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Danish police campaign to target drivers and cyclists who run red lights

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Danish police campaign to target drivers and cyclists who run red lights
Danish police are to focus attention on drivers who run red lights this week, according to the Danish Road Safety Council. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Police in Denmark will this week look to stop drivers and cyclists who drive through red lights, with a national council saying too many road users ignore stop lights.

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A large number of police districts across Denmark are set to focus this week on catching both drivers and cyclists who go through red lights, the Danish Road Safety Council (Rådet for Sikker Trafik) said in a press statement.

“Most people respect red lights in traffic, but there are also a large number who don’t,” the council said in the statement.

The Road Safety Council said that two studies it carried out in 2022 showed concerning trends over road users’ tendency to ignore red lights.

According to a survey of 3,266 cyclists by the council, 8 percent admitted to running red lights “very often, often or occasionally”. Men (12 percent) are more likely to be culprits than women (6 percent), the study found. Some 41 percent off all cyclists said they turn right on red lights.

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Comparable figures were returned by the 5,070 car drivers interviewed by the council. Some 11 percent of motorists said they have intentionally driven through a red light or turned right on a red light within the last year.

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“These studies show that action is needed in this area and it’s therefore positive that police are responding with controls,” Danish Road Safety Council CEO Mogens Kjærgaard Møller said in the statement.

“Traffic is a large community in which we must be able to rely on each other and be sure that others stop when they have a red light,” he said.

The studies found that drivers and cyclists run red lights all over Denmark, but the problem is worst in central Copenhagen and the outlying suburbs to the west of the capital, known as Vestegnen.

Some 17 percent of drivers in both areas said they have intentionally run a red light in the last year. Meanwhile, 12 percent of cyclists in the Greater Copenhagen region said they go through red lights very often, often or occasionally, higher than any other region.

“It’s obvious that it’s very risky to drive through a red light, because others don’t expect it. It’s also a bad signal to send to other road users when you don’t respect red lights,” Møller said.

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