Technology makes our lives easier. That is, if they are in good working condition. If not, they become very inconvenient. This also applies to traffic signals.
Traffic lights not sensing bikes
In Kentucky, many traffic signals are equipped with sensors, but there are some signals that are still on timers. These sensor-triggered lights can malfunction at times. The malfunctioning light may mean waiting at a red light longer. I usually hear this story from friends who are using bicycles or motorcycles. This is because their vehicle is smaller and lighter. It might not trigger the traffic signal. They sometimes have to wait for larger vehicles to arrive for the signal to change. For them, it is frustrating.
Proposed Kentucky law
A Southern-Kentucky lawmaker, Rep. Michael Meredith, has proposed a solution to this. Through the House Bill 197, it says, “state laws shall be amended to allow motorists to drive through an intersection against a red light, when the light is red, under certain situations.” The Kentucky Motorcycle Association supports Meredith on the legislation he filed. Motorcyclists claim they are disproportionately affected by the traffic sensors. On the other hand, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet opposed the bill for safety reasons, according to their spokesman. It might take some time for us to see this bill passed as Meredith has introduced it twice already. Meanwhile, motorists who feel they are affected by malfunctioning traffic sensors may also be waiting longer for a conclusion to the bill.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I understand the good intentions lawmakers have on the traffic improvement bills they author. I also acknowledge the government's utmost concern on road safety. It’s going to be tough for everyone involved to have laws they’ve been following for a while be amended. We will have to follow this news to see what happens. In case you notice that the traffic sensors in your area are not working properly, please inform local agencies so necessary actions can be done. Traffic signals can test our patience at times. However, at the end of the day, it is our safety that is most important.