Is trying to keep yourself safe on the road a good enough excuse to move ahead of a red light? A London cyclist argues his point after being fined by police
A London cyclist ticketed by the Metropolitan Police for ‘jumping a red light’ says it’s frustrating to be fined for trying to keep himself safe on the road.
The unnamed rider was spotted by YouTube user Evo Lucas receiving a £50 fixed penalty notice for positioning himself in front of a bus in an area where there was no advanced stop line for cyclists.
While few can argue that those cyclists who brazenly speed through red lights give law-abiding riders a bad name, it does beg the question as to when is it acceptable to jump the lights?
The rider in question told Evo Lucas that positioning yourself in a safe place just past the red light is not the same as recklessly cycling through a junction.
“There are times when cyclists act recklessly, just like there are times when everybody on the roads acts recklessly,” he says. “On the whole, though, most cyclists who cause infractions such as the one I’ve just been ticketed for – its not because they’re being selfish or aggressive, it’s because this road system is not designed for cyclists.
“To take action to defend ourselves we have to put ourselves ahead of the traffic and so often there is no provision for us to do that safely. So we end up breaking these rules, which are rigged in the favour of other road users, and then getting fined for it.
“While I’m being lectured by the police there are motorists around committing, albeit, minor offences and getting away with it, so it does feel frustrating to have to make a £50 donation to the Metropolitan Police.”
A YouGov poll revealed that 35% of cyclists ‘occasionally’ ignore red lights, and in 2013, 4,000 fixed penalty notices were issued to riders who did this.