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Running red lights

Running red lights

For years one of my pet peeves as a cyclist has been traffic lights with sensors that trigger a green light only when they detect a vehicle waiting to cross.  Bicycles don't have enough weight or enough metal to trigger these sensors, and since I don't like to break traffic laws when motorists can see me (I don't want to give them an excuse to break laws that protect cyclists), I usually have to wait until a car or truck comes along to cause the light to change to green.

Now, here in the enlightened Keystone State, I won't have to do that anymore.  On September 18 a new law will take effect that "allows drivers to proceed through red lights if the light has a sensor that appears to be malfunctioning":
New law: Pa. drivers can run red lights — under certain circumstances

That should take care of that pesky light where Granite Station Road crosses U.S. 30!  Now all we need is for you folks south of the Mason-Dixon line to start bugging your legislators.

Phil

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Re: Running red lights

Phil Manger wrote:


For years one of my pet peeves as a cyclist has been traffic lights with sensors that trigger a green light only when they detect a vehicle waiting to cross.  Bicycles don't have enough weight or enough metal to trigger these sensors
Phil

In-the-ground traffic light sensors are induction loops, not as many think, weight sensitive. The best place(ment) for bicycle to trigger the induction is a wheel at the junction where two loops come together. As one may imagine, wire loops buried in asphalt have a limited life span. Maryland is replacing induction loops with optical sensors, which have adjustable sensitivity, mounted up on the pole, but the optical sensors are expensive.

And if I remember correctly, Maryland law already allows one to do what Pa is now adopting.
Chris

Let's agree to respect each others views, no matter how wrong yours may be.
http://www.despair.com/demotivators/compromise.html
Chris Tsien
LAB Certified Instructor

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Re: Running red lights

In-the-ground traffic light sensors are induction loops, not as many think, weight sensitive.

Actually, the older sensors I believe were weight-sensitive.  To be detected, you had to run a wheel over a treadle embedded in the road.  I haven't seen one in several years, so I supposed they were all eventually replaced by induction loops.  Regardless, in my experience, neither could detect bicycles, even ones with steel frames.

And if I remember correctly, Maryland law already allows one to do what Pa is now adopting.

I'm pretty sure Maryland law didn't allow that when I moved out of the state three years ago.  If it did, none of the people I rode with was aware of it.  Here's a link that lists the "safe-on-red" states as of one year ago:  States where motorcycles can run red lights legally

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