North Carolina Adopts "Safe Red Light" Law

Effective today (Dec 1), motorcycle riders in North Carolina will be able to proceed through a red light, if they have waited for at least t...

Effective today (Dec 1), motorcycle riders in North Carolina will be able to proceed through a red light, if they have waited for at least three minutes, and if it's safe to do so.

The new law is intended to deal with some traffic lights that have trouble detecting motorcycles. This is basically the same law I've been asking for here on BNO, for California.

According to the Burlington Times...
"Something needed to be done," said state Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, who sponsored the bill. "It made no sense to force someone on a motorcycle to have to turn around and go back or run a red light and commit a crime."

Kudos to Sen. Allran.

Interestingly, the writer for the Burlington Times has some sort of bug up his butt about this new law, providing extra coverage on why it's going to be tougher to bust bikers who run red lights, because cops won't know if they've waited the full 3 minutes. But this new law only allows riders to pass through a red light if it's safe to do so.

A cop should be able to judge that.

Though I'm curious to know how this will work on intersections with cameras.


Traffic Signals 1422928026091319508

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  1. 'Bout time this makes waves elsewhere. Nothing like staring at a red and a cop on the other side of the road who's watching for your reaction.

    I've been stopped twice for giving up on red lights. Saw the cops both times. Both were while I was sitting in the left turn lane and both I let run at least three times because I knew the cop was there. Each time I had vehicles build up behind me.

    Didn't matter to the cops though. Nor did it matter that the backup behind me extended to the point cars were held up into the through-traffic lanes.

    What ticked me off more than being stopped was watching the idiot flip his lights and cut off the traffic that was going the same direction I was before. Hell, the one time the cars that took advantage of me going through the light (who had waited right behind me) followed me going through the light as well instead of waiting for their larger vehicle tripping the sensor. I saw the cop come from behind, saw the cars that followed me through the red all pull over (no doubt thinking any one of them were going to get busted) and the cop went into the oncoming traffic just to get up to me and pull my ass over. I mean, let's get serious. The one cager that was immediately behind me must've thought they were getting ticketed after me because he sat there until the cop told him to drive off.

    I guess in my case the cops thought holding up traffic behind me was the better option than me waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic.

    By the way, the judge shook his head both times, dismissed my tickets and even told me "sorry" for wasting my time. Cops didn't show either time.

    BTW, the light tripping magnets didn't do jack for me or the few guys I knew who tried them as well.


  2. Cops don't go to initial hearings, which is where the judge dismissed your case. The cops only come if you plead not guilty and the case goes to a bench trial and they need to testify.

  3. The new N.C. statute is only a "defense" to getting a ticket for running a red light if it doesn't change & the burden of proof is on you to show what you probably can't. Here's the text:

    "§ 20‑158. Vehicle control signs and signals.

    (e) Defense. – It shall be a defense to a violation of sub-subdivision (b)(2)a. of this section if the operator of a motorcycle, as defined in G.S. 20‑4.01(27)d., shows all of the following:

    (1) The operator brought the motorcycle to a complete stop at the intersection or stop bar where a steady red light was being emitted in the direction of the operator.

    (2) The intersection is controlled by a vehicle actuated traffic signal using an inductive loop to activate the traffic signal.

    (3) No other vehicle that was entitled to have the right-of-way under applicable law was sitting at, traveling through, or approaching the intersection.

    (4) No pedestrians were attempting to cross at or near the intersection.

    (5) The motorcycle operator who received the citation waited a minimum of three minutes at the intersection or stop bar where the steady red light was being emitted in the direction of the operator before entering the intersection."



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