Monday 8 December 2008

Right turn on red

The blue sign says "rechtsaf voor fietsers vrij" or "free right turn for cyclists."

This indicates that it is legal to make a right turn at this junction when the traffic light is red. This is a privilege that is only extended to cyclists. Drivers must always wait for a green light.

You can do this at many junctions where there is a fully segregated cycle path, and there is usually no sign then. However, at junctions like this where all the traffic comes together some indication is needed to show whether a right turn is safe at this location.

The video shows the way this works. You go from one cycle path around the corner onto another without stopping, and without having to worry about motorised traffic as none of it is in your lane.

Explanatory captions on this video are visible only if you play it on a computer and not on a mobile device

The keen eyed will have noticed that there is also a white and green sign underneath the traffic light. As well as allowing right turn on red, this is also a simultaneous green junction, go to that link for more information.

From the CROW Design
Manual for bicycle traffic
April 2006 / June 2007
Thousands of traffic light junctions across the Netherlands allow cyclists to make right turns on a red light, and this contributes to making cycle journeys faster than equivalent journeys by car.

There are several other blog posts illustrating the details of what makes Groningerstraat in Assen a good place for cycling.

Update 2015: Right on red is not new
Paris has achieved much press over the last few months for its implementation of right on red (and straight through on red) for cyclists. None of this is new. It's been normal across the Netherlands for over a decade now.


zmau said...

Why do children ride bikes on the footpath, beside such a beautiful cycle path (at the end of video) ?
Is it common, and isn't it an offense against pedestrians ?

David Hembrow said...

Zmau: They do it because they're mucking about. That's what children and teenagers do.

Is it an offence ? Yes, I guess it is. However, no-one gets hurt, and no-one worries too much about it.

Is it common ? Outside schools as they turn out I guess it is. At other times, no. Not at all.