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Two skinny J's
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As long as you wait 120 seconds or two full cycles of the light on a motorcycle or bicycle in the fine Commonwealth of Virginia is now legal...ok it will be as of July 1!


I know I'm a little late but...
 

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Senior Member
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just another reason for the cars to hate us...

They get mad when I'm first at the light and don't do 0 to 60 as soon as it turns green.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea bmoh you are probably right. I feel very lucky that down here my biggest worry( for the most part) is having to try and sprint from a dog occasionally. I would consider it an excellent area for riding without incident :D
 

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Rat Biker
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Hmm some of the roads around here I wouldn't try running a red light in a car let alone a bike though I do it occasionally at times yet only when there is no one even remotely close
 

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Jay
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Call me a criminal, but if there's no traffic I'll go through a red light or stop sign. What aggravates me is when a motorist at a 4-way stop waits for me to complete my stop and then waves me through. If I'm stopped I'll just wave back, no you go.
 

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If you're on a busy road, you're usually* safer when you don't stop. But then again, when you're on a 20/30lb bike on roads with vehicles ranging from ~2-40,000lbs.... safety is relative.
 

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As long as you wait 120 seconds or two full cycles of the light on a motorcycle or bicycle in the fine Commonwealth of Virginia is now legal...ok it will be as of July 1!


I know I'm a little late but...
I presume that you are talking about when a red light doesn't change, right? In the Bicycling Street Smarts Guide (Florida edition) it says that if a sensor isn't calibrated so as to detect a bicycle that it is a "defective sensor" and that one isn't guilty of "running a red light." And that one should also report said light to the city/county/state so that it can be fixed.

Not too long ago I rolled up to just such a light. I got to it just as the light turned red for my direction of travel. There was a car/pickup truck in the left hand turn lane. When the light cycled it only did so for the left turn lane besides the car/pickup truck in the left turn lane next to me there was another one on the other side of the road. It cycled again going red for my direction of travel, and another left turning car pulled up in the left hand turn lane.

This time there wasn't any other car wanting to turn left on the other side of the of the intersection. So when the left turn arrow turned green, I proceeded through the intersection.
 

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Well there is another strategy when dealing with an intersection on a bike. Its probably safer in many cases, quicker and 100% legal. Get off the bike and become a pedestrian for that intersection. Walking the bike through the cross walks can often keep you out of some fairly tricky situations, and will occasionally get you out of the faulty sensor situation. I am old. I still think of red lights on timers. That these days is not always the case. One thing that can activate the light though is pushing the button for a someone wanting to walk across IF it works.

Trouble is with a signal that isn't acting right, you often can not be totally sure what its displaying to cross traffic. I wish I had a nickel for every time I see someone barreling through a train crossing without even looking because there are lights or an automated barricade there. It never crosses their mind that a signal may not be working and with the stereo volume of some, they would not hear it till they are talking to St Pete.
 

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Well there is another strategy when dealing with an intersection on a bike. Its probably safer in many cases, quicker and 100% legal. Get off the bike and become a pedestrian for that intersection. Walking the bike through the cross walks can often keep you out of some fairly tricky situations, and will occasionally get you out of the faulty sensor situation. I am old. I still think of red lights on timers. That these days is not always the case. One thing that can activate the light though is pushing the button for a someone wanting to walk across IF it works.

Trouble is with a signal that isn't acting right, you often can not be totally sure what its displaying to cross traffic. I wish I had a nickel for every time I see someone barreling through a train crossing without even looking because there are lights or an automated barricade there. It never crosses their mind that a signal may not be working and with the stereo volume of some, they would not hear it till they are talking to St Pete.
I'm not used to the idea of sensors either, best just get off and walk like you said!
 

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Most sensors work, or there are cameras that detect movement for the lights. But, like mark said, we can always become pedestrians when on a bike and walk if it came down to it.
 

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Well there is another strategy when dealing with an intersection on a bike. Its probably safer in many cases, quicker and 100% legal. Get off the bike and become a pedestrian for that intersection. Walking the bike through the cross walks can often keep you out of some fairly tricky situations, and will occasionally get you out of the faulty sensor situation. I am old. I still think of red lights on timers. That these days is not always the case. One thing that can activate the light though is pushing the button for a someone wanting to walk across IF it works.

Trouble is with a signal that isn't acting right, you often can not be totally sure what its displaying to cross traffic. I wish I had a nickel for every time I see someone barreling through a train crossing without even looking because there are lights or an automated barricade there. It never crosses their mind that a signal may not be working and with the stereo volume of some, they would not hear it till they are talking to St Pete.
I agree there are always options when it comes to a defective/non-operational traffic light. To include as you said to dismount and become a pedestrian and walk across the street. However for me (as I'm one of those who ride with clipless pedals) that's not really an option. As most roads are too abrasive to walk on with our cleats.
 

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As I understand it the laws regarding sensor-equipped lights that don't register for bicycles varies a lot from state to state. Our town uses sensors that work on some kind of electro-magnetic field -- that is, they detect when a large chunk of metal pulls up, and a bike just won't trigger them.

I've been advised by the police that I can treat it as a non-functioning signal, and go through it after stopping, which is what I do now. In my suburban town walking across would probably be more dangerous than riding, as most intersections don't have crosswalks and people aren't used to seeing pedestrians much outside of downtown.
 

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As I understand it the laws regarding sensor-equipped lights that don't register for bicycles varies a lot from state to state. Our town uses sensors that work on some kind of electro-magnetic field -- that is, they detect when a large chunk of metal pulls up, and a bike just won't trigger them.

I've been advised by the police that I can treat it as a non-functioning signal, and go through it after stopping, which is what I do now. In my suburban town walking across would probably be more dangerous than riding, as most intersections don't have crosswalks and people aren't used to seeing pedestrians much outside of downtown.
If I may suggest, when you pull up to an induction loop sensor controlled intersection. Look at it, if it's a single loop try to position yourself on either the left or right side of the loop on the wires. You might be able to trip the sensor. If it's a double loop sensor try positioning yourself over the center of the loop where the two loops meet in the middle.

You can also if you use clippless pedals try putting one of your shoes with a cleat on the wires. I've also heard that one can affix a "large" earth type magnet (or a magnet from a HD) to your bottom bracket. And that is suppose to help trip the sensor.
 

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Most motorcycle places sell a "Red Light Trigger." It' s a piece of metal big enough to trip a magnetic light sensor and secures with zip ties, about 12-20 dollars.
While that sounds like a nice idea, I wouldn't invest in something like that unless I was constantly having trouble with red lights. I'd rather spend my money on bike accessories. :)
 
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