Hot tipper Cienna fed us this story... Apparently several European cities are revising their laws to actually allow bicyclists to run red lights (yielding to oncoming traffic of course), and here's their reasoning:
In Paris, where bike share began and cycling is rampant, the municipal government decreed it legal for cyclists to flat out run red lights, according to The Telegraph. Several reasons were cited. According to officials and public documents about the law, the goal is to reduce bike backups clogging intersections. Cyclists are slower with less control as they accelerate from a stop, making them more likely to swerve or fall into a car lane.
Likewise, a crowded gaggle of them waiting for a green light means they will pack closer up against cars in more dangerous proximity once everyone starts moving at different speeds. Plus, drivers of cars densely packed together waiting for a light may have lower visibility of a cyclist up ahead in a lane over. In all, when there are too many cyclists waiting at a red it becomes a danger.
The rules are set to take effect on 1,700 Paris intersections, and this is an important note in this story:
Cyclists who grill red lights, as the previously-ticketable act is known in French, will have to yield to any oncoming traffic and, of course, pedestrians. They also must make room for entering traffic turning. Any accidents occurring while they are crossing will be deemed their fault.
I realize this is like dangling fresh meat over a lion's cage, but....
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!