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Tripping Traffic Lights

  • Wait for a car to trip the light

    Votes: 15 13.9%
  • Proceeding without a green light

    Votes: 66 61.1%
  • Riding over to the pole to push the walk button

    Votes: 27 25.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious on what you guys think...
When you come up to a red light and no cars traveling in the same direction - do you wait for a car to trip the light or risk running it?
 

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there's one light on our Tues nite route that is infamous for not giving a green light if no auto is present to trip the mass sensor.

we have sat thru as many as 4 light changes before, so now we just run it when there's no oncoming traffic.

no big deal.
 

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In general, if there are no cars coming, I just go.

In every jurisdiction, according to Bob Mionske in "Cycling and the Law," one is allowed to (cautiously) proceed through a malfunctioning traffic light.

He argues (and has successfully argued in court) that not sensing a legal vehicle like a bicycle counts as a malfunction, but the demonstrating that can be difficult.

I am probably less cautious than many, I will admit, but it has worked okay.

If the road is busy, I will roll over and tag the pedestrian signal.
 

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I'll wait up to 1 minute for a sensor to pick me up. After that, assuming there aren't any cars, I'll just go. If it's busy I use the crosswalk and hit the cross button. No unnecessary risks if it's a busy road.
 

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I'll always slow to a near stop at a red light. I'll only go through it if I know that the light isn't going to change until a car shows up and I know that there is probably not a car coming for a while.

Of course I will only go if it is clear and safe to do so.
 

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Curious on what you guys think...
When you come up to a red light and no cars traveling in the same direction - do you wait for a car to trip the light or risk running it?
Depends on the road. All th lights here in Las Vegas have cameras, are on timers and you are generally screwed if you are turning off a minor street onto a major one.. One of several things will happen: it will take forever for your light to go green, it will cycle from red to green back to red before you can clip into the pedals or you will be totally ignored and the the cross traffic will stay green. Several of the roads I ride on are minors with very little traffic on them connecting into major arterial roads. I'll stop and then run those lights but only when I'm 1/4-1/2 mi clear in either direction. If I'm at a intersection of 2 majors; I just wait for traffic behind me. It will get there soon enough to trip the light.
 

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To my knowledge, SC has a law which allows bicycles and motorcycles to pass through a red light after they have come to a complete stop and waited an appropriate amount of time whilst there is no oncoming traffic. Obviously one has to exercise this in a safe and reasonable manner.
 

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I wait, one cycle of the light. If I still don't get a green, I go. Here, that would be considered a malfunctioning light and running it under that circumstance is permitted. I do hit the "walk button" when there is one available.
 

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Rickyracer said:
Curious on what you guys think...
When you come up to a red light and no cars traveling in the same direction - do you wait for a car to trip the light or risk running it?
depending on the conditions, I do any one of those 3.

And sometimes my bike will trip it.
 

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same here

+1.....
Argentius said:
In general, if there are no cars coming, I just go.

In every jurisdiction, according to Bob Mionske in "Cycling and the Law," one is allowed to (cautiously) proceed through a malfunctioning traffic light.

He argues (and has successfully argued in court) that not sensing a legal vehicle like a bicycle counts as a malfunction, but the demonstrating that can be difficult.

I am probably less cautious than many, I will admit, but it has worked okay.

If the road is busy, I will roll over and tag the pedestrian signal.
 

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If there are no cars within a reasonable distance I go. We have a law that states if you wait a reasonable amount of time and it's obvious the light won't change you can proceed after you make sure it's safe. I carry a copy of the statute under the seat of my motorcycle just in case, to save the officer the trouble of a court appearance if he decides to stop me.
 

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eRacer
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I also wait one light cycle and if no cars, I go cautiously.

john
 

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Like the others... it depends. I will say that I'll that I'll wait longer on the steel bike to give the sensor a chance to potentially pick me up... on my carbon bike, there's not enough there to trip the sensor anyway, so I'm usually looking for the first safe chance to cross.
 

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exracer said:
Depends on the road. All th lights here in Las Vegas have cameras, are on timers and you are generally screwed if you are turning off a minor street onto a major one.. One of several things will happen: it will take forever for your light to go green, it will cycle from red to green back to red before you can clip into the pedals or you will be totally ignored and the the cross traffic will stay green. Several of the roads I ride on are minors with very little traffic on them connecting into major arterial roads. I'll stop and then run those lights but only when I'm 1/4-1/2 mi clear in either direction. If I'm at a intersection of 2 majors; I just wait for traffic behind me. It will get there soon enough to trip the light.

Yes! I pretty much do the same thing. So many of the lights in Las Vegas are like that. Often times though If I roll back and forth over the weight sensor it will work. Other times not so much. Some times setting my front light to strobe works too.

The worst part is that none of the lights at Grand Central and Bonneville sense cycles even though it's the beginning of the Downtown to Red Rock route.

I'll wait one cycle at an unfamiliar light just because I want to set a good example, but I won't wait two cycles. After that I say it's faulty.
 

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Here in Spain we don't have these new-fangled vehicle sensing traffic lights. How exactly do they work?
 

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Kaboom said:
Here in Spain we don't have these new-fangled vehicle sensing traffic lights. How exactly do they work?
sensors are buried under the surface of the road that detect the presence of motor vehicles. Those sensors act like large metal detectors (they are NOT triggered by the weight of the vehicle, as some people believe) and assuming a vehicle -- or a bike -- contains enough ferromagnetic material, the light controllers "know" when vehicles are present at the intersection.

Others use cameras to detect the traffic at the intersection.
 

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Rickyracer said:
Curious on what you guys think...
When you come up to a red light and no cars traveling in the same direction - do you wait for a car to trip the light or risk running it?

Good question...It depends on the intersection and the light..

Early weekend morning, I'll look both ways and proceed if there are no cars around to trip the light..

If there is a lot of traffic, I'll wait
 

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JustTooBig said:
sensors are buried under the surface of the road that detect the presence of motor vehicles. Those sensors act like large metal detectors (they are NOT triggered by the weight of the vehicle, as some people believe) and assuming a vehicle -- or a bike -- contains enough ferromagnetic material, the light controllers "know" when vehicles are present at the intersection.

Others use cameras to detect the traffic at the intersection.
Yeah that much i deduced, what i meant is, does the light stay permanently red if it doesn't detect any cars? or does it keep cycling, just slower?
 
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