The new law goes into effect tomorrow for all of NC.
AN ACT to allow the operator of a motorcycle to proceed through an intersection controlled by a traffic signal only if the traffic signal uses an inductive loop vehicle sensor that activates the traffic signal and the inductive loop fails to detect the motorcycle and activate the traffic signal.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 20‑158 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"§ 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."
Law or not, I've been doing this for years. Especially at unpopulated intersections. In town I usually have the option of cutting through a parking lot to get around a PITA traffic light. Even a local LEO said he wouldn't pull over a bike if he saw it happen.
even though motorcyclists can run red lights now it seems like there are still alot of actions to follow before doing so.
That's true, but it does open the door. A positive direction for a despised (maybe that's a bit strong...) group of our society!
When I was in Japan in '98, I saw that downtown Tokyo was the place to own a bike. Riding a bike gave you the same rights as a vehicle and a pedestrian. You had the best of both worlds. I guess it makes sense in a jam-packed space, but it makes sense here, too. The whole idea is to keep slow/stopped traffic to a minimum. With a growing segment of our country riding motorcycles, we should have a modified set of rules to live by. Cagers not pissed because they just go too damn slow for us, and us, because we can get in and out and really take advantage of our choice in transportation! I'm writing my congressman right now!
We have a similar law here in CA, but I've been getting around it by putting the bike on the stand, walking over to a corner and pushing the pedestrian crossing button in the appropriate direction. Occasionally it changes before I can get back to the bike. Of course, it doesn't help if you are trying to make a left turn.
If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------