Thursday, 6 August 2009

Red lights - personal choice but be logical

Ah, the old chestnut that is red light jumping.

Some people do it, others don't, some people have strict criteria for jumping, some will only do it on crossings, not junctions blah blah blah.

I have, in the past jumped them (mainly when no one was around at all, not a soul or car) but now I never do. My cycling style's changed a lot since I began two-wheeling last year and, for me, red light jumping's just not something I do. If someone else wants to it's their prerogative and as long as I don't get harassed for my decision I'll leave everyone else to theirs.

What did puzzle me though, was the absurd logic of a guy this morning. He kept getting in front of me, jumped one light, but not the next, weaved a lot and then, at a large junction I was totally confused. The light was red so he got off his bike and walked it straight across the junction. Not across the pedestrian crossings, he walked in the middle of the junction, in the middle of the road. Once he was across he got back on and pedalled off.

Luckily he crossed unscathed and managed to get a couple of minutes when the two roads with green lights were traffic free but WTF? Why not just pedal across if there were no cars? Why take an extra five minutes to cross by foot if you're not going to use the pedestrian crossings? Why make yourself look weird and eccentric? Maybe we'll never know.


  1. One thought is - pedalling across, he is a vehicle and should obey traffic laws. Pedalling across a is illegal. Walking across pushing the bike, you are a pedestrian and not subject to traffic laws. Crossing a junction as a pedestrian is AIUI legal - we don't have a Jaywalking offense here in the UK.

    Not sure why he jumped some lights but not others. Perhaps he only jumped smaller quieter junctions were he thought he was less likely to get spotted and/or done by the police. Definitely odd though...

  2. RLJing is illegal, end of story. And the next person who buzzes you in a Volvo, leans out and shouts "bloody cyclists" is tarring you with the RLJ brush, which is why it annoys me so much when people do it - their loutishness endangers other cyclists. But just like a motorist who 'only stopped for a second' on the double yellows, or 'was only going slowly' while texting, people will justify their own stupidity however they can. "I only jump lights when it's safe" is a common one.

    Agree with grhm that he was probably trying to be legal by crossing on foot. Legal, but Darwin-tastic.

  3. Perhaps he was hoping for a Darwin award?