Governor Tom Wolf recently signed legislation that allows drivers in all types of vehicles to proceed with caution through a red light if the light is unresponsive. The new law, which takes effect on September 18th, 2016, was initially introduced by Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland County.
Motorcycle organizations have been pursuing this change for decades, due to the fact that their bikes often fail to trigger the traffic light to change. This long-awaited “Ride on Red” provision will allow motorcyclists, and all drivers, to proceed through the intersection if a vehicle detection system at a traffic signal fails to recognize the vehicle’s presence.
According to Bloom, “This law does not give drivers a free pass, but ensures a safe and legal option to avoid the danger and inconvenience of being trapped in perpetuity at a locked red light.” The issue of being stuck at red lights is more common than many people may think, Bloom said, especially late at night and on rural roads.
In applicable situations, the motorist should treat the red light like a stop sign, where they stop, check for oncoming traffic in all directions and then proceed carefully. Drivers, of course, must still abide by all other traffic laws that apply.