Red means go


If you don’t live in Kansas you can always hum ‘Crosstown Traffic’ while you wait.

If you’ve been riding long enough you’ve probably experienced ‘the wait’. That’s when you arrive at a red traffic signal that refuses to change to green.

Bikes often have a hard time tripping the sensors that make some traffic signal change, sometimes forcing riders to break the law by sneaking through the red, usually to discover there was a cop nearby watching and waiting to write a ticket, or at least give a stern warning.

Well, according to Fox News, legislators in Kansas feel your pain and have approved a bill allowing motorcyclists to cross stubborn red lights.

The "Dead Red" bill doesn’t give carte blanche for Montreal-style intersection insanity, and bikers must use their discretion and wait a reasonable amount of time for the light to change before deciding to go ahead.

According to a report from The Wichita Eagle, Rep. Owen Donohoe tried to amend the bill and kill it in its tracks, saying, “I see no skeletal remains of motorcyclists sitting at red lights that never change.” 

The bill was also opposed by spoilsport police officers who wanted their patrol cars to be the only vehicles with traffic light immunity.


  1. What’s Montreal-style intersection insanity? I am relatively new in the country … :grin

    You’ve got a treat coming if you’ve never driven in Montreal. Or at least an experience … :upset

  2. Yes, you’re right 15th not 17th siderd! :upset
    Sometimes when stuck at red I take a right-hand turn on red, then a hundred feet down the road I do a u-turn and pull another right-hand so I can continue down the path. I’ve always wondered if this is actually legal?

  3. Here’s the legal(??) argument I’ll use if necessary:
    Traffic lights must work for all vehicles. This one doesn’t work for my bike, so it must be faulty. Ontario law states that faulty traffic lights must be observed as four-way stops or flashing red lights, which I did. Therefore, by stopping, waiting and then carefully proceeding, I did nothing wrong. Sir. Or Ma’am.
    Any bets?

  4. Not to pick nits, but I think you’ll find that it’s #15 sideroad (not #17) at hwy. #25 at Speyside. And you’re right, that light is a major pain in the ass.

  5. BTW, I’m assuming you put the kickstand down OVER that caulked sawcuts you see at the stop area? That’s where the sensor wire is tucked-in isn’t it?

  6. Kick stand down has never ever worked for me to change a light, I think it’s a suburban myth!
    The worst “dead-red” light that never changes unless a car finally comes up behind you or opposite of interesction is that light at 17th Side Rd/Hwy 25 in Speyside, Ontario (just north of Milton)
    It really breaks-up the flow of the ride along 17th Side Rd between Stewarttown and north Campbellville.

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