I definitely come down on the ultra-dorky end of the spectrum on this issue; but I stop at every red light. 6am on a desolate 5th Ave in Brooklyn, and you will find me waiting at one. I am not preachy about it, and here are my reasons.
- I have a beautiful family and don't want to get killed (on a bike)
- I can do without the ticket
- I see my role as a (self-appointed) positive ambassador of cyclists, showing that we can follow the rules of the road
- As a bike shop owner, I feel I need to set an example (again, self-appointed)
Alot of times people will say "I went through the light slowly and cautiously"...would you ever do that in a car?
Stopping at lights also fuels one of my fun commuter games; people pass me while I am stopped at a red light, I then make sure to pass them on the Brooklyn Bridge climb. Its my way of saying that I play by the rules AND I will get there faster than you.
My feeling is that as cyclists, we can't pick and choose the rules we want to follow. There is an outlaw/rebel streak to many parts of cycling culture; but a 4500 lb car trumps that when it comes to my safety. I love the freedom my bike affords me, but I am not willing to trade it for eating out of a straw in an assisted living facility, or worse.
Sure, cars get away with murder (literally, after the $42 fine), but 2 wrongs dont make a right. I've actually had motorists and pedestrians thank me for stopping...thanking me for following the rules?
Hey, to each his.her own. This is just how I roll (are the kids still saying that?).
Dont get me started on helmets!