Illinois bikers could be exempt from balky red lights
SPRINGFIELD -- Over the protests of the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Senate Wednesday approved a bill that would allow motorcyclists to run red lights when traffic sensors don’t sense motorcycles at intersections.
House Bill 2860 cleared the Senate on a 43-12 vote. It was returned to the Illinois House because the Senate revised it to exempt Chicago.
Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for A.B.A.T.E., a motorcyclist advocacy group, said those who ride motorcycles sometimes get stuck at a red light that is timed to change to green only when sensors implanted on the road sense a vehicle. Some motorcycles and bicycles weigh too little to trigger the sensors, he said.
The bill would allow a motorcyclist to run a red light after a “reasonable” amount of time has passed and the light has not changed. A motorcyclist would still have to yield to any oncoming traffic. Eleven other states have similar laws.
“You have to wait for the light to go through a cycle to determine it’s not sensing the vehicle,” Vandermyde told the Senate Executive Committee.
Representatives of the State Police said if a motorcyclist runs a red light, law enforcement officials will have no way of knowing whether he or she waited a reasonable amount of time.
Chris Wetterich can be reached at (217) 788-1523.