Is driving through Red Traffic Lights a trendy thing to do in London these days. Very often I see people not only amber gambling but just sailing through at RED. I have noticed on many occasions that when I stop on a light that has just gone RED, certain drivers who were behind me actually overtake or undertake and carry on going. Not only is this limited to cars, vans, lorries, bikes, motorcycles etc I also notice that whilst on the bus, some bus drivers do the same dangerous act (with lots of passengers onboard). I know the police are always shooting red lights at high speed but a least they have blue lights and sirens and in an emergency are permitted by law. Or is the pace of life just too fast and people just don't have time to stop anymore.
I drive thru the centre of London every day and I'm not concious its any worse than it ever was, except for some people on push bikes - that is getting bad. The other day I saw yet another confrontation between pedestrians and a bike rider at the crossing just outside the tube station exit at Waterloo on Waterloo road. The lights were red, the green man was on and the hordes were crossing when the bike rider tried to ride through the crowd. I think he was lucky they didn't insert bits of the bike in various parts of his anatomy. On the bus front I have observed that the Green Line buses do tend to wizz along a bit now the centre is a bit clearer. Maybe they've changed the schedule timing lately.
I am also a regular driver in London but I've definitely noticed it getting worse. Push bikes are particularly bad at it (I've even seen them swerve round policemen at Buckingham Palace) but buses and cars are starting to come a very close second, in fact even motor bikes (normally the best behaved) have started to push the red light..
In part at least, its down to frustration, traffic light phasing has been slowly squeezing the length of the green lights. I've also noticed that pedestrian crossings are often now programmed to stop traffic even when there are no pedestrians pressing buttons, waiting or even within sight (like 3am in the morning)...
I'd love to know what the real TFL aim on this actually is...?
I agree about the lights thing - some of it is probably valid at busy times etc but just stopping traffic for the sake of it seems stupid. My big traffic light question of the moment is about the lights on Jamaica Road just before you turn left into the one way bit into Druid Street. What are they there for? All they seem to do is cause a queue.
I had my parents down for the weekend a few months back, and as we were crossing at a ped crossing on New Kent Road I was saying 'oh, this is london, double-check for cars jumping the lights before you cross...' just as we were halfway over the road, some **** in a south-london-renta-wreck-special came haring down the bus lane nearly killing us all. (Too fast to even get the license no).
I am an occassional cyclist and it maddens me when other cyclists sail past while I'm stopped at lights. However, there is a subltle difference for drivers and cyclists; a red light can be a convenient time to check you teeth, change radio station, etc, but you kind of feel an dork/goody-goody as a cyclist waiting for a light to change when there's no one crossing. Absolutely no excuse for mowing down peds of course...except when they step off the pavement without looking - grrr!
Let's face it though, the life a cyclist risks by jumping lights at junctions is pretty much their own...the same certainly cannot be said of motorbikes/lorries/cars.
Please carry on being a goody goody, otherwise the danger is that we start saying there are cases when its OK to not comply with the law just because it seems to have less consequences than others not complying. Where does that stop? The loon that whizzed down the bus lane might argue that the fact he never actually hit anyone justifies his decision to act the way he did.