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Cyclists own up: 'We jump lights'

2012-05-16 06:47

THOUGHT CONTROL: Christmas lights or traffic lights? The UK likes to keep control of its citizens, but isn't this going a bit too far, even to save cyclists?

London, England - About 57% of cyclists in Britain say they've jumped a red traffic light at least once and 14% admit to doing so regularly or sometimes.

The figures are from an online poll of 1600 respondents taken by the UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists and respondents gave their main reason for doing so as “it’s safer to get ahead of other traffic" (38%).


The same poll showed more than half (54%) of cyclists thought they should improve their behaviour by sticking to the Highway Code at road junctions. but poor road layout and junctions were a top concern for half (48%) of the cyclists polled.

Among other findings from the poll, 73% of UK cyclists said they rode on pavements - but mainly in between unlinked sections of cycle paths (59%), to avoid busy roads without a cycle path (55%) and to avoid a busy junction (47%).

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Cyclists are right to feel that roads are not sufficiently cycle-friendly and this was reflected in their behaviour. However, while poor junction design, inconsistent cycle paths and inconsiderate drivers put cyclists at risk, cyclists should also help themselves.

“Changes to road layouts and junctions can improve safety for cyclists but no junction will ever be safe for those who jump red lights - that's dangerous and illegal.

“The police must enforce the law as strongly when cyclists put themselves and others at risk by jumping the lights as they do for drivers."


More admitted data showed 11% of vehicle drivers parked on cycling lanes; 21% had jumped a red light at least once, the primary reason being “I only do it occasionally because of carrying on through the amber signal”.

81% of pedestrians who do not cycle and 44% of pedestrians who also cycle felt threatened by cyclists on the pavements and 88% of drivers thought cyclists "should improve their behaviour by sticking to the Highway Code at junctions”.

The following were questions for cyclists at red lights:

As a cyclist, do you ever jump red lights?
Yes, frequently - 1.9%
Yes, sometimes - 11.8%
Rarely - 24.6%
Once or twice - 19.1%
No, I have never jumped a red light - 42.7%

Any South Africans care to admit to any of the above offences (promise we won't tell!) in the Readers' Comments section below?

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