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20 mph speed limit not for Bikes

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Tuesday 29 July 2014 3.34pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
It just occurred to me how absurd it is that we are discussing speed limits for cyclists while the problem of a small but very dominant and oppressive minority of cyclists endanger other road users' safety by flouting several basic rules concerning jumping red lights or ignoring street signs (including cycling up one way streets etc.) If we can't even get them to commit to those basic rules, for which other road users get penalised, why are we talking about speed limits? If the afore mentioned minority of cyclists stuck to the highway code, they probably wouldn't be able to cycle to fast any way. Some seem to think they are a gift to humankind because they slow down before jumping a red light (I think indirectly I may be at fault if they don't bother slowing down any more, as I make very clear what I think of them, so they may prefer to speed past and extend a cowardly two=fingered salute). Others just put their head down and go for it. This happened to me at the hands of a scooterist the other day as well by the way, who came shooting past a truck whilst I was crossing the road, so it's not just cyclists of course.


I completely agree - your last sentence deserves more prominence though. Cyclists who ignore traffic signals will ignore unenforced speed limits (although whether they are able to hit those speeds is debatable), the same goes for those who drive motor vehicles - in my experience there's as much disregard for traffic signals amongst drivers as cyclists and those who will ignore red and amber lights will probably also ignore speed limits if they aren't enforced.

edit: Upon second glance I noticed you mention 'basic rules, for which other road users get penalised'. I haven't seen any stats, so this is a question based on complete ignorance, but what level of motorists ignoring traffic signals etc do get penalised? Because I see a huge amount of it going on in my 30 minutes each way walking to and from work, but the only time I've seen anything done is when occaisionally there are police doing some kind of exercise at the Grange Road/TBR junction and they'll tick off the drivers who stop in the cycling reservoir each time the lights go red.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 4.06pm
Guy's street wrote:
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
It just occurred to me how absurd it is that we are discussing speed limits for cyclists while the problem of a small but very dominant and oppressive minority of cyclists endanger other road users' safety by flouting several basic rules concerning jumping red lights or ignoring street signs (including cycling up one way streets etc.) If we can't even get them to commit to those basic rules, for which other road users get penalised, why are we talking about speed limits? If the afore mentioned minority of cyclists stuck to the highway code, they probably wouldn't be able to cycle to fast any way. Some seem to think they are a gift to humankind because they slow down before jumping a red light (I think indirectly I may be at fault if they don't bother slowing down any more, as I make very clear what I think of them, so they may prefer to speed past and extend a cowardly two=fingered salute). Others just put their head down and go for it. This happened to me at the hands of a scooterist the other day as well by the way, who came shooting past a truck whilst I was crossing the road, so it's not just cyclists of course.


I completely agree - your last sentence deserves more prominence though. Cyclists who ignore traffic signals will ignore unenforced speed limits (although whether they are able to hit those speeds is debatable), the same goes for those who drive motor vehicles - in my experience there's as much disregard for traffic signals amongst drivers as cyclists and those who will ignore red and amber lights will probably also ignore speed limits if they aren't enforced.

edit: Upon second glance I noticed you mention 'basic rules, for which other road users get penalised'. I haven't seen any stats, so this is a question based on complete ignorance, but what level of motorists ignoring traffic signals etc do get penalised? Because I see a huge amount of it going on in my 30 minutes each way walking to and from work, but the only time I've seen anything done is when occaisionally there are police doing some kind of exercise at the Grange Road/TBR junction and they'll tick off the drivers who stop in the cycling reservoir each time the lights go red.
Don't know at what level but I don't see a huge amount of motorists breaking rules (I started paying more attention a while ago) and those that I do see are usually being stopped. Recently, mainly motorists using their mobiles whilst driving, but also a cheeky chappy who tried to beat the one way street system to get to a parking space on Ewer Street by driving backwards. Don't know if there is a law on that but the guy who bothered driving all the way round was peed off and the policeman agreed with him. Don't think he fined him though. Should he have done or would that have been petty?
Tuesday 29 July 2014 4.29pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Guy's street wrote:
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
It just occurred to me how absurd it is that we are discussing speed limits for cyclists while the problem of a small but very dominant and oppressive minority of cyclists endanger other road users' safety by flouting several basic rules concerning jumping red lights or ignoring street signs (including cycling up one way streets etc.) If we can't even get them to commit to those basic rules, for which other road users get penalised, why are we talking about speed limits? If the afore mentioned minority of cyclists stuck to the highway code, they probably wouldn't be able to cycle to fast any way. Some seem to think they are a gift to humankind because they slow down before jumping a red light (I think indirectly I may be at fault if they don't bother slowing down any more, as I make very clear what I think of them, so they may prefer to speed past and extend a cowardly two=fingered salute). Others just put their head down and go for it. This happened to me at the hands of a scooterist the other day as well by the way, who came shooting past a truck whilst I was crossing the road, so it's not just cyclists of course.


I completely agree - your last sentence deserves more prominence though. Cyclists who ignore traffic signals will ignore unenforced speed limits (although whether they are able to hit those speeds is debatable), the same goes for those who drive motor vehicles - in my experience there's as much disregard for traffic signals amongst drivers as cyclists and those who will ignore red and amber lights will probably also ignore speed limits if they aren't enforced.

edit: Upon second glance I noticed you mention 'basic rules, for which other road users get penalised'. I haven't seen any stats, so this is a question based on complete ignorance, but what level of motorists ignoring traffic signals etc do get penalised? Because I see a huge amount of it going on in my 30 minutes each way walking to and from work, but the only time I've seen anything done is when occaisionally there are police doing some kind of exercise at the Grange Road/TBR junction and they'll tick off the drivers who stop in the cycling reservoir each time the lights go red.
Don't know at what level but I don't see a huge amount of motorists breaking rules (I started paying more attention a while ago) and those that I do see are usually being stopped. Recently, mainly motorists using their mobiles whilst driving, but also a cheeky chappy who tried to beat the one way street system to get to a parking space on Ewer Street by driving backwards. Don't know if there is a law on that but the guy who bothered driving all the way round was peed off and the policeman agreed with him. Don't think he fined him though. Should he have done or would that have been petty?

Not sure what the Highway Code says about reversing down a one-way street to be honest!

I constantly see red/amber lights jumped by motorists. I tend to notice a lot more of this when the lights are turning red from green, rather than pulling off early.

In fact, I've never noticed a car/van/lorry stop at an amber light as they should do. To most, it seems to be treated as a signal to accelerate so they can reach the lights before they turn green. Not to say cyclists aren't guilty of the same thing but I seem to notice it less, perhaps because they don't have the same burst of acceleration to take them through the junction.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 4.38pm
Guy's street wrote:
I constantly see red/amber lights jumped by motorists. I tend to notice a lot more of this when the lights are turning red from green, rather than pulling off early.

Amber lights are a bit of a loophole though, as drivers can argue that stopping for an amber light could be unsafe. When I started driving, I always felt it was a tricky one until I got a feel for it. It's been a long time since I was yelled at for stopping/not stopping at an amber light. I do agree that to some, amber seems to equal green.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 4.44pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Guy's street wrote:
I constantly see red/amber lights jumped by motorists. I tend to notice a lot more of this when the lights are turning red from green, rather than pulling off early.

Amber lights are a bit of a loophole though, as drivers can argue that stopping for an amber light could be unsafe. When I started driving, I always felt it was a tricky one until I got a feel for it. It's been a long time since I was yelled at for stopping/not stopping at an amber light. I do agree that to some, amber seems to equal green.

Yep. It would be hard to penalise, but you can always tell!

I was taught to approach a green light as if it were amber, ie if you're approaching traffic lights, whatever colour, be prepared to stop without having to slam your breaks on.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 5.15pm
Guy's street wrote:

I was taught to approach a green light as if it were amber, ie if you're approaching traffic lights, whatever colour, be prepared to stop without having to slam your breaks on.

Yes, that makes sense and my approach is similar. You can't enforce that kind of mentality, it has to come from common sense and a sense of responsibility as well a consideration towards other road users.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 5.15pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Amber lights are a bit of a loophole though, as drivers can argue that stopping for an amber light could be unsafe.

Not really. If you look at the HC, the "oh-I-couldn't-stop-because-I'd-cause-a-pile-up-behind-me" excuse is really drafted such that it's an exceptional provision for an extremely exceptional circumstance.

On vehicles crossing red or amber lights, my experience is that:

- ALL kinds of vehicles are very prone to cross on amber;
- most buses and some cycles are very prone to cross in the first few seconds after a light has turned red, but
- only cycles will come to a stop at a red light, wait a while, and then set off before it goes green (i.e. when the lights are green either for traffic coming the other way or for pedestrians trying to cross).

I'd like to make it clear that, in my opinion, I don't care a bit if cycles cross on red...AS LONG AS:
- there are no pedestrians anywhere near the crossing (I don't mean "on the crossing", I mean anywhere near it);
- they go at a very slow (e.g. walking) pace;
- they carry 3rd party insurance, and
- the presumption is that they are at fault for any accident that may occur as a result of them deciding to cross on red.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 5.27pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
On vehicles crossing red or amber lights, my experience is that:
- ALL kinds of vehicles are very prone to cross on amber;
- most buses and some cycles are very prone to cross in the first few seconds after a light has turned red, but
- only cycles will come to a stop at a red light, wait a while, and then set off before it goes green (i.e. when the lights are green either for traffic coming the other way or for pedestrians trying to cross).



Barring your third point (which I agree with 100%), in my experience all road users are guilty in equal measure of ignoring amber and passing through the first couple of seconds of a red - cyclists, buses, taxis, vans, cars - the whole lot are equally culpable.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 5.29pm
Amber does not mean green - this is something that Ivanhoe has posted about previously, and something that gets me rilled as well.
whilst driving, aproaching a signalised pedestrian crossing - the light turns from green to amber, so I slow down, and then from amber to red, and I stop. the pedestrians cross. Then the green man flashes whilst the orange light flashes, and at this point either of two things happen - if I'm at the front of the cue of cars then I stop and wait for the light to go green before moving off, much to the frustration of drivers behind me, or if I'm not first in the cue then people in front of me drive off, through the flashing amber light, and I aproach at a slow pace so that I don't go through until it's gone green, sometimes having to stop - again annoying to people behind me. This is only a recent thing too in the past few years, it was never this bad 10 years ago.

[bad driver anecdote ahead] recently I was driving up Perry Hill/Catford Hill, doing about 25 miles an hour - I knew that there would be traffic queued up nearer to Catford so didn't accelerate up to 30. then, as if out of nowhere, a guy overtook me, very quickly, the wrong side of a central island. Ridiculous! he then had to slow down for traffic queued up, and sat one in front of me in the queue for a whilw. Not relevant to cyclists and 20/30mph limits but he then decided to spend the next 5 minutes, whilst edging forward every so often, taking labels off newly purchased items, and throwing them out of his car window! Grrr it was really winding me up, and I was glad when he jumped a red light and ended up a lot further in front of me.
a few minutes later in Catford itself, another motorist decided not to let me in, and sped past dangerously. This too annoyed me, but I felt vindicated later when we got held behind him as he'd rear ended another motor vehicle, and both were damaged and to the side of the road.
Tuesday 29 July 2014 5.34pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
Not really. If you look at the HC, the "oh-I-couldn't-stop-because-I'd-cause-a-pile-up-behind-me" excuse is really drafted such that it's an exceptional provision for an extremely exceptional circumstance.
I might have a look at the HC to refresh my memory, but in practice, I think it's not that easy to enforce. Reminds me a bit of the off-side rule. But I do think the amber light is a good example to measure people's attitudes. Re cyclists and red light: I agree. I do get angry at the ones that see you and decide to go anyway, and the ones that don't see you 'cause they're not paying attention to you (this always irks me at the traffic lights on SBR and Marshalsea Road. where cyclists on SBR heading towards Southwark Street are too busy looking at traffic coming from MR to pay attention to the green pedestrian lights. It's the opposite attitude of the ones described by Guy Street when approaching amber lights, it's inconsiderate, selfish and dangerous). Otherwise, fine, I am all for them jumping when it's safe.
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