Home > Bicycling > Running red lights unsafe, no obvious benefit

Running red lights unsafe, no obvious benefit

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Portland Oregonian has a video that anecdotally confirms what I’ve long suspected:  There is frequently no obvious benefit to running red lights. Obviously, one data point doesn’t prove that there is never any benefit to it. That said, the behavior shown is pretty reckless and the benefit of getting to the next light before everybody else is not really worth risking one’s life for. Also a note to angry Seattle Times bike commenters: The vast majority of cyclists in the video are following the rules, unlike that Bizarro world you inhabit where every cyclist is a deranged monster out to run down granny, little children, and cute little puppies – Just sayin’

  1. November 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    there are those who obey the law and have common sense and there are those who don’t obey the law and lack any shred of common sense. Not just bicyclists either. Had a jogger jay run against the light right in front of me. He didn’t like it that I honked at him and when I caught up with him in the parking lot and told him that he wasn’t running for his health because he didn’t value his life one bit. And of course there are drivers who think that running lights is their right. Sometimes we make a mistake, some lights are poorly placed or when there is a one at every intersection as in the CBD it is easy to be looking at the light a block ahead and fail to see that the one you’re at has turned red. Another poorly designed location is on Interurban between the I-5 exit and S. 133rd St which has too many light too closely spaced for safety.

  2. keithn
    February 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    thank you so much for the comment about the Seattle Times commenters regarding bicyclists. There do seem to be so many extremists out there blaming cyclists for everything and it just gets old and tiresome to read about it in a hurry. I cycle 1000’s of miles a year in Seattle (in addition to my other modes of transportation including bus and vehicles) and most are law obiding and problem free. fundamentally there is always a percentage of people that flout the laws, whether they are cyclist, pedestrian, employee, truck driver, whatever. just wanting this absurd over-focus on cyclists to dissipate because it just get other people unnecessarily over to their twisted view of reality. that said I wish they could have “cycling proficiency” training and certificate as a part of early schooling as we did in my former country. it sure made us safer on the roads and more observant.

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