Proposed bill would let bicyclists cross against red lightsby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Bicyclists in Minnesota could cross against a red light in certain circumstances, under a bill proposed at the legislature.
At some intersections, the lights change in response to the weight of an approaching vehicle, but motorcycles and bicycles aren't heavy enough to trip the light change.
DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis said some intersections are controlled by lights that respond to the weight of an approaching car, and bikes don't trip the lights.
"So this allows them to wait through one change of signals when they're convinced it's not going to turn, and then they're supposed to look for traffic, but it's an affirmative defense that the light didn't turn," Kahn said.
Kahn said it should reduce conflicts between drivers and cyclists.
"Because one of the things that happens is a bicycle stopped and not able to go is also sometimes holding up all the vehicle traffic behind them," she said.
Kahn said bicycles were originally included seven years ago when the same privilege was extended to motorcyclists. But they were dropped in the conference committee.
The bill has already passed out of committee and is on the House floor; a similar measure in the Senate awaits committee action.