Monday, September 9, 2013

Harleys Can Run Red Lights ... Really

Drivers stuck in gridlock jealously watch as motorcyclists zoom between lanes (known as "lane splitting" and permitted in many states). If that isn't enough to raise your vehicular ire, consider this -- in ten states motorcyclists are also allowed to run red lights. Huh?
Where you can do it. So far North Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma Minnesota, IllinoisKansas and Wisconsin have joined the red-light running party with laws permitting red light running (and the state of Washington is also considering similar legislation). Wisconsin's red-light running statute, passed in 2006, is pretty typical. Under that statute, motorcyclists and bicyclists can disregard red lights if they (1) believe traffic signals aren't picking up their presence, (2) the intersection is free of cross traffic and (3) they've waited at least 45 seconds.
Why? These laws are derived from a technical problem. Devices that trigger red lights have difficulty "reading" the presence of motorcycles and bicycles. Cyclists are often left standing for long periods, or until a car approaches. Of course, legislators could save a lot of time and paperwork if they handed out one of these to everyone who applies for a motorcycle license. (Here's where to go for more on state motorcycle laws.)

1 comment:

  1. Nevada just joined the pack. is the website educating the bicycling and motorcycling public about the new law.