Seeing Red Cycling Sanity

Plans to try out in London the Parisian scheme which allows cyclists to turn left at red traffic lights has been backed by the Government. Sanity at last. How many of the cyclists killed in London this year were jumping red lights? (none) Most are killed while being passed by speeding traffic, especially at left turns. Time to explode the myth that queue-jumping is either dangerous or irresponsible. Even if it isn’t very British.
The fact that crossing a red is a decision means it is the safest time. Only those who accidentally jump red lights are in danger. Which is very few, according to the accident statistics.
If drivers did not behave like Formula 1 boy-racers on a starting grid, cyclists would be safe at green. Until then, the safest time to cross is when traffic is stationary, or non existent. When the lights are red and the junction box clear, in other words.
It has also been pointed out today that the law gives right of way at a junction to pedestrians, which is not widely known. And that lights are there to control vehicles because they are the main danger. The moral argument is obvious and overwhelming. That cyclists are no more protected than a pedestrian and should therefore have right of way over vehicles.
As noted previously.

Cycling Misconceptions

Cycling Misconceptions

‘Cyclists should be insured like car and motorbike users, with a numberplate.’
What that means in practice is banning most cyclists from the road. And it wouldn’t make cycling safer, since motorists would then treat them even more like ‘vehicles’ and even less like the mere people they are. Under this punitive plan, the days of kids on bikes would be over due to the expense, and cycling would be strangled at source. Congratulations.

‘Cyclists cycle through red traffic lights. What’s that all about?’
Self defence. When you’ve got a Formula 1 grid revving up behind you, you want to be clearly visible to as many of them as possible. And the only way to do that on a bike is to get clear distance (braking distance) between you and the pack. Also it allows you to duck into the ‘wake’ of any parked vehicles up the road to avoid the worst of the rush. That’s why cyclists ‘jump’ red lights. Pure safety.
Hopefully, the new ‘Naked Streets’ initiative will work out, and cities will become more about people than speed.

‘They cycle around paying no road tax , holding up traffic , increasing everyone’s fuel costs!’
Try putting them all back in a car each and see how much room that leaves you on the road. I do wish people would think before showing their envy and blind selfishness. The sheer resentment of drivers at the freedom of cyclists is probably enough to cause deaths. Hatred like that can easily delay the foot on the brake pedal for that crucial fraction of a second. And that’s all it takes.
Road tax is a Power Licence, essentially. The right to harness as much power as you can pay for in a year. And as we all know, power corrupts. A car is a psychologically dangerous place to be. Driving makes you sick.

Cyclists Are Vehicles
The assumption by drivers is that a cyclist is a ‘vehicle’, that is their default perception. Not a soft human being who happens to be on wheels, and is therefore just as vulnerable as a toddler in a buggy. The law does indirectly recognise this distinction by not granting right of way for the motorist over the pedestrian. There is no ‘Jaywalking’ offence in Britain. You simply can’t mow people down for being in the wrong place. Cyclists are just pedestrians on wheels. And therefore should have right of way everywhere on the road, like any other other carbon-based life-form. If the relatives of road-kill deer could sue, they would probably win. So why isn’t the law as generous to cyclists as it seems to be to deer?