Author Topic: ticket for running a red light on a bike  (Read 8686 times)

Offline toddg

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2016, 07:19:02 AM »
[Moderator's Note: Civility please, everyone!]

Offline M7X7

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2016, 08:46:18 AM »

I would not give a car a license to stop at a red light and proceed if no one is coming, and I would not give a bike that right either.

But why not, though? I can't tell if you think the issue is that rules should be enforced because of a slippery slope into anarchy (i.e., it should be enforced because all rules should be enforced), or because the rule itself makes sense. If the latter, I'd like to hear the rationale.

Offline Chingwa

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2016, 08:51:59 AM »
Quote
Stopping at a red light and then proceeding cautiously is different. Bikers have to deal with the elements: sun, wind, bugs, rain, air pollution, and if the question is one of safety, a biker sitting longer in the elements does not make me nor the pedaler safer.

But what irks me the most about this topic is the cost. People usually bike because they can't afford other forms of transportation. A $180 punishment is not in line with the threat/danger level posed by a cautious red light beater.
Let's get real here, crossing against a red light is much more dangerous than some rain or some bugs... not only for the biker but for the pedestrians and cars around the biker as well.  The fine should not be a consideration of your socioeconomic level just because you're riding a bike (plenty of well-off people ride bikes too).  It should serve as a deterrent for unsafe behavior.  $180 sounds right to me.

Riding a bike with traffic swirling around is a dangerous endeavor (as is driving, or jaywalking).  That's fine, It's a calculated risk.  But I don't understand why people are arguing that it's OK to make this situation more dangerous, or that there shouldn't be relevant consequences for inflicting your dangerous choices on the other people around you.  Come on.

Offline M7X7

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2016, 10:06:42 AM »
Let's get real here, crossing against a red light is much more dangerous than some rain or some bugs... not only for the biker but for the pedestrians and cars around the biker as well. 

In the limited situation we're talking about, there aren't any pedestrians or cars around the biker. So no, it isn't dangerous. I think everyone here agrees that cutting across active traffic is dangerous and should be fined.

Offline wlirfan

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2016, 10:25:19 AM »

I would not give a car a license to stop at a red light and proceed if no one is coming, and I would not give a bike that right either.

But why not, though? I can't tell if you think the issue is that rules should be enforced because of a slippery slope into anarchy (i.e., it should be enforced because all rules should be enforced), or because the rule itself makes sense. If the latter, I'd like to hear the rationale.

There is a certainty about what a car will do when faced with a red light.  It's not 100%, but statistically the certainty is that the car will stop, wait for the green light, the proceed.  Pedestrians -- who are the most vulnerable and least protected when they walk as opposed to ride a bike, motorcycle or car -- need to have that certainty.  Without it, this city would become what many other cities in the world have de facto become -- car zones where the unwritten rule is that the car has the right of way and the pedestrian has to be careful.  That's what most cities in India and Egypt (to give two examples) are. 

Of course, even we have exceptions.  In less crowded areas, rights on red are permitted.  Even in NYC, in certain intersections with little pedestrian traffic and no oncoming traffic, we permit rights on red (the Queens exit to the upper level of the 59th St. Bridge, for example).  But these are exceptions in less crowded areas.  That's not us.  Even walking 37th Avenue at 3 a.m., you will see many people walking about.  The consistency of knowing that the car will stop makes us safer.

Bike use is relatively new, and great for the environment, and should be encouraged.  But like cars, they are moving objects that can hurt a pedestrian, and there needs to be the same certainty that they will also stop at lights.  This is not unheard of.  If a bike skips a red light in Amsterdam (a very bike-friendly city), they are ticketed -- very heavily -- at all hours of the day.  Even if no one is coming.  Even if the streets are empty.  That logic has to grow roots with us as well.

And to the guy who said that the person on the bike has to withstand the weather so they should be allowed to cross red lights -- no.  People on motorcycles have to withstand the weather.  People in Holland, Finland, Iceland have to withstand the weather.  They follow the rules.  You would be outraged if a Harley started skipping red lights.  A bike is no different.

Offline Chingwa

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2016, 11:00:37 AM »
Yes I do see that there is a point that when noone else is around there should be no problem.  This is the same consideration for cars as well, and is why in some limited cases (not so much in NYC, but elsewhere) cars may cross on a flashing red light after coming to a stop.

However, in a dense urban environment like Queens this is problematic, yes you can look both ways and make a judgement call, often this is fine.  However, unless you're out in the middle of the night there is always someone else around, even if you don't see them.  And this is the point where your personal judgement call conflicts with someone else having the right of way in dangerous ways.  By doing so you are abrogating a portion of your personal responsibility unfairly onto someone else.  I have seen this so many times while driving that I have lost count.  Take a look around, not everyone is as cautious or responsible as you and I.  People make bad judgement calls constantly.

Yes there are some horrible drivers out there, but for the most part drivers use much more caution and (necessarily) use the roads much more responsibly then either pedestrians or bikers.  I have personally saved the lives of hundreds of pedestrians and bikers by driving carefully and responsibly, despite them refusing to do so themselves.  This is not me being facetious.

Of course because of the over-reaching culture in NYC that "the pedestrian is always right", these people who I just saved, and who were demonstrably in the wrong, will assume that they have the right of way... scoffing or insulting the car that just saved them from injury all the while.  This mindset is just plain dangerous and should not be encouraged.  The roads simply do not work if only one set of drivers are following the rules.  Cars must yield to pedestrians, as a safety measure.  But this does not mean the pedestrian (and by extension the biker) always has the right of way. 

Now all that being said, if you're on a bike and there is noone else around and you choose to go through the red light and you make it safely then great.  As an adult you made a calculated risk and were successful, yay.  But if you decide to go through a light and you get ticketed by a cop, then as an adult you need to accept the consequence of your decision.  You don't get a special set of road rules because you're on a bike.  You need to understand that you also share a responsibility to the other people around you, and a $180 ticket might help do that.

Offline jhjefe

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #51 on: December 01, 2016, 11:06:39 AM »

I would not give a car a license to stop at a red light and proceed if no one is coming, and I would not give a bike that right either.

But why not, though? I can't tell if you think the issue is that rules should be enforced because of a slippery slope into anarchy (i.e., it should be enforced because all rules should be enforced), or because the rule itself makes sense. If the latter, I'd like to hear the rationale.

There is a certainty about what a car will do when faced with a red light.  It's not 100%, but statistically the certainty is that the car will stop, wait for the green light, the proceed.  Pedestrians -- who are the most vulnerable and least protected when they walk as opposed to ride a bike, motorcycle or car -- need to have that certainty.  Without it, this city would become what many other cities in the world have de facto become -- car zones where the unwritten rule is that the car has the right of way and the pedestrian has to be careful.  That's what most cities in India and Egypt (to give two examples) are. 

Of course, even we have exceptions.  In less crowded areas, rights on red are permitted.  Even in NYC, in certain intersections with little pedestrian traffic and no oncoming traffic, we permit rights on red (the Queens exit to the upper level of the 59th St. Bridge, for example).  But these are exceptions in less crowded areas.  That's not us.  Even walking 37th Avenue at 3 a.m., you will see many people walking about.  The consistency of knowing that the car will stop makes us safer.

Bike use is relatively new, and great for the environment, and should be encouraged.  But like cars, they are moving objects that can hurt a pedestrian, and there needs to be the same certainty that they will also stop at lights.  This is not unheard of.  If a bike skips a red light in Amsterdam (a very bike-friendly city), they are ticketed -- very heavily -- at all hours of the day.  Even if no one is coming.  Even if the streets are empty.  That logic has to grow roots with us as well.

And to the guy who said that the person on the bike has to withstand the weather so they should be allowed to cross red lights -- no.  People on motorcycles have to withstand the weather.  People in Holland, Finland, Iceland have to withstand the weather.  They follow the rules.  You would be outraged if a Harley started skipping red lights.  A bike is no different.

Your logic doesn't link up. Not sure if you've been to Amsterdam but comparing that traffic landscape to NYC's is like apples and oranges.  And many jurisdictions ticket pedestrians for jaywalking.  And more and more jurisdictions are permitting cyclists to cautiously proceed at red lights.   Its easy to say cyclists should stop at red lights - you might even say its common sense - but doing so means you're hopping off the logic train way too early to make a complete argument.  There are many more things to consider with this issue.

Offline wlirfan

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #52 on: December 01, 2016, 11:39:57 AM »
Your logic doesn't link up. Not sure if you've been to Amsterdam but comparing that traffic landscape to NYC's is like apples and oranges.  And many jurisdictions ticket pedestrians for jaywalking.  And more and more jurisdictions are permitting cyclists to cautiously proceed at red lights.   Its easy to say cyclists should stop at red lights - you might even say its common sense - but doing so means you're hopping off the logic train way too early to make a complete argument.  There are many more things to consider with this issue.
[/quote]

My logic links up pretty well.  If you look up, you'll see that I talk about other jurisdictions and jaywalking and how, because of our history, we are not, and most likely will never be, one of those cities.  Taking it as a given that people will jaywalk without consequence, because that's how this city is, I then looked at ways to prevent people from being injured. 

Looking at your argument, if you want to maintain the same logic, then if it's common sense for a bike to go through a red light when no one is coming, why not a motorcycle?  Why not a car?  Why not a truck?  Why even have red lights - make every light a flashing yellow.  My answer is that these laws are there to create a constant and to protect people. 

As for Amsterdam traffic, it may not be as busy, but it's certainly close enough.  There are cars, buses, trams and bikes everywhere coming at you from several directions if you're on a major road (as opposed to a one-way canal street).  Then you have the many tourists walking about either drunk or stoned.  And yet, traffic accidents are rare. 

Look, accidents happen, but rules are there to prevent as many of them as possible. 

Offline jhjefe

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #53 on: December 01, 2016, 12:10:52 PM »

My logic links up pretty well. 

Not even close.  Consider Amsterdam has two very separate sets of rules and street designs for cars and bikes.  To ignore that fact misses a big point.  To ignore that pedestrians and cars have a dedicated infrastructure and rules and that bikes need a separate set of rules misses a big point.  To ignore the fact motor vehicle infractions putting everyone in danger far outweigh any infractions by bicycles misses a big point.  Walk five blocks along 37th ave any time of day - you'd lose count of the double parking, driving in the wrong lane, cars blocking a crosswalk, cars bearing down on pedestrians with the right of way, running red lights...the list goes on.  These put lives in danger and happen all. the. time.  Nobody here is saying cyclists shouldn't be ticketed when their violation puts people at risk - that realization also seems to be absent from you arguments. 

Offline queenskid2

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #54 on: December 01, 2016, 01:56:56 PM »

My logic links up pretty well. 

Not even close.  Consider Amsterdam has two very separate sets of rules and street designs for cars and bikes.  To ignore that fact misses a big point.  To ignore that pedestrians and cars have a dedicated infrastructure and rules and that bikes need a separate set of rules misses a big point.  To ignore the fact motor vehicle infractions putting everyone in danger far outweigh any infractions by bicycles misses a big point.  Walk five blocks along 37th ave any time of day - you'd lose count of the double parking, driving in the wrong lane, cars blocking a crosswalk, cars bearing down on pedestrians with the right of way, running red lights...the list goes on.  These put lives in danger and happen all. the. time.  Nobody here is saying cyclists shouldn't be ticketed when their violation puts people at risk - that realization also seems to be absent from you arguments. 


Enforcing laws is not limited to situations when a violation puts people at risk.  The purpose of law enforcement is not just punishment: it's also deterrence.  That this conversation is even taking place is a testament to that.  If giving out tickets to riders, even those who are "safely" violating the law, makes people think twice before they go through a red light, then that's fine with me.  Colliding with another pedestrian is not the same thing as colliding with a bicycle.  And while I sympathize with bikers who are careful when they run a red light and are penalized for it, I have no problem if the word goes out that in Jackson Heights you should think twice before you violate traffic laws.

Having said all this, I wish the precinct would spend more resources sending out that message to the drivers of cars who put everyone in danger as they speed up and down our streets with impunity.

Offline jhjefe

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #55 on: December 01, 2016, 03:20:28 PM »

Enforcing laws is not limited to situations when a violation puts people at risk.  The purpose of law enforcement is not just punishment: it's also deterrence.  That this conversation is even taking place is a testament to that.
Totally agree with this sentiment but thread is about using the enforcement's effect on increasing public safety.  And that targeting bikes at an obscure intersection is a waste of police resources.  Better to take those same resources and set up at an intersection on 37th ave and target violators on all modes there.  And do it fairly with priority to the risks they pose.



Offline Chingwa

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Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #56 on: December 01, 2016, 03:39:15 PM »
It's hopeless people.  ::)

Jackson Heights Life

Re: ticket for running a red light on a bike
« Reply #56 on: December 01, 2016, 03:39:15 PM »