Monday, August 24, 2009

Law Taking Effect This Week Allows Motorcycles, Bicycles to Run Red Lights

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 12:49 PM

click to enlarge Now you can run red lights -- sorta like this guy. - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/DELTAMIKE
  • flickr.com/photos/deltamike
  • Now you can run red lights -- sorta like this guy.
Somehow I don't see the judge at the St. Louis red-light camera court buying this argument. But, hey, it's worth a shot -- especially if you get a red-light ticket while on a motorcyle.

That's because beginning this Friday a new state law goes into effect allowing motorcyclists and bicyclist to occassionally run red lights.

Why this diplomatic immunity for two-wheelers?

Because motorcycles and bicycles are often too light to trip the in-road sensors at traffic signals. As a result, bikers often wait an inordinate amount of time for a red light that never turns green.

As the Kansas City Star reports, the new law allows these two-wheeled riders to run a stoplight but only on the following conditions.
1. The driver first comes to a complete stop.
2. The driver waits "an unreasonable time" for the light to change.
3. The traffic light seems to be malfunctioning.
4. The driver ventures into the intersection only if no other vehicles are  coming.

As you might imagine, the Missouri Department of Transportation is not too happy with the law, particularly the part that has bikers judging what is "an unreasonable time" to wait for a light.

"Anytime you have people making judgments...it might increase the opportunity for a crash," Leanna Depue, director of highway safety for MODOT, tells the Star.


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