If passed, SB 2232 would be beneficial

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

We live in a wondrous age filled with so much technology it’s hard to imagine how we made it through life only 30 years ago.

Not only do we have 24/7 access to all the information in our world, our vehicles can keep themselves in their lanes, stop itself to avoid collisions using special sensors, and even alert us when another vehicle is in a blind spot.

The technology that drives our traffic control devices also saw leaps and bounds in advancements. No longer must we wait at an empty intersection much longer than a few seconds before sensors detect that the light in front of us should be green, not red.

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As with any thing built by humans, there are flaws. If you enjoy a little wind therapy on a two-wheeled mode of transportation, those same sensors capable of detecting larger four-wheeled vehicles may not prompt a light change for a motorcycle.

This problem is more prevalent with the older inductive detector loop  form of sensors. An inductive loop sensor is essentially a series of metal wires that create an electromagnetic field capable of detecting large metal objects, cars and trucks, when they sit over the loop. This change in the field prompts the signal to change the light accordingly.

The problem is that unlike newer systems like cameras, the inductive loop can not sense a motorcycle.

Motorcycles stuck at an inductive loop intersection may have some relief if a Senate Bill 2232, which is headed to the House, is passed.

It would allow those of us who enjoy riding motorcycles the legal ability to run a red light if it does not change in a reasonable amount of time.

I hope that the House sees the value of this bill,  which has been approved in various forms in more than 16 other states.