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Do it all the time. Just lucky I guess. About the 120 seconds? I'll give it 90 seconds at best. Like I said, lucky I guess.
 

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Yep, do not count seconds though.

If a officer is on my left, I will catch his eye, point at the light and go.

They started letting us do that about a year ago.

Ok early, no traffic and so on. Would not recommend it in heavy traffic. Just be patient in heavy traffic, or make a right turn and a u turn and come back.
 

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I've done it all my life... especially when I was younger on much smaller bikes that wouldn't come close to triggering the light.

That was before I even knew that laws like that existed.

Just lucky too, I guess.
 

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Many lights take longer than 120 seconds to change
If an officer is sitting on your left or right or any other larger "object" and the light is on the "approach to change" function, it will change.
BTW, I've never heard of a 120second rule. Is it local, state or federal and could you post a link?
Never mind-found it-It's a new Va law. Learn something everyday. Indiana must be backward on laws to help bikers!
 

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Many lights take longer than 120 seconds to change
If an officer is sitting on your left or right or any other larger "object" and the light is on the "approach to change" function, it will change.
BTW, I've never heard of a 120second rule. Is it local, state or federal and could you post a link?
"Many drivers and pedestrians often complain about cyclists running red lights. But in Virginia, the practice is now legal.
A new law that took effect on July 1 allows cyclists waiting at red lights throughout the Old Dominion to roll through them if the light doesn't change within two minutes. The law, which still mandates that cyclists treat the red light as a stop sign and yield to oncoming traffic, is meant as a response to lightly-used intersections where cars may not come through and trigger the embedded roadway sensors that help control the timing of traffic lights. Cyclists aren't the only people who stand to benefit from the new law -- motorcycles and mopeds can also proceed through after waiting the 120 seconds."

more here
http://dcist.com/2011/07/go_forth_red_light-running_cyclists.php

Dennis
 

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There is a traffic light about 1.5 miles from my house that my VTX doesn't trip, but my GoldWings do. I had the opportunity to exercise my rights under the new law about a week ago.
 

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I continue to be educated by those much smarter than me. Notwithstanding, even with the law on my side, I will use that guideline/provision very cautiously. I have sat thru several light cycles before when traffic was heavy however I have also used the rule when the cross traffic was clear...you can still get hit by a car in the crosswalk even though you are in the right, you are still dead. Let's be smart out there.
 

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Anyone excercise this option yet?
Exercised it on the 1st of July actually. Sat on US50 westbound waiting to turn left onto US17 near Paris. Waited through 2 light cycles and then turned left when it was clear. Oh I was sitting at the light with 10 other motorcycles in tow so the light just must have been broke. :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone!

I had been using the old right turn, up the road and U-turn to get around the problem but was wondering if many folks were actually using the 120 second rule. I do believe I will use it in the future but will be very selective about when and where.
 

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I don't run into many that don't change for me. But it happens occasionally.

Excerpt from HB1981:
B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a driver of a motorcycle or moped or a bicycle rider approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light, the driver or rider may proceed through the intersection on a steady red light only if the driver or rider (i) comes to a full and complete stop at the intersection for 120 seconds, (ii) exercises due care as provided by law, (iii) otherwise treats the traffic control devices as a stop sign, and (iv) determines that it is safe to proceed.

I had been using the old right turn, up the road and U-turn to get around the problem but was wondering if many folks were actually using the 120 second rule. I do believe I will use it in the future but will be very selective about when and where.
 

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I often put the bike in neutral and put down the sidestand. I watch the light for the cross traffic and when it goes yellow I know I the turn lane should be next and put the sidstand up.

If I doesn't then I would probably use the 120 second rule (and I think it is 120 seconds or two cycles of the lights whichever is longer).

But have not yet had to use the 120 second rule.
 

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Just a few weeks ago I was waiting alone at a light to cross a four-lane highway to turn left. Waited and waited, then waited for traffic to ease up. Once there was no traffic for a good distance I went ahead and pulled out onto the highway. As I was making the turn I noticed the first car coming my way was a State Trooper. He slowly passed me without any issue.

I'm glad for the exception in NC.
 

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From my observations while riding, there are a few things some riders do not know.

First, the light is not triggered by the vehicle's weight. There are no scales at the intersections. The lights are usually controlled by a wire loop placed under the pavement. This loop is electrically charged, and it senses interference with the field it creates when something large and STEEL passes over the field low enough to interfere with it. (Mass, not weight) This is why scooters, dirt bikes and smaller motorcycles may not trigger a light. They either don't have enough steel, or the frame is too high (dirt bikes). The bike's frame is steel, but the engine is aluminum and that doesn't affect the field.

Solution: If the cut in the pavement is visible, you can * stop your bike at a point where when you put your side stand down, it lands directly on top of the cut. This brings the steel side stand within two inches of the loop and it will almost always trigger the light.

* Warning! Putting the side stand down with the bike in neutral eliminates your quick exit option if the guy coming up behind you in the left turn lane is about to rear-end you. Use this technique cautiously.

You can also look for this pavement cut. If it is a circle, stop your bike so that the largest portion of the bike is directly above the largest section of the wire your bike can cover, on either the left or right side of the circle. Let that portion of the circle form an arch under your bike. It is WRONG to stop in the center of the circle. When you stop over the center, you are in the "eye of a hurricane", and the field is all around your bike, but it cannot sense the bike in the center.

If the sensor wire is square, line your bike up directly above one side of the square to cover 1/4 of the wire with your bike.

If the sensor is diamond shaped, come at it and place your center stand (steel) directly above the corner of the diamond on either side. Your aluminum rim will not trigger the sensor.

Sensors you cannot see: Lets be blunt. City workers are not the smartest bunch. When they repave a road, often the sensors are both invisible, and deeper in the pavement due to the two inches of fresh asphalt laid over the top. This makes the sensors less able to work properly because they are two inches further away from ANY vehicle. For a car with steel wheels, frame and engine it doesn't matter much. For a bike, it can mean the sensor can no longer detect your bike.

You CAN ask the city to come out and re-cut the new pavement and place a new sensor into the top layer. State that "the sensor cannot detect your motorcycle ever since the new pavement was added." They may understand the problem.

Cities often move things like limit lines. If an intersection was built and a sensor was put in, after time and a few collisions, the city traffic manager might decide that vehicles to your right making a left turn in front of your left turn lane need more room to make the turn! They will re-paint your limit line back another 10 or 20 feet, but they often times won't move the sensors. At an intersection that doesn't seem to detect you, try stopping at different places. AT the line, and 5, 10,15 feet in front of the line, and maybe 5, 10 or 15 feet behind the line. You will often discover that the painted line was moved but the sensors were not moved.

Also, at these intersections, don't automatically roll up to the limit line. Stop 20 feet back or so, and creep forward. Watch the pedestrian Walk/Don't Walk sign for an indication that you have found the loop. It will often be well behind the limit line, on the assumption that a car (twice as long as your bike) can stop at the limit line and still trigger the loop with it's rear frame. When you see the walk sign trigger to flashing "Don't Walk" you have found a sensor.

In Vista CA where I used to live, the light to turn from S. Santa Fe onto Postal Way refused to recognize my Honda Reflex scooter. The three loops were clearly visible. One day, I decided to stop over the second loop back and viola! INSTANT triggering of the light every time. The first loop was either broken, corroded, or disconnected. Once I found my sweet spot, I could trigger that light without putting my feet down, simply by slowing over the active loop.

Other lights use CAMERAS to trigger the lights. They "watch" the spot, and when a vehicle (or any moving object) pulls into it, the computer senses motion, just like the security cameras do (a change in the pixels of the image) and changes the light. You can test this by walking out into the left turn lane and with arms outstretched, move around a bit. If you trigger the left turn light, you have found a camera controlled intersection.

These cameras get dirty. Birds poop on the lenses. The wind changes their view, or a turning truck will bump the pole and cause your camera to rotate and look into the liquor store window instead. Flashing your brights at these camera triggered intersections will often get their attention. I am NOT talking about the UGLY traffic camera lights that flash and give you a ticket for running the light. Look for small closed circuit cameras mounted to the tops of lamp poles. If a camera is pointing at you in a left turn lane or at an intersection, there is probably no loop in the pavement or it has been disconnected.

I have found that a bright flashlight flashed back and forth across the camera lens will trigger these lights. If your light is bright enough, your passenger can trigger the light while you approach the intersection. From my home I could trigger a red light using a laser pointer from 1,000 feet away. I'd do this when the local A-holes would be speeding east on S. Santa Fe Avenue. Sometimes I'd get bored. :roll:

I have also heard that these lights can be triggered by a strong IR signal from an ordinary remote control device. My early experiments with this have been unsuccessful. :?
 

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Thankfully Virginia motorcyclists and lawmakers realized the problem with trip wires being covered or broken or cameras having bird poop on them and passed a reasonable law to allow motorcyclists to go forward when the lights do not work.

However, Gravedigger thank you for the excellent explanation of how these things work and the many ways to make them work in spite of the failure of the desiigners to consider the needs of all vehicle types.
 
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