And when did you last see a red light?

There’s a lot of talk this morning about the Institute of Advanced Motoring going on a tilt against cyclists, trumpeting up the results of an unscientific ‘survey’ that supposedly shows 57% of cyclists regularly going through red lights. Until, of course, you go into the actual figures – as this Guardian article does – and discover that even on their self-selective terms, less than 2% say they do it regularly.

I’m not denying that some cyclists do jump red lights, but the idea that it’s some great problem has entered our national urban mythology as a fact, helped by prejudice-fuelling supposed surveys like this. Frankly, I find it amazing the hatred some people show towards cyclists, while completely ignoring the amount of comparable law-breaking car drivers too. The CTC and other cycling organisations are far too focused on their own issues to do it, but what might a similar survey of car drivers find. How many break the speed limit, especially in residential areas? How many plough on over zebra crossings despite their being pedestrians crossing or about to cross? How many have pulled out on roundabouts directly ahead of a cyclist, figuring that the person on two wheels will be able to avoid smashing into them? I see all of those frequently, but apparently it’s cyclists who are causing the real problems…

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