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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should bicyclists always halt at stop signs and wait at lights? Study says no - Chicago Tribune

TFA said:
The Idaho stop recognizes that sometimes it is safer for a cyclist to get out in front of traffic so he or she can be seen, rather than waiting obediently at the light and risk getting smacked by right-turning traffic when the light goes green.

The report pointed to a 2007 London study that found that female cyclists were much more likely to be killed by trucks than men. The study suggested that female cyclists are more vulnerable because they are more likely to obey red traffic lights. By going through a red light, men were less likely to be caught in truck drivers' blind spots, the London study found.

Of the six cyclist deaths in Chicago this year, three were women killed by trucks making turns.
 

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I ride mostly trails, but there is one intersection that I have to cross. I stop at the light, but I do make sure I am able to be seen by any right turning vehicle. I don't trust them to be looking out for me.
 

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Cars and Trucks turning right will gun you down. Stay left of the right turn lane. . Running red lights may be safer in some regards but you will have to accept the traffic citations when they come along.
 

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running a red is $500 here in Cali. A friend ran a red because the light wouldn't turn. He explained to the cop that the trigger didn't turn green for him forcing him to finally just go thru the red. Cop wouldn't believe it. Then my friend said he even demonstrated to the cop that the trigger didn't work, but cop told him that issue has to be taken up with the city. My friend ended up paying for the ticket and moved on.

From personaly experience when I'm motorcycling, sometimes some intersetion light trigger will not even work with a motorcycle! I have had to roll through a left turn on a red a few times due to this. Luckily no cops were around so I didn't have to contend.
 

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every intersection should be a roundabout in north america. sheesh. We got the plentiful real estate for it, but it seems it's the RE-strapped UK and Europeans who have their heads screwed on right building lots of roundabouts (albeit all the road furniture not great for pro cycling events)
 

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Thank you! I have made this point on numerous threads about the subject and I get dog piled on by the law abiding regardless of the stupidity crowd. There are many instances on my regular rides that make going through a light or stop sign more safe. That's why I do it. Especially at busy highway crossings. I know the timing, I know the visibility, and I know the likelihood of being ticketed... I have done so in the direct view of LEOs and never even been warned. More often than not, I'll get a pleasant hello at a light or as they pass me. I stongly suspect I get a wave or hello is because they aren't idiots and they deal with traffic dynamics for a living and they can see the safety advantages. I have had a patrol car directly behind me, I have been in plain sight of LEO directing traffic and come by to pass them again 1/2hr later. Nothing. I do what is the safest play regardless of the color of the light.
 

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Thank you! I have made this point on numerous threads about the subject and I get dog piled on by the law abiding regardless of the stupidity crowd. There are many instances on my regular rides that make going through a light or stop sign more safe. That's why I do it. Especially at busy highway crossings. I know the timing, I know the visibility, and I know the likelihood of being ticketed... I have done so in the direct view of LEOs and never even been warned. More often than not, I'll get a pleasant hello at a light or as they pass me. I stongly suspect I get a wave or hello is because they aren't idiots and they deal with traffic dynamics for a living and they can see the safety advantages. I have had a patrol car directly behind me, I have been in plain sight of LEO directing traffic and come by to pass them again 1/2hr later. Nothing. I do what is the safest play regardless of the color of the light.
Same here. In 30 years I've never been stopped by a cop for not coming to a complete stop and unclipping, and putting one foot down at a stop sign, or waiting for lights. I often do, if there's anybody else in the intersection always, and frequently around NVA, they give me the right of way! Getting up to the front behind a red light and starting across the parallel walkway just as the light turns green, is also a great tactic to be seen by motorists waiting to make a right turn. Then again, with "right turn on red," gotta look around and see who's waiting. Not that hard to scan the intersection and get a quick reading on what's happening and calculate how to negotiate in the flow. Stopping interrupts that flow and riders get hit, as the study shows. Movement is essential to being seen, walking or bicycling.
 

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lots of times I'm riding solo and come up to a left turn lane, and of course I'll be standing there in the left lane waiting for the green left arrow light to turn, but it won't. In the meantime, cars on my right are zooming by me at 45-50 mph. And I'm thinking to myself, "most accidents happen at intersections, and here I am at an intersection facing a light that won't turn green for me, while praying that no driver accidentally veer into me". After about 10 seconds, I'll just roll into the crosswalk and use the crosswalk. Cyclists are pretty exposed waiting at intersections when cars are zooming by fast. Now if the intersections is jammed packed with cars, like in a gridlock, then I won't mind too much because I know I can move up to the front and have the cars behind me trigger the light.
 

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lots of times I'm riding solo and come up to a left turn lane, and of course I'll be standing there in the left lane waiting for the green left arrow light to turn, but it won't. In the meantime, cars on my right are zooming by me at 45-50 mph. And I'm thinking to myself, "most accidents happen at intersections, and here I am at an intersection facing a light that won't turn green for me, while praying that no driver accidentally veer into me". After about 10 seconds, I'll just roll into the crosswalk and use the crosswalk. Cyclists are pretty exposed waiting at intersections when cars are zooming by fast. Now if the intersections is jammed packed with cars, like in a gridlock, then I won't mind too much because I know I can move up to the front and have the cars behind me trigger the light.
Oh sure, rolling into the cross walk is the solution! It's flashing green as long as your light is red, so you're not going to get hit by cross traffic, and you can see oncoming traffic if the light is green for them, get to the corner sidewalk and, if you time it right, make a right turn off the sidewalk and complete the left turn onto the cross street. The left turning cars will then have to wait for you to make your move in the crosswalk, as they would for a pedestrian. :thumbsup:
 

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Interesting as Illinois already has a law that allows a cyclist to treat a stoplight as a stop sign after 120 seconds. This recognizes that cyclist cannot trigger the light. Chicago lobbied and recieved an exception.

We also have a law regarding bicycles passing a vehicle on the right. I just take the lane at stop lights to avoid the right turn problem.
 

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every intersection should be a roundabout in north america. sheesh. We got the plentiful real estate for it, but it seems it's the RE-strapped UK and Europeans who have their heads screwed on right building lots of roundabouts (albeit all the road furniture not great for pro cycling events)
We used to have lots of roundabouts here in NJ. They work fine when you have light traffic but are very dangerous when traffic gets heavy. Most have been replaced
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We used to have lots of roundabouts here in NJ. They work fine when you have light traffic but are very dangerous when traffic gets heavy. Most have been replaced
I don't think BCSaltchucker and you are talking about the same thing. Lifelong NJ resident and we had circles. Some, such as on Rt 23, were infamous for the carnage.

Roundabout Resources - Roundabout vs. Traffic Circle
 

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I don't get the passing a string of cars to get in front of everyone. I just get in line in the middle of the lane. Act like everyone else and take my turn

As I mentioned in Illinois, passing vehicles on the right is generally prohibited
 

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idaho stop?

i'm more into the '**** that' stop.
 

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running a red is $500 here in Cali. A friend ran a red because the light wouldn't turn. He explained to the cop that the trigger didn't turn green for him forcing him to finally just go thru the red. Cop wouldn't believe it. Then my friend said he even demonstrated to the cop that the trigger didn't work, but cop told him that issue has to be taken up with the city. My friend ended up paying for the ticket and moved on.

From personaly experience when I'm motorcycling, sometimes some intersetion light trigger will not even work with a motorcycle! I have had to roll through a left turn on a red a few times due to this. Luckily no cops were around so I didn't have to contend.
This just kills me!!! I'm a cop in NY. Not far north of THE city. I'm a supervisor. In 17 years I've never written any bicyclist and if 1 of my cops ever did....they would loose their car and walk for a tour. There is very few instances where a cyclist needs to be cited.

For me anyway, if a cop is writing cyclist tickets...my God we have so much more important issues to address. It blows my mind.
 

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This just kills me!!! I'm a cop in NY. Not far north of THE city. I'm a supervisor. In 17 years I've never written any bicyclist and if 1 of my cops ever did....they would loose their car and walk for a tour. There is very few instances where a cyclist needs to be cited.

For me anyway, if a cop is writing cyclist tickets...my God we have so much more important issues to address. It blows my mind.
For the most part, Cali cops do not cite cyclists. I have done a slow roll thru a stop sign with 2 motorcycle cops right at the corner on the other side (didn't see them because they were under a big tree), and one of them got the loudspeaker and said "You're supposed to stop!". By then I was almost at the middle of the intersection, so I figure oh sh*t there goes my day, but luckily, they didn't cite me. They were no doubt looking for cars to blow by this intersection (because it's near an elementary school and it was school out hours). I think what saved me was that I was slow rolling (less than 5 mph).

However, at another time, our group (about 8 of us) was approaching a traffic circle with a yield sign (for those entering the circle), but our group nobody saw the yield sign at all, so we proceeded to enter the circle at about 15 mph. The whole group got ticketed by a cop. He said that we didn't yield, and we were like what officer? was there a yield sign? (sure enough there was one but not well placed at all), but we didn't think we entered the circle at an unsafe speed, but it was the cop's judgement that we were unsafe! The whole group got ticketed. But there is also another twist. There was another rider in our group who was dropped a bit and he was lagging behind. And by the time he approached us, he saw that a cop had pulled our group over, so get this... he pulled that last rider in and also ticket him too! Of course the rider asked why was he being ticketed when he is just stopping and wanting to wait for his friends. Cop said that the rider was also part of our group and also entered the circle without yielding. Quite unbelievable. Not sure if this policeman just needed to meet his ticket quota or what, but it was just unbelievable that our group had to pay several thousand dollars' worth of money when we didn't think we broke any rule or did anything unsafe. The last rider contended in court, he also had video on his go pro, and he ended up winning the case. As for our group, all of us paid the ticket rather than taking the to go to court.

What I notice is that cops in "cycling friendly" neighborhoods do not tend to give tickets for things like slow-rolling through a stop, or slow turning on a right red light without stopping. A lot of these cops are cyclists themselves, or their colleagues are bicycle cops (yes, we do have bicycle cops). But in big metro, cops are much less lenient, for them, a ticket is a ticket. But if you're blowing full tilt thru a stop or red, then all bets are off!

Me personally, whenever I see a cop, I always try to wave at them, just to build up a good rapport with them. It may not help me immediately, but it might help another fellow cyclist somewhere out there who might run a stop sign and got seen by this cop. If all cyclists would wave at cops, that is one way to build future forgiveness eh!
 

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The Idaho Stop may make sense for cyclists, but I do not think it is a good idea for people that ride bikes.
 

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For the most part, Cali cops do not cite cyclists. I have done a slow roll thru a stop sign with 2 motorcycle cops right at the corner on the other side (didn't see them because they were under a big tree), and one of them got the loudspeaker and said "You're supposed to stop!". By then I was almost at the middle of the intersection, so I figure oh sh*t there goes my day, but luckily, they didn't cite me. They were no doubt looking for cars to blow by this intersection (because it's near an elementary school and it was school out hours). I think what saved me was that I was slow rolling (less than 5 mph).

However, at another time, our group (about 8 of us) was approaching a traffic circle with a yield sign (for those entering the circle), but our group nobody saw the yield sign at all, so we proceeded to enter the circle at about 15 mph. The whole group got ticketed by a cop. He said that we didn't yield, and we were like what officer? was there a yield sign? (sure enough there was one but not well placed at all), but we didn't think we entered the circle at an unsafe speed, but it was the cop's judgement that we were unsafe! The whole group got ticketed. But there is also another twist. There was another rider in our group who was dropped a bit and he was lagging behind. And by the time he approached us, he saw that a cop had pulled our group over, so get this... he pulled that last rider in and also ticket him too! Of course the rider asked why was he being ticketed when he is just stopping and wanting to wait for his friends. Cop said that the rider was also part of our group and also entered the circle without yielding. Quite unbelievable. Not sure if this policeman just needed to meet his ticket quota or what, but it was just unbelievable that our group had to pay several thousand dollars' worth of money when we didn't think we broke any rule or did anything unsafe. The last rider contended in court, he also had video on his go pro, and he ended up winning the case. As for our group, all of us paid the ticket rather than taking the to go to court.

What I notice is that cops in "cycling friendly" neighborhoods do not tend to give tickets for things like slow-rolling through a stop, or slow turning on a right red light without stopping. A lot of these cops are cyclists themselves, or their colleagues are bicycle cops (yes, we do have bicycle cops). But in big metro, cops are much less lenient, for them, a ticket is a ticket. But if you're blowing full tilt thru a stop or red, then all bets are off!

Me personally, whenever I see a cop, I always try to wave at them, just to build up a good rapport with them. It may not help me immediately, but it might help another fellow cyclist somewhere out there who might run a stop sign and got seen by this cop. If all cyclists would wave at cops, that is one way to build future forgiveness eh!
I'm just south of the city along the NY Bay. I don't do rolling stops or pretend stops, I have instances where I'll sprint through a light or stop sign because it's the safest way to cross. I obey the vast majority of signals and signs but there are times on rides when I'm safer blowing straight through. I have a few 4 way stops for example where the safest way through is using the car as a screen so to speak. After they are beyond able to make a right turn and you know they are going straight it's safest to go through with the car (hard to explain in writing, easy to see on a bike). Sometimes I sprint to the car to get the timing right. I have done so with an officer right behind me, even a motorcycle officer. If there is interaction at all, all I ever get is a quick pleasantry of some sort. Again, I suspect people trained and experienced in traffic enforcement just get the logic behind the move. Maybe it's an NYC thing? Biscut's post is so right on! Makes my day. That's how it is here as well.
 
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