More than half of cyclists jump red lights finds IAM

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Fifty-seven per cent of cyclists admit to jumping red lights according to the IAM’s (Institute of Advanced Motorists) latest poll.

Poor junction design, inconsistent cycle paths and inconsiderate drivers put cyclists at risk, but cyclists also have to help themselves."

More than half of cyclists jump red lights

Fifty-seven per cent of cyclists admit to jumping red lights according to the IAM’s latest poll.

The main reason given for jumping lights is because it is safer to get ahead of other traffic (38 per cent do this). At the same time over half (54 per cent) of cyclists think that cyclists should improve their behaviour by sticking to the Highway Code at junctions – poor road layout and junctions were a top concern for half (48 per cent) of the cyclists polled.

Other findings are:

  •     Seventy three per cent of cyclists ride on the pavement, with the top reasons being: because the cycle path doesn’t join up completely (59 per cent), to avoid a busy section of road, which doesn’t have a cycle path (55 per cent) and to avoid a busy junction (47 per cent)
  •     Ninety-four per cent of cyclists have seen a driver cross an advanced stop line*
  •     And 43 per cent said they would be less likely to jump red lights if advanced stop lines were more strongly enforced.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Cyclists are right to feel that roads are not cycle friendly enough, and this is reflected in their behaviour. But while poor junction design, inconsistent cycle paths and inconsiderate drivers put cyclists at risk, cyclists also have to help themselves.

“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.”

Notes to editors:     
1.    *Advanced stop line: An advanced stop line is a road marking which forms a box at some road junctions, putting cyclists ahead of other traffic. This allows them to get a head start when the traffic signal changes from red to green. A driver crossing an advanced stop line is committing the same offence as jumping a red light.
2.    Other key findings:

  •     22 per cent of drivers did not know that stopping over an advanced stop line is illegal, and 11 per cent admitted to parking over cycle lanes
  •     21 per cent of drivers admit to jumping red lights at least once, the primary reason being ‘I only do it occasionally, as a result of carrying on through the amber signal’
  •     81 per cent of pedestrians who don’t cycle feel threatened by cyclists on the pavement. 44 per cent of pedestrians who also cycle feel threatened by cyclists on the pavement
  •     88 per cent of drivers think cyclists should improve their behavior by ‘sticking to the Highway Code at junctions e.g. not jumping red lights’.

3.    The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office(at)iam.org.uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Caroline Holmes - Communications officer
IAM
020 8996 9777
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Ben Schofield - Communications manager
IAM
020 8996 9777
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