Truck blocking crossing illustrates cyclist red light article

The Sunday Independent yesterday claimed that “Two-thirds of cyclists don’t stop at red lights” but the image used — at least online — shows a different story:



While the caption above reads: “a woman evades a cyclist breaking a red light at College Green, the photograph actually shows:

  • A large An Post truck blocking the pedestrian crossing (clearly illegal)
  • A jaywalking* pedestrian between the crossing and the stop line (possibly illegal)
  • And a cyclists still behind the stop line (clearly not illegal)

In the below image we have highlighted and enlarged the white crossing and stop line and have coloured in the crossing in red — this is the only place in the photo shown that pedestrian are allowed to cross, but it’s also not supposed to be blocked by trucks.

The cyclist is behind the white stop line (the green area). The cyclist could be track-standing, or he could be about to put his foot on the ground, or he could be about to cross the already blocked crossing on red with no pedestrians using it — from one static image we just don’t know.

However, it’s clear the image does not show what the Sunday Independent claims, the cyclists is not “breaking a red light” in the photograph:

Sindo crop and col
The crossing highlighted in red and the location traffic is supposed to stop is marked in green.

If the newspaper got the above so wrong, how can we trust its statistics about cyclists breaking red lights? And under a half hour at one junction at one time of the day is not enough to get a decent picture of the problem of cyclists breaking lights — but their “two-thirds of cyclists don’t stop at red lights” stat is likely to be repeated elsewhere.

Regardless of any of the above, the poor treatment of pedestrian crossings by many cyclists is inexcusable, but the image showing a truck blocking a crossing highlights the lack of respect for crossing goes far beyond cyclists and so treating the issue as a cyclist-only issue misses at least half or more of the problem. My experience around Dublin city centre pushing my son in a pram for six months (before putting putting him on a bike) was that cyclists were annoying and sometimes dangerous — but a far larger problem was cars, vans and trucks blocking crossings, often while moving.

When using a pram often loaded with your child and shopping you get a mild understanding what it might be like for those using wheelchairs and people with other mobility issues which force them to use the confines of often narrow crossings, with little time given to cross, and infringements common by cyclists and motorists. I would not like to be old or disabled in Dublin or most of Ireland.

* = The offence commonly known as ‘jaywalking’ is covered by Irish law within 15 metres of a crossing — within 15 meters pedestrians are only allowed to cross between the two white lines that make the crossing. The jaywalking in this case may be fully excusable due to the truck blocking the crossing, it’s still . More on that here.


  1. It’s just more anti-cycling BS. It’s no wonder the readership figures are falling for News(?) Papers. If they actually gave a damn about Road Safety they would show more interest in tackling speeding motorists as they are the root cause of most deaths on Irish roads.
    If the “Sindo” was interested in raising funds for this clapped out state of ours, they should pressure our enforcers of Law and Order to take a look at any Irish road. But let’s make it simple and say the M50 any day of the week. The guys doing the speed limit are noticeable by the pedestrian way they seem to be driving while others simply disregard the rules (as usual) and belt on down the road at 100++ km/h.
    I can safely say that 100% of the motorists that overtake me on the M50 are breaking the law. Now that’s better than 66% in their, less than scientific study.
    Of course if more than just a dedicated few journalists were actually interested in doing real journalism they might have noticed the Ice Berg that Anglo Irish actually was and the way in which the idea of us all being “in this together” currently is actually playing out.
    But then, that would be real journalism and they wouldn’t be able to take “cheap shots” at a vulnerable group of Road users like this. No point in doing a real good job when the usual crap will do,eh?


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