Cyclists Pushing Their Luck at Traffic Lights

A well known road safety charity is urging police forces across the UK to crack down on road offences committed by cyclists in the same way as they do with motorists.

The call from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) follows a survey they carried out on regular cyclists via their website. The results of the survey were surprising to say the least, with well over half on the 1600 respondents saying they had jumped a red light and 1 in 7 saying they did it on a regular basis. Three quarters of the cyclists think nothing of riding on the pavement when faced with an awkward junction or a road without a cycle path and virtually all of those responding to the survey want to see more advanced stop lines (ASLs).

It is the ASLs that that are causing confusion with motorists in many places in the UK. An ASL is a road marking in the shape of a box placed at busy junctions to give cyclists a head start when traffic lights change. Considering that most cyclists in the survey broke the Highway Code specifically because they thought it was safer to do so then the placement of ASLs must be a good thing. However, not all motorists are familiar with them and many are now finding themselves paying more for car insurance after being caught inside them. Crossing an ASL is classed as the same offence as jumping a red light and motorists are being fined in their thousands.

Simon Best, Chief Executive of IAM, called for more stringent policing, saying “Changes to road layouts and junctions can improve safety for cyclists, but no junction will ever be safe for those who continue to jump red lights. It’s dangerous and illegal. The police need to enforce the law as strongly when cyclists put themselves and others at risk by jumping the lights, as they do for drivers. They also need to ensure that drivers are pulled up for crossing advanced stop lines that protect cyclists.”

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