Monday, 22 June 2015

"... The oppression inherent in the system ..."


Much has been said in the press about cyclists' alleged poor compliance with traffic lights.
There is a systematic problem, in that many lights fail to change when a cyclist is waiting.
Usually there is a metal detector in the road, whose sensitivity is adjusted to be too low to detect a bicycle.

I have complained to Street Doctor about one set of lights at a renovated junction, to be met with the response "The lights meet the requirements !"

If the standard for traffic lights is to ignore cyclists, is it surprising if cyclists sometimes ignore lights ?
This is institutional discrimination openly applied at a hardware level ! Motorism !

The Highway Code has a get-out clause
176 You MUST NOT move forward over the white line when the red light is showing. Only go forward when the traffic lights are green if there is room for you to clear the junction safely or you are taking up a position to turn right. If the traffic lights are not working, treat the situation as you would an unmarked junction and proceed with great care.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36

The references to the laws are not helpful in the sense of defining 'not working'.
They do exclude emergency vehicles from red lights, in a manner that could explain 'proceed with great care', when jumping a red light. (Most pundits on the internet will tell you that police, fire and ambulances should obey red lights !)
The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 regulation 36(b)
vehicle shall not proceed beyond the stop line in a manner or at a time likely to endanger any person or to cause the driver of any vehicle proceeding in accordance with the indications of light signals operating in association with the signals displaying the red signal to change its speed or course in order to avoid an accident


"Come see the violence inherent in the system! Look how he's oppressing me !"
Of course, it might be the case that all-carbon-fibre bikes with ceramic bearings would contain too little metal, but the transmission chain alone ought to be enough. A 'stealth bike' would have to use a kevlar belt drive.

Some treasure-hunting metal detectors react in opposite ways to ferrous and non-ferrous metals, so arguably a steel frame with alloy rims might cancel to give zero effect. But you would have to position it exactly right - normally it would see : front-wheel ; frame ; back-wheel - in that order.

Some lights use 'radar' - actually 'microwave doppler velocimetry', so they are triggered by almost anything moving towards them faster than walking speed. In Northampton, the cycle-only lights at the bottom of Gold Street are one example - to avoid false triggering by vehicles going the wrong way in the cycle lane. Also on the hump-backed bridge on Rothersthorpe Lane.

If the metal detector (induction loop sensor) is positioned close to the stop line, a stopped bicycle can prevent following vehicles from triggering the lights. It is widely reported that the lights should trigger themselves spontaneously every few minutes, even if no traffic is detected. I have not yet found following motorists with enough patience to find out if this happens every three, five or ten minutes, or not at all.

See Also
Groningen installs rain sensors for cyclists at traffic lights (The Netherlands) - [ Eltis ]
Traffic Light Offences - [ Motor Lawyers ]
Cyclists – Don’t be here, and don’t be there. Just don’t be. - [ As Easy As Riding A Bike ]
Bikejacking victim went to hospital in an Uber after 999 said broken leg not serious enough - [ road.cc ]
Insurance companies, Boycott and #Space4Cycling - [ lastwheel · Storify ]