Cyclists Running Red Lights… To Keep People Safer?


10:45 am — Reporter Adeline Kenerly is on her bike at an Athens stop light to test its motion sensor.

Atlanta, GA — A Georgia law that passed the legislature and is awaiting Governor Deal’s signature could allow 2-wheeled riders to run red lights…. to keep people safer? The bill allows riders to pass through red lights before the light turns green as long as there are no other vehicles within 500 feet.

The bill applies to bicycles and motorcycle riders. Cyclists must first come to a complete stop at a red light before proceeding through the intersection. The reason for the law is that many bikes don’t automatically trigger the stoplights because the automatic sensors are designed for 4 wheeled cars. Cyclists should still proceed with caution — if there is an accident, they will bear the burden of proof. The legislation also includes a provision to help pedestrians. It requires drivers to stop for anyone at a crosswalk with flashing signals.

Athens, GA — Bike riding seems like a healthy, safe, and cheap travel option but there could be deadly consequences for bikers and drivers who don’t share the road. The Athens Clarke County Police Department reports there was a bike fatality in the Athens community last year.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says traffic signs, signals, and lane markings apply to both bike riders and motor vehicle driver. This new bill, if signed in to law, would only apply to the 2 wheeled commuters.

One UGA student was hit by a car last summer while riding his bike through the Five Points intersection. Pearce Lane explains the importance of drivers being aware of bikers on the road.

“The biggest thing is to just pay attention and pay attention to your surroundings because there are a lot of bikers here because it is a college campus and so they just need to be aware of what’s going on around them,” Lane says.


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