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Motorcycles can run red lights in TN...what about bikes?(14 posts)

Motorcycles can run red lights in TN...what about bikes?moo2
Jun 11, 2003 6:58 AM
I just saw this story:

Aparently in TN, the governor has just signed into law a bill that lets motorcycles run red lights, if they exercise due care and caution. The motorcyclists were complaining that red lights never turn green because the traffic light sensors don't detect modern aluminum and fiberglass motorcycles very well.

I wonder if this will apply to cyclists as well. It's only natural, since modern bikes are made less and less of anything that a sensor would detect.

Discuss among yourselves...
depends upon the precise languageDougSloan
Jun 11, 2003 7:06 AM
Depends on what that law, as well as other laws pertaining to bicycles, say.

Sometimes what it legal is not always a good idea, like the lane splitting law for motorcycles in California (can ride between lanes of cars), or no helmet laws in some states.

The reasoning behind the law makes perfect sense, though. Better, yet, they would fix the traffic sensors so the lights work.

Jun 11, 2003 7:30 AM
sometimes (oftentimes?) there's a more simple solution than legislation.

All in all, I'm quite happy, though, as I often run redlights for that very reason.
Regardless of the letter of the law...Scot_Gore
Jun 11, 2003 7:30 AM
...if you exercise due caution at a traffic light that fails to recognize you, the cops going recognize it and not chase you down for the violation.

I do this all the time on my daily route. I have light that I hit nearly everyday around 6:00am. It's never recognized me. I treat it like a stop sign. I stop, look for traffic and proceed through on the red. If a cruiser was sitting there watching me, I find it highly unlikely that they would come after me for the infraction. If they did, I think I judge would toss it because I could argure that the light was malfunctioning.

Here's something somewhat related that happened in my town about 15 years ago. I live in a large suburb of 90,000 people. The town has 4 lane city streets throughout signed at 35MPH. Since they are city streets, the speed limit signs were about 1.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet tall. Someone successfully fought a speeding ticket because there's a law that says speed limit signs on 4 lane roads must be at least 2 X 3.5 (or something like that), you know, like the ones on the freeway. The city had to resign the entire town to make the speed limits enforceable again.

If a cyclists won a "stoplight dosn't recognize my legal vehicle" case, would the city have to upgrade and replace every traffic sensor in the town to make the stoplights enforceable again ? If that's the case then the watch sergeants are likely telling there officers to leave the cyclists alone.

My thoughts
they can't run red lightsmohair_chair
Jun 11, 2003 7:45 AM
They still have to stop first. That's a lot different from "running" a red light.

I do this all the time on my bike, and I consider it 100% legal. If a signal does not recognize me, I consider it broken, and do what anyone would do at a broken signal. I wait until it is safe to proceed, then I go. What am I supposed to do, wait around all day for someone in a car to show up? I figure I am on solid legal ground if a cop ever tickets me, and now that this TN law is around, I KNOW that I am.
agree 100% nmSteve_0
Jun 11, 2003 8:07 AM
Just like pedestrians have crosswalk buttonsMel Erickson
Jun 11, 2003 8:02 AM
Why not put buttons at intersections for cyclists/motorcyclists that lets the sensor know you're there. It will then proceed to change the light as if you were a car. I would think this would be much less expensive than changing the programming/electronics/sensors in the road.
yeah. hardly a traffic hazard with buttons in every lane. nm.Steve_0
Jun 11, 2003 8:07 AM
have you ever seen sensor rubber wires laying cross all lanes?nmcyclopathic
Jun 11, 2003 8:54 AM
Jun 11, 2003 9:27 AM
HardlyMel Erickson
Jun 11, 2003 12:03 PM
Just one button is all you'd need, on the right curb where cyclists can reach it, possibly on a center island if the right lane is right turn only. I'm sure a good location could be found for almost any intersection.
you'd need one for every lane....Steve_0
Jun 12, 2003 3:55 AM
Obviously, you'll need one for the left turn lane. Most intersections around here, as well as most urban one-ways have at least a single center lane. Need one for those as well. Off-hand, you would THINK you wouldnt need one for right-turn only lanes; however many intersections are explicitly marked 'no turn on red'.

Even if you DID hang these things in intersections, where would you do so? Cyclists vary their location within a given lane depending upon desired visability and roadsurface. Lastly, a motorist should not be obligated to remove his hands from his controls. He would have to take the bike out of gear to push this button; one of the first no-nos taught at MSF.
One, or maybe two would doMel Erickson
Jun 12, 2003 5:22 AM
Cyclists would soon learn where they are and position themselves to take advantage of them. You take your foot out when you stop, don't you (maybe you track stand?)? Why not put it at curb level where you can push it with your toe? Pedestrians use similar devices all the time. I'm sure the traffic engineers could work it out.
Jun 12, 2003 5:41 AM
yes, I do trackstand in the city.

Youre theory has ~some~ merit for bicycles (even then, there are flaws---if the button is on the curb, but the cyclist wants to turn right?), I was referring to motorcycles, which you incuded in your original reply. There is no practical application, as one is needed for every lane (by law,the cyclist is obligated to choose the lane based upon destination, and has the lattitude to choose location within a lane based upon personal perception of safety).

Anywhoo, I think we've beaten this horse; peace out.