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Thread: Streetlight won't change to green

  1. #1
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Streetlight won't change to green

    I would be interested in how people deal with stop lights at intersections that don't change. These on-demand lights with the sensors in the pavement often don't "know" I'm waiting for a green light. I have a gizmo on the bike to trigger the light, but it doesn't always work. I hate waiting for a car to show up to change the light to green. It's so humiliating.

  2. #2
    criminaldesign
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    I resort to running the red light.

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Your gizmo to alert the signals you are there will seldom work.

    Call the city or county responsible for maintaining the signals at that intersection and report the problem. The loop sensitivity needs to be adjusted. Note the time, date, and who you talked to. You might need the information later, because:

    When the signal fails to activate and no car comes along you are faced with several technically unlawful actions.

    1. Left turn on red.
    2. Lane change within the intersection.
    3. Right turn from the left lane.

    The only technically legal movement is to push the bike backwards until you can change lanes prior to being in the intersection, then proceed straight through on green.

    It is my personal opinion that the situation falls under the category of a signal malfunction which should be treated as a 4-way stop. However, I had a rather long argument on-line with a former LEO who's advice basically was "good luck with that" when the officer sees you.

    So call it in, call it in, call it in, call it in. Most public works departments actually do want their signals to work correctly.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #4
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by walterK75 View Post
    I would be interested in how people deal with stop lights at intersections that don't change. These on-demand lights with the sensors in the pavement often don't "know" I'm waiting for a green light. I have a gizmo on the bike to trigger the light, but it doesn't always work. I hate waiting for a car to show up to change the light to green. It's so humiliating.
    I sympathize with your frustration.

    There have been many anecdotal 'solutions' to this problem mentioned before on this forum, i.e. "specific placement of the bike over the coil, undercarriage magnets, touching down the side stand, pestering your DPW for adjustments to sensitivity, lucky charms, snake oil, phases of the moon, take your chances in court" and other such libations.

    Check first if you state actually allows you to violate the signal under a specific set of circumstances, as in the case now (actually since Fall of 2008) here in Wisconsin.

    If not, PM me with your e-mail and I'll send you the text of our State Statute that permits a motorcyclist to ignore the red light after certain precautions are met.

    Then, send a copy of it to your state legislators with a request that they too join the 21st Century of traffic laws.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    Many of the loop sensors do not detect a motorcycle. Calling the local community responsible for their maintenance usually does not work. If it were a car it would get a response.

    In any case, most state codes allow you to proceed after waiting a normal time for the signal to change.

    More communities are going to the radar sensors. You can tell them by the camera like device mounted on a stalk above the signal posts or arms. These rarely fail.

  6. #6
    Toadmanor
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    Here in Minnesota it is legal, on a motorcycle, to proceed through a red light after waiting for a time and ascertaining the intersection is clear.

    I have never been questioned as I do this often.

  7. #7
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I try to stop right on top of the cutout (usually a rectangle) for the sensor wire. That seems to work 99% of the time. If not I run the light.
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  8. #8
    Registered User lionlady's Avatar
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    Put your bike at the intersection of as many pavement-sensor cutouts as possible. I've almost never had an issue with a sensor not recognizing my R1150R.

    I always stop with my cylinders over a crosswise cut, and the tires/wheels on a lengthwise cut.

    P
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  9. #9
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    I sympathize with your frustration.



    Check first if you state actually allows you to violate the signal under a specific set of circumstances, as in the case now (actually since Fall of 2008) here in Wisconsin.

    l
    Arkansas has this law.

    Ralph Sims

  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    I sympathize with your frustration.

    Check first if you state actually allows you to violate the signal under a specific set of circumstances, as in the case now (actually since Fall of 2008) here in Wisconsin.

    l
    Glad you found that Kevin.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  11. #11
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
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    Georgia has this law as well. I find it very useful on my early commute to work, where it's just me and the crickets some mornings.
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2004 R1150RS, forming a search committee to add another.

  12. #12
    Hooligan
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    I may be wrong here but have heard that it has something to do with "iron" or steel your car or vehicle has. More plastic and alum, you will not trip the field.

  13. #13
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by aviator View Post
    I may be wrong here but have heard that it has something to do with "iron" or steel your car or vehicle has. More plastic and alum, you will not trip the field.
    No - you're correct.

    It's all about causing a detectable disruption in a magnetic coil. It is not about weight. Not enough ferrous metal - no discernable disruption.

    Either need more metal or increased sensitivity.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  14. #14
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Glad you found that Kevin.
    I take it Texas does not have this law?!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  15. #15
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    I take it Texas does not have this law?!
    I don't know. It has never been an issue here. Brewster County, in all 6,192 square miles does not have any traffic signals, let alone one with a protected left turn.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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