Every time I talk to someone about cycling, the same old topic comes up, Red Light Jumpers. Ohhh give over, most of the cyclists I see on my commute to work obey the traffic laws that are so much in favour of vehicle drivers. Only a small minority of cyclists jump red lights, and these are the kind that don’t care about other cyclists, they wouldn’t stop at the side of the road to help someone fix a puncture.
In reality, jumping red lights isn’t as dangerous as other things that some cyclists regularly do. In comparison to some, it’s actually quite safe if done in a certain way. Looking at the bigger picture, is a cyclist red light jumping really that much of an issue? Generally they do no harm, and the potential damage they could cause to others isn’t as large with comparison to motorised vehicles.
The only damage it does, is give the media *cough* Daily Mail *cough* some ammunition to shoot the rest of us with. And for some reason, they never pick up on the real offenders of red light jumping, the motorist. Not only do they do it, they do it often and at times when it is most dangerous. Just look at the video below, the driver gets impatient with waiting, so jumps the red light, whilst in this case there is no danger, cars do often coming over the hill at quite some rate despite the 30mph speed limit. And look where it gets him, 2 or 3 cars in front of where he would have been if he had waited at the red light like he was meant to.
The most dangerous form of red light jumping and the kind I see most often, is the amber gamblers. The ones that go through the amber/red light just as it has turned. Where they accelerate when they see the lights change to try to beat the lights and save a small amount of time. If the timing of the lights is short and the ones for the adjacent junction change before they have cleared the junction, the increase in speed that they have used to get through can cause crashes on a massive scale with the potential for serious injuries or deaths.