Recently Indiana became the 16th state to pass what is known as a “dead red” law. House bill 1080, authored by local state representative Mike Karickhoff, “authorizes motorcycle, moped, and bicycle riders who fail to trigger a traffic signal at an intersection to drive through a red light, so long as the rider first stops for two minutes and then proceeds cautiously.” Representative Karickhoff cited to the fact that many traffic signals cannot detect motorcycles as a contributing factor to the passing of bill 1080, which passed 84-10.
When the signal that a vehicle is waiting at the light is not triggered, it leaves the motorist with two choices: disregard the signal or wait for a car to pull up behind them and get on the scale. In option two, the motorcyclist is forced to pull their wheel out into the intersection to make room for that car. The American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) have expressed their support for the legislation, stating that the new law will “help operators of motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and motor scooters when trying to proceed at a stoplight with no traffic signal detection.”
Police officials advise all motorcycle, bicycle, and moped riders to be very cautious and obey the law. With motorcycle season approaching, all vehicle drivers should understand the new law and be aware of motorcyclists on the road.
The other states that have “dead red” laws are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and California. Each state has its own variation of the law.