Friday, May 2, 2014

WJLA Documents Cyclists Running Red Lights

WJLA has captured footage of dozens of cyclists running red lights in DC.  The footage included incidents of pedestrians in crosswalks being forced to jump out of the way of oncoming bikes.


DC Police confirmed that bicycles are required to stop at red lights, but refused to do an on camera interview with WJLA.  Data from DC police showed that the total number of tickets issued to cyclists in 2013 was just a few hundred total.  The number of tickets issued to cyclists for all types of violations combined had declined from 446 in 2012 to 203 in 2013.

Some cyclists commented to WJLA that they find the behavior just as disturbing to them as to some motorists "In the end, people will just generalize and say all people on bikes are that way, which is of course untrue."  WJLA noted that many cyclists were sill very diligent about stopping at lights.

However a few cycling advocates have openly advocated that bikes should not need to follow the same rules of the road as cars, even while simultaneously advocating that driving cars should be made "more inconvenient".  One DC area cycling activist website tried to minimize the WJLA story, asserting that "Mostly they focus on the fact that it's not enforced much, but they don't make the case that it needs to be enforced more" and that a pedestrian who was forced to jump out of the way of one red light running bike was "overreacting."