Why Do Cyclists Ignore Red Lights?

Have you ever noticed a cyclist in NYC not stop at a red light even though they are riding in the road with cars that are required to stop at a red light?
Four NY Post reporters observed cyclists at three busy intersections between 8am and 4pm and noted 1,006 cyclists who encountered red lights and 796 of them proceeded on through without stopping.
So why would cyclists even take the chance on running a red light when there have already been 17 fatalities involving cyclists this year? The report notes that some bikers were seen slowing down and looking both ways before going through. Apparently to cyclists, a red light is treated as a stop sign and a stop sign is treated as a yield sign. Obeying every red light on a bike results in a far greater percentage of stops during a bike commute than a drive, therefore cyclists often create logic that traffic lights are timed for motorists and not cyclists. Or maybe they don’t obey traffic lights because they feel they are more attuned to their environment than a driver, and can easily determine whether or not it is safe to proceed. These are poor justifications!
All cyclists need to be aware that the number of fatalities is growing. While you may think you are proceeding safely through a red light or stop sign, the carelessness of your actions may result in serious injuries inflicted on you or even death. Everyone needs to pay attention and be careful on the chaotic streets of NYC. Reckless driving is the leading cause of traffic fatalities and injuries in this city. Following the rules of the road and obeying traffic signals is the most important thing you can do as a cyclist. Keep yourself and others around you safe.
Source: Gothamist