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Do you disregard traffic laws during your commute?

Old 12-03-19, 02:57 PM
  #101  
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I find the premise of the original question to be flawed. Everyone breaks some laws, but we all break different laws, for various reasons.

I have also noticed cultural differences between different regions. I notice people in western states in the US comply more with laws than in the east. Some westerners are horrified at hearing that we easterners sometimes run red lights. But we are not more lawless than others in our region, nor do we move about more dangerously. Similarly, New Yorkers walk against red lights often, when it is safe. I'm amused when I am somewhere else and I see people waiting for a light before crossing, even though there is no traffic to endanger them. These are cultural differences. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
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Old 12-11-19, 10:54 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I find the premise of the original question to be flawed. Everyone breaks some laws, but we all break different laws, for various reasons.

I have also noticed cultural differences between different regions. I notice people in western states in the US comply more with laws than in the east. Some westerners are horrified at hearing that we easterners sometimes run red lights. But we are not more lawless than others in our region, nor do we move about more dangerously. Similarly, New Yorkers walk against red lights often, when it is safe. I'm amused when I am somewhere else and I see people waiting for a light before crossing, even though there is no traffic to endanger them. These are cultural differences. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
100% true.

I live in the NW and drive in California all the time and notice MAJOR behavior differences... (Californians drive VERY fast, all the time)
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Old 12-11-19, 11:29 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
100% true.

I live in the NW and drive in California all the time and notice MAJOR behavior differences... (Californians drive VERY fast, all the time)
Haha, I have driven in both places. I don't remember the impression of Californians driving fast, but I was living in NJ at the time where people drive stupidly fast and recklessly. In western WA, people drove more slowly than I've seen anywhere.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:48 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Haha, I have driven in both places. I don't remember the impression of Californians driving fast, but I was living in NJ at the time where people drive stupidly fast and recklessly. In western WA, people drove more slowly than I've seen anywhere.
You're right about WA drivers driving more slowly - here are some theories:
1. Seattle was settled by Scandinavian immigrants who are known for being cautious/risk averse people (I wonder in the same conditions in prevail in Minnesota?)
2. Washington is such a spectacularly beautifully scenic state, there's no rush when we have scenery like this!
3. Weather is usually **** and it's dark 7 months out of the year. We adapt.
4. No state income tax = high fuel tax - people are "economizing" their fuel consumption!
5. WA = ranked #1 bicycling state (dubious at best IMO) - higher proportion of motorists are used to cyclists or ARE cyclists, therefore drive more attentively
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Old 12-11-19, 03:23 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
100% true.

I live in the NW and drive in California all the time and notice MAJOR behavior differences... (Californians drive VERY fast, all the time)
My parents moved from rural West Texas (I guess that was redundant) to the Pacific Northwest in 1966 and I was a wee lad, but I do distinctly recall both parents during my youth referring repeatedly to people blowing through stop signs as "California Stops." And that is what we have called them ever since in my circle. Funny, since the invasion of folks from our neighbor to the south had barely begun in the late 60s/early 70s. California gets blamed for everything here.

Today, almost 60% of my state was born elsewhere, more than 2/3 from the Golden State, the rest, from everywhere. Nobody here is actually from here. The great irony in all this is that some non-government agency recently crowned Portland with another best--this time, ,we are best at being the WORST drivers in the USA. Hooray!!

And people ask me why I have three headlights on my bike...
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Old 12-11-19, 04:18 PM
  #106  
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Here in the elbow of CA, the speed limit signs are the minimum speed in bad weather.

As far as who follows the law where, it's interesting to compare Rome and Paris... the drivers in Rome are a trope but it's all true. The French definitely seem to have a lot more respect for the law as a community effort. My wife took a Velib the wrong way up the sidewalk in Paris, you would not believe the dirty looks she got; but in Rome the few share bikes were all apparently stolen and their stations were parked full of 50cc scooters.
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Old 12-11-19, 08:48 PM
  #107  
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I visited Rome and London and a few other places as a backpacker 20 years ago, using taxis and buses and trains to get around the cities when it was too far to walk. I didn’t see many people on bikes there back then. Now I think a bike would have been a much better way to see the sights. But I only really started riding 5 or 6 years ago. Never even thought of riding a bike back then. My license and freedom was still only a few years old, gas was cheap, and I was making loan payments on a car. And nobody gave a **** about the environment. That’s how I remember 20 years ago anyway.

Last time I was in Rome, everybody spoke English and was trying to steal my wallet. They must have had an earthquake or something before I got there because half the town was in ruins, and some of the locals were even charging people to walk around the rubble. Disgusting.

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Old 12-12-19, 10:29 AM
  #108  
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I break as many traffic laws as possible while commuting.
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Old 12-12-19, 12:00 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post
They must have had an earthquake or something before I got there because half the town was in ruins, and some of the locals were even charging people to walk around the rubble. Disgusting.
hahaha!

Bikes everywhere in Paris now, ridden by everyone. Velib makes it public transit. That really changes things - they've see it in NYC too.

Not so many in Rome. It's a lot hillier!
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Old 12-12-19, 02:06 PM
  #110  
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No. My mom was a trauma ICU nurse so I grew up hearing stories about the Auto vs pedestrian/cyclist accidents she encountered (no details were spared). A lot of accidents were the result of drivers not paying attention or seeing cyclist crossing. Even if I have the right of way or am following standard rules of the road, I always check my surroundings and gauge what drivers are doing. You never know when someone isn't paying attention or doesn't see you
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Old 12-12-19, 10:11 PM
  #111  
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Isn't this like the joke that 90% of guys say they masturbate, and the other 10% are liars?

My peeve is drivers who are excessively courteous, insisting that you basically break the law when they have the right of way.

Some of them may be the same ones that complain about cyclists breaking traffic laws.

I wait them out.
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Old 12-13-19, 01:44 PM
  #112  
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Not a lot of them. I tend to disregard a couple of red lights that are only there to allow pedestrians to cross in a uphill section with perfect visibility. I don't stop there if nobody is crossing.

Sometimes I also take a short street wrong way, since it has almost no traffic and makes my commute much safer and enjoyable as it allows me to avoid the alternative which is full of cars.

I also break some speed limits sometimes. In my opinion, if I can ride over the speed limit safely, the speed limit is wrong.
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Old 12-13-19, 07:10 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
My peeve is drivers who are excessively courteous, insisting that you basically break the law when they have the right of way.

Some of them may be the same ones that complain about cyclists breaking traffic laws.

I wait them out.
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.
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Old 12-13-19, 08:03 PM
  #114  
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Disregard?

In general, no. I try to be aware of the traffic laws and obey them if they make sense. When the traffic light is red and cars are whizzing by at 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, it makes a lot of sense to wait for the green, so I do. After it goes green, if there's still cars going by, the law says I can go... but I still wait until it's safe.

My basic rules are : Don't get in the way and don't annoy anyone.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:00 PM
  #115  
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Well I am a bike messenger so, yeah! I Don’t like to dance with the really close calls so I will wait a bit.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:05 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.

And stand up straight and count to ten.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:55 PM
  #117  
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Usually, stop signs and speed limits for me, unless there are cars around.
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Old 12-14-19, 02:37 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Disregard?

In general, no. I try to be aware of the traffic laws and obey them if they make sense. When the traffic light is red and cars are whizzing by at 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, it makes a lot of sense to wait for the green, so I do. After it goes green, if there's still cars going by, the law says I can go... but I still wait until it's safe.

My basic rules are : Don't get in the way and don't annoy anyone.

I concur with rhm.
In general, no. Actually, I'm used to say that "I drive my bike". I just pretend to be a slow moving car, and act accordingly.
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Old 12-15-19, 06:47 AM
  #119  
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Agree with some of the above, but the only thing I don't disregard are cars, trucks and motorcycles. Otherwise, I cross where I want (middle of the street if it's safe, ride on the sidewalks even if there are bike lanes and whatever else). Traffic signals, signs etc, can't hurt me, fast moving vehicles can. All that said, I behave if there are others (including the constabulary) around, and don't do anything to piss off drivers.
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Old 12-15-19, 07:24 AM
  #120  
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I've heard people complaining about cyclists running stop signs for years. After seeing it on a TV news spot, I went to a local coffee shop where one busy street terminates at another. There is a stop sign, everybody is required to stop and everybody has to make a turn left or right, I counted cars while I had my coffee. Of 100 cars; only 17 actually stopped, exactly 50 used their turn signals. Yeah, there's plenty of blame to go around, but the real point is that we all treat stop signs as yield signs and none of us use our signals enough.

Marc
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Old 12-15-19, 10:08 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Isn't this like the joke that 90% of guys say they masturbate, and the other 10% are liars?
And then there is the story of the guy who heard that statistic: 80% of accidents happen within a half-mile of your home. So he moved.
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Old 12-23-19, 04:42 PM
  #122  
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Short answer...yes,often😀. I ensure that I do not interfere with all other travelers, motored, pedestrian, etc. I am the fool who bunny hops bike lane to sidewalk, over curbing to parking lot...whatever. I shred streets. I am never in danger as I avoid everyone else. That grass between sidewalk and parking lot? Mine. The alley behind
the fence at the hardware store with the (sweet) loading ramp unused for a decade? Mine. I enjoy my commute...risk nobody but myself at the hands of myself. And have been complimented many times by motorists who have remembered our previous crossings and appreciated how I handled them. Individual results will vary of course.
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Old 12-23-19, 07:14 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by LorenMiranda View Post
Short answer...yes,often😀. I ensure that I do not interfere with all other travelers, motored, pedestrian, etc. I am the fool who bunny hops bike lane to sidewalk, over curbing to parking lot...whatever. I shred streets. I am never in danger as I avoid everyone else. That grass between sidewalk and parking lot? Mine. The alley behind
the fence at the hardware store with the (sweet) loading ramp unused for a decade? Mine. I enjoy my commute...risk nobody but myself at the hands of myself. And have been complimented many times by motorists who have remembered our previous crossings and appreciated how I handled them. Individual results will vary of course.
You're from Spokane Valley? I commute on the Centennial Trail every day! I have probably seen you and vice versa. I ride a black Ridley with flat bars with bar ends sticking out from between the grips.

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Old 12-23-19, 10:07 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Yeah, waiting to cross a main road in the 6 am darkness with no traffic, and no prospect of the light turning green for me unless I dismount and activate the pedestrian crossing button, is just dumb. So yeah, I'll treat that red light like a stop sign. Same goes for stop signs when there's no traffic--Idaho stop.

On the PM ride home don't do it.
Take a long-run perspective: when I was 25 years old, interstate speed limits were 55 mph and dope was illegal; now, those same highways have speed limits of 75 and even 80 mph, and marijuana is legal in the very same state in which I regularly broke the law by smoking it. Laws are somewhat temporal and arbitrary, and often reflect the interests of the monied classes - and hence are unworthy of respect.

I'm not advocating murder or bank robbery, but rolling thru stop signs (for example) is often safer for cyclists --so why not do it?

Last edited by Koyote; 12-23-19 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 12-24-19, 06:34 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by mojojojo View Post
I break as many traffic laws as possible while commuting.
? Famous last words (post)?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-24-19 at 01:01 PM.
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