Anybody else have problems with traffic light sensors?

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by Allyance, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. duccmann

    duccmann Insider

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    Thanks for the out loud laugh D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  2. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    You're welcome and I can say that with a normal voice!
     
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  3. Keager

    Keager Member

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    who has that any more?

    and instead of "failing to confine vehicle to roadway" we have "illegal lane usage"which means anything other than the lane of traffic a vehicle is supposed to be in. Like a ditch. Didn't know there was a lane over there, but heck, I've got 4WD...
     
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  4. garcenw

    garcenw New Member

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    Try moving the bike back and forth a bit or leaning it left or right to change the geometric based inductance of the bike as seen by the loop.
     
  5. sfdownhill

    sfdownhill New Member

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    Hey OOTV - when you gave me those rare earth magnets, you didn't say a word about how dangerous they could be to your personal anatomy!!!
    But to stay on thread-topic, I carefully - without getting my hanging bits anywhere near the procedure - sandwiched the bottom lower side cowl of my 5th gen between the pair of gnarly magnets you gave me [just below the cowl's chin, on the surface parallel to the ground, just behind the front wheel] . In addition to picking up a fairly impressive collection of ferrous flotsam and jetsam from the road, the magnets do help trigger traffic lights - not always, but I now get stuck at lights about 80% less when there's no car traffic to trigger the signal. When I roll up to a light with no cars around to trigger a sensor, I look for the cut marks in the road where the road crew slotted the surface to install the sensor loops, then aim to traverse as much of and as many of the loops as possible. Usually this means I line up to roll over a side cut that parallels my direction of travel. I've tested this practice a few times when I was trapped inside gated communities and had to roll the VFR around , back and forth etc until I eventually found that following the sensor's cut line while rolling right on top of it for as long as possible usually triggered it. However, most often I'd get all sideways and cockeyed trying to get my bike into some awkward position to trigger the sensor, then a car would roll up behind me, and we'd both be stuck until I seesawed out of the way.

    Side note - back when bicycle frames were made of steel, my mountain biking friends and I liked a ride in the Santa Monica mountains that finished by descending the paved approach road from a scout camp. There was a motorized access gate with a keypad entry going uphill [to enter], and a sensor loop in the pavement to trigger the gate when coming down the hill [to exit]. We found that although rolling down to the gate on your bikes wouldn't trigger it [For a couple years we just lifted our mountain bikes over or wheeled them around the gate], if someone held their steel-framed mountain bike on its side and waving it over the sensor loop, it would trigger the gate. We discovered that a sensor loop doesn't need to see a large amount of ferrous metal to trigger a traffic light or access gate, but it does require a wide enough area of its magnetic field be jiggled in order to activate it.
     
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  6. Bubba Utah

    Bubba Utah Member

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    Yeap all the time.
     
  7. Samuel

    Samuel New Member

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    Full text for CVC 21800(d)(1) https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/vehicle-code/veh-sect-21800.html :

    (a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.

    (b)(1) When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right, except that the driver of any vehicle on a terminating highway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on the intersecting continuing highway.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, “terminating highway” means a highway which intersects, but does not continue beyond the intersection, with another highway which does continue beyond the intersection.

    (c) When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time and the intersection is controlled from all directions by stop signs, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right.

    (d)(1) The driver of any vehicle approaching an intersection which has official traffic control signals that are inoperative shall stop at the intersection, and may proceed with caution when it is safe to do so.

    (2) When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, and the official traffic control signals for the intersection are inoperative, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right, except that the driver of any vehicle on a terminating highway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on the intersecting continuing highway.

    (e) This section does not apply to any of the following:

    (1) Any intersection controlled by an official traffic control signal or yield right-of-way sign.

    (2) Any intersection controlled by stop signs from less than all directions.

    (3) When vehicles are approaching each other from opposite directions and the driver of one of the vehicles intends to make, or is making, a left turn.
    ***************************

    It would be interesting to see something "official" (e.g. something put out by the DMV or some kind of case law) that clarifies that "inoperative" also encompasses traffic light systems not sensing or recognizing motorcycles (or bicycles for that matter too)…

    You may also want to be prepared to explain why other alternatives, such as turning right and then executing a U-turn or going straight and then executing a U-turn and then a right turn or going straight and then making three right turns, weren't reasonable options...
     
  8. Samuel

    Samuel New Member

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    LMAO not really a Darwin award but pretty close... :D
     
  9. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

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    I am going to have to look up our Motor Vehicle Act to see if we have some new amendments to cover this. I know there were no such exemptions back when I worked this prior to 2003 so who knows what could be there now.

    But to address two things from my experience. A person should be able to explain to the court a traffic signal is inoperable by explaining the light just did not change after a reasonable time. Now a reasonable time is subjective. Some lights stay as they are for two minutes some much longer and some much shorter. But if you are experienced in a particular intersection, you should be able to explain to the courts you prior experience time wise with this intersections. Also if the traffic light cycles through different lights but skips yours, then that would be your evidence.

    There often is another way to get around such as the rigth turn and U-turn. But that should not be required if you are in a dedicated left turn lane. You should expect that turn lane, by design, should allow you to move safely and legally. Round about solutions should not be an expected course of action to be relied upon by the operator of the traffic lights. Many jurisdictions do not permit u-turns at controlled intersections, or in a business district. We don't here. Here, I believe, probably 90% of the traffic lights are on a portion of the highway that would fall within the meaning of a business district as described in our Motor Vehicle Act.

    Every jurisdiction has its own set of rules and regulations. A person needs to be aware of what those are. They are not secrets. A person can find out, in most cases, by doing and on line search of the traffic laws in the areas they travel. It is their responsibility to know. Going back to the original post, the traffic light was not operating as it should and the engineering department of that jurisdiction has an obligation to correct that immediately.
     
  10. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Most speed and traffic light cameras in Switzerland use buried detector loops. Plenty also in Belgium and the Netherlands and there are a fair few in London.

    As for jumping the lights the Swiss don't tolerate even minor law breaking! There is a well known set of traffic lights in Basle which is equipped with loop sensors and an impressive array of light jumping cameras. The lights are on the main route towards the German Autobahn and as a result regularly see motorbike riders getting ignored by the sensors but they are still sent fines as the camera system uses radar! Passing through in the early hours, when there is absolutely no other traffic approaching the junction, it is frustrating to wait more than 5 minutes at a red light until a car arrives behind me which has enough magnetic disturbance to pretty much instantly trigger the lights and off I went. And yes I tried shuffling the VFR around to try and trigger the light but as the road has been resurfaced so many times the detectors are now buried so deep they will never detect a single motorbike. On a subsequent journey I spotted a local biker shoot off down a minor road route just before the junction, which proved to be quite a bit longer but neatly avoids the junction. So yes the problem is not exclusive to VFRs.
     
  11. VFR4Lee

    VFR4Lee New Member

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    Just make sure there are no cops in sight when you run those 40 red lights in Jesus name, ala Mick Jagger. :squid:
     
  12. Samuel

    Samuel New Member

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    I think Arlo Guthrie would have to write a song about that! :D
     
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