Verschoore Backs Legislation to Help Motorcyclists Avoid Long Waits at Red Lights

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

To help provide some relief to motorcyclists who wait for seemingly endless amounts of time at red lights, state Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan) and the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation allowing motorcycle riders to proceed through the lights after waiting at least two minutes.

“Motorcyclists and bicyclists can find themselves waiting for another vehicle to trigger the sensor at traffic signals for an incredibly long time,” Verschoore said. “This is more problematic on roadways that don’t have much traffic or at times of the day when traffic is not heavy. With this legislation, motorcyclists won’t have to wait any longer than 120 seconds at red lights that don’t change green.”

Magnetic sensors at stoplights are designed to be triggered by vehicles to keep all directions of traffic flowing smoothly, but most motorcycles and bicycles don’t weigh enough to set off the sensors. Last year, Verschoore co-sponsored legislation requiring motorcyclists to wait a “reasonable” amount of time before traveling through red lights. Though it became law, there were concerns about what constituted a “reasonable” amount of time.

Senate Bill 2528 addresses the main concerns of the previous legislation by setting a two-minute time requirement that motorcyclists must observe before proceeding through a red light. The bill is the result of talks among A.B.A.T.E., motorcycle advocates, transportation organizations and law enforcement to devise a timeline to help ensure the safety of those on the road while preserving the original intent of the law.

“Our goal was to make it very clear in the law what motorcyclists are allowed to do at long red lights,” Verschoore said. “However, the intent of this and the original legislation is to help out the cyclists on the road.”

Senate Bill 2528 has passed both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Senate and now heads to the governor for his consideration. For more information on this or other legislation, please contact Verschoore’s constituent service office at (309) 558-3612.