heading east. The speed limit was 35 and we were doing about 40. When all of a sudden a group of 20 guys on bicycles came flying through an intersection like it was the Tour D ****ing France, right into us, and about took us both out. If I was not so shaken up, I was ready to turn my scooter around and go jousting right into them. Leather would have won over spandex that day


    Last edited by C.John; 02-02-2008 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Language filter

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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Bike riders aren't generally required to obey traffic signals, they are required to obey all traffic signals. Of course that isn't reality. But the reality is if a bicyclist decides to ignore a stop sign or red light and goes through it and gets plowed over by a car, well its not the cars fault and there is one less biker on the road who goes through stop signs or red lights. They're taking their life in their own hands and that of others because if they misjudge, a car may be involved in an accident.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by pulse View Post
    They're taking their life in their own hands and that of others because if they misjudge, a car may be involved in an accident.
    Then the poor smuck in the car has to live with that for the rest of his life, knowing that the last breath the guy on the bike took was against the gill of his car. It is simple,.... STOP means STOP,........ and NO means NO (unless my wife has had a couple of beers)



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    As a guy that has coasted through lots of stop signs, I can see it both ways. I almost never go through a red light, because there is always always the chance that some yahoo is going to coming flying around the corner at 40, see a green light and floor it. If I ever go through a red light it is pretty clear that I am in no danger of getting run over. It is pretty clear that you need to ride like you are a target.

    I live in the Cedar Rapids area, and the opportunities for recreational road cyclist are pretty slim and dangerous. As a friend from another town put it---They really like running you guys over down there. I can't even imagine riding in CR downtown, it is pretty scary diving my MG Midget there.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Do you feel bad when you hit a deer? Maybe they should make bike whistles you can mount..



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Bicyclists should always use the same laws as vehicles and be a lot more cautious on the road then 90% of them are now because they are the ones guaranteed to lose. They run a light and get T-boned by a car doing the speed limits, the odds are not in his favor to come out on the winning end.

    I don't have a problem with 95% of the bicyclists out there, but the a**bags that ride down a busy city street with a 45mph speedlimit going like 20 tops and stays in the middle of the lane so noone can pass torque me off, especially when there is a good sidewalk right next to the road. These are the turdballs that give the rest of them/us a bad name.



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Quote Originally Posted by pulse View Post
    Do you feel bad when you hit a deer? Maybe they should make bike whistles you can mount..
    You are seriously comparing a deer to a human



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    Re: Should Bicyclists Run Red Lights?

    Of course, if a bike rider makes a mistake, he is probably dead or severely injured, stopping is going to minimize these errors in judgement that could happen to anybody.



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