Skip to comments.Motorcycles running red lights? It's the law... sometimes (Wisconsin)
Posted on 08/28/2013 3:05:14 AM PDT by rellimpank
West Allis resident John Glass used to pull up to intersections on his motorcycle and sometimes find he was stuck.
Traffic lights remained red because they didn't sense his bike, and the longtime motorcycle enthusiast would have to take a roundabout route or wait for a car to come and trigger the sensors.
Today, Glass knows what to do: He simply runs the red lights.
With thousands of Harley riders descending on Milwaukee this week for Harley-Davidson's 110th anniversary celebration, you might see quite a few motorcyclists running red lights and they have the right to do so, under certain circumstances.
A 2006 state statute says motorcyclists and bicyclists can go through red lights if they believe traffic signals aren't picking up their presence, if the intersection is free of cross traffic and if they've waited at least 45 seconds.
The problem, Glass said, is not a lot of people, including police officers, seem to know the law exists.
(Excerpt) Read more at jsonline.com ...
Who knew? Bikers are allowed to run red lights!
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Some intersection have a newer sensor under the road, others will not sense you are there, especially if you are at the signal on a smaller bike, and then you get a car, er cager behind you and they are also stuck there.
Where I live we have the red light law, I have and will even take off making a left turn if it looks like its skipping my lane because again as a biker I am invisible to the world.
Lately I have been trying out a supermagnet clamped to the bottom of the bike, seems to work, they actually sell a device that creates a field but it also can screw with your sensitive electronics on your bike.
My defence for going through a red that doesn’t change is to cite the section of the Highway Traffic Act that deals with malfunctioning traffic lights; a malfunctioning signal is to be treated as an all-way stop sign.
The latest technology in traffic signal systems includes video detection equipment on the signal mast arm instead of loop detectors in the pavement. That should help alleviate some of the issues cited here.
I’ve had to do this. I was sitting at a light one time and a cop told me to run it. This was in California.
I would also occasionally park the bike and run over to push the pedestrian crossing button.
Needed in PA. We got a ticket on Easter Sunday. Came up to a red light at a T-intersection. Going to make a right hand turn. Turns on Right ARE LEGAL in PA unless posted otherwise. This was posted. Again Sunday morning Easter. No traffic on the road before us and nothing coming up in back of us. I moved back and forth as much as possible trying to trip the light to no avail. After about 3 MINUTES with NO TRAFFIC visible anywhere, I pulled out. Just as I did a police car came down the road I was turning on to and he saw that the light was green and that I came out from the side street. I was already coming out before he came into view so I never saw him. Of course he hit the lights and siren and flew down the road after us even though I was only going the 25 miles per hour listed on the road. Tried to explain the situation and his response was well don’t use that road.. My wife immediately stepped between us and told me to keep my mouth shut. Thanks to her all I got was the traffic ticket.
Why not? Noise laws don’t seem to apply to them, why should other laws?
If I was dictator, all red lights would be flashing red lights. But I would also require that you can do more than just fog a mirror in order to get a drivers license.
A law based on common sense. Unbelievable.
Another one I noticed in Seattle a few years ago and being implemented all over where I now live in Kentucky: The left turn arrow going from green to flashing yellow, rather than green to red, when the oncoming traffic gets a green.
Your wife did the right thing. Never argue with a man who can a bill (or bills ) that you have to pay depending on what day he’s had, especially when you can get sent to jail for not paying them...: )
Your wife did the right thing. Never argue with a man who can write a bill (or bills ) that you have to pay depending on what day hes had, especially when you can get sent to jail for not paying them...: )
I noticed a few years ago that more and more people run red left turn arrows. In fact, this morning the guy in front of me did it and I followed him right through. There was no oncoming traffic.
In Seattle, there is a white X on the pavement on the corner of the sensor where you should put your bike so the “extra sensitive” part of the sensor picks you up. I’ve used it on a bicycle and it works.
But in Seattle I would sometimes see timid cage drivers stop so far short of the line at lights that they never set off the sensors. I’ve actually had room to pull in front of some of them during the red light, and have done so, just to make a point. ;-)
My defence for going through a red that doesnt change is to cite the section of the Highway Traffic Act that deals with malfunctioning traffic lights; a malfunctioning signal is to be treated as an all-way stop sign.
No one is being allowed to “run” red lights.
This law, like the one passed last year in Virginia, requires that motorcycles STOP at all red lights, just as everyone else is required to do.
All the law does is allow motorcyclists, after waiting a long enough time for it to be clear that their bike did not trip the light sequencing mechanism, and that the light is not going to change to green for them, to cautiously and safely proceed through the light without fear of being ticketed for reckless driving.
Why not? Noise laws dont seem to apply to them, why should other laws?
Energy is a precious commodity for a bicycle rider. On my bike I don’t scrub it off for the sole purpose of obeying arbitrary, but pointless, laws - unless there is a cop around, of course. ;-)
Where it is being used, video detection equipment helps with the problem - it helps a lot, in my experience.
But there are still many localities that use the old magnetic detectors, and these are often not adjusted to sufficient sensitivity to detect a motorcycle.
In what way are motorcycles exempt from any laws?
Please, do tell...
Houston has this law, I think, for late nights when traffic congestion is low. Must stop first.
I could use the same law for my car. It is a compact, gets great gas mileage, and gets me to and from work reliably, etc etc. There are several intersections around town where the sensors are not quite sensitive enough to pick up my car.
I like those as well. There needs to be more of that, where appropriate.
I like those as well. There needs to be more of that, where appropriate.
It’s just like Lake Washington Blvd in Renton near the Seahawks training building. It has a 25 mph speed limit and lots of arbitrary stop signs. It is all there to discourage people from using it to bypass the nightmare that is I-405.
Harley Davidson: A machine that turns gasoline into noise without side effects like horsepower.
My Yamaha has the OE exhaust. It is so quiet I cannot hear the engine over the wind noise at interstate speed. I frequently hear noise machines half a mile behind me.
Good point. I have often wondered if motorcycles would sell if they were quiet as cars. I really, really doubt it.
In Missouri, we have “dead red” rules. If you sit through a cycle without it changing, you can run it when it is clear.
My interpretation of "running" a red light is failing to slow down or stop. In this case the biker is required to stop and may proceed if it is safe to do so. Big diff.
...or with a guy who has a gun.
In Colorado we can treat malfunctioning lights as stop signs. I lived a few years back in a suburb and the light never detected my motorcycle. After a single cycle of skipping my lane I waited for traffic to clear then left.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I have several motorcycles which are as quiet as cars, and I have some motorcycles that are not as quiet as cars.
I like them all...
...because they are motorcycles, NOT because they do or do not make noise.
Not all Harleys are loud. Mine isn't, because I want to be able to hear my tunes when I ride. Some believe that loud pipes are useful for alerting motorists to your presense. I'm 50/50 on that. I've seen it actually happen. You could actually see the cager startle when he heard the bike.
Personally, I prefer a quieter ride.
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I always ran red lights at night in:
Rio del Janeiro
ANYWHERE SOUTH AFRICA
Port au Prince really has none you just drive away from sound of technicals to get up the hill
Old now....cannons are spiked dammit though down here we have some war zones
I do not doubt your statement about your motorcycles. However, how does one get around the everyday evidence that yours is a minority viewpoint?
Yeah, I've done that too. Pain in the butt, but it beats waiting for a car, or risking being seen by an ignorant cop and the resulting 15-minute wait while they figure out common sense.
Same with my Harley. It came with some aftermarket pipes (Vance and Hines) that were too loud for me, so I put on some 2-1 SuperTrapp. I can adjust the baffles to suit my noise level, still has a nice sound, just not ear splitting.
As one who used to ride a Harley, and then falling on hard times sold his bike off, but hopes he might come on better times and get another bike... I’ve wondered if anyone makes, or if there are even fabrication plans available for, a toggleable wastegate for bike exhaust, so your machine can roar and thunder when you want it to, and it can be quiet when you want it to, all at the flip of a lever accessible while riding. (Your neighbors might appreciate it if you had your bike in quiet mode when returning home in the wee hours.) Extra points for concomitant adjustment of the air intake and fuel injection/carburetion system so that the machine runs optimally in both configurations.
Thanks! I do what I can.
One thing I'd like to point out, is that I've met some of the most wonderful people since I've started riding. (I ride just about every day - except if there is ice on the road). I haven't been able to make many Patriot Guard rides since my wife was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, but the folks I've met doing that are some of the most amazingly patriotic folk you'll ever meet. Most are veterans, which explains a lot of that, but I can't tell you how deeply touched I've been being a small part of their organization.
Another thing that is fairly amazing IMO is that you almost can't pull off the side of the road to take a phone call for a couple of minutes without having another biker (or cager who rides) stopping to make sure everything is OK.
i have ten motorcycles, of them three older Goldwings, an 81,84,85 all Interstates, two Yamaha Ventures an 83 and an 89 Royale my favorite bike with its sweet quiet V4. Two Honda Cx bikes a 500 and a 650 and it has used Dyna pipes on it, really quiet, like riding a sewing machine.
My new Star XVS1300 with its drilled out stock exhaust is still quiet.
Loud pipes do nothing but make noise, too many vehicles are being built with better sound protection, and some even have sound canceling systems in the audio package like the Bose systems, sends out a counter frequency.
I would actually prefer a near quiet bike, its already common knowledge bikers are invisible, cagers stare right at you and run right into you, turn in front of you or ride your tail like you are nothing in front of them.
Frankly I can actually live with being in stealth mode, bikes have no Onstar that can be hacked by the innnessae nor can they be easily tracked.
What evidence do you have that mine is the minority viewpoint?
Personally, loud pipes do not bother me (on bikes or cars) as long as the engine is well-tuned. However, I recognize that noise bothers others, so I try to keep my own bikes (and cars) out of the 'super-loud' realm. I do like to at least be able to hear my own engine though, no matter what I'm riding/driving. I love the different 'songs' sung by the various cylinder quantities and configurations of internal combustion engines.
As far as loud only being loud, in my competitive roadracing days (mostly Japanese 4-cylinder sport-bikes) I learned that 'louder' pipes (i.e. those which are less restrictive & provide higher flow) CAN do more than simply make noise. As long as one was willing to tune the bike to the exhaust by rejetting carbs at a minimum, and performing head work to increase intake flow when necessary, significant power gains were to be had at relatively low cost. Sadly, a lot of people who switch out their pipes do not take the time to do the necessary tuning, so their bikes are not only obnoxiously loud, they run and sound like crap.
By the way, many of the tracks I raced at had noise limits, and they enforced them (usually 100 decibels at track side on the front straight).
PS - My first street bike was a 1981 CX500. That was a great bike, and I loved the Moto Guzzi-style V-twin with a cylinder sticking out each side.
us sportbikers have some noisy friends, but in my opinion an unmuffled R-1 is only annoying at full honk. Unmuffled Harleys are obnoxious even at idle. Your opinion may be different.
Mine (1994 FZR-1000 Yamaha) is getting prepped for the fall season this weekend. I don' ride on holiday weekends. Even polishing a bike is fun!