Traffic Light Problems?
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Thread: Traffic Light Problems?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default Traffic Light Problems?

    Anyone else have the occasional problem of a traffic light sensor just not working when on a motorcycle?
    Every now and then I find one that doesn't "see" me. I usually wait what seems to be more than enough time and just go when traffic is clear.
    I try to avoid the ones I already know about - take a different road or something.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member R J's Avatar
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    Default

    Some one said they hung a big old heavy magnet under the bike and it helped in getting the lights to change...

    I've only had trouble one time and that was in Nashville...



    97 Tourer - 87 Cobra Trike - 44 Harley ServiCar
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  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Default

    I do the same as you. I give it a chance. And if it obviously doesn't see me, I run it...after looking both ways for cops and other traffic of course.

    Not sure about Alabama, but here in PA all traffic signals are owned and maintained by the local municipality. So if you have a signal that never sees you, call and complain. They should be able to adjust the sensitivity. And document the calls (who you talked to and when). If nothing else, it will give you something to show the judge when you have to fight a ticket for running the light.

    I work for a highway engineering consultant and I talked to our traffic signal guys about the magnet concept that RJ mentions. According to them, it has some merit, though they couldn't say how big the magnet would have to be. The idea is that current is passed through a wire loop in the road, creating a magnetic field. When a large metal object passes near the loop, it changes field and thus changes the current in the loop. The electronics in the controller sense this change and trigger the signal. The problem is that motorcycles do not have enough steel, and all that billet aluminum is not magnetic. So adding magnets to the bike certainly would help. But again, the question is how many are needed? I don't know. And of course, this all goes out the window for the newest types of signals that are triggered by cameras/motion detectors. But I would have to believe these would be less likely to fail.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Speedie Gonzales's Avatar
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    Default Not a Problem in Tennessee!!!

    Our State Legslature passed a bill that allowes Motorcycles to Leagly go through a red light..If you come to a light that is red and stop. check to be sure that traffic is clear, you can leagly run the light..

    I will try to get a link to the statute so you can read it..

    Speedie
    Ok, I hate the rain, It sucks, I want to ride in the Sun Shine.



  7. #5
    Senior Member Speedie Gonzales's Avatar
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    Default Tennessee Law!!!

    Thsi is what Tennessee has to say about this...

    Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the driver of a motorcycle approaching an intersection that is controlled by a traffic-control signal utilizing a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection and, after exercising due care as provided by law, may proceed with due caution when it is safe to do so. It is not a defense to a violation of § 55-8-109 that the driver of a motorcycle proceeded under the belief that a traffic-control signal utilized a vehicle detection device or was inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle when such signal did not utilize a vehicle detection device or that any such device was not in fact inoperative due to the size of the motorcycle.
    Ok, I hate the rain, It sucks, I want to ride in the Sun Shine.



  8. #6

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    Yeah, I have a signal that refuses to change for me. If it won't change, I'm careful but run it. I hear that if you put the kickstand down on the loop, it works. i haven't tried that yet.

  9. #7

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    Nov 2003
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    Default

    I never have any problems. I understand how they work. When I pull up to a controlled light I pull right over the edge of the wire, not inside the "box". You have to have maximum effect on the signal seen by the controller, by riding into the box it will not see you. some of these are set with a delay so if you pull up and turn right on red it will not trip the signal. If you pull into the center of the box it will see you momentarily but if you stop inside the "box" the effect isn't there any more so it assumes you are no longer there. So you need to pull up on top of the wire. it has never failed me.
    Magnets only help because of their density, hanging a plate of steel would do the same thing.
    We use these all over our plant to open doors on freezers.
    You'd be surprised at how many people think there are switches under the slab, and bikes aren't heavy enough to trip them.

  10. #8
    Senior Member PSUbag's Avatar
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    Default

    In Pa. you can legally go thru a red light if you stop and wait a "reasonable" amount of time. We have an intersection a mile from here that won't trip, even if you sit directly on the wire. I treat it just like a stop sign. It's amazing to me how many bikes will just sit there until a car pulls up behind them.

    Never anyone behind me, unless someone's in front of me!

  11. #9
    Senior Member Yogi's Avatar
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    Default

    I put the bike in Neutral and put the kickstand down right on the loop. Hasn't failed me yet.



    2011 Triumph R3 Roadster




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