PODCAST-Ever been stuck at a traffic light that takes an excruciating amount of time — what feels like hours — to turn green? Imagine that as a daily occurrence. That is what it’s like for some motorcyclists/bikers due to sensors at some intersections that don’t recognize when lightweight vehicles arrive. During the last legislative session, a new section was added to Chapter 46.61 RCW in Washington State that allows the operator of a street legal motorcycle to make a left turn, after stopping at an intersection that is controlled by a triggered traffic control signal, if the device fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic signal. Other states have had laws for some time and they are often referred to as “Safe on Red Laws”.
Safe-on-red laws vary by state on how they address the issue, but they all include basic instructions on how one can legally run a red light. In general, the guidelines say motorcyclists must wait at the light for a predetermined amount of time and then only proceeding through the intersection if it’s free of cross traffic or pedestrians.