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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a perfect question for @VicVisionBulldog. Most of the time our motorcycles are not heavy enough to set off the sensor at a red light. If we are sitting there and the light doesn't turn green are we allowed to turn left on red?

I have a feeling that different states will have different laws concerning this matter but I was just looking for a general answer.
 

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This is a perfect question for @VicVisionBulldog. Most of the time our motorcycles are not heavy enough to set off the sensor at a red light. If we are sitting there and the light doesn't turn green are we allowed to turn left on red?

I have a feeling that different states will have different laws concerning this matter but I was just looking for a general answer.
I get caught in a situation like that on a certain road I take. I have made a left on Red several times . And several times I got stopped. In every situation I explained to the officer and he understood. I just got a warning. But I made sure it was absolutely no traffic either way. Then I proceeded.
 

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Often called a “dead red” and laws do vary. If you can see the lines cut into the pavement where the sensor wires are buried try stopping so you can put your kick stand down on top of one, that usually gets it done for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I always try to inch forward hitting the front brake real hard kinda bouncing on the sensors. If the light still doesn't turn green then I just wait for traffic to clear and go ahead and make my left turn on red hoping that I don't get stopped. I always wondered what a cop would say if they did decide to stop me. Is it legal or not?
 

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Every morning on my way to work I catch one of these lights. It will not change for a bike. I've tried finding a way to report the light so that someone knows to come and fix it, but so far I have been unsuccessful.
There is almost no traffic going my direction on my way into work, but always oncoming traffic. The oncoming traffic will get the light to change for them, but it will stay red for me. I wait until the last of the oncoming vehicles have made the left-hand-turn, then I proceed through the red light checking traffic (and the signals!) from both sides. If I get pulled over for it one day, I'll fight it and maybe then find out who I should report the light to.
 

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Cars do it all the time I Pikesville , MD. But that's a different issue.

I think it was posted that Ohio past a dead red passthru for bikes this year.

put your kick stand down on top of one, that usually gets it done
I'll have to give this a try. If I can only remember to put it back up:banghead:.

For the motion sensors, I flash my highbeam. Works in cage too.
 

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I always try to inch forward hitting the front brake real hard kinda bouncing on the sensors. If the light still doesn't turn green then I just wait for traffic to clear and go ahead and make my left turn on red hoping that I don't get stopped. I always wondered what a cop would say if they did decide to stop me. Is it legal or not?
The sensors are metal detectors, not weight sensitive. They are normally in the middle of the lane so car tires rarely roll over them.

In VA, the law is 2 cycles of the light or 3 mins, whichever comes first. Then it is ok to turn left on a dead red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The sensors are metal detectors, not weight sensitive. They are normally in the middle of the lane so car tires rarely roll over them.

In VA, the law is 2 cycles of the light or 3 mins, whichever comes first. Then it is ok to turn left on a dead red.
If they were metal detectors and not weight sensitive then it wouldn't matter if it was a car or a motorcycle, it would still change to green. The lights that I have a problem with will always change from red to green when I am in my car but will not change when I am on my bike. I always have to wait for another car to come behind me before the light will change, which leads me to believe that the sensors are weight sensitive, not metal detectors.
 
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I always have to wait for another car to come behind me before the light will change, which leads me to believe that the sensors are weight sensitive, not metal detectors.
No way. If they are weight sensors then the sensor would have to be able to move freely from the road. Otherwise you don't have a weight sensor. Imagine stepping on a scale to check your weight that was fixed together with your floor. Next time you're there stop and see if you see the road being suppressed under vehicles as they pass by.

By far the most common technique is the inductive loop. An inductive loop is simply a coil of wire embedded in the road's surface. To install the loop, they lay the asphalt and then come back and cut a groove in the asphalt with a saw. The wire is placed in the groove and sealed with a rubbery compound. You can often see these big rectangular loops cut in the pavement because the compound is obvious.

Inductive loops work by detecting a change of inductance. Not weight.
 

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The lines embedded in the pavement are not weight sensors. They are inductive loops. They are sensitive to ferrous metals. Since our bikes are mostly made from aluminum they often do not disturb the current flow enough to set off the sensor.

I try to make sure the bulk of my bike is over one of the lines. That gives me the most chance to have what little steel/iron is on the bike disturb the current flow in the loop and set off the sensor. The kickstand is a good idea - assuming you put it back up when the light changes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, you guys are right! I read up on it a little and they are inductive loops which are sensitive to ferrous metals and not weight sensitive. I owe @Poseidon an apology, it is a form of metal detector. When a car pulls on the inductive loop the car acts as the core and raises the inductance level which makes the light change. Our bikes don't have enough ferrous metal to act as the core for the inductive loop.
 

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I was told that I should stop my bike on one of the lines in the pavement. It has worked every time I've done it.
 
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Here is WI's laws about this. I've never had a cop bug me about red lights, there are two that won't change for me that I hit on almost every ride.

"Notwithstanding subd. 1., a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping as required under subd. 1. for not less than 45 seconds, proceed cautiously through the intersection before the signal turns green if no other vehicles are present at the intersection to actuate the signal and the operator of the motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle reasonably believes the signal is vehicle actuated. The operator of a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle proceeding through a red signal under this subdivision shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicular traffic, pedestrian, personal delivery device, bicyclist, or rider of an electric scooter or an electric personal assistive mobility device proceeding through a green signal at the intersection or lawfully within a crosswalk or using the intersection."
 

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That's pretty close to what it is here, too. So I've been told. ....Texas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wonder if Pennsylvania is the same?
 

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No way. If they are weight sensors then the sensor would have to be able to move freely from the road. Otherwise you don't have a weight sensor. Imagine stepping on a scale to check your weight that was fixed together with your floor. Next time you're there stop and see if you see the road being suppressed under vehicles as they pass by.

By far the most common technique is the inductive loop. An inductive loop is simply a coil of wire embedded in the road's surface. To install the loop, they lay the asphalt and then come back and cut a groove in the asphalt with a saw. The wire is placed in the groove and sealed with a rubbery compound. You can often see these big rectangular loops cut in the pavement because the compound is obvious.

Inductive loops work by detecting a change of inductance. Not weight.
That makes more sense than being weight activated.... I must look like a dork when I'm jumping up and down around the bike to get the light to change.

Just kidding, if I get skipped I'll run the red light. I just check for cops and no traffic that I can collide with. Hell most of the time when I proceed to take off the light starts to change.

Glad you could clear that up, @FoFo .
 

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Wonder if Pennsylvania is the same?
Basically, but they don't state a time limit.

"(c) Inoperable or malfunctioning signal.--If a traffic-control signal is out of operation or is not functioning properly, including, but not limited to, a signal that uses inductive loop sensors or other automated technology to detect the presence of vehicles that fails to detect a vehicle, vehicular traffic facing a:

(1) Green or yellow signal may proceed with caution as indicated in subsection (a)(1) and (2).

(2) Red or completely unlighted signal shall stop in the same manner as at a stop sign, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign as provided in section 3323 (relating to stop signs and yield signs)."

Title 75

https://www.penndot.gov/PennDOTWay/Pages/Article.aspx?post=51
 

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Over the years I've run into a few that aren't triggered by the bike. Not enough mass in the bottom of the bike containing a ferrous metal.

I've found the road sensor technology has improved but I still run into the occasional one that's not picking up the bike. My best choice I've found is to move forward into the crosswalk. I then turn my body around a bit and motion the car behind me to move forward and also point at the road sensor. So far it's worked every time because people know what is going on. They move up and hit the field and off we go.

On the occasion there's nobody behind me I'll wait two cycles of the lights not changing then eventually go when safe to do so.

There's one light I do know that is on an off-ramp that it you can't trigger there's never any safe way to cross the traffic flow. You just have to wait until someone comes up behind you.

A couple of tricks I've also picked up over the years. Most times you can see the loops. Some are circles but some are square or octagon. Place the bottom of the engine directly over a joint if there is one as that is where you'll get the electrical field forming in two directions. Works great and now it's just a habit I do without thinking about.

When these things first came out the sensitivity was crap. Some promoted the use of magnets attached to the bike frame under the engine and many of us tried one. Whether they worked or not depended upon the strength and placement and was always suspect because they were never 100%.

Come to think of it, I have a few neodymium magnets that I might try on that troublesome light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Basically, but they don't state a time limit.

"(c) Inoperable or malfunctioning signal.--If a traffic-control signal is out of operation or is not functioning properly, including, but not limited to, a signal that uses inductive loop sensors or other automated technology to detect the presence of vehicles that fails to detect a vehicle, vehicular traffic facing a:

(1) Green or yellow signal may proceed with caution as indicated in subsection (a)(1) and (2).

(2) Red or completely unlighted signal shall stop in the same manner as at a stop sign, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign as provided in section 3323 (relating to stop signs and yield signs)."

Title 75

https://www.penndot.gov/PennDOTWay/Pages/Article.aspx?post=51
That's awesome! Thanks Guru!
 
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