Bikers allowed to run red lights

Now seven states in the US allow bikers to 'proceed with caution' when they're shown a red light

Posted: 11 June 2008
by Visordown News

SOME American states are allowing motorcyclists to go through red lights when sensors aren't able to detect they are there.

According to reports in USA Today, South Carolina became the seventh state to give motorcyclists license to proceed with caution when the device that causes the light to change from red to green doesn't activate.

Imre Szauter, government affairs manager for the American Motorcyclist Association, said that SC is now the seventh state to let bikers through junctions against the lights.

North Carolina passed a similar law in 2007. Wisconsin (2006), Idaho (2006) Arkansas (2005), Tennessee (2003) and Minnesota (2002), all have passed laws the past six years. Bills have been introduced for the same purpose in Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Federal Highway Administration says such laws raise safety concerns, but biker groups that have lobbied for the change say they are common sense.

"We want to emphasize that the riders do this with safety and caution in mind," Szauter said. "If they truly are trapped at a light, this gives them an opportunity to safely proceed through that signal, because otherwise they don't really have much of a choice."

But the idea is still coming up against resistence. Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, said the states that have already approved the scheme should instead try to find a technical solution to the problem.

"We don't necessarily think that empowering motorists to make up their own rules of the road is the safest or best approach," he said.

The traffic lights in question are controlled by devices buried under the road that operate similar to metal detectors, according to Hecox. Their sensitivity can be set to detect motorcycles, but the proper balance is difficult to adjust, he said.


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surely a motorcyclist is capable of making his or her own descission on whether a junction is safe to cross. Bikers realise how dangerous road conditions are a lot more than car drivers do.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 11:44

kwikkwak1971 wrote (see)

surely a motorcyclist is capable of making his or her own descission on whether a junction is safe to cross. Bikers realise how dangerous road conditions are a lot more than car drivers do.


I disagree.

Get side swiped by a 40mph truck in a car and it hurts just as much as on a bike. 


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 11:47


AC

It only takes a piece of metal at the bottom of the bike to trigger the lights. I think letting bikers decide for themselves spells trouble. The majority of bikers will be sensible about it but they have their share of chavs in the States.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 11:47

What utter pants!


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 11:57


Never, a totally bad idea and one which only serves to cause legal confusion.

(besides, being a CBR owner, sometimes it's nice to be able to stop and straighten up for a second)


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 12:01

The only lights i ignore are the roadwork ones where you can blatently see the other side and theres nothing coming.. But im sure your allowed to do that anyway.. I dunno..

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 12:02

I think it's a great idea.

Can I also suggest bikes are exempt from not overtaking on solid lines? As bikes can massively out accelerate the cars the solid white lines were designed for.

And speed limts, I'd like to be exempt from them too. On safety grounds of course.,


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 12:41

It happens to me in Hinckley when I'm on morning shifts sometimes. Theres nobody else about and the bloody lights just wont change. I either have to wait for a car to turn up or go through a red. I have been sat there for about 3-4 minutes before with nobody else on the crossroads, then somebody pulls up at the junction and their lights turn green before mine do. It's very annoying.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 13:07

kwikkwak1971 wrote (see)

surely a motorcyclist is capable of making his or her own descission on whether a junction is safe to cross. Bikers realise how dangerous road conditions are a lot more than car drivers do.


You're talking out of your dirty bum.

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 13:19

I believe kwikkwak may have made his comment referring to the general state of alertness to danger of the average car driver being lower than that of the average biker (i.e. cagers are less attentive).

IMO i'd agree, but this is probably largely because they all seem to have a particular preference for aiming their ton of projectile metal weapon at me


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 17:24

Big Nige wrote (see)
kwikkwak1971 wrote (see)

surely a motorcyclist is capable of making his or her own descission on whether a junction is safe to cross. Bikers realise how dangerous road conditions are a lot more than car drivers do.


I disagree.

Get side swiped by a 40mph truck in a car and it hurts just as much as on a bike. 


The difference in that is you're more likely to survive in a car.

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 19:56

Totally disagree how can it be safe to proceed with caution if you can't see what's coming in the first place?

Is it true in the early hours if you put your stand down when your waiting at a red they will change?


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 20:02

and what would happen if another motorcyclist was crossing your path at the same set of lights!!!!!!

let the insurance comps sort that out.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 20:09

giggsy wrote (see)
Totally disagree how can it be safe to proceed with caution if you can't see what's coming in the first place?

Think the idea is only at junctions where you can see its clear, bit like turning right on a red, cages are allowed to do that as well

giggsy wrote (see)
Is it true in the early hours if you put your stand down when your waiting at a red they will change?

Tried that before and it still doesn't work at some places and if the sensor is damaged then you will sit for ages


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 20:10

Road Pirate wrote (see)

I think it's a great idea.

Can I also suggest bikes are exempt from not overtaking on solid lines? As bikes can massively out accelerate the cars the solid white lines were designed for.

And speed limts, I'd like to be exempt from them too. On safety grounds of course.,


I thought you could overtake cars when there is a solid line - as long as you don't cross or straddle it..........

(thats what I was taught 3 months ago)

IMHO, they've got to sort the sensors out, only takes one of those big juggernauts speeding and..........(doesn't bear thinking about) 

I would also like to be exempt from speed limits - PLEASE 


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 20:40

Surely this is a natural progression from the fact we are allowed to ignore speed limits?

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 21:22

Mr Marv wrote (see)
The only lights i ignore are the roadwork ones where you can blatently see the other side and theres nothing coming.. But im sure your allowed to do that anyway.. I dunno..

Nope, unless the law has changed.  My Dad got 3 points for that a few years back.

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 21:24

Has the quote thingy changed, never managed to do that before?

Posted: 11/06/2008 at 21:25

AC wrote (see)

It only takes a piece of metal at the bottom of the bike to trigger the lights. I think letting bikers decide for themselves spells trouble. The majority of bikers will be sensible about it but they have their share of chavs in the States.


Sometimes. There is a set on my commute that doesn't detect me, and i either have to sit and wait for a nice obliging car to join the queue, or see (and you CAN see, pretty much 200yds) if it is safe and decide to run through.

 I think there are two sides to every story, and on this one it might just be that the cameras can't work out who the bikes are without our plate on the front, and so they don't want the stats of failed-to-find-the-jumper - solution? make it legal for them to jump.

Problem would be the insurance side - you would have to say that the biker would be automatically at fault, but the what-ifs about speeding cars, no lights and all sorts means it gets complicated.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 22:19

Why not just get rid of all traffic rules for everyone.

Not quite sure how you can just claim that bikes are Ok to run red lights -  having seen that this is a yank initiative, they already have the OK for all vehicles turning right at lights to go through on red in a lot of states - fucking stupid idea.


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 22:41

Best idea is to get rid of traffic lights..they appear to be singularly responsible for most traffic jams..In cases where they are switched off there is usually an improvement in traffic flow without a noticeable rise in accidents ( especially when drivers are left to work out the priority themselves, which makes them more cautious..)

Oh and dont forget railway crossing lights...my nearest one often closes for up to 9 minutes for just 2 fucking trains....


Posted: 11/06/2008 at 22:50

my comments were made in particular reference to riding a zxr400 for a few years, even in the uk you can pull up at lights and they do not detect the light inertia effect of the crank and rods in the 400 engine (the only steel rotating parts of any effect)

 So i sit and sit, the lights change 3 or 4 times in the other lanes but because i am on the little spur that does not get a priority i still sit and sit. Eventually a car will pull up behind me and i can be on my way again. If i were allowed to proceed with caution i would, BUT with caution

 The turn right rule works in the US so why should it not be the same for a Cross roads in the middle of a dead area and there are plenty of them in the US.  I drove around the outskirts of a town in Arizona at 3 in the morning working one summer and did not see a single car except the policecar that pulled me over to ask why i was driving at that time of the night


Posted: 12/06/2008 at 08:49

Isnt allowing bikes through red lights just making an exception through a problem which will still remain in place? Surely the solution to this is not allow motorcycles to pass red lights, but alter the way the lights work.

Obviously its not the case, but surely lights SHOULD be able to deal with ALL road legal traffic, and where they cant is an issue with the lights, and not the vehicles. Altering the laws to get around what really should be classed as faulty technology is not a solution. 


Posted: 12/06/2008 at 15:44

mike Malinowski wrote (see)
... Altering the laws to get around what really should be classed as faulty technology is not a solution. 
But the cheaper option

Posted: 12/06/2008 at 19:32


FRE
Right; a bad idea.

Instead, deliver a tent and food to the biker so he can camp at the intersection for a few days until the police get around to giving him permission to continue.

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 20:39

FRE wrote (see)
Right; a bad idea.  .

A much better idea, check to see how old the thread is you're about to post on


Posted: 13/02/2013 at 21:12

Lets all ignore what passes for law anyway, good enough for politicians and bankers...they,re tryin to cull us all anyway, so survival f the fittest it is then!!


Posted: 16/02/2013 at 08:50

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