Here is something you don’t see too often; 25 cyclists on a recreational ride stopped and ticketed for running a stop sign. It happened on August 28th in Woodside, CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I'll admit I roll through stop signs all the time, especially in quiet rural or residential areas where there is not another person or vehicle in sight.
However, I do not “Blow” through at 20 or 25 mph, I slow to a speed where I could stop if I had to, but I don’t see the point of unclipping and putting my foot to the ground if there is no one else there.
On the other hand, if there are other cars or pedestrians there at the same time, I will unclip and come to a complete stop. I do this out of common decency. If I go to a movie theater I don’t push to the front of the line, I wait my turn. Why should I behave any differently on my bike?
Red lights are a different matter for me; I will not roll though a red light whether there is someone there or not. If it is early in the morning and there is not another car in sight, and I could be waiting a long time for the light to change, I will probably then move on. But never without coming to a complete stop and waiting at least a short period of time.
Cyclists will always argue that drivers of automobiles roll though stop signs, and run red lights all the time, and that no motorist was ever killed by a cyclist.
Motorists for the most part will do exactly the same as a cyclist at a stop sign; if there is no one there, roll through. But if there are others already stopped, usually most will stop and wait their turn.
The same with traffic lights, motorists will push the “Orange” light to the limit and often going through after it turns red. But you will rarely see a motorist pull up to a red light and on seeing no one coming, go on through.
There are of course exceptions to motorist’s behavior in both these scenarios, but what pisses off the average person is when they pass a cyclist, then at the next stop sign or traffic light, he rides past the line of waiting traffic and through the intersection without appearing to slow down. I view this kind of behavior as extreme rudeness.
There are any number of bad motorists out there, but please, do me and yourself a favor. Stop using that as an excuse for behaving badly. Pointing the finger at others and saying, "Well he did it too," is something we all should have left in kindergarten.
If you run every stop sign and red light regardless of the circumstances of other traffic waiting there, this is a pattern of behavior you might want to think about adjusting.
Maybe the riders in the Woodside group deserved a ticket, maybe not. But when cyclists just blow though a stop sign without appearing to slow, it just plain looks bad.
Many see cyclists as a bunch of arrogant, self-righteous pricks, keep doing this and you prove it beyond all doubt.