Bill Attempts to Give Bikers a Red Light Option

Though we usually have this conversation about bicycles, and not motorcycles, both sets of riders have well-stated issues with going undetected by traffic signal sensors, due to their lighter weight.

The AJC reports that House Bill 161, drafted by Georgia House Member – and motorcyclist – Ann Purcell, “basically would allow motorcyclists to treat red lights like stop signs. They could proceed after waiting 60 seconds to check traffic.”  Here’s the wording of the bill…

A driver of a motorcycle approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal utilizing a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection in response to a red light and, after waiting for a reasonable period of time, not less than 60 seconds, for such traffic-control signal to detect such motorcycle, may proceed with due caution when it is safe to do so.

According to the AJC, eight states currently have similar legislation on the books that gives motorcyclists a legal option when faced with an unresponsive sensor.  However, the House Rules Committee hasn’t brought the bill up for a vote yet.  Why?  From the AJC…

“The traffic laws apply to motorcyclists and to cyclists,” said Rep. Wendell Willard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “I have concern about letting any group break the statute.”

So…what happens when the current infrastructure doesn’t apply to your form of transportation?  Sit at an intersection in protest for a new sensor to be installed?  Or turn around and take an alternate non-sensor route?  I’m all for everyone following the same rules of the road, but this “concern” doesn’t address the real issue being brought up here.