New Law Allows Illinois Riders to Run Red

January 4, 2012
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

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Motorcyclists in Illinois can now legally pass through red lights if they have been sitting for a long time at a stop light whose sensors don’t register them.

Illinois motorcyclists sitting at red lights waiting for them to change will now be able to pass through the intersection if sensors don’t register them. Motorcycles are often unable to trigger the magnetic sensors which inform traffic lights a vehicle has pulled up and motorcyclists either have to sit and wait for a car to pull up behind them before the signal will change or run through the light once it’s clear at the risk of getting a ticket.

Illinois HB S860 allows motorcyclists to run the red light after a reasonable amount of time, an amount which wasn’t established in the bill, but is said to be 120 seconds. The argument over the amount of time a motorcyclist must wait was one of the reasons stated as to why Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed the bill. Illinois lawmakers, who overrode the governor’s veto, assured Quinn the issue would be addressed in the upcoming session.

There is one stipulation, though. The law doesn’t apply to Illinois cities with more than two million people, meaning it doesn’t apply to riding in Chicago.

Besides being an inconvenience, sitting at intersections is dangerous and leaves motorcyclists vulnerable to inattentive drivers. In March of 2010, a group of riders sitting at a red light in Phoenix were plowed down from behind by a dump truck, killing three motorcyclists and injuring six others, including a Phoenix Fire Department captain. 

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