Will Cyclists and Motorcyclists Be Able to Pass Through Red Lights Legally?

If you ride a bicycle around Atlanta, chances are that you probably have run a red light from time to time, as the sensors in the ground aren't tripped due to the small weight of the bike. This is also a concern for operators of small sport bikes and motorcycles. Although running a red light is currently against the law, a Georgia legislator is pushing for a new measure to make it legal.

Georgia legislator Ann Purcell, a Republican from Rincon, is supporting House Bill 161, which would basically allow motorcyclists and bicyclists to legally pass through red lights with caution. She believes that sometimes bicyclists and motorcyclists feel trapped at intersections, and may have to wait for a long time until another vehicle approaches and trips the sensor.

Proceed With Caution

The bill suggests that a motorcyclist or bicyclist would treat signal lights like stop signs, checking for traffic and waiting 60 seconds before they pass through the red light. Purcell, a motorcycle rider herself, said, "we understand we would have to go through with great caution."

The American Motorcycle Association notated that the biker would be at fault if their passing through the red light led to an accident in Georgia.

However, other members of the House Rules Committee have concerns about letting motorcyclists and cyclists follow different traffic laws and road rules than other motorists on Georgia roads.

Other Alternatives

The Federal Highway Administration believes there is a safer way to address the sensor concern. This option would be to change the sensors at intersections so that motorcycles and bicycles would trigger them. However, Georgia has 40,000 intersections that would need to be updated, which would cost a lot of time and money to make those changes.

Either way, opponents of the bill believe that more Atlanta bicycle accidents and Georgia motorcycle crashes would occur if this measure were to pass. Also, they worry about which party would be held liable for medical bills and damages if there was a crash.

The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Kalka & Baer Firm will keep you updated if there are any changes to the traffic laws in Georgia.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, car crash, or bicycle accident in Atlanta, order a FREE copy of attorney Tony Kalka's bookSharing the Road and Surviving the Crash - 5 Common Myths About Georgia Injury Claims & More. This book is a must read for all motorists in Georgia.

Categories: Cycling Accidents