Mangled bikeIt’s one of the most infuriating things about cycling in London: the behaviour of other cyclists, and specifically their tendency to completely ignore red traffic lights. I stumbled across this entry at the Black Triangle blog about this matter. The author – Anthony Cox – is opposed to a cycle proficiency scheme, and I tend to agree with him on that, but I wonder what other options are available to deal with the issue?

(1) Awareness from pedestrians – I think this is a bit of a dangerous one. I have taken to shouting at cyclists that do not stop at red lights if they have come close to knocking me down, normally when on pedestrian crossings on Clapham High Street. Getting responsible cyclists to wear ‘I Stop At Red Lights’ t-shirts or something could further pass on the message?
(2) More spot checks – throughout the winter the police in Oxford used to stop students cycling without lights and fine them. I seem to recall reading that Oxford has one of the only police forces with a dedicated anti-cycle crime unit, and I am sure they don’t do too badly dishing out the fines. So maybe London could do the same?
(3) Redesign plenty of junctions and traffic lights – this one might be a bit costly, but there are indeed plenty of times when a narrow cycle lane need not actually be stopped by the traffic lights. More cycle lanes that are actually not on the road but are part of the pavement would also help.
(4) Education in schools – I cannot recall anything at school ever being taught about cycle etiquette, and it was not that long ago that I was in school. Could be an option?
(5) Public awareness campaigns – loads of kids in the 1980s can for sure remember the Green Cross Code, a publicity campaign for kids about how to cross the road. Do we maybe need something similar for cyclists? Other countries also try to get the message to people directly on the street, something that the British have not tried to any great extent. In Frankfurt/Main, signs warn the pedestrians “Nur bei Gr√?n √?ber die Strasse” (only cross on green) to give a good impression to children who may also be crossing. In France, motorists are warned by signs (shown below) to keep their distance when the motorway is foggy. So how about signs on selected traffic lights warning cyclists?

French Autoroute Sign

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