Does your bike "register" on the left turn pads in the road?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

    Oct 31, 2009
    Phoeniz, AZ
    There are many roads in Phoenix that have asphalt pads that are supposed to sense when a vehicle is in the left turn lane for example......or on side streets are supposed to sense when a vehicle is waiting to turn onto the busier street. If there's no vehicle waiting, the traffic light doesn't change, or doesn't show the left turn arrow.......just skips the process altogether. Unfortunately, my bike seldom registers on the pad. So, I usually just run the light, or make my left when the traffic is clear. Anyone else experience this and how do you handle it? I wonder what a LEO would do in this case if he saw me. But then again, even the MC cops must experience the same problem.
  2. wecsoger

    wecsoger Adventurer

    Mar 21, 2013
    Google is your friend. Do a search and you'll find much internet angst and some good information on traffic control devices and road sensors.

    Here for Ohio, we even have a work around in the ORC, you can treat a non-registering redlight as defective (well, it must be, it didn't pick up the bike did it?) and what you need to do.

    Ahem. Of course, I've never tested that with the mighty OSHP (highway patrol, or royal order of the flying donut) around.

    So saying, do a Google search. Every state will have (should have) a point of contact or email address at their department of transportation, or someone you can contact at the city, county or state level.

    I had same issue with a new bypass in my county. Even doing the normal tricks to get the KLR650 to show up, there was one exit that refused to have anything to do with me. I'd either blow the red light, or pull way up to the stop bar, giving room for the vehicle behind me to trip it. Sometimes they wouldn't get too close and I'd turn, point down to the sensor cutout and they would get the idea.

    I contacted ODOT, took 'em almost a year but eventually they did replace the wire loop. That intersection is now 100%

    Do a search on workarounds for sensors, then after due diligence, start making phones or sending emails.
  3. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    Hardly ever do any of my bikes ever register. I've tried the various tricks, from dropping the kickstand to using magnets and the various parking spots. None seemed to make any appreciable difference.

    As for the cops, there is usually a minimum sit time before you can run. Frequently it's absurdly high. I've only ever had one cop give me a hard time for it.
  4. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

    May 21, 2012
    Detroit mostly
    Oooo, I like that one! I actually like their logo, so this is good fun.
  5. wecsoger

    wecsoger Adventurer

    Mar 21, 2013
    You gotta know the rules to break the rules.

    Ohio had in their revised code ORC 4511.132 which treats how you handle defective traffic control devices. Know it, love it, memorize it, print out a copy for your tank bag.

    Other states, counties, cities, and townships will have similar.

    Don't waste your time/dollars on the magnets.

    Google "red light motorcycle road sensors" and you'll get a wealth of data on how the sensors work, how they're set up and tips/tricks on how to get them to "see" you.

    You think you don't show up? Think of the target size of a bicycle. Most traffic engineers want their systems to work for their customers, so if you approach them the right way, they'll want to fix it.

    That is, if you've done everything to test it first.
  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern Illinois USA
    In Illinois after waiting one cycle of the light you can go. Or a little time on ones that don't cycle at all. I thing this is true in most states.
  7. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

    May 18, 2009
    Watertown NY
    If you have a light that you stop at on a regular basis put in a call to the highway department responsible for that road, those can be adjusted for sensitivity and they will adjust them so bikes can trip them.
  8. DaLunk

    DaLunk Confused and Bemused

    Jan 19, 2014
    Lancaster County, PA
    If it is a local authority and you request that they adjust the sensitivity of a specific sensor, suggest that if it works with your schedule you would be glad to come out when they do the work to test it with your bike for them so they don't have to come out twice. Just a thought.

    We have the same problem here with not only motorcycles, but Amish buggies. There was just an article in the paper about it and possible solutions to the problem.
  9. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

    Jul 18, 2010
    Mountain Home, AR
    Your state might have a law specifically for this situation.

    In Arkansas, 27-52-206 of the motor vehicle code provides a legal way for a motorcyclist to proceed through a red light if the sensor pad does not register the weight of the bike.

    I've been pulled over once for proceeding through a red light when the sensor didn't register my bike. I very calmly and respectfully answered every question the cop asked about it and explained why I did what I did. I even cited 27-52-206 as the reason. He let me go after a pretty calm encounter.
  10. bogieboy

    bogieboy Been here awhile

    Feb 5, 2013
    Clifton Springs NY
    Last i heard it was once cycle of the light or 2 min...whichever is the shorter...
  11. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

    Dec 1, 2004
    Itasca, IL
    I get the impression that some respondents think the pads are weight-sensitive. In IL (and other Midwestern states) they are not. The cuts in the pavement contains a wire that senses metal (frame, swing arm, etc.). I've found that for the 'pads' that are rectangular in shape, if I align the bike so that I'm completely above one of the sides of the rectangle, it will sense I'm there. For the circular 'pads', I try to cover as much of the circle, with the bike, as I can. It usually works. My scooter (obviously) trips the turn signal light much better than my XR250 does (due to distance above the road surface).

    If there's a line of traffic behind you, pulling up and motioning for the cage behind you to pull up tight, will usually get the turn signal to trigger.

    As previously noted, in IL, I can legally proceed after one light cycle. I would have to think there are similar laws/codes in all 50 states.
  12. freetors

    freetors Long timer

    Feb 20, 2011
    Collinsville, OK
    In Oklahoma:

    .....3. Steady red indication:
    a. vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown except as provided in subparagraphs b and d of this paragraph,
    b. except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right or to turn left from a one-way street into a one-way street after stopping as required by subparagraph a of this paragraph. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection,
    c. in order to prohibit right turns or left turns as prescribed in subparagraph b of this paragraph, on the red signal after the required stop, a municipality must erect clear, concise signs informing drivers that such turns are prohibited. The Highway Department shall specify the design of the sign to be used for this purpose, and it shall be used uniformly throughout the state,
    d. notwithstanding any other provision of law, the driver of a motorcycle facing any steady red signal may cautiously proceed through the intersection only if:
    (1) the motorcycle has been brought to a complete stop as required by subparagraph a of this paragraph,
    (2) the traffic control signal is programmed or engineered to change to a green signal only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle and has failed to detect the arrival of the motorcycle because of its size or weight, and
    (3) no motor vehicle or person is approaching on the roadway to be crossed or entered, or the motor vehicle or person is at a distance from the intersection that does not constitute an immediate hazard.

    It is at your own risk. However, cops don't really sit around at intersections waiting for red lights. They have meth labs and stuff to bust. It also appears to provide no provision for just how long you should wait.
  13. packerbacker

    packerbacker Been here awhile

    Feb 19, 2014
    Woods of WI
    wisconsin law says to wait for 45 seconds:
    When facing a red light, you may
    proceed CAUTIOUSLY through
    the intersection when the light
    is still red if ALL of the following
    conditions are present:
    You reasonably believe the signal
    is vehicle activated (if the signal
    is timed, you may not proceed
    through a red light no matter how
    long it takes to change to green);
    No other vehicles are present
    to activate the signal;
    You have stopped at the signal
    for at least 45 seconds; and,
    You yield right-of-way to
    vehicles proceeding through
    on a green signal and to
    pedestrians and bicycles in
    the crosswalk or intersection.
  14. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

    May 18, 2009
    Watertown NY
    Correct, they are electrical and the sensitivity can be adjusted, here in New York we cannot legally turn, so you are forced to wait, or make a right on red then hang a U-turn etc.
  15. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Dec 1, 2005
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    What is it that you think that sensor detects?

    They're induction loops, not pressure sensors. The closer you can get more metal to the cut (where the wire is buried) the better it can detect you.

    On the circles, which are most common here, I try to get both wheels just outside the cut, and the crankcase directly over it.

    Although any new ones here will be video camera sensors, not buried wire.
  16. jdemeritt

    jdemeritt Adventurer

    Sep 12, 2013
    Statesboro, GA

    It's a magnetic system. You can usually draw a turn signal by placing the engine block as close as possible to where theres a concentration of cable (where the slashes make an X) positioning helps, a bit but not always. Theoretically revving your engine a tad to make a stronger magnetic field from the stator may help too, doubt it would be noticeable.
  17. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Mar 18, 2012
    My concours triggers the lights, my Bandit almost never does.
    Connie's got a bit more mass than the Bandit! :D
    I'm using the term m "mass" a bit tongue in cheek here, but the concours does have more ferrous metal than the bandit!
  18. randyo

    randyo Long timer

    Nov 17, 2007
    Northern NewEngland
    it uses a magnetic field to detect ferrous(iron/steel) material, they do not detect magnetism, so making a stronger magnetic field does nothing, as someone already posted don't waste money on magnets
  19. mississippimadman

    mississippimadman Adventurer

    Feb 21, 2014
    I know the ones in denver by my place doesn't pick me up. Sometimes it doesn't pick up my truck (2500 dodge 4x4)
  20. achtung3

    achtung3 Long timer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Central Coast California
    Here in the Central Coast Ca most of the times NO, and seldom it registers.

    I talked to one Policeman and he said that if is safe you may initiate a turn on red but he said: As a police officer he can not tell you to break any laws.

    So according to my understanding, if a policeman wants to nail you with a ticket he can, so make sure there is no police around when you decide to make the turn.