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Survey proves cyclists do jump red traffic lights

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: May 16, 2012

A cyclist at a red light

A cyclist at a red light

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CYCLISTS admit to jumping red lights, but insist it's only for their own safety.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has revealed 57 per cent of cyclists have jumped a red light at least once, with 14 per cent saying they do so regularly or sometimes.

The main reason given for jumping lights in the online poll was because it was safer to get ahead of other traffic. And 43 per cent said they would be less likely to jump red lights if advanced stop lines were more strongly enforced.

Poor road layout and junctions were a top concern for 48 per cent of the cyclists polled.

Alan Williams, chairman of Cheltenham and County Cycling Club, said: "Our club doesn't condone jumping red lights under any circumstances.

"If cyclists jump red lights in front of cars it also puts the drivers' backs up and makes them think cyclists aren't obeying the law."

And John Mallows, chairman of Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Cycling Campaign, said jumping red lights was more dangerous for drivers than cyclists "as it's the cyclist themselves rather than others who are put at risk."

He said: "It would be better if traffic light systems were designed with cyclists in mind, as they are in many other countries.

"We can only encourage everyone to stick to the law, especially keeping to speed limits, which about 75 per cent don't when driving."

Another result showed 73 per cent of cyclists rode on the pavement, because the cycle paths don't join up completely and to avoid busy sections of roads.

The online poll also found 94 per cent of cyclists had seen a driver cross an advanced stop line – the box designed to keep cyclists safe at the front of the queue at traffic lights. Mr Williams urged drivers to give people on two wheels the space they need at junctions.

He said: "It's quite a problem in Cheltenham. I quite often see cars go in the cyclist-only area. It means the cyclist is left in limbo. They either have to go in front of the line, in which case they are possibly in the way of other traffic or they have to go behind the car which means they are right in the medley of traffic. It causes cyclists real problems."

However, Cheltenham resident Marina Coles was twice nearly struck by people riding on the pavement outside her Devon Avenue home in 2008.

The pensioner said it was still happening now but asking cyclists not to do so resulted in her being verbally abused.

She said: "They just say that they can ride on the pavement. If you say anything to them, you get abuse left, right and centre. It's not fair for them to do it here."

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  • Stuboy13  |  August 28 2012, 3:12PM

    Why should we obey traffic lights? We don't pay any tax so we haven't paid towards the cost of the traffic lights so surely thay don't apply to us? C'mon people, use your brains.

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  • Severn_Bore  |  May 21 2012, 1:29PM

    Bikes are permitted to filter around slow-moving or stationary traffic on either side. Rule 160 of the Highway Code advises motorists that they should "be aware of other road users, especially cycles and motorcycles who may be filtering through the traffic". If everyone chills out a little and stops getting irate just because someone else is making better progress through the traffic than they are, everyone will get to work feeling much happier. Remember you're not "in traffic" - you *are* the traffic! If cyclists wants to break the law, make space for them and let them do it: they're (mostly) adults so they're old enough to accept whatever consequences ensue. In return I'm sure the cycling fraternity will be prepared to turn a blind eye to motorists to drive around eating their breakfast, putting on make-up, fidlding around with CDs, lighting cigarettes, feeding children, reading maps, talking on mobile phones, etc. In exchange don't go out of your way to be bloody-minded and make their lives more difficult whilst they're not actually breaking the law. I predict an avalance of little red arrows... (Well said, JOM!)

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  • system64  |  May 20 2012, 2:22PM

    I personally dont jump red lights on my bike. But the comments about "you" ( in a car ) block the road so cyclists cant understand is just retarded. The MAIN! reason (I) undertake to get the front isnt because id like to get ahead, its for MY saftey. When the lights change gree, cars do NOT see you and simply either turn or pull over. ive had MANY close calls by people not checking mirrors when starting off. The reason for it is so YOU! Yes YOU! in the car can see me and prevent an accident. Now. If I find that you do this to me, You will find me picking up my bike and throwing it through your windscreen followed by me pulling you out of your car and showing you why we do it. I cannot see why you think its clever to block the path of a cyclist because the law states that cars shouldnt undertake. The person who said they hug the kerb to block the path of a cyclist needs a good kick in.

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  May 19 2012, 7:08PM

    So the consesus is that because some people break the rules, everyone should be able to break the rules. Bicycles aren't allowed on the M5 anyway! Where is people's integrity and moral standards? With this kind of attitude It's no wonder Britain's going down the pan. Admittedly, I broke the rules once - failing to wear a seatbelt. I got caught, and paid the fine. But I don't do it habitually, or attempt to defend my actions by pointing out everyone else's shortcomings.

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  • Paul_45  |  May 18 2012, 7:26PM

    Well how about that I seem to have different accounts in work and home even though the email address is the same....

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  • Paul_45  |  May 18 2012, 7:25PM

    Cheers Chris Tonight's 9.3 miles on the M5 netted 24 speeders, one of which, a white Audi A5, was a "oh my God!" speeder. Some more robust coverage of this IAM survey can be read on the Times website. http://tinyurl.com/cpq4hq8 Highlights include: 22 per cent of car drivers are unaware that it is illegal to stop over an Advanced Stop Line Thirty one per cent of drivers admitted that they have crossed over those lines 2 per cent of respondents (Cyclists) said they jump lights "frequently" 42 per cent say that they have jumped lights 'once or twice' or 'rarely' 44 per cent say they never have. IAM also did not publicise the finding that 32 per cent of drivers also admitted to having jumped red lights,

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  • Chrisgump2011  |  May 18 2012, 6:21PM

    Paul_64 you have punctured all the pomposity at a stroke. I cycle and drive. Any fool knows that cyclists are far more sinned against than sinning. Difference being that a higher percentage end in hospital when sinned against

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  • charlie2times  |  May 18 2012, 3:39PM

    'nogman' the point is that the lights should be triggered by cyclists, they shouldn't have to get off and push. Your 'easy' solution would work, but as there are so many traffic lights in this area, cyclists would have to set off up to an hour earlier to get wherever they want to go. There's nothing more frustrating than being on a main road, and the lights in front of you turning red, when there's no traffic coming from other directions. As i said before, this is time cyclists can never get back, drivers simply speed up. BTW i have never crossed a red light and never will, so i'm not asking for special rules for cyclists, just an even playing field ( or road for that matter) :)

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  • Paul_64  |  May 17 2012, 1:11PM

    On my journey home last night, in about 10 minutes of driving I saw 25 people breaking the law. On the reverse journey today I saw over 30 people (I lost count) breaking the same law. It wasn't going through red lights, this was on the M5 between junction 13 and 11a and it was speeding drivers. Didn't see any cyclist on the pavement or going through a red light. I did see about 6 cars run the amber/red light and at least 4 people speaking into a hand-held phone whilst driving and a couple more texting. What's the difference between these driving offences and a cyclist through a red lid light?

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  • Nogman  |  May 17 2012, 12:47PM

    Breaking

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