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Bill would allow motorcycles to pass through red lights under certain circumstances

Under the proposal, if a motorcyclist approaches a red light and the underground sensor doesn't sense it, they can go through red light after 2 minutes.

DENVER — Ever been stuck at a light that won’t change to green?

It often has to do with an underground sensor, which triggers the light when it senses vehicles. The problem, many motorcyclists will tell you, is that the sensor often doesn’t sense motorcycles.

The so-called “inductive loop” sensors run an electrical current underground, which can only be interrupted by a vehicle with a certain metal mass.

“When motorcycles come up to these lights, they don’t have enough metal mass to interrupt the signal underneath to tell the light that they’re there,” said State Senator Rachel Zenzinger, a Democrat from Jefferson County.

“We do want to make sure that our traffic laws apply to all motorists, not just people in cars,” she said.

Zenzinger’s bill would allow motorcycles to proceed through a red light if a sensor isn’t working or if the light is malfunctioning. Motorcyclists have to wait for two minutes and for traffic to be clear to proceed.

Click/tap here to read the bill

“It says that after a certain amount of time if you’re stuck at one of these lights you could proceed with caution through the light,” she said.

“We have a number of people in my community who have brought this issue up. They don’t want to be law breakers.”

Twelve other states have passed similar laws.

The latest example, in Pennsylvania, allows vehicles to pass through red lights if sensors are malfunctioning as well. Pennsylvania’s law doesn’t include a time limit.

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