Stop at Red campaign - have your say

Stop at Red campaign - have your say


Stop at red ( is a campaign to reduce crashes and improve the status of cycling in the eyes of the public and policy-makers, and to tackle the attitudes of those cyclists whose behaviour perpetuates the image of cyclists as irresponsible.

I'd like to hear your views.

Do you think it will make any difference to cyclists running red lights?
Will it improve the status of cycling in the eyes of the public and policy-makers?

What are the best ways to deliver the campaign messages?

launch event
fact sheets
email networks
CAN website including online pledge form
CAN Facebook pages
online video clips
articles in CAN's magazine, Chainlinks
distribution of printed material such as stickers
media releases
CAN spokespeople
cycle training programmes
local meetings and cycling events

Group content visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

I support this inititative, Patrick. Three reasons:

  1. Advocacy - whenever I've given an oral submission at a council, there's always been the "why should we do anything for cyclists, when they don't obey the road rules like red lights". OK, it's not logical (the AA doesn't get hammered because of boy racers) but it doesn't do the cause any good.
  2. Safety: If you go through a red light, you're breaking the rule of predictability - sure 99% of the time there'll be no danger, but the what if another vehicle is also behaving unpredictability - truck backing suddenly out of the driveway around the corner because they "know" there's not going to be any traffic coming from your direction.
  3. Road culture. We keep hearing about NZ's poor, undisciplined driving. This particularly is noticed by north american and european visitors who go away horrified by the casual attitude to road rules here. We need a road culture where when we drive a car, we pass bicycles with 1.5m to spare (even though there may be places where 1m feels OK); and when we ride a bike, we stop at red lights (even though we can see it would be safe to ride through).

OK, I'll throw in the counter argument:

This idea just reinforces the myth that cyclists as a whole ignore the road rules - why else people will argue would CAN bother with such a campaign? It will no longer be "why should we do anything for cyclists, when they don't obey the road rules like red lights" but "why should we do anything for cyclists, even CAN agrees they don't obey the road rules like red lights".

You don't counter a myth by accepting it as true and encouraging people to stop doing their mythical behaviour.

Now if you want to run an "obey the road rules" campaign, and show examples of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians disobeying them in the appropriate ratios... Of course people would have to hunt for the cyclist and pedestrian examples among the mass of motorists ones if you did that and might jump to the premature conclusion that is was simply about motorists...

And the obligatory: we've already got a law designed to inform parents it is too dangerous to let kids cycle, don't make it worse by reinforcing that with the notion that those few who ignore the danger are reckless law breakers as well.

Of course, if we took that logic then we also wouldn't have drink-driving and seatbelt campaigns because they just reinforce the myth that EVERYONE driving isn't wearing their seatbelt and is over the limit...

In looking at the public debate on "motorists vs cyclists" over the past few months, what is abundantly apparent is that, although quite clearly the evidence shows that driver fault outweighs cyclist fault in crash data, we will get little traction on trying to improve driver behaviour (through "share the road" training/education/enforcement/etc) unless we can clearly demonstrate that we are also ensuring that cyclists are well trained and obeying the rules too (or being encouraged too at least). Hence things like the Stop At Red campaign.

BTW, I think one of the things we talked about doing for this campaign was to undertake some surveys of road user behaviour before/after the campaign. As well as monitoring any effect of the campaign, it may also have the advantage of highlighting the relative proportion of motorists vs cyclists who actually do stop (or not) when faced with a red (or amber) signal. May provide some useful findings for publicity...


That is not the logic at all.

You're saying there is a myth that EVERYONE driving is an unbelted drunk? I haven't heard that myself.

The argument that you cannot improve driver behaviour should be qualified with "in NZ with the current authorities & polices" - as clearly in other countries with different authorities & polices they do have better driver behaviour. For example, at the Spokes AGM yesterday there were presentations on recent overseas trips, and comments from those who went not only on the quality of the facilities but on the far better attitude of the Italians, Austrians, French and Germans to cyclists...

As you mention doing surveys, why not do those *before* any campaign is launched?  Indeed the very mention of surveys by you indicates that any campaign is premature. When you have the results if you find there really is a problem, and this alleged myth is indeed fact, you can then launch the Stop On Red campaign. Of course if you find something else out you can launch an appropriate campaign.

So yes, I agree we have a big problem in NZ (even ignoring the elephant and sticking to what we all acknowledge) but reinforcing a myth based on lack of information is not the solution - it is part of the problem!

CAN was successful in getting funding from the Road Safety Trust for this campaign.
It is additional to, not instead of, our other work.
So we're committed to doing it.

I am interested to hear feedback on proposed aims:

To encourage cyclists to show courtesy towards other road users and pedestrians.
To encourage greater compliance with the road rules.
To improve the perception of people on bikes, by showing that most cyclists ride responsibly.