What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s Ride on Red Law

Benefits of The Ride on Red Law

It is now legal to treat stop lights as stop signs in Pennsylvania – in certain instances.

Pennsylvania’s Ride on Red law allows for any vehicle (car, bicycle, motorcycle, even a horse and buggy) to proceed with caution at an intersection if the traffic signal is malfunctioning or if it’s vehicle-detection system fails to recognize you. In this scenario, the signal should be treated like a stop sign.

This common sense piece of legislation, made law on September 18, 2016, is designed to help smaller and lighter-weight vehicles that aren’t always able to trigger a traffic light, proceed safely through an intersection.

However there are several important factors you must keep in mind when obeying the Ride on Red law. Read on to learn what these are.

What Does Pennsylvania’s Ride on Red Law Mean For Me?

The Ride on Red law applies to all vehicles, but it is not an excuse to treat any red light like a stop sign. The red light must be deemed as malfunctioning.

The benefit to motorists is that you will no longer be stuck at a malfunctioning red light, unsure of how you may legally proceed. This law allows motorists to use common sense to safely and legally drive through a red light, if the situation applies.

The Ride on Red law does not specify how long a vehicle must be waiting at a red light before it’s considered to be malfunctioning. Rather, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania State Police simply encourage motorists to use common sense. For example, look for a signal that is completely dark, frozen or goes through several cycles without giving you a green light. In such instances, use your best judgement and proceed through the intersection as you would if the light was a stop sign.

How Does The Ride on Red Law Work?

To further explain how to safely and legally use the Ride on Red law, here are several steps to follow:

  • Fully assess the situation and use common sense to determine if the stop light is malfunctioning and/or not recognizing the presence of your vehicle.
  • Wait until all other cars who have the green light proceed through the intersection.
  • Check the intersection for any other approaching vehicles or pedestrians who may be crossing the street.
    If clear, cautiously proceed through the intersection.

Improvement to Traffic Laws in Pennsylvania

The Ride on Red law provides a practical solution for a problem many Pennsylvanians are running into. Though originally developed for motorcyclists who are often unable to trigger a signal’s vehicle-detection system, the law has expanded to benefit all vehicles, even horse-drawn buggies. The critical point to remember is to use common sense and good judgement when following the Ride on Red law.

As Pennsylvania continues to look for ways to improve the Commonwealth’s traffic laws, we can anticipate more changes to the law to occur. If you have a question or case related to traffic laws in Pennsylvania, please contact us today to further discuss your matter with our experienced traffic ticket lawyer.

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