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Legalise walking and cycling through (some) red lights

Comment 8th July 2010

At the moment, most pedestrians and some cyclists care less about red lights, and more about whether the maneuvre (turn, crossing) will be safe to perform. This is completely sensible, and the law should be altered to reflect current realities. This is a bit like some US states which allow turning right even if the light is red.

As a starting point, some junctions could be equipped with a green man sign, showing that people (on foot, on bikes) can legally cross the junction if it is clear (as if there was no traffic light, give-way markings). This is like the Green Arrow in Germany, which legalises turning right (as per the US model).

Fact is, most junctions in towns only have traffic lights to regulate traffic volume, not for safety. In other words, it is straight-forward to see when it is safe to cross, and when not.

Why does this matter?

It creates another advantage and incentive for cycling and walking, and will naturally reduce speeds on roads in built-up areas. Precisely what people need for healty lifestyles and towns need for reducing traffic congestions, fumes and noise.

It also restores a basic freedom to do what is sensible to people not using polluting vehicles.

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