Bicycle Network: Behaviour
Respect the RED
Running red lights is a major source of anti-bike rider sentiment. If we are to win respect in the community and support for better conditions for bike riders, we must respect the red.
Men are the red light cheats
UPDATE. The results of this study were published in The Age newspaper on April 11. This issue became a hot topic for many riders. Check out the discussion on Facebook and have your say.
6 April 2011. Male commuters are much more likely to run a red light than their female bike riding counterparts, according to a new study.
But their bravery has its limits: if there were other riders or drivers present at the intersection, they were significantly less likely to infringe.
On average about 7 per cent of riders observed in the study were running the red, although at one intersection the number was 13 per cent.
Riders turning left were more likely to succumb to temptation, being 28 times more likely to offend that those going straight ahead.
The results are from a study conducted by the Monash University Accident Research Centre. "Riding through red lights: The rate, characteristics and risk factors of non-compliant urban commuter cyclists" was authored by Marilyn Johnson, Stuart Newstead, Judith Charlton, and Jennifer Oxley.
It was published in the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention.
The researchers used hidden video cameras at ten busy inner-Melbourne intersections, recording a total of 4225 riders.
The rate of infringing was lower than that reported in other studies (Melbourne riders do face comparatively high fines for running the red).
Compliance with red lights is considered an important issue as there is evidence that it is a powerful cause of hostility towards bike riders from drivers of motor vehicles.
Cyclist red light non-compliance is likely to increase driver perceptions of unpredictability and reduce driver confidence when interacting with cyclists.
The study also uncovered other data about Melbourne's commuters:
"The most observed bike type was mountain/flat bar (males: 68.5%, females: 82.1%) with more males riding road bikes (30.2%) than females (9.9%).
The majority of all cyclists wore non-cycling clothing (females: 84.5%, males: 65.0%). Males were more likely to wear full cycling clothing (24.1%) than females (6.7%) with a similar proportion wearing half cycling clothing (males: 11.0%, females: 8.8%)," the study reported.
Respect the RED launch
1 September 2009. Respect the RED, a joint promotion between Bicycle Network and the Victoria Police, had its first outing today.
Respect the RED is aimed at reducing the incidence of collisions at signal controlled intersections.
Police data shows that there is a worrying rise in crashes at certain busy intersections, particularly in the CBD, where one of the road users has run a red light.
Many of these incidents involve both bikes riders and pedestrians.
Recent blitzes by the Police have revealed that the majority of offenders are pedestrians. However, too many bike riders are still ignoring the law and putting life and limb at risk.
Police will continue to mount these blitzes periodically in order to ensure that riders are fully aware of their responsibilities.
The blitzes are three day events. Day one is a warning day where Police maximize their visibility and issue warnings to offenders. Days two and three are when serious enforcement is enacted.
On today's warning day Bicycle Network members joined Police to observe and hand out our Respect the RED bookmark.
Most riders encountered were appreciative of the warnings. Puzzlingly, several hot-heads were resentful of the warning, and argued themselves into a fine.
Police found plenty to do, repeatedly booking cars and motorbikes for using the bike lane.
Bicycle Network appreciates the invitation by the Police to develop the Respect the RED campaign and to work with them on warning days in this and future blitzes.
What it means
Nothing antagonizes the public more than bike riders recklessly running the red. Why make enemies of people who should be our friends.. people who can help make the roads a safer place for riders like us?
Statistics show that city intersections experience too many crashes when people cheat the lights. Injuries, police investigation, fines and legal wrangling are the result. Next time you could be in line to get hurt or hit with a $292 fine. It's tears either way.
Show respect for the red light and win respect for bike riders and from bike riders. It will be a win for all of us!
- Obey all road rules -especially make sure you have effective lights on your bike when conditions require it.
Stay off the footpath
Communicate using hand signals and your bell
Wear a helmet
Keep below the alcohol limit
Give way to pedestrians on shared paths
Be friendly and helpful to other road users