Lawmaker wants to make it legal for motorcycle riders to ‘ride on red’

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A state lawmaker is working on a bill to allow motorcyclists to ‘ride on red.’ Representative Stephen Bloom (R) Cumberland County said it is a common problem in the state, motorcycle riders getting stranded at red lights.

“If it’s early in the morning or late at night and you don’t have a car coming up in back of you to trigger it, that’s what I look for first, other than that, I treat it like a stop sign,” said Tracy Kinard, who has been riding motorcycle for more than 40 years. “You don’t have much choice because you’re not triggering the light unless you want to sit there all day or all night.”

"Many riders are being ticketed even after they wait many, many minutes for a cycle that's not going to change," said Rep. Bloom.

Pennsylvania law requires that riders wait it out. Representative Stephen Bloom has introduced legislation that would allow motorcyclists to ride on red. This means, once they have come to a stop, motorcycle riders would be able to safely proceed through an intersection, if they get trapped at a red light. Bloom has received a lot of support including more than 35 co-sponsors and from the A.B.A.T.E. motorcycle organization.

Bloom has also gotten some criticism.

"People have said this is encouraging lawlessness and anarchy, but it's really not about that. We're talking about law-abiding bikers who know the law, but they are stuck there. It could be late at night," said Bloom.

"We have a lot of lights in the state that are run on wires that are embedded in the asphalt, many times the motorcycle is not heavy enough to trigger the light," said Bloom.

While PennDOT officials wouldn't comment on pending legislation, they do receive complaints about the issue.

"We've been working on technology that would allow us to help motorcycles out and even scooters out, because it's even worse for them. Typically the advice is to stay as far left as you possibly can within your lane, so maybe you will hit one of those loops that might change it," said PennDOT Press Officer Fritzi Schreffler.