City cycling clinic

  • When is it okay to jump red lights?

    Last week a motorist was sentenced to 21 months in jail for hitting and killing a cyclist after jumping the red lights in Hammersmith. In 2006, 18 cyclists died and 349 were seriously injured when cars collided with them. By comparison, there were 58 injuries, most deemed slight by Metropolitan Police figures, when cyclists collided with pedestrians. If a motorist jumps a red light and hits a pedestrian there’s every chance they’ll kill them. If a cyclist does it the unlucky victim will probably limp off with a few cuts and bruises. Light jumping is criminal for all but you cannot compare the two cases. Jumping lights with good judgement can preserve your safety. Where’s the harm if a cyclist jumps a red light on a clear pedestrian crossing at a reasonable speed ? The benefit, stealing a march on the traffic, is immeasurable. The green boxes at junctions are supposedly for this, but the few that there are in London might as well be printed with ‘please park here’ for all the notice some motorists take of them. This is particularly apparent weaving south through the city on busy Bishopsgate and continuing where the road narrows to become Gracechurch Street before you reach London Bridge.Perhaps an amnesty would do the trick. We cyclists will stop jumping red lights if you motorists will stop hogging our space at junctions. Now that would be thinking outside the box.

    Route rating

    Miles 0.8 (Bishopsgate to London Bridge)Calories burned 60Road rules flouted No commentRisks run Oddly, virtually none

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