Safe Riding

Riding Safe on Red

Written by  January 1, 2014

Does the state you ride in allow “safe on red”? Only twelve do and the list of them is below, along with the stipulations and the year the law was passed in each state.



Arkansas - In effect since 2005, state law allows a motorcyclist to proceed with caution, after coming to a full and complete stop, through a red light that fails to detect the bike.

Idaho – (2006) If a signal fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic light that a motorcyclist may proceed, using due caution and care, after coming to a full and complete stop at the intersection.

Illinois - (2012) Permits a driver of a motorcycles or bicycle facing a red light that fails to change within a reasonable period of time of not less than 120 seconds to proceed after yielding the right-of-way to any oncoming traffic. However, this law doesn’t apply to towns of over 2,000,000 people – such as Chicago.

Minnesota - (2002) A person operating a bicycle or motorcycle who runs a red light has an affirmative defense if the driver first came to a complete stop, the traffic light stayed red for an unreasonable amount of time and appeared not to detect the vehicle and no motor vehicles or people were approaching the street.

Missouri– (2009) State law tells both motorcyclists and bicyclists that run red lights that they have an affirmative defense if they brought their vehicle to a complete stop, the light was red for an unreasonable time period, and there were no motor vehicle or person approaching.

Nevada - (2013) Those using motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, and tri-mobiles are allowed to proceed through an intersection with a red light after waiting for two traffic light cycles, and they must yield to other vehicle traffic or pedestrians.

North Carolina - (2007) Motorcyclists are permitted to move cautiously through a steady red light after coming to a complete stop and waiting a minimum of three minutes and if no other vehicle or pedestrians are approaching the intersection.

Oklahoma - (2010) Motorcycles can proceed cautiously through a steady red light intersection after a making a complete stop and if no other motor vehicle or person is approaching the roadway.

South Carolina - (2008) After making a complete stop and waiting for a minimum of 120 seconds, the driver of a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle may treat a steady red light that doesn’t change as a stop sign and proceed with caution.

Tennessee - (2003) After coming to a complete stop, motorcyclists and bicyclists may proceed through a steady red light when it is safe to do so.Item three

Virginia – (2011) Drivers of motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles may move with caution through non-responsive red lights as long as they yield the right-of-way to others approaching the intersection, and have come to a complete stop for two complete light cycles or 120 seconds, whichever is shorter.

Wisconsin - (2006) A motorcycle, moped or bicycle is permitted to run a steady red light after making a complete stop and waiting at least 45 seconds and then yields the right–of-way to any vehicular traffic or pedestrians using the intersection.

Have a safe and happy New Year!