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Red Light Runners: A Tale of Impudence and Impatience

by Nathan Ford 13 Oct 2023 1 comment

 Protect yourself from red light runners infographic

Key Points Summary
Red Light Runners Pose a significant threat to motorcyclists on Australian roads due to their reckless behavior.
Safety Measures A range of proactive measures like obeying traffic rules, maintaining a safe distance, and regular bike maintenance can mitigate risks.
Collective Effort By adhering to safety measures and supporting road safety initiatives, motorcyclists can contribute to a safer road environment for all.


Ah, the red light runners—those self-anointed VIPs of the Australian roads, always in a mythical hurry. To them, a red light is a mere suggestion, not an instruction. Their objective? Shaving a grand total of 30 seconds off their journey because every tick of the clock is apparently a tick too many.

They dart through red lights with a brazen disregard for the law and, more importantly, the safety of others. Their impatience is only surpassed by their self-importance. Each red light run is a slap in the face to the law-abiding drivers who share the road with them. They zip past the crimson signals as if the rules were beneath them, putting everyone else in jeopardy just to be a few fleeting moments ahead.

Their impudence is a spectacle, a show of arrogance that leaves behind a trail of near misses and the ever-looming threat to the vulnerable motorcyclists. The irony is, despite their hurry, they often find themselves caught at the next red light, their time-saving endeavour rendered futile.

As they continue their reckless escapades, they leave the rest of us navigating the danger they pose. In the following section, we will focus on how motorcyclists can shield themselves from the menace of red-light runners and ensure safer journeys on the road.

Red light runners pose a significant threat to motorcyclists on Australian roads. However, by adopting proactive safety measures, riders can significantly mitigate these risks. Here are actionable tips to enhance your safety on the road:

1. Wait a Moment Longer

After the light has turned green for you, pause for a moment to ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding.

2. Check the Intersection

Always check that the intersection is clear even if the light is green. It's a good practice to look left, right, and then left again to ensure it's safe to proceed.

3. Lane Positioning at Red Lights

When approaching a red light, consider your lane position well in advance. Avoid the middle portion of the lane, as it often collects hazardous debris. The leftmost third of the lane is often considered the safest default position, offering good visibility and a flexible set of escape routes in an emergency. Source. However, adjust your position based on your surroundings and the current traffic situation. Source.

4. Avoiding Being Rear-Ended at Red Lights

Remain alert and aware of the traffic behind you to avoid being rear-ended at red lights. Regularly check your mirrors, keep your brake light on by resting your toe on the rear brake pedal, and be ready to move if a vehicle approaches from behind. Source.

5. Emergency Escape Routes at Red Lights

Plan an escape route when stopped at a red light. Leave enough distance between you and the car in front to use your escape route if necessary. Source. Always keep your motorcycle in gear while stopped, so you're ready to move quickly if needed. Source.

6. Defensive Driving Course

Enroll in a defensive driving course tailored for motorcyclists. Such courses equip riders with valuable skills and techniques to respond effectively in hazardous situations. Source.

7. Obey Traffic Rules

Adherence to traffic rules and speed limits is crucial for your safety and contributes to overall road safety. Source.

8. Maintain a Safe Distance

Always keep a safe distance from other vehicles and stay alert to your surroundings. Being vigilant about potential hazards can help prevent collisions. Source.

9. Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)

Operating headlights during the daytime is a proven method to reduce the rate of collisions by enhancing a motorcycle's visibility in traffic. DRLs can decrease motorcycle crash risk by about 4 to 20% as they make motorcycles more noticeable to other road users who might find it challenging to detect them or judge their speed correctly. Source.

10. Regular Maintenance

Inspect your bike’s brakes, tires, and lights regularly to prevent mechanical failures that could result in accidents. Source.

11. Wear Protective Gear

Don a helmet, gloves, and sturdy clothing to provide vital protection in case of an accident. Source.

Broadening the Horizon: Initiatives in Road Safety

Moreover, broader initiatives are being undertaken to curb the menace of red light runners. The Queensland government, for instance, is extending its "Hold the Red" radars to more locations to reduce crashes caused by red light violations. This technology employs radar to detect vehicles about to run a red light, implementing a two-second delay to the changing of the opposite green light, thereby preventing other motorists or pedestrians from entering the intersection. Source.

South Australia is also playing its part by supporting the development of a national motorcycle information program that provides independent safety advice on protective clothing to motorcyclists. Additionally, there's a national initiative to mandate Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) on new motorcycle models, a step towards enhancing motorcyclist safety. Source.

By following these tips and staying updated on the latest safety initiatives, motorcyclists can significantly lower the chances of falling victim to the impulsive acts of red light runners.


Navigating through the asphalt jungle teeming with red light renegades requires a blend of vigilance, preparedness, and adherence to safety practices. The above-mentioned tips offer a structured approach to bolster your safety while cruising the roads, but it's essential to remember that the unpredictable nature of red light runners necessitates a continuous learning and adaptation process for every motorcyclist.

Investing in your riding skills through defensive driving courses, ensuring your motorcycle is in top-notch condition through regular maintenance, and embracing the shared responsibility of road safety by obeying traffic rules are all steps in the right direction. Moreover, being cognizant of the broader road safety initiatives and technological advancements can further equip you to deal with the challenges posed by red light runners.

The journey towards safer roads is a collective effort. By adhering to these safety measures and supporting broader road safety initiatives, not only do you contribute to your own safety, but you also play a part in forging a safer environment for all road users. So, gear up, stay alert, and let's work together in taming the menace of red light runners, making the roads a safer haven for everyone.


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1 comment

26 Feb 2024 Dan Gallant
Sounds like you’ve been learning lots of lessons fella

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