You’re on your motorcycle. It’s late at night. Very little traffic. You’re at a red light, waiting for it to turn green. But it doesn’t. It just stays red. You glance over at the pedestrian crosswalk signal to see if it will start flashing the “don’t walk” warning light. Nope. Just the same happy “walk” light shining bright in the night. Should you get off your bike and go hit the crosswalk button? Maybe just drive through the red light since it’s obvious your bike hasn’t tripped the sensors? Do you consider the light inoperative, which in some states allows you to proceed with caution? Do you even know what the law is in your state? Recently, a colleague attended a motorcycle law enforcement workshop and the consensus among the officers was that they would most likely cite the motorcyclist proceeding through a red light and let the individual work it out with a judge, unless they witnessed the motorcyclist “stuck” at a red light for more than one full cycle. Bills allowing motorcyclists to proceed in these situations have been introduced in many states and some have been enacted into law. For example, a bill was introduced in Indiana a few weeks ago that would allow motorcyclists to proceed through a steady red light if they come to a complete stop for two minutes and ensure it’s safe to proceed.
Sometimes light sensors seem to “say” what too many drivers who pull out, or turn in front of us, say…”I didn’t see him/her.” What do you do in these situations?
What’s your opinion? Should states require devices to detect motorcycles? Is that a safer solution? Motorcyclists are 2-3% of the registered vehicles, but are we getting 2-3% of the consideration?