Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Motorcyclists can legally run red lights in Nevada

New law allows those on lightweight 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles to go on red if a traffic light doesn’t change within two cycles.

By Douglas Newcomb Oct 1, 2013 11:41AM

Photo by Flikr user CountyLemonade.At traffic lights, have you ever maneuvered your car back and forth so the sensors in the pavement would switch them from red to green?

Just think how motorcyclists and bicyclists feel, since their 2-wheeled vehicles don’t always have the weight to trigger traffic-light sensors in the pavement.

Some resort to dismounting to push a crosswalk button to force the light to change. Or they simply run a red light and risk getting a citation.

But starting Oct. 1 in Nevada, riders of 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles can legally run a red light in the Silver State, although there are stipulations.

The rider must first come to a complete stop. Then they have to sit at an intersection for at least two light cycles and there can be no other vehicles around at the time. Nevada is just the latest state to legalize running a red for people on two or three wheels. Nearly a dozen other states already allow it, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Nebraska.

The difference is that in Nevada, police haven’t opposed the law like in other places where it has passed. But according to KSNV News3 TV in Las Vegas, law enforcement officials think it will be difficult to determine whether riders are adhering to the new rule since they’ll have to prove that someone waited through two light cycles before running a red.

[Source: Autoblog]
Oct 1, 2013 5:34PM
I see a problem here. If the light isn't changing because you didn't trip the sensor how exactly do you figure out what two light cycles is? You could sit there and wait for Jesus to return and not see the end of one light cycle if they aren't switching. I'd just say to hell with it and go if nobody was around to see.
Oct 1, 2013 5:11PM
The author of this article is misinformed. Weight has nothing top do with triggering the lights. They use a electromagnetic field that has to be tripped. Aluminum, plastic and carbon fiber will not trip it. 
Oct 1, 2013 5:21PM
drive in LA,  everyone runs  the red
Take a magnet out of a hard drive  and attach it to the bottom of your bike with safety wire hanging down about 4 or 5 inches from the road surface . You will never miss another left turn arrow and you will always activate a signal light . Years ago a friend of mine spent 29 dollars on a device that would do all those things for the motorcyclist, when it arrived in the mail he opened it up and it was a magnet. A 29 dollar magnet , I went to the computer repair shop and purchased 3 nasty hard drive magnets for 3 dollars and attached 1 to each of my bikes and that's all you need  I always get the left turn arrow and I'am always recognized at stop signals.  It works    TRY IT ! 
Oct 1, 2013 5:29PM
Yes, Chuck762 is right, the sensors are magnetic based, and you need enough steel to trigger them. They are called inductive-loop traffic detectors. 

It has nothing to do with weight. I think they meant mass of the magnetic components.
Oct 1, 2013 5:40PM
 The the mass of the electromagnetic field must be large enough to trigger the traffic light sensor which is buried in the pavement at  the intersection. A bicycle doesn't have the mass necessary to react with most sensors. Many motorcycles also do not have the mass (not the weight) to trigger the sensor. A sensors age and sensitivity will determine responsiveness. A few motorcycle accessory manufacturers sell passive magnetic devices which, when installed close to the pavement, can be helpful in triggering generic traffic light sensors.
Oct 1, 2013 5:20PM
I doubt that this change for the better will be abused -  after all, a cyclist cannot win a collision with a 4+ wheeled motor vehicle, so they will use it cautiously.  Good thinking by the lawmakers to allow this.

And yes, I have run red lights 3 times in a 4-wheeled vehicle. All in the same morning about 6AM.  Each time I stopped, checked, and then proceeded, twice in the oncoming lane.  Light traffic, was a holiday.  But we did arrive in time, my wife birthed the baby while I was still filling out the hospital paperwork.  If a cop had stopped us, HE would have been delivering the baby.

Oct 1, 2013 5:20PM
I thought this was a standard everywhere? There are many of the older lights that don't detect motorcycles or lighter vehicles. 
Oct 1, 2013 5:39PM
I think this is a great idea. I have been stuck at a non-working traffic signal. Are they supposed to just sit there all day? After waiting for a light to change for over 5 minutes, I just go myself. The sensors don't always work. Nobody is stupid enough to just go blasting through, especially on a bike.
Oct 1, 2013 5:31PM
A word of caution.    NEVER NEVER exceed the speed limit in any small Nevada town.   If it says, 25 then you had better be driving 25 or you will get a ticket.  In Nevada, both county sheriffs and state police patrol the towns.   In Ely, Nevada for a distance of about 50 yards, you are on reservation land and subject to a ticket by the reservation police.   Yes, they have the authority to issue you a ticket. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
MSN Money


Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at