How to trigger the traffic lights with your bike

CAN is working on a Respect: Stop at Red campaign.

It’s a campaign to reduce crashes and improve the status of cycling in the eyes of the public and policy-makers, and to tackle the attitudes of those cyclists whose behaviour perpetuates the image of cyclists as irresponsible.

At yesterday’s inquest into the death of Steve Fitzgerald, the Coroner noted CAN’s request for changes in road user training and behaviour, then mentioned the unfavourable impression caused by bikers who run red lights.

I’d appreciate any feedback on this video (also at at

10 thoughts on “How to trigger the traffic lights with your bike

  1. Pingback: Stop at Red : Cycling in Wellington

  2. I’m pretty ambivalent about the campaign. While I do generally comply with traffic signals whenever there are cars around, and I always stop at crossings, my sympathies are well expressed here:

    On the other hand, that’s great advice about triggering and I’m going to try it at the next opportunity — the corner of Willis southbound turning right up into Ghuznee is a bugbear of mine. I always do naughty hopping on to the footpath there because without a car, I can’t get a green arrow turning right, and I hate doing that.


      1. I just want to report that I have been using the triggering trick successfully since watching this video, including at the intersection I complained about above. If only this were more widely known! A little paint in the right places might help give people the idea if they haven’t been clued in.


  3. Alison

    Ahh, so thats what you do to get a traffic lights going, speaking as an ex red light runner, after being stung with a fine, I am very law abiding now and only run the lights when dismounted and pushing bike


  4. Edward

    Nice, useful tips. Thanks. As a daily commuter I’m all for things that improve roads for cyclists. The whole concept of building respect with motorists by not running red lights makes a lot of sense. (As with most cyclists, I’m also a motorist…)

    I figure the time gained by running lights isn’t really going to make my day much different (perhaps I’ve relaxed now I’m older with kids??).

    I figure that being courteous to drivers, and obeying lights will go a long way. Courteous? Not cutting them up, especially in early morning low sun biking out of Karori; don’t complicate things by passing cars when they are already dealing with tunnels / complicated road layouts, pedestrian crossings etc; line up behind the cars where appropriate, don’t surprise them; give a wave when they are obviously watching out for you or you pull out in front of them (with plenty of warning of course).

    That all happens to make my ride safer too. Maybe I get to work a minute later as a result.

    1. be visible
    2. be predictable
    3. be courteous

    Touch wood I haven’t had an ‘off’ in Wellington yet!


  5. atom

    tip for the the end of cuba st, where it meets wakefield – where the black-top ends and turns to cobblestone/bricks a few meters before wakefield, be in the center of the lane and slowed down to just about walking speed. this will trigger the sensor and depending on bike speed and cross-traffic (and pedestrians waiting for a green-guy), will give a green light just as you get to the intersection.


  6. For gods sake, can’t they make REMOTE CONTROLS available? Just a click of the green button as you approach the traffic lights, and green light IS ON THE WAY!
    No need to slow down, all that global warming avoided from cyclists having to start and speed up again.
    It would also be useful in the car too!


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