Cyclists soon may be able to run red lights legally

Published March 1, 2013 11:27 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Traffic signals sometimes do not change for bicycles or motorcycles waiting to turn left, because they are too small for sensors to detect. So the Utah House voted Friday to let cyclists run lights legally when they are in that situation.

"We need to provide some sort of legal option to people who are stuck in this situation," said Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, sponsor of HB316, which passed 43-29. He noted that other options such as dismounting and walking across the street or turning right and making U-turns are also illegal, and more dangerous.

His bill allows cyclists to wait at least 90 seconds for the light to change, then ensure the intersection is clear before turning.

Technically, the bill makes that process an "affirmative defense" against a ticket. Anderson said that means a cyclist may be ticketed and need to appear before a judge, but swearing that process was followed should dismiss the ticket.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Lee Davidson

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