Cycling is popular in my home town, which has many dedicated cycle lanes and off-road cycle paths. Indeed I like to cycle myself whenever I can. Of course sometimes there is no option but to cycle on the roads amidst the busy city traffic.
I am often shocked these days how many cyclists completely disregard red traffic lights. This is something you used to see very occasionally, often accompanied by tuts from nearby pedestrians. But now you see it most days in the town centre.
Many cases are understandable (though still not right). Like when all the pedestrians have crossed at a pedestrian crossing, and the cyclist knows the light are about to go green. Or at a crossroad where the cyclist is turning left and not actually crossing any flow of traffic – especially when there is no traffic in sight.
More and more though I see cases that are completely blatant. I have seen high-speed cyclists who have made no attempt to slow down whatsoever go hurtling straight through red lights. I have even seen cyclists weaving through pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing because they can’t be bothered to stop.
This is selfish and dangerous – for the cyclist as much as anyone else. If there is a junction ahead and a driver at that junction sees the red light, you can understand why the driver will not be expecting anything to be coming and pull out. The same applies to someone wanting to cross the road – they see the red light and assume it is safe to cross.
The cyclist might assume that anyone ahead will see them coming, but people have their minds on other things. The red light registers, and they don’t look further. After all, the cyclist shouldn’t be there.
Even in cases like the ones above where it seems reasonable for the cyclist to carry on, a red light means “STOP“. End of. And that applies to everyone using the road.