Bikes and Red Lights – Red Means Stop… For a Minute or Two:
There are three things set in stone about traffic in America, and those are “Green means go”, “Red means stop” and “Yellow means slow down.” For some bikers though, “Red means stop” is no longer a definitive rule of the road. Several states have ruled that, since most motorcycles aren’t heavy enough to trip the weight sensors used by many lights that determine traffic flow, they only have to wait a moderate amount of time – usually around a minute or two – before carefully running the light and crossing the intersection.
“Cars and trucks have no problem [with the sensor at stop lights], but motorcycles have always been an issue” said Bob Peters, the Sheriff’s Deputy of Crawford County Kansas, where running red lights is currently legal. “You may be on a section of roadway where you wait for five minutes and there may not be other traffic along to trigger the sensor.”
Though most bikers applaud the rule after years of waiting at red lights for a car to arrive and trigger the sensor, it hasn’t been entirely popular with motorists who they share the road with, causing heated debate everywhere it has been proposed: “I see no skeletal remains of motorcyclists sitting at red lights that never change,” one Republican lawmaker told The Wichita Eagle.
Overall though, the idea seems to be gaining support around the country, with lawmakers and bikers both petitioning to put the law into effect in more and more states across the country. If the trend continues at its current rate of growth, it won’t be surprising to see the majority of states with some form of this law coming into effect by the end of this year.
Naysayers of the law have made sure that, wherever it has been passed, it has included provisions to keep things as safe as possible at all times. In Illinois, the law only applies to municipalities with fewer than two million people, so it will not be of concern to larger cities such as Chicago. In most cases, lawmakers themselves have stipulated that a safe waiting time can be no less than two minutes, meaning that bikers who don’t wait the proper interval could still be ticketed.
Regardless of whether you have been a victim of a minor bike accident or a major motorcycle-related crash, the experienced lawyers at Russ Brown are the perfect resource for getting their clients the best compensation possible. For the most up-to-date news trends in the twin worlds of biking and law, check out our website at Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys and, if you ever get in a jam, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-4-BIKERS (1-800-424-5377) for a free case evaluation.