A film showing cyclists riding through red traffic lights on two busy London road junctions has been published online by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association.

A note from the LTDA accompanying the film states: “Various cycle action groups and lobbying groups constantly assure Londoners that cyclists are law abiding. Apparently, it’s only a few ‘rogue’ cyclists who jump red lights and flaunt the rules of the road.”

“This theory is in stark contrast to the evidence that most Londoners witness every day. The LTDA decided to test the theory and discover the truth. We set up a hidden camera at busy traffic controlled junctions to record what really happens every day on our roads. What we found shocked us.”

The film concludes that they witnessed 53 per cent of cyclists jumping red lights over a two-hour period. Two one-hour unedited versions of the film taken at Hackney Road and Fortress Road have also been posted online.

  • Dave

    Is it OK for cars to jump a red light then if there is ‘nothing impeding forward movement’?

  • Ragwin

    Compared with the 95% of motorists who routinely break the speed limit.

  • fj

    If you actually watch the raw footage, it is nowhere near the 53% they claim.

    This is a synical move to try and justify licencing, that they hope will reduce the number of cyclists and make their day-to-day driving around much easier, lets face it if they got a pound everytime a cyclist went through a red light would they mind?

    If you watch the raw footage the count in the first 15 minutes to be about 1 in 5 (still not good)….but not the headline grabbing “Over half of cyclists go through red lights”, yet they have changed alot of drivers perception of this now.


  • David Allen

    Spurious findings, of course some cyclists RLJ and this is both wrong and incredibly stupid and I’m one cyclist that often berates RLJ’ing cyclists. However, how many car drivers RLJ and how much more dangerous is it for them to do it than for a cyclist? Rather than demonising cyclists, tackle bad behaviours of ALL road users.

    Maybe we could produce some similar findings to analyse how many cabbies fail to indicate or who pick-up/drop-off fares on corners and at junctions?

  • Sam

    At the end of the day it’s my bike, body and I will do whatever it takes to protect these out on the road, regardless of what the Highway Code, Byelaws, law enforcement say as they have little or no comprehension of what it means to be atop a saddle on the roads of today; and I am also a 25 year driver of cars, vans in all conditions including London delivery etc The problems stem from ramshackleprovision for cyclists in stark contrast to other parts of Europe and I will continue to flout/ bend laws with others until this is properly addressed.

  • Geoff Powell

    Remember when you comment on this and any other web site… two wrongs don’t make a right. The cyclists who ran the red lights were in the wrong. So lets get our own house in order first. Responding with an accusation against another kind of road user is not the way to forward the cause of the cyclist.

  • Ken Evans

    As a group, taxi drivers are the most dangerous drivers in central London, bar none ! They frequently do many dangerous things, such as sudden U turns, sudden stops, suddenly pulling over to the side of the road, suddenly opening the passenger door, turning without indicating first. Many things are done without using their flashing indicator lights. Many don’t seem to use their mirrors, or be aware of other traffic around them, Making videos of their dangerous driving would be a good thing to do. Many of the older taxi cabs emit clouds of toxic black smoke, that is very bad for the health and comfort of people. TfL and others have been far too soft on London cabs for far too long. Many Mini Cab drivers in London also frequently don’t look where they are going, or use indicator lights. In Russia motorists routinely use “Dash-Cam” video cameras, in case of accidents, with the low price of video cameras, cyclists could do the same. I am so fed up with this “war” mentality on the roads of Britain. This is just so stupid and unnecessary. Some sensible road planning really is needed.

  • Col

    “To my mind there is a very fair argument that cyclists shouldn’t be required to stop at all in this situation – they are small enough to filter into the traffic joining from the right without causing anyone any trouble.”

    No. A cyclist turning right at the right-hand junction is cut up. Pretty obvious, and a poor excuse for jumping the light.

  • Jim

    No mention of the van stopped in the cyclist box in the freeze of the video?

    You need to see when it entered the box, These are not the same as a box junction.
    see http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Advanced-Stop-Lines/1400018009433/1400018009433

  • George

    I’m a cyclist and rules should be obeyed by all road users no excuse. It’s there for safety of all users of the road and pedestrians. What surprises me also is that some cyclist do not even take their own personal safety seriously as they don’t even wear a helmet on the public road. If there is a collision the helmet may just be the one thing that potentially saves their lives.

    I know there are a few cyclists who won’t like this but the police stop motor vehicle drivers for not wearing seatbelts and running red lights and fine them – I wonder whether they should do the same to cyclists?

    Maybe if this was trialled I wonder how many incidents there would be? Drivers also should give more space to cyclists on the roads.

    Remember we all use the road be considerate to others and think – most of all take responsibility for your actions and be aware stop living in our little bubble on 2, 4 or 18 wheels and think its someone else’s responsibility to find you.

  • Danny M

    How many accidents, collisions, deaths resulted from those 53%… Errrm I didn’t see any, so maybe rather than saying “its against the law so don’t do it” we should be saying “the law is out of touch so lets change it”…

  • jason

    well i’m of the mind… if you want to risk it, fine! but you get hit or die. pfft no ones fault but your own. I do feel for those affected but again that’s your risk… you have inflicted.

    only upside i see from law breaking jumpers is the more that get knocked off, two things happen. learn a sore lesson or it makes more room for those that don’t jump a red. I learnt my lesson when a very close friend (albeit idiot) jumped a red and purchased a grave early… cost a good friend though.

    Stick to the green and amber racing peeps… smooth roads too all.

  • Karin Oakes

    Taxi drivers giving advice on rules of the road? ha ha oh ha ha ha, ha ha ha HA HA HA ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Alec M

    The majority of comments on this topic make me sick. Frankly I’m surprised no one has done anything like this before. If you want to use the roads then abide by the rules, its that simple. The actions of other road users are irrelevant. If you don’t like the rules then lobby to change them. If you abide by them you will be doing so from a position of strength.

    The large number of cyclists who flout the laws are making it worse for all of us (and yes, whether its 53% or not anyone who cycles in London can tell you how much it happens). Their selfishness (for the sake of a bit of smugness and getting where they’re going a couple of minutes earlier) makes the situation worse for all of us.

    Oh and “cyclists don’t kill anyone”? Consider this – a cyclist jumps red light, causes car to swerve off road and hit pedestrian/car/lamp post. Unlikely? Maybe. Impossible? No.

    There will always be rude, ignorant and downright bad drivers but acting the same way as them only makes things worse.

    (20+ years cycle commuting in London)

  • Justin Phillips

    For all those who think that its ok for cyclists to jump red lights and mitigate this with ‘they don”t kill anyone’ – grow the hell up and get real. UK roads are for all users not for one distinct group so obey the highway code or get nicked.

  • Norts

    So glad I don’t live in London – move North!

  • Will

    Shocking! but unfortunately it does show what we all see everyday on the streets of London. I once saw a female cyclists jumping the red lights right in front of a police station with no helmet on. Red means stop FULL STOP.

  • Trevorh

    Taxi drivers preaching about good road conduct? LoL. What next?

  • Jonny

    “Hey ho, at least they’re not going to kill anyone”
    “In which case, what possible harm is it doing to carry on”
    “cyclists shouldn’t be required to stop at all in this situation”
    “has to be said that the great majority of these red light jumpers are doing it where it’s safe to do so”
    “Selective editing”

    The mind boggles. After all the problems in London recently, we get comments like above. A red light means stop no matter how safe you may think it is to carry on regardless. Can you guys seriously justify in your own heads that this sort of behaviour is ok? In a worrying way, it seems quite a few of you can.

    The very first comment is interesting. I dont think this is a case of people not knowing how to cycle on roads. People make a clear and conscious decision to jump lights.

    And who cares if it has been selective or clever editing as suggested in some of the posts. How on earth does that change the fact that 50 or so folk have jumped lights at these junctions.

    I sometimes wonder if we really are our own worst enemy…..

  • Zaba

    What that video mostly shows is that cyclists feel the need to get ahead of the traffic waiting at red lights because if they waited for the lights to go green they would then have to contend with aggressive taxi drivers behind them.

  • Wobble

    Trying to justify running red lights because taxi drivers break the law too is nothing short of pathetic. All of us would be in a much better position to argue the case against poor driving standards amongst taxi drivers if we all stuck to the rules and taxi drivers simply couldn’t find a cyclist breaking the law to film. While most of us stick to the rules there are always a few idiots letting the side down. Cyclists who break the law are simply giving other road users a stick to beat the rest of us with.

  • SiWS

    Phil Tattsbridge
    November 28 17:31
    I’m one of these habitual red light jumpers as many who are reading this are too. The junction that they are using to make their point seems to be a junction where all (except one) cars are joining from the right. To my mind there is a very fair argument that cyclists shouldn’t be required to stop at all in this situation

    Well, the law as it stands says that you should stop at the red light – you can’t just pick and choose which bits of the law to respect. You wouldn’t like it if a car driver decided that the law demanding that he stops at a red light was ‘silly’ and decided to ignore it, knocking you over on your bike or a pedestrian on a crossing.

    Letting individuals decide which bits of the law apply to them would lead to complete anarchy!! – You’d soon find your house being broken into as others might decide that stealing shouldn’t be illegal.

    If there are regulations and laws that apply to cyclists that you think are silly then lobby and campaign to get them changed – if they truly are silly then others will agree with you and with a ground swell of opinion, things can be changed.

  • SiWS

    Simon Wood
    November 28 13:25
    “Hey ho, at least they’re not going to kill anyone”

    In this instance, not immediately but who knows what the consequences of this will be if non cycling motorists watch this? Will it just reinforce the thought in their minds that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads as they constantly break the rules thus maybe making the motorist that bit more aggressive towards cyclists in the future? Basically the ‘Butterfly Effect’ – small events having unforeseen larger consequences further down the line.

  • David Kitchen

    As always, if you want to look for one thing you’ll find just that one thing.

    Did the LTDA wish to highlight the vehicles that disobey road laws by stopping in the ASL or RLJ? Of course not.

    But here is a quick digest of the numbers:

    White van in ASL
    5 cyclists stop, 1 jumps

    Silver van RLJ
    White can in ASL
    4 cyclists stop, 1 jumps

    Blue car in ASL
    9 cyclists stop

    White truck in ASL
    7 cyclists stop, 3 cyclists jump

    Truck behind ASL
    1 cyclist stops, 2 cyclists jump

    Black car behind ASL
    2 cyclists stops, 2 cyclists jump

    I get bored quickly, but this small sample shows that:

    75% of the times the light went red, a vehicle went over the ASL.
    12.5% of the time, a vehicle jumps the red light.
    24% of cyclists arriving at the red light in 8 minutes jumped the light (37 cyclists total at the red light, 9 jumped)

    The numbers don’t add up to what was claimed, and the highlight isn’t on the vehicles who RLJ and those in the ASL.

    Who has 2 hours of their life to argue over this though? Clearly the LTDA do, but not I… this has already taken 9 minutes I won’t get back.

  • Adrian

    Gary Baker, The poster of the video has also put uneditted footage up on YouTube. And guess what. It shows EXACTLY what you describe. Every time the lights change 3 or 4 vans or cars jump through the lights. And every red light has a car or van in the ASL. It only takes 3.5 minutes before a bus does a squeezing manouevre on a pair of cyclists at the Hackney junction. :-/

    To Neil from Bristol: Oh, I’m sure he DID see you. But you don’t pay road tax and his mate’s auntie’s budgerigar was once a bit startled by a giraffe riding a tricycle whilst jumping a red light, so its OK to try and kill you.

  • Peter

    I cant be the only cyclist who constantly find themselves being bullied by aggressive TAXI drivers on London’s roads. Their behavior is quite frankly despicable.

  • Dave

    I watch this on the London ITV news yesterday & could not believe the person who claimed to be a lawyer defending the cyclist filmed breaking the law – asserting what the LTDA was doing did not help.

    The rules of the road apply to all users including cyclists – its that simple.

  • Tom

    Oh good grief.

  • Ken

    I could go out any day and film taxi drivers running red lights!!!!
    And do any of them understand the words “speed limit”??????????

  • seamus leahy

    stop trying to justify stupidity. law says red light stop, th

  • Tony H

    Traffic legislation isn’t properly enforced these days, so people will try to get away with whatever they can, safe in the knowledge that there will probably not be any ‘consequences’.

    To illustrate my point:

    Several years ago I visited Cambridge and was surprised to see that cyclists were very well behaved, stopping at red traffic lights and not behaving like dicks. I mentioned this to a local, who said that the improvement in behaviour coincided with increased road traffic enforcement by the police…

  • Bryan Symons

    Most of the discussion ignores the fact that pedestrians reasonably believe that it’s safe to cross the road when traffic is stopped at a red light. Try crossing a road in central London when the green man is lit. Yes, there’ll be the lycra lads, but a large number of suits are also guilty.
    We cyclists who (generally) law abide see every such transgression as damaging the respect that 2 wheelers should be paid as responsible road users. Many of us drive cars, and most of us walk.
    Since no one is moaning about pedestrians crossing on a red light, we seem to believe that the smaller the danger you present to other people, the less you need to observe the highway code.
    Why not a cycling proficiency test, and some sort of licence? Solely for the good of cyclists themselves.

  • Gary Baker

    Very poor research and selective use of editing. If the video had showed the lights changing from green to red, then you would almost certainly have seen many more vehicles than cyclists running amber and red lights, equally illegal and more dangerous.

  • Rob Johnson

    How many of those were just before the lights went amber? There were a few of those clips that were cut pretty damn close after the incident…so i’m guessing quite a few (the last one being a casing point). The other thing to include is that both are open plan junctions with clear views of what is filtering in from the right, so it is easy to spot when cars are slowing for a red light, or have stopped at their junction. In Cardiff, there is a large junction where you have to deal with 3 lanes of traffic in your direction, busses filtering in from their lane onto the junction, cars from the opposite direction turning across you and three lanes filtering from the left. If you jump the red light when you can see the other directions have stopped, you find a completely empty junction. So I am all for jumping red lights for safety and safe progress.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    Lloyd, doing 31 in a 30 zone is “against the law” and every cabbie does it every day.

  • Joe

    Yes cyclists are the more vulnerable road user here and there needs to be real change in both attitude and infrastructure to protect them more but jumping red lights is only going to give make the situation worse. It (understandably) annoys other road users, cyclists have no excuse perhaps if all cyclists did obey the rules of the road then we would have a lot more valid position to dictate to other road users what they should be doing.

    Of course waiting at red lights is a pain you have to clip in / clip out / change gear / track stand / wobble, but guess what every other road user has to do it – why should cyclists be different? If you really want to get to wherever you going 2 minutes quicker – maybe actually try getting fitter, getting stronger and whatever you lose by stopping at the lights you can easily make up whilst your actually riding.

    Be the change you want to see. Get on that moral high horse then maybe other road users will sit up and take note.

  • lee

    Yes, a red is a red and that means stop but for some reason london cyclist dont ! and soo this lawlessness creates an atmosphere of creaping past a lorry, bus etc… with bad endings soo it should stop !


    Like Geoff says above TD’s do it, as well as car drivers too.

    Yet we can’t forget, allowing a cyclist away very slightly earlier at a light is better for the vehicles behind as cyclists entangled amonst motors isn’t good to handle if you’re driving.

    I hope for better, in London and elsewhere !

    Stay safe everyone 😉

  • Neil

    Yesterday on my cycle home in bristol the one taxi I saw was the one who pulled in across from the opposite side of the road and I had to slam my brakes on to miss him. Never saw me or looked. Therefore 100% of taxi drivers are careless/dangerous drivers. Statistics eh!!!

  • Raj

    If you want to make roads safer then the best policy would be to focus on the most lethal causes of accidents on the road, cyclists jumping reds gets far more attention than warranted by the danger caused. A recent Met study of cycle – motor vehicle accidents showed most of these accidents were the fault of the driver.

    One cause of accidents is poor eye sight with 49% of drivers not having an eye check in the last two years , “It is estimated that poor vision causes five deaths and 63 serious injuries on British roads every day” ( http://tinyurl.com/o4sdmts ), pretty shocking yet rarely mentioned in out increasing cycle hostile media.

  • Tony Coughlan

    All this proves is that taxi drivers know how to use a video camera. If we hung around for long enough in the right place we could get footage of all manner of other road users breaking the law.
    I think that if you want the respect of other road users then you should show respect, by not jumping red lights, not speeding and allowing reasonable space when overtaking. Everyone needs to understand that the other road users (be that in a car, taxi or on a bike) are human and therefore may make a mistake now and again.
    We need more tolerance from all sides.

  • Tim Davies

    I’m a cyclist in Bedfordshire. I commute a lot and I have been known to jump lights. I only do it at silly lights or when I consider it safer to make a head start. Most cyclists are making a head start not actually crossing a dangerous junction. Who actually decides where lights should go? Are they a good idea in all cases where they are implemented? I know several sets that if removed would make no odds, in fact they’d probably get everyone on their way more efficiently. One of these in the footage is obviously in need of redesign with a filter from the left for the cyclists. And this is my point. People behave by common sense generally,not follow lights regardless. Sure the odd nutter who runs a busy crossroads with lights is asking for it. Take some footage at one of those, if it’s more than 5% I’ll eat my hat.

  • Bob

    No mention of the van stopped in the cyclist box in the freeze of the video?

  • gg/gg

    There could be installed a special ahead only cycle lane with a special low down traffic light (no right turn allowed on the large red) but only at similar wide T junctions coming in from the right hand side. A right turn cycle lane could be placed ahead of the traffic stop line again with a low down light showing the large lights sequence (poss slightly advanced). This would need entering drivers to stay out of said ahead only cycle lane.
    Or am I dreaming of good observation and driving?

  • Marcus

    Duncan, it is obvious their conclusion is wrong but, if they could do maths they probably wouldn’t be taxi drivers in the first place

  • Steve

    As a taxi driver, cyclist and motorcyclist, I don’t think this piece of footage really helps. Boris does need though to look at perhaps more simplistic and cheaper alternatives to keep cyclists safe(r).

    When I was learning to ride a motorcycle many years ago, I had it drummed into me to ride defensively. When appropriate, initiate a “lifesaver”. Road positioning at all times especially at junctions. I have yet to see any widely promoted information on how cyclists could and should adopt these. Honestly, how many road users know exactly where cyclists should be postitioned at junctions, overtaking etc.. Perhaps we could look more at training for all or billboards highlighting postions and potential dangers. Might be quiker.

  • Robert Bent

    No Excuses – we ride on the public roads, we abide by the rules of the road, we may or may not be abused by other road users but that is no excuse for bad riding. I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times, I learnt to ride on the road as a club cyclist, admittedly there was less traffic on the roads then but we were always careful and considerate, I go out with some informal groups now and they just don’t know how to ride in a group properly and I cringe at some of the things cyclists do and try to encourage them to be more considerate. Having said that, I have been cycling on and off for 40 odd years and would consider myself to be a confident and considerate cyclist but nothing, absolutely nothing, would get me riding on the roads in London or any other big city in the uk!

  • Geoffrey smith

    Simon Wood
    November 28 13:25
    Hey ho, at least they’re not going to kill anyone

    Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/541428/london-taxi-drivers-film-cyclists-jumping-red-lights.html#90ThUujLSjQ4Ogyp.99…………YES but 7 deaths in a week,, they KILL themselves idiot, Geoff

  • Lloyd

    Dont try and defend it, its against the law, I am a serious cyclist who cycles every day, I jump the lights or used to, impatience is a killer especially on busy roads and junctions.
    Jumping the lights infuriates all other road users , we have a responsibility its about time we stopped letting other road users point the finger,

  • Pete

    Obviously this behaviour isn’t helping our struggle, but it has to be said that the great majority of these red light jumpers are doing it where it’s safe to do so. The idea that these cyclists are just reckless daredevils clearly isn’t the case.

    And as already posted, they’re not putting other people’s lives at risk.

  • Phil Tattsbridge

    I’m one of these habitual red light jumpers as many who are reading this are too.

    The junction that they are using to make their point seems to be a junction where all (except one) cars are joining from the right. To my mind there is a very fair argument that cyclists shouldn’t be required to stop at all in this situation – they are small enough to filter into the traffic joining from the right without causing anyone any trouble.

    Of course that is why they are using this as an example of how frequently cyclists ignore a red light – it’s inherently safe to ignore it as you don’t cross the path or impede any car.

    The proportion going through a red light in a busy crossroads would be far less.

    So what anyway!

    I partly ride a bike to assert my independence and not obeying all the rules of the road has become part of my identity I suspect. I’m very impatient too – that is another factor.

    So I am part of the problem perhaps.. sorry to you law over-abiding cycling peers – I hope it isn’t fair to blame me for road rage injuries or deaths provoked by the impatient resentments of 1/2 ton metal 6′ x 12′ boxes that have poor vision and limited self control at speed and that kill maim. Expecting the same rules for 10-20 Kg 18″ wide 2-wheeler ‘vehicle’ with a 70Kg person on it, travelling at under 15 miles an hour (across junctions) is just not sensible. To me.

    I know that I am not the only one now – so thanks taxi drivers. There’s strength in numbers.

  • Derek Smith

    The irony is strong in the LTDA. Beware. Cyclists will, no doubt, film hackney cabs doing what hackney carriage drivers do day after day. I’ve yet to know of a cyclist putting a motorcyclist into hospital after doing a U turn yet, when I was a patrolling PC in the City of London, I had three on three consecutive days. The problem for cyclists, especially in London, is that the meek only inherit a bit of earth six feet long and three wide. Those who shoot the lights are normally not the ones injured. It is the law abiding who die or are injured by lorries and, let it be said, cabbies. The problem with the law is that it takes little notice of cyclists. In 30 years in the police I did not deal with any incident where a person required hospital treatment after an accident with a cyclist. And that includes a period in my force’s process unit. It is a shame that I cannot say the same about cabbies. I got on well with cabbies and found them a source of help and information in my time, but I have to say I would take no advice from them about safe driving.

    Taxi drivers: the proof that experience alone is insufficient.

  • Mat

    Haven’twatched the videos but it looks like both of those junctions are no left turn straight ons, where you are likely to get redlights when there is nothing actually impeding onward movement for cyclists. In which case, what possible harm is it doing to carry on? Oh alright, lets not go there re the “rules of teh road apply to us all equally” business, but the point is that these appear to be junctions where you could quite easily RLJ in a safe manner which probably accounts for the high pecentage of cyclists doing just that.

  • John Westwell

    Cyclists don’t kill anyone … unless – travelling at speed – they happen to hit a pedestrian crossing the road. The law is for everyone, whether they are a cyclist or a motorist (and many of us are both). And in at least one of the clips, a cyclist almost ploughs into the back of two cyclists who have stopped.

  • geoff

    If cyclists had the resources to film taxi drivers breaking the law and driving dangerously we could match their figures with ease. What they don’t understand is that they can kill with their vehicles. Cyclists have a lot more awareness and vision than anyone inside a vehicle, so can see and hear danger. It’s often safer to get out of the way. They’ll never get it, but taxi drivers know everything don’t they?

  • Alan Sanders

    And this proves…. what exactly?

    We know cyclists jump red lights, personally I don’t but I also don’t ride in London, it’s a silly thing to do and tends to get other road users very annoyed. I feel however that the question needs to be asked; how many taxi drivers cut cyclists up and also how many of them have been killed by buses and lorries

  • Simon Wood

    Hey ho, at least they’re not going to kill anyone

  • Duncan Burford

    This is a troubling bit of footage but, like with any small sample studies it does have some flaws.

    Let’s be clear – saying 53% of cyclists go through red lights is incorrect. It’s just poor maths. The actual conclusion is that 53% of the cyclists that arrived at those traffic lights when they were red went through the light.

    There’s a big difference.

    If ALL cyclists on the road arrived at that light when it’s red (which they didn’t), the number would be lower. Most cyclists – even most cyclists that travel on that road – weren’t given the chance to stop at the red light, because it was green when they got there.

    This isn’t to deny that cyclists going through red lights is not a problem. I applaud the police patrols that pull over cyclists for doing this (sometimes literally). And long may it continue.

    It does point to a bigger problem that many cyclists don’t know how to ride on the road. Just look at how many don’t signal or even don’t wear helmets. You’d never get a driving license without proving competency…and it’s illegal to drive without a seatbelt on. There’s nothing governing cyclists in the same way.

    I cycle to work every day and ride most weekends. I am a bike lover and very pro-cycling on the roads…but to see how some bicycle users act on the roads is shocking.