Running a Red-Light on a Motorcycle soon to be OK? Maybe.

New Law possible - New rules for Bikers and red lights.

As of last Thursday, 2/7/13, Senate Bill 5141 was ‘Passed to Rules Committee for a second reading’. That’s a good thing. It is one step closer to becoming a law. What is Senate Bill 5141?

SB 5141 ‘allows the operator of a street legal motorcycle to stop and proceed through traffic control signals under certain conditions’.

Laymen’s Terms: You should not get a ticket if you have to go through a red light.

If you ride for any length of time, you will run upon a left turn lane who’s light is controlled by triggering mechanism. They are extremely frustrating! You sit there and sit there watching the lights cycle through the colors. Lovely. Eventually you need to run the red light! This bill would allow the biker to do this without getting a ticket.

This bill is not just for us bikers…….I have been stuck at a light with other cars waiting behind me. Do you know how hard it is to try and explain, with hand signals to the car behind you, that they need to move forward in order to trigger the light? It is impossible. The last time I tried that, I am sure the lady in the SUV behind me thought I was flirting with her.

This should solve the problem of getting a ticket for running a red light but please note: you still need to report any of these lights to the DOT. They will adjust the lights as much as possible but only on a “squeaky-wheel basis”, if you know what I mean. So report them. Let the DOT know these lights exist.

Below I cut and pasted the bill verbiage.

AN ACT Relating to allowing motorcycles to stop and proceed through

2 traffic control signals under certain conditions; and adding a new

3 section to chapter 46.61 RCW.


5 NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 46.61 RCW

6 to read as follows:

7 Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the operator

8 of a street legal motorcycle approaching an intersection, including a

9 left turn intersection, that is controlled by a triggered traffic

10 control signal using a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due

11 to the size of the street legal motorcycle shall come to a full and

12 complete stop at the intersection. If the traffic control signal,

13 including the left turn signal, as appropriate, fails to operate after

14 one cycle of the traffic signal, the operator may, after exercising due

15 care, proceed directly through the intersection or proceed to turn

16 left, as appropriate. It is not a defense to a violation of RCW

17 46.61.050 that the driver of a motorcycle proceeded under the belief

18 that a traffic control signal used a vehicle detection device or was

19 inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle when the signal did not

20 use a vehicle detection device or that any such device was not in fact

21 inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle.

Ride safe, Drive safe.

Scott Seitz


Soloman Insurance Agency

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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