Sensors at many junctions in Irish cities are not detecting bicycles, according to the Galway Cycling Campaign.
It said that while it “cautiously welcome the introduction of on-the-spot fines” it claims that the timing is not right because “our roads are not yet ready for implementing the running a red light offence”.
Shane Foran, Galway Cycling Campaign’s technical specialist, said: “For example, I am cycling and I stop at the stop line at a junction. The lights do not detect me, so they stay red, and a queue forms behind me. If I go beyond the stop line, which is technically an offence, and beckon the driver behind me to move forward to activate the sensor, only then will the lights change.”
He added: “If I was cycling into town at night when it was a bit quieter, and there were no cars behind me at this junction, I would be left waiting there in vain. The lights would stay red indefinitely. I would argue that in effect, several generations of Irish roads engineers have been training Irish cyclists to ignore red traffic lights.”
The Galway Cycling Campaign said that the situation is “a failure on behalf of roads authorities to comply with the law” which states that a road authority shall consider the needs of all road users. It said it is calling on the minister for transport Paschal Donohue to issue a direction ordering that all traffic signals change for cyclists.
“This flaw in the system is easily remedied. Timers at traffic lights could be used instead or else more appropriate sensor systems,” said Foran.