General Question

Poser's avatar

How do I deal with stoplights that don't change?

Asked by Poser (7805points) March 13th, 2008

Where I live, stoplights are activated by weight sensors. When I ride my motorcycle, the combined weight of the bike and myself is around 600 pounds. This is, apparently, not heavy enough to activate the sensor. So if I’m at a light with a sensor and no other vehicles going the same direction as myself, the light will never change.

Suppose I were to run the light (when it was safest, of course). Would a judge/cop etc. be likely to forgive the illegality of the maneuver in light of the impracticality of waiting for another car to show up? If I did get a ticket, would I have a case?

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13 Answers

Randy's avatar

Here in my state, its ok to go right on red. Is that a possibility where you are?

squirbel's avatar

If no one is behind you, you can roll back and forth a bit. Sometimes it helps to stop a bit before so you can creep forward… Sucks if someone dumb is in front. I always wondered that myself… Don’t think the cops will take too kindly to it.

Poser's avatar

It’s legal to turn right on red. Where I run into problems is on protected left turns. At some intersections, there is a green light to turn left (meaning you must yield to oncoming traffic). But the problem is at intersections where the only time you can turn left is on the green arrow. You only get a green arrow if you’re heavy enough to trip the sensor. I’m not, even when I jump up and down.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Go to McDonalds, get a cheeseburger, then try it. You’ll find you might just be heavy enough.

Randy's avatar

Hhhmmmmm, what about parking lots? Is there possible parking lots to pull into then reroute, where there are no lights, to the street you need to get on? I’m with squirbel, in thinking even though your too light, the cops probably won’t like it.

g33s0n6656's avatar

The majority of “sensor” lights are not activated by wieght actually. I’m not 100% but I think they are some sort of electromagnetic plate under the cement. They sense a set amount of metal mass above it. So rocking and rolling around on it with a motorcycle will often be useless. When I ride and I am waiting for a left turn light to apear, if the light skips me twice I run it. If I am waiting at a red to go through I usually can turn right and make a uturn up the block and then a right to complete my voyage.
If the decision you make you believe to be illegal, throw your hazard lights on during the manuver. Its safer of drivers around you, and if if there was a cop it would prob be alot easier to explain the situation

hannahsugs's avatar

Where do you live? I don’t have a source about this, but I’ve heard that in Minnesota it’s legal for motorcycle drivers to run red lights in exactly the sort of case that you describe. If so, it might be legal in other states too.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Why don’t you talk to someone in local government about it?

Poser's avatar

I guess that’s what I’ll have to do.

Eat a cheeseburger, I mean. I’m not motivated enough to seek the answer anywhere but Fluther.

drive_by_dev's avatar

If g33s0n6656 is right you could try this:
Most are, and even if your local’s are not, it could be useful in other places.

scubydoo's avatar

@drive-by WOW.. just wow.. always wondered how lights work. plus i <3 instructables

Poser's avatar

Yeah, great link. I think I’ll be wasting a lot of time on that site.

DeezerQueue's avatar

If you were a judge, and the defendant or respondent stood before you and offered, as a defense the following, how do you think you would rule?

“Well, I didn’t know. I went to Fluther, a website where people give their insights and opinions and no one knew with any degree of certainty what the correct thing to do was, a lot of users said just to go, so that’s what I did.”

I’m fairly certain that a judge would tell you that if you actually possessed the motivation to get on your computer and seek information from a less than reliable source, he would tell you that you should have been equally motivated to place a call to the Police Department to find out if there was a traffic code that addressed this issue, and what that code was, and where you could locate a hard or digital copy of it.

Unless someone can provide you with a link to the appropriate source that specifically addresses this issue, if one exists, any advice given to you is unreliable.

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