New law eliminates need to wait for an unresponsive red light to turn green
Come Sept. 18, drivers no longer will be stuck at an intersection waiting to be detected by an unresponsive traffic signal under a new law Gov. Tom Wolf signed on Wednesday. They can proceed through the intersection with caution. Drivers who get stuck waiting for an unresponsive red-light to turn green will soon be able to cut bait and proceed through the intersection. Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday signed legislation that allows motorists in all types of vehicles to proceed with caution through a red light if a vehicle detection system at a signal fails to recognize the vehicle's presence.The law took effect on Sept. 18. This so-called "Ride on Red" provision was introduced by Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-Cumberland County, who said he was approached by some motorcycle organizations about changing the law to address situations for their bikes which often fail to trigger the traffic light to change. During the legislative process, the proposal was expanded to apply to all vehicles."This law does not give drivers a free pass, but ensures a safe and legal option to avoid the danger and inconvenience of being trapped in perpetuity at a locked red light," Bloom said Charles Umbenhauer, state lobbyist for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education, called it a blessing for motorcyclists. Drivers must still abide by other traffic control laws that apply, he said. This new provision simply clarifies the definition of an inoperable and malfunctioning signal to include when the vehicle detection technology fails to recognize a vehicle's presence because it is too light.In those instances, the law says the motorist should treat the signal like a stop sign where they stop and then proceed with caution, Bloom said.