One Step Closer to Red Light Reform for Riders

One Step Closer to Red Light Reform for Riders

March 25, 2014

Senate Bill 5141 Passes
Washington Motorcycles Will Be Allowed to Run Faulty Lights

Imagine you’re on your motorcycle, and there are no other cars on the road. You approach a red light and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait… because you alone with your bike are not enough to trip the sensor on the pavement that triggers the light to turn green. Your only option is to turn right.

It’s a safety hazard and an annoyance for riders across Washington. We at Eagle Leather know how important this issue has been to the members of our riding community. So when Senate Bill 5141 was proposed to allow Washington motorcyclists to run red lights at empty intersections when the sensor fails, we paid attention. We've been following the progression of this law since last year, and we even collected a list of faulty traffic lights from you--our loyal readers—to send to WSDOT. Now it seems that progress is finally being made in the state capitol. The bill passed the Senate on February 10 with a 46-2 vote.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, expressed concern about the lack of detection by some traffic lights as a potential hazards for riders and drivers alike. “It becomes quite dangerous because you have cars piling up behind you, they start honking at you, then they start going around you,” Hargrove said during a Feb. 10 debate on the Senate floor.

Others expressed concern about car drivers seeing motorcyclists running red lights and thinking they could do the same. "What's to stop a car from going through a red light if they see a motorcycle doing it?" Ken Barnes of White Center asked.

The passed bill was delivered to the governor on March 13, where it is expected to be signed into law. We want to hear more of your thoughts. Tell us what you think of the bill now that it’s passed in the state Senate. Sound off on the Eagle Leather Facebook Page.

Click here to read the legislative history of the bill.