The House Public Safety and Homeland Security held a public hearing Wednesday on a bill that would allow motorcyclists and bicyclists to go on red at a slow traffic light if there was no oncoming traffic. HB103 is sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Victor Gaston, R-Mobile.
Motorcycle enthusiast Fred Wheeler said HB103 would allow the driver of a motorcycle or bicycle to go on a malfunctioning traffic light.
Wheeler said some lights only change when a sensor detects that a motorist has approached the red light. A motorcycle or bicycle does not have enough metal mass to trip the light.
HB103 would give the motorcycle or bicycle rider the legal option to proceed as if the slow or malfunctioning red light were a stop sign.
Gaston said, “18 states currently have ‘dead red’ bills.”
“I don’t know how we can write a law allowing you to totally disregard a red light,” said State Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper. “The last wreck I worked involved a motorcycle. As a retired police chief and a career law enforcement officer, I can not support a law to ignore a red light.”
“I have driven a lot on a motorcycle, and I don’t think I have ever experienced this,” said State Rep. Rex Reynolds, R-Huntsville. “In Decatur, all of our traffic lights are on a timer in addition (to the sensor), and they all go off every three minutes.”
“A device can be attached to the bottom of motorcycle that would allow the sensor to detect the motorcycle,” said State Rep. Drake, R-Leeds.
“Any time a motorcycle is not moving, it increases the risk for the motorcycle rider,” Larry Lindsey said.
“Sons of Anarchy and the 1 percent of motorcycle riders make us all look stupid,” Chris Cook said.
“Alabama is home to the largest motorcycle museum in the world,” Cook said. “More motorcycle friendly laws would bring more motorcycle tourism to the state.”
The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is Chaired by state Rep. Alan Treadaway, R-Morris.
Morris said the committee will vote on whether or not to give a favorable report on H 103 until their next committee meeting.