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July 23, 2016

Drivers now permitted to run some red lights in Pennsylvania

Motorists will have the option to drive through some red lights in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law as part of Act 101 a provision that allows drivers of all vehicles to proceed with caution through an intersection where a traffic signal is unresponsive.

State Representative Stephen Bloom, of Cumberland County, initially intended the new law to apply only to motorcycles when he introduced the bill. At some intersections, a detection system must be triggered to change the light.

“If the vehicle detection system fails to recognize the vehicle and the driver has come to a complete stop, the driver must then make sure it is safe to continue, and only then would they be able to lawfully proceed with caution through the intersection,” Bloom said.

The bill, which was dubbed "Ride on Red," was aimed to solve a common problem for motorcyclists while maintaining safety.

“This law does not give drivers a free pass, but ensures a safe and legal option to avoid the danger and inconvenience of being trapped in perpetuity at a locked red light,” Bloom said. “This issue is more common than many people realize, especially on rural roads or during late hours when long periods often elapse before a heavier vehicle comes along to finally trip the unresponsive light.”

The law will go into effect in 60 days.