Anybody else have problems with traffic light sensors?

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

  1. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    I have a problem with certain left turn traffic lights in that they do not sense my bike! When traffic is light, I will come up to a left turn signal (in the left turn lane) and wait for the light to change. Modern computerized lights do not change to green unless they sense a waiting vehicle. The sensors are loops in the pavement. At one intersection I stop directly over the loop, then the light changes. Most intersections I can't tell where the loops are and end up sitting there for several cycles of the lights. If traffic is clear, and light is green for through traffic, I then go ahead and make my left hand turn. Anyone else have the same problem?
     
  2. FJ12rydertoo

    FJ12rydertoo Member

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    Used to be a very common problem around here, especially after a recent repaving and you couldn't see
    where the sensor loops are. Now a lot of the loops have been replaced with cameras and they seem to work
    more reliably for bikes. You might try stopping in one of the tire tracks close to the center and lean the bike
    a bit over the center and that sometimes helps fool the sensors.

    But I'm like you, I'll wait until I know it's not going to change and then I go anyway. You have that option in
    Missouri, of course it all boils down to the LEO.
     
  3. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

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    I have and bear with me on a story.

    Same situation as you. I was in a left turn lane on an eastbound road. 03:00 or so in the morning on my way to work. My bike will not trigger the sensor my light would stay red. I was left with putting the bike on its side stand and run over to press the pedestrian button then race back to my bike. After this happened several nights in a row, I phoned the city engineering department and spoke with one of the engineers there. I know the sensitivity of many sensors can be adjusted and this one is one of them. I know this as a fact as just a couple year prior, I was a police officer working that same area and investigating collisions.

    The engineer actually told me that if there were no traffic coming, just go through the red light. Now in other states you may be able to lawfully do that but here in BC and I suspect all of Canada, you cannot. I told him this. His response remained to go through the red light.

    I thin told him I paid taxes in this city, I had a properly registered and insured vehicle that has the same rights and expectations as a car or truck. I then told him what used to do for a living, that I would be sending him a hard copy letter complaining about this light, with a CC to the local police traffic unit and the mayor. In this letter I would also be explaining that her recommended to me to break the law by going through the red light. Also that letter would be a paper trail of a complaint about that light and should something unfortunate happed to me because of that light, my wife would be able to supply a copy of tha letter to her attorney The light was fixed the next day and I haven't run into a problem with it since that time.

    Phone the authority in the area where the light is not working proper. You have every rigth to expect that if a problem is brought to their attention, that problem will be fixed at their earliest opportunity. As a motorist, you should be demanding they do their part in keeping you safe.

    Short and sweet message. Raise proper shit, loud, clear and in neccessary, often.
     
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  4. zombie

    zombie New Member

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    I never thought about doing that Randy, we ran into one of those lights last night but a car came up behind us after a few mins and we moved as far forward as we could so the car could trigger it.
     
  5. duccmann

    duccmann Insider

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    Squeaky wheel gets the grease I always say



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. highway star

    highway star New Member

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    Same here, if there is an auto behind me I move up forward and wave the auto up behind me so they can activate the light.
    And when there is no auto behind me, the turn light is still red, I proceed when the oncoming traffic is clear.
    Take caution on left turns!
     
  7. Keager

    Keager Member

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    Randy -
    I tried that once after getting a ticket for running a red light ~midnight (three officers pulled me over!). All I got was "then cars will have to wait if they accidentally clip the sensor." So, after the city engineer told me that, I started calling the non-emergency number and asking for a PO to be dispatched so that I could proceed safely through the light. Was told to go ahead and go if it was clear by dispatch. Told them I was already riding on a ticket because of this exact issue. After some time, and calling my alderman, it eventually changed. About 8 months later, the state passed a law stating it was OK to run a red after waiting "an appropriate amount of time" whatever that means. I try not to, but I still have to from time to time. I also now live in the next city over. I didn't have to pay the ticket because of circumstances, and it's illegal to exit your vehicle on the street, so that wasn't an option. the three officers in question also watched the whole thing go down.
    yeah. pissed off was the understatement that night. If it weren't for the wife, I'm sure I would of had either a resisting arrest (ticket) or assaulting a police officer on my record.
     
  8. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

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    I can't speak to the laws where you are. Here, anyone who counsels you to commit an offence is himself guilty of just that. Counselling a person to commit and offence. But that is under the Criminal Code and I don't think it would apply to Provincial Statutes which is where our traffic laws are.

    Any time someone from the city or whom ever is responsible for that light, tells you to go through that red light if it doesn't change, you should ask them specifically how long you should wait and record that. "Use your common sense" is a poor answer. You should get their name and then after getting it, let them know his answer to you could possibly be used in civil litigation, or if you get a ticket, he will be subpoenaed to court in your defense. If they refuse to give your name, well, most government phones are recorded and if a complaint is lodged, they can determine who was on the phone with you.

    A not functioning traffic device or improperly functioning device is simply not acceptable, especially when it is brought to the attention of the appropriate engineering department. These devices are in place, at considerable expense, to keep traffic moving safe and smooth Traffic laws are created to deal with them for the same reason. If a dysfunctional device is causing you to take unnecessary risk by breaking laws, then this is simply unacceptable That device should be fixed and very quickly. If a stop sign or a speed sign gets knocked down, they will not waste any time getting those repaired.

    I just get so pissed of with those who we pay to keep our road-ways maintained, are to fucking lazy to write a repair ticket and get someone out there to make the repair. They may not care about it but my life really does matter.
     
  9. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

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    Also Keager, with very many traffic laws there is a caveat. "Without lawful excuse" Offennces such as Stop signs, and speeding are usually absolute liability and are not covered by that caveat. If you don't completely stop, you have committed the offence. You go one km over the speed limit, you have committed the offence. There is no excuse in most places I am aware of. But as an example, "Failing to Confine Vehicle to Roadway" is an offence here. You go off the road, you have committed an offense. But you suddenly directed your car off the road becasue someone beside you suddenly swerved at you, then your actions would be considered lawful as you were avoiding a collision. I would argue that if you were stuck at a non functioning traffic control device, and you got out of your car or off your bike to trigger a pedestrian crossing, you would be able to satisfy the courts your actions were lawful.
     
  10. blitz jr

    blitz jr New Member

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    This is a problem, but not so much on the VFR as on my CBR500R. The VFR is much better. There must be more metal on the VFR. As Keager said above, in Illinois you can now run the red when it's safe. The reasonable amount of time seems to be two minutes, but it is not allowed at all in the City of Chicago. I like to ride early on Sunday mornings when there is no traffic. There are certain intersections where I know I can't trip the sensors, so I usually will make a right, then pull a U turn instead of waiting 2 minutes to make the left.
     
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  11. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    The only reasonable excuse in CA is: traffic light that refuses to sense you is “inoperative”, which gives you the right to run it “with caution when it is safe to do so” under CVC 21800(d)(1). Hope I never have to use it.
     
  12. PetePower

    PetePower New Member

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    I have a local intersection here in Adelaide OZ where the turn Right (equal to your turn left) is always banked up as its a major intersection. The intersection also has Red Light and speeding cameras, so its not an option of running through. The number of times some knucklehead stops short of the sensors is unbelievable, I have often had to walk up and tap on there window and tell em to move up, only last week it happened i was 3 cars back and the Coppers who were behind me gave me the thumbs up on return to my bike :High5:. The initial look from them when I jumped of my bike was gold. o_O
     
  13. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    A different slant on this issue is to ask - is this something which can work to my advantage?

    In Europe many speed cameras use similar technology to detect the magnetic footprint of passing vehicles and assess if they are speeding. Being buried in the road there is nothing for radar detector equipment to alert a rider. In an ideal world - some people might actually like the idea of a vehicle with zero magnetic footprint but with some sort of rider switchable field generator which they can activate to make lights pick up their approach.
     
  14. Thumbs

    Thumbs Insider

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    Where does this happen?

    Only ever seen paint marks on the road or radar used
     
  15. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Member

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    Some places are switching to infrared sensors mounted high on the light standard which of course has nothing to do with the composition of your vehicle. I have experienced failure on those too, especially in the spring when they may get too much spray from the road dirt build up. But those a re usually and routinely cleaned by the city. I think eventually we will see all the under pavement sensors replaced with this technology.

    Here also mounted high in the light standard are sensors that detect emergency vehicles and turn the lights green when they approach with their emergency equipment operating. I am not sure what technology those are using but suspect it is something that reacts to the flashing lights on the emergency vehicle.
     
  16. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Years ago (early 70’s) I had a MG TF and If I stopped under a overhead sensor with the top down, I could hear the high frequency signal. They actually used JBL pro tweeters!
     
  17. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    Most of the sensors here in Fl are magnetic and some bikes will not trigger them. State law says if a traffic control device is not functioning properly that you can proceeded through the light with caution. I do it occasionally on the VFR . Had to do it more with other bikes.
     
  18. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    I could have swore I read somewhere that you can use strong magnets to trigger these. I thought I even saw advertised somewhere on the web, a company that essentially sells magnetic strips to place at the bottom of your motorcycle in order to trigger them. I thought about using some magnets that are in computer hard drives, these suckers are pretty strong!

    I was sitting at my desk with a pair of them in my hands looking at how I could get these mounted and I accidentally dropped them on my lap. Long story short, I was almost castrated by them when they snapped together right next to my man tackle! It ended up pinching my inner thigh between the two magnets and gave me a blood blister. Damn did that hurt! Still haven't tried using them though, almost afraid to touch them now, knowing how aggressive they are! ;)
     
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  19. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    LMAO, I bet that would have been a first at the hospital. And the doc would probably be asking what you were really doing. I seem to recall something about mounting a magnet under your bike.
     
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  20. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    I'll have to add, the wife recommended that I don't mess withe these anymore, at least not while sitting! :Lol:
     
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