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Dead Red Law Passes in Indiana

August 27, 2014

Motorcycle at stoplightMotorcycles, mopeds, and bicycle oftentimes aren’t heavy enough to trigger traffic signals. When the traffic signal isn’t triggered, it leaves the rider with the choice of either disregarding the signal or waiting for a car to pull up behind them and get on the scale.

Earlier this year, Indiana became the 16th state to pass the “Dead Red” law. The “Dead Red” statute is found at Indiana Code § 9-21-3-7(b)(3)(D).  It applies only to motorcycles, motorized bicycles, motor scooters, and bicycles.  For these operators, the statute effectively transforms a stop light into a stop sign with a waiting period.  This is not to say, however, that these operators are given a free pass to go through a red light with impunity after waiting one hundred and twenty seconds.   The statute requires the operators to “exercise due care as provided by law” in deciding whether it is safe to move past the red light.  Therefore, they must still follow the rules of the road and keep a lookout for oncoming traffic possessing the right of way.

Jon Noyes, WKW attorney, adds “Honestly, this statute seems like a simple and effective response to one of the technological deficiencies of our traffic system and the growing number of bicyclists on the roads.  It provides the operators of motorcycles, motorized bicycles, motor scooters, and bicycles with the legal means to avoid being stuck at a stop light while still requiring them to exercise caution and follow the rules of the road.”

Wilson Kehoe Winingham brings you this information with best regards for you and your family’s safety.

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