Nebraska state Senator Paul Schumacher has proposed a bill that would allow motorcyclists to drive through red traffic lights, if the riders have already waited at least two minutes for the light to change. This situation happens more than non-cyclists may realize, say advocates of the proposed law, as some traffic sensors that help coordinate the lights are not triggered by lightweight motorcycles as they are by cars and trucks.
The bill stipulates that if there are no other cars around, and if the biker has waited for at least two minutes, it should be legal for them to violate the normal red light provision. Proponents say that this will keep riders from either sitting at a light for long periods of time, sometimes in adverse conditions, or from simply breaking the law out of convenience. Those opposed, including Nebraska's Sheriffs' Association, say that it will be nearly impossible to keep track of the two-minute time, and therefore a difficult law to enforce.
Call us pessimistic, but we've got to wonder how many bikers are sitting at red lights for more than two minutes, with no one else around, right now? Some law-abiding folks there in the Cornhusker State, we suppose.
Similar laws have been considered, and passed, elsewhere in the country already.
Actually, similar laws have been considered, and passed, elsewhere in the country already. Back in 2011 the state of Illinois proposed a similar measure for cities with less than two million in population. That proposal became law at the start of 2012. In 2008, South Carolina passed a law that allowed motorcyclists to proceed cautiously through a red light that was not sensing the bike and rider, as well. In fact, according to a report from USA Today, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Idaho, Arkansas, Tennessee and Minnesota have similar regulations, all being applied to the law books in the last decade or so. Clearly, Sen. Schumacher is not alone in his thinking here.
But if our own recent poll regarding motorcycles and lane splitting is any indication, the larger issue of allowing two-tiered laws, for motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles, is rather hotly contested. Autoblog readers came out to a virtual, eh, split, on the lane splitting issue: 45 percent of respondents saying that it made sense as a policy, and 49 percent claiming it a dangerous practice.
What say you? Should bikers be allowed to run a red after waiting two minutes? Check in with our poll below after finding out the full story in the following video.
|I'm not sure||751 (3.7%)|