Bill in Neb. could let bikes go on red
Getting a red that never turns
The bill, LB 85, was suggested by Nebraska state Senator Paul Schumacher. If passed, it will permit riders of two-wheelers to cross an intersection on a red light if they have waited at least two minutes and there is no other traffic around.
The cause of the bill is that some in-pavement sensors that signal traffic lights to change may not be activated by a vehicle that weighs less than 1,000 pounds.
KHAS Television spoke with engineer David Wacker about the situation.
"When metal such as a vehicle bus or car would pass over them they interrupt a magnetic field that then sends a signal to the controller," he said. "We've had some problems in Hastings with that. We have been able to adjust some of the magnetometers that are in place to help out on that, but ... if a motorcycle isn't positioned correctly this does occur."
Attempting to enforce it
Opponents of the bill consist of city of Lincoln and the Nebraska Sheriffs' Association. The NSA states the law would be almost impossible to enforce, with nobody there to be sure the cyclist waited a full two minutes.
Likely, it would also embolden many bike riders to regularly run lights whenever there is no traffic around. That could conceivably increase the number of motorcycle accidents in the state and play havoc with two wheeler insurance rates.
Many people just think it is idiotic to create a whole law allowing some people to break the law to battle a small issue that many people never deal with. An educational program on teaching motorcycle drivers how to trigger the lights is most likely a much better use of cash than making it legal to run red lights.
The sensors can effortlessly get adjusted to sense motorcycles, according to Lincoln professional Randy Hoskins.
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Not the very first such measure
A couple of years ago, an Illinois city considered a comparable law. It never went through.