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n00bsauce
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A group of legislators, several from my area, are proposing to change state law in Wisconsin to allow motorcycles to proceed through a red light if they stop and wait for at least 30 seconds, the light doesn't change and there is NO traffic in sight. They are considering adding bicycles to this legislation. I know some states have this provision. Does this seem like a good idea to you.
 

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Why would I want to wait 30 seconds?

Mel Erickson said:
A group of legislators, several from my area, are proposing to change state law in Wisconsin to allow motorcycles to proceed through a red light if they stop and wait for at least 30 seconds, the light doesn't change and there is NO traffic in sight. They are considering adding bicycles to this legislation. I know some states have this provision. Does this seem like a good idea to you.
Nooo.
 

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I think it's cheaper than retrofitting the intersections with sensors sensitive enough to be triggered by a bicycle, and that's why they came up with it. The 30-second rule seems virtually unenforcible, unless a cop watches you from the moment you pull up to the light. But, yeah, I think it's a good idea to not force cyclists to wait for a light to change in an empty intersection. But I never do that anyway, and have yet to be ticketed, warned, or even seen by a cop.
 

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Houston doesn't even have sensors yet, all the traffic lights are timed and timed poorly I might add so in Houston I wouldn't see a point to such a law but in places were the lights are controlled by sensors and not timed at all where a bike wouldn't trigger the sensor then it might be workable but how would you police something like that?
 

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don't care very mucy what the law is

waiting 30 seconds would only slow me down

a red light, in my eyes, is an electric yield sign
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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cyclist_ca said:
Your an idiot and you should not have a driver license.
i think he's talking about on the bike, not in a car
i dunno about you, but when im out riding, and i come up to a stop sign, about 30 yards back i look both ways, if theres nobody there i dont slow down at all... okay maybe 1, 2 mph if theres a chance of gravel, etc.
in the car it's a very different issue, 170 pounds moving along at 22mph is very different from 4000 at 35...
 

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100% torqued
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Doesn't sound bad. I generally use red lights to trackstand, or take a drink. I always stop, and depending on the intersection, traffic, etc. I may go through or wait. Unless it's deserted, I typically wait.
 

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I often run 'em, but no whining if you get whacked

I preach obedience to the law on grounds that if we want the respect and consideration afforded to cars, we have to obey the same rules. In practice, though I'll run a red light and sometimes a stop sign if it seems safe.
It's clear, though, that if you break the law and get run over or knocked down, you have to shut up and take it like a man. No whining that the driver didn't give you the right-of-way you deserve.
 

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Weed
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Mel Erickson said:
A group of legislators, several from my area, are proposing to change state law in Wisconsin to allow motorcycles to proceed through a red light if they stop and wait for at least 30 seconds, the light doesn't change and there is NO traffic in sight. They are considering adding bicycles to this legislation. I know some states have this provision. Does this seem like a good idea to you.

My state already has that law (without the 30 second wait). Motorcycles must stop completely but they can proceed if there is no oncoming traffic. The law hasn't been in effect long though.
 

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Zeppelin/Ultegra Rider
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estone2 said:
i dunno about you, but when im out riding, and i come up to a stop sign, about 30 yards back i look both ways, if theres nobody there i dont slow down at all...
Just be careful, sometimes you get so accustomed to doing something, you always do it without thinking. I was driving on a road I cycle regularly, and looked both ways as I approached a stop sign. You can guess what I did....I blew through the stop at about 50mph.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Nashville has a similar ordinance, but instead of 30 seconds, it specifies "waiting a reasonable time": http://www.walkbikenashville.org/Documents/Codesart.htm
Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer except that where a traffic signal is activated only by motor vehicles, a bicyclist who is faced with a red traffic signal may, after waiting a reasonable time to determine the signal will not change to green, proceed after yielding the right-of-way to all traffic lawfully proceeding through the intersection.
This ordinance seems to work well.
 

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Roadies Rejoice
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estone2 said:
i think he's talking about on the bike, not in a car
i dunno about you, but when im out riding, and i come up to a stop sign, about 30 yards back i look both ways, if theres nobody there i dont slow down at all... okay maybe 1, 2 mph if theres a chance of gravel, etc.
in the car it's a very different issue, 170 pounds moving along at 22mph is very different from 4000 at 35...
yeah, because it's ok to violate the law on a bicycle, but not in a car. Why is it a different issue? What if a car that you don't see is proceeding toward the intersection, sees a bicycle crossing against the red light and has a collision trying to avoid the bicycle crossing illegally? Oh wait, that's ok right.

How often on this forum do we see someone complaining about someone driving in an agressive manner and attribute it to impatience? No different for a bicycle.
 

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I haven't been riding long, but at 4 way stops it seems that the etiquette is that if there are other vehicles around, be over gratious. I find that many times you will get the nod even if its not really your turn, when you don't get it you still get a bonus.... another favorable impression on a motorist. If there are no cars then slow up enough to get a good look both ways and start mashing again ;)

As far as the stop lights go, I have a few on my normal path that don't ever go green without a car around. The stop, check both ways, and proceed cautiously seems to be the natural way to go.
 

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Downhill Juggernaut
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If I waited for red lights to change I'd never get to work. When the busy street I cross by my house is on the night cycle it will occasionally change from green to red, then right back to green without ever giving me a green light to cross. I learned my lesson there when I first started commuting.

I don't blatantly blow through them, but at 5am when there's no one on the road but me I just casually work my way through. I might be a Clydesdale, but I 'm not big enough to trip the sensor.
 

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trying to HTFU...
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still a bad idea...

since car/truck drivers who don't know the traffic laws now as it is will still think you are blatantly blowing the light. unless this legislation come with advertising/education dollars, this is a waste of time.

i will stop at all signals, light, etc. because it is safer to do so. at some intersections, i do 'get the nod' to proceed even if i don't have right-of-way, because i stopped. i have been told this by several drivers that they appreciate that i am following the rules like everyone else is supposed to. in the Burbank, california area(griffith park, noho, toluca lake) there are too many cars and lights to take chances just because i don't feel like stopping. even out where i live(agoura) it is too risky to assume that it's clear, even at night.

if you're too lazy, going too fast, too impatient, then you will get yours,
it's just a matter of time.
 

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Lessee here . . .

Four way stop and you're on a bike? YOU have the right of way no matter what, except for pedestrians on foot. The rationale for that rule is that if you're involved in an accident with a motor vehicle "failure to yield right of way" is presumed with respect to the motor vehicle.

As an aside here . . .

If you're in a motor vehicle and don't have the right of way, but get "waved through" the intersection by another driver . . . You're at fault for "failing to yield right of way" if you're involved in an accident. Something to think about next time someone waves you to come through an intersection or turn.

If you're on a bike and run a red light, in some sense you have the right of way no matter what. Bikes and pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way over motor vehicles, even if they're doing something stupid and unlawful.

Nonetheless, if you get into an accident resulting from running a red light, the insurance company looking at your accident is going to deny your claim insofar as you are demonstrating "reckless disregard for the rules of the road."

That said, I pass through red lights that won't trigger for a bicycle, after determining that they won't trigger. I think it should be unlawful for motorcycles and the police and courts instructed to consider such "infractions" on a case by case basis. How many times do you suppose a motorcycle drives through a light that won't trigger while the police are watching?

If they cause an accident, it's the fault of the person running the light. I can't see how you'd be able to write a law that would view fault in any other way.
 

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I presume you guys are talking about stop lights outside a city centre?

In London the lights change in a predetermined order, so you will get a green light even if there is no one waiting.

This would be my concern.

since car/truck drivers who don't know the traffic laws now as it is will still think you are blatantly blowing the light. unless this legislation come with advertising/education dollars, this is a waste of time.
The guy who ran me down a few years ago actually justified his actions saying "they all run red lights anyway!"

I never run red. I hate cyclists who do. Their impatience potentially undoes all the advocacy & campaigning for respect from other road users. Your average driver held up in traffic doesn't differentiate between "red light runners" and the rest of us. We 're all alike to them. So the next time you get squeezed or hassled by an impatient car driver for no apparent reason, thank the "red light runners".

BTW I was lucky the guy was arrested & convicted of Greivous Bodily Harm with Intent. He got 30 Months in prison. Oh and inspite of Ti :) & steel :( plates I can still ride!
 
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