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Proceed through red light law

Subscriber Post by DC on January 10th, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I haven’t heard much about the new law that allows bicyclists and motorcyclists to go through a red light after waiting. It did take effect last year, right? Has anyone been taking advantage, and have any positive or negative responses from it?

Most importantly: do we know yet how to wait for the light to “complete one full cycle,” if by definition you aren’t triggering the light to make it cycle?

Here’s the new law

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Most such defective lights change on-demand. That is, there isn’t any cycle. I interpret it to mean that after I have waited the two to five seconds that any car would wait for its on-demand green, I’ve waited a full cycle, so off I go.

Okay, that was BS. I don’t wait at all when the light is red and there isn’t any cross traffic. I may stop if I’m at all uncertain that the way is clear (humans are much better at seeing movement when their own heads aren’t also moving). Generally, I just roll right on through.

Where I live, there isn’t any traffic law enforcement to speak of and the only folks getting pulled over on bikes are those who are clearly homeless and are riding at night without a light or on the wrong side of the street (or, more commonly, both).

I’m also interested to see how this law gets interpreted. It really looks like our legislature is simply afraid to give us the Idaho stop law because it will look like some sort of special treatment for a hated class of people, so they tossed this thing in. Maybe, some day, if we ever get some legislators onto bikes, this will change.


This law hasn’t really affected my behavior as I would normally proceed through a red after stopping and not seeing any cross traffic or approaching traffic from behind to trigger light. This obviously only ever happens on low traffic and generally slower speed streets. I usually attempt to get the sensor to trigger but have found it to be very inconsistent to the point I usually don’t bother.

I make it a point to pull up into the crosswalk to allow cars behind me to be over the sensors. I will also turn left through a red when the thru lane and oncoming lane have green signals and a car would normally trigger a flashing yellow. (Also under same conditions of no other cars oncoming or turning left behind me and after having come to a stop.)


that was actually last year…

it’s changed nothing because that’s how everybody already acted… nobody sits at a dead light for eternity…


as to how long you should wait I say no more than 90 seconds as that’s usually the longest light cycle… so really if you don’t see anything changing within a minute I’d proceed… especially if the light was red the entire time you were approaching it…