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running red lights?

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Old 12-11-2004, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default running red lights?

So tonite i was riding with some buddies and we came up to a stop light to make a left turn. The light was red, and this light is weight sensitive and not based off of a timer ... so we wait, and it skips us. Then about 6 of us get up on the line, and i'm like "whatever screw this" and when it was clear in all directions, i made my turn. So a cop chases me down and asks if i frequently run red lights and i reply with "no, but it skipped us twice and it never changes cause we're on bikes" ... they laugh. Then i tell them what i thought to be true, and what a friend supposedly learned in his MSF class and he told me that if it skips you once or twice, you can run it as long as it's clear and you yield to all traffic. They ask "why weren't we ever taught this?" and they chuckled. I'm starting to get pissed .. and it's a lady cop. I ask if she ever took the MSF course ... she looks at me with a dumbfound look and says "no?". I asked them if it won't change for me how do i get to the mall (where i was going) .. they tell me to keep going straight and drive around it (leaving me still with only left hand turns at stoplights), or that i need to drive where there are no stoplights. WTF! I ask them "IF IT DOESNT CHANGE, WTF DO I DO." they laugh yet again, give me a ticket for running a red light and no registration, i tell them i'll see em in court .. then they laugh again and leave.

Now, i know this is gonna be different from state to state, but what generally is the rule on this? If it won't change because of the low weight of the bike, i have to do something. Getting all 6 bikes up on the line would be improper lane travel or something to that sort and another ticket.

Any advice will greatly help. thanks.

cliff notes:

got a ticket for running red light
the light was "weight sensative"
my bike doesn't trigger the sensor
they laugh at me. alot.
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:22 PM   #2
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I believe here in CA, if the lights go through three rotations and skips you every time, it's considered to be malfunctioning (since it obviously did not pick up the motorist waiting patiently at the light).

Does the ticket state specifically which section of the vehicle code(s) you violated? Check those up and see if you can use it to your advantage. Most likely you'll be able to convince the judge with the "malfunctioning light" part, but show up prepared with additional info (such as the MSF information) so you can make a strong argument.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:28 PM   #3
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it would have been cool if your bike were reg'd; you will most likely run into some krap for that.
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: (marmaladeboy)

Lights are not triggered by weight. There are sensors in the ground (usually in those round or octagon cutouts) that sense "metal mass".

I bought one of these and it works great. It's basically a magnet or something and it makes the triggers think there's a bigger vehicle above.

http://www.greenlightstuff.com/

As for the three times around and then you can consider it a yield, I've heard of it many times but have never found proof of it.
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Old 12-12-2004, 01:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: (ScareyH22A)

i have also heard of those sensors that sense metal, but from the same friend who took the MSF Course, he said that the sensors still have a hard time from the lack of metal and being mostly aluminum. He may be wrong, but this is just the info i have heard from him.

Here is what i was cited for:

RCW 46.61.050
Obedience to and required traffic control devices.

(1) The driver of any vehicle, every bicyclist, and every pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, subject to the exception granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter.

(2) No provision of this chapter for which official traffic control devices are required shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official device is not in proper position and sufficiently legible or visible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular section does not state that official traffic control devices are required, such section shall be effective even though no devices are erected or in place.

(3) Whenever official traffic control devices are placed in position approximately conforming to the requirements of this chapter, such devices shall be presumed to have been so placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority, unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence.

(4) Any official traffic control device placed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and purporting to conform to the lawful requirements pertaining to such devices shall be presumed to comply with the requirements of this chapter, unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence.
--------------

So i dunno .. i'm gonna call the MSF thing and see what they have to say and get it in writing from their book.

And the bike is registered, i just didn't have it with me. I'll show the court the slip and it will reduce to like a $50 fine.

thanks guys ... keep em coming!
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Old 12-12-2004, 01:08 AM   #6
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ahhh. i see about the reg. part. you should be fine then, just carefully explain everything.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: (Odiedogcx)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odiedogcx
(4) Any official traffic control device placed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and purporting to conform to the lawful requirements pertaining to such devices shall be presumed to comply with the requirements of this chapter, unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence.
I'm assuming that last sentence means you can get the ticket thrown out if you can prove that the light was malfunctioning. However, I'm not an expert at interpretation of the law.

Maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows a traffic lawyer?
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:13 PM   #8
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (Odiedogcx)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odiedogcx
So tonite i was riding with some buddies and we came up to a stop light to make a left turn. The light was red, and this light is weight sensitive and not based off of a timer ...
There are no weight sensitive vehicle detector systems, that's a myth.

90% are loop detectors which function just like metal detectors with the wire embedded in the concrete. I'de explain it all, but read this instead:

http://www.msgroup.org/TIP148.html

If you had known that beforehand, you could have explained to the officers what really happened, and they might not have laughed at you.
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:50 PM   #9
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (rapid_roy)

Since you can usually see where the ground was cut up to put the sensor i read somewhere that you should always go to the upper left portion of the box.

Has worked for me everytime. Unless im not paying any attention then im screwed
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Old 12-12-2004, 12:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: running red lights? (rapid_roy)

well it's not weight sensitive but metal mass sensitive. What is the main metal our bikes are made of? Aluminum? Is aluminum, or such a small amount of it like on our bikes easily picked up by a metal detector?

Any ideas to help me fight this would be great. thanks
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Old 12-12-2004, 04:17 PM   #11
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Even if our bikes were made of iron, there isn't enough of it for the sensor to pick up. Like CBRF4i suggested, try to have your bike on top of the cut-out.
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Old 12-12-2004, 05:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: (marmaladeboy)

well from now on i won't be running them unless i wait forever .. but i'm tryin to find help on how to beat this ticket.

here is some supporting info i have found ..

http://www.thedailytimes.com/s...33782

thanks guys
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Old 12-12-2004, 05:56 PM   #13
 
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Default Re: (marmaladeboy)

well, ive never had this problem in AL...but im pretty sure its a general rule after 2 or 3 that its just a yield...not too sure tho. :\
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Old 12-13-2004, 01:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: running red lights? (Odiedogcx)

any other thoughts, opinions, ideas, or suggestions?

thanks
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:14 PM   #15
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (Odiedogcx)

I think you may have a good case...the suggestion to go another way to the mall (from the cop) was assinine. I'll look around more online tomorrow, but I've had to run one or two in my time. I know...what are you supposed to do for some lights? In rural areas especially, it could be an hour before a car comes behind you to set it off. I think the three turn / yield rule is applicable.

Just my .02, though.
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:19 PM   #16
 
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http://www.tennessean.com/loca...shtml

http://64.233.161.104/search?q...UTF-8

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Old 12-13-2004, 02:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: running red lights? (thesilverbullet)

If its the middle of the day usually a car will come. If its at night at the light wont change after trying all the little tricks I just run it. If a cop is there you can try to explain the situation and if he's get a dick you'll get a ticket and have to try to explain it to a judge. You should be able to see if any cars are coming before you run it though. Honestly, a little common sense and you should never get a ticket for something like that.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: running red lights? (Odiedogcx)

i went to the MSF corse in SanBernardino, CA back in july and you know what? they said to run it!!! !@#$en cops! i hate that $!@#!!! go to cort!!!
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:57 PM   #19
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (hks85)

the law in washington is if a light is malfunctioning you treat it like a four way stop. when a light doesnt change for me, its malfunctioning. i have always run them with no static, but i always look to see if a cop is around first.
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:00 PM   #20
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (hks85)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hks85
i went to the MSF corse in SanBernardino, CA back in july and you know what? they said to run it!!! !@#$en cops! i hate that $!@#!!! go to cort!!!
Not to be a smartass, but the MSF isn't one writing you the ticket. It's a state sponsored program, yes, but that doesn't mean that everything they say is in tune with how enforcement programs feel. You should be able to know the difference and be responsible about it.

The MSF says to pass cars quickly because doing it slowly can let drivers forget about you and punt you off the road.... but that excuse isn't going to fly is a cop wants to write you a ticket for 65 in a 55.
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:30 PM   #21
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (smokee)

couldn't find the law, but here is a bulletin from city of seattle about malfunctioning lights.

http://www.cityofseattle.net/t...a.htm

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote &raquo;</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Motorists are urged to treat all malfunctioning signal intersections as all-way stops and to proceed with caution.
</TD></TR></TABLE>
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:49 PM   #22
 
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Default Re: running red lights? (smokee)

ok, here is the only state law on the books regarding this. there might be a city law where you live that goes into more detail, but how the state law is written is that if it is red, it is not malfunctioning. only if there is no power is is malfunctioning

http://www.leg.wa.gov/RCW/inde...ction

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote &raquo;</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">RCW 46.61.183
Nonfunctioning signal lights.
Except when directed to proceed by a flagger, police officer, or fire fighter, the driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal that is temporarily without power on all approaches or is not displaying any green, red, or yellow indication to the approach the vehicle is on, shall consider the intersection to be an all-way stop. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way in accordance with RCW 46.61.180(1) and 46.61.185.

</TD></TR></TABLE>
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:12 AM   #23
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Default Re: running red lights? (smokee)

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokee
ok, here is the only state law on the books regarding this. there might be a city law where you live that goes into more detail, but how the state law is written is that if it is red, it is not malfunctioning. only if there is no power is is malfunctioning

http://www.leg.wa.gov/RCW/inde...ction
awesome man .. thanks. that's what i found and i think it's easy enough for a judge to understand.

Yes, i could have waited a few minutes for the light to see if it was gonna change, but i was tired of sitting there and it gets frusterating waiting for it to change, especially when you have traffic flying towards you on both sides of you.

so basically, the light didn't change and i had to run it which was illegal under RCW 46.61.050, but since my bike is hard to get picked up, the bike was considered to be malfunction as stated in RCW 46.61.183 so i treated it as an all way stop and yielded to ALL right aways as defined in RCW 46.61.180(1) and 46.61.185.

I dont think this should be too difficult, but you never know

thanks for the help guys
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