Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New motorcycle laws you need to know

While going through my news feed, I saw an article about new motorcycle laws that go into effect in Illinois. It is now legal in IL for motorcycles to run a non-responsive red light--if you've ridden motorcycles at all on the streets you know what I'm talking about. The new law requires the motorcyclist to wait at least 2 minutes to determine that the light will not be triggered by the motorcycle and can then proceed after determining the intersection is clear. (Other new laws for IL include handlebars higher than the motorcyclist's head are illegal and riding a wheelie while speeding will incur a higher fine. You have been warned.)

This got me to wondering about new motorcycle laws in VA. I discovered this very same law (the one about non-responsive red lights) is in effect in VA, and has been since summer of 2011! The VA law states the motorcyclist must wait 2 minutes or 2 complete light cycles, whichever comes first. How relieved I am to learn I won't get a ticket at several stop lights I have had to routinely run because my bike won't trigger them to cycle. :)

This law, for both IL and VA, also applies to bicyclists, but I've never seen a bicyclist follow the laws so I guess that's moot. (I'm not saying there are no such things as law abiding bicyclists...I'm just saying I've never seen one.)

Guess what else is legal for motorcyclists in VA? No, not lane splitting, alas.
Starting in 2012, VA riders can ride two abreast in a lane just like the motorcycle policemen do. Yea!

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