Stop Lights.


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How does a stop light know you are there? I have always thought it was pressure sensors in the cut outs but some lights know you are there long before you get to them. I have to fiqure something out cause me and my bike cannot make them work, I have to follow cars or wait for them.


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form my friends at
there are magnets you can buy that will help trigger the lights
my xr650 has so much aluminum it never sets off the sensors
i uasually run the light if no ones around
i know thats not a good idea but with no fan.........
ive been meaning to get one of these magnets i hear they work good


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the sensors are electro-magnetic, and detect large metalic bodies. a small truck or one that has lots of fiberglass without alot of tubing, or one thats higher off the ground will have trouble setting them off. also motorcycles because their simply smaller. the best way is to park directly on top of them unitl its green. if you roll past them it thinks you just ran the red light and then skips your turn.


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Some of the 'smart' lights would really give me trouble on my bike, especially late at night. (like their in 'smart only' mode or something).
Anyway, a lot of times it has helped me to park right on top of the sensor and then lean the bike sideways as far as I can without getting off of it. That gives the sensor a wider profile to look at and usually changes the light.


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Used to have that problem with my baja. Best trick I found for it was to nail the brakes right on top of the cut(s) in the street. That induced enough voltage in the coil in the street to trigger the light. Doubt that will work with a bike though.

Ride up on the curb and push the crosswalk button.


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Just an FYI for those of you that ride bikes, or even cars that won't trip any light sensors. If your bike/car doesn't trip the switch, or the light won't change, you can procaed through the red light "legally" because the light is "malfunctioning". This doesn't mean that you can immediately pull through some red light and then claim it wasn't working though!! I keep a copy of the exact phrasing and everything along with the registration on my bike. I pulled it off some motorcycle website a few years ago, and figured it probably would'nt hurt to have it around in case I got pulled over for "running" a red light.

My bikes at work, so I'll look at it and post the code, wording, etc. on monday.


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I ride an Enduro so tiping it to the side will not only look gay but won't work cause it is too tall. I do ususally run the light when there is no one around or when I know I can get away with it. I have also stoped fast on them and sat there but nothing has worked yet.

I have done the ride on the sidewalk hit the switch deal and I have parked it and walked over and pressed the button.

If you can find the exact wording on the malfunctioning light that will be great.

This explains why the sububarn wont trigger the inNout drive through.


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I got one of those, this weekend it'll be serving as the 'Short Bus'.

Years ago my mom did a full stop at a light at 3am and then proceeded onto the fwy. CHP was writing reports in a gas station &amp; saw her do it. When she explained she was on hospital call and where she worked she got a lighted escort the whole way there. Guess he was bored. What are the odds of that happening in this climate ?


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Here ya go....exactly as it's worded:

"get out of jail free coupon"
If you find yourself stuck at a traffic light and the in-road sensor doesn't seem to realize you're there, you can legally proceed through the red light as long as it is safe to do so.
California Vehicle Code, Sectin 21800(d)(1) provides: "The driver of any vehicle aproaching 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."
If your bike doesn't trigger the device, the device is considered to be inoperativ. Cut out this coupon, stuff it in your wallet, and use it if necessary.

I wouldn't count on the officer letting you go, but it might be worth a try to mention it in the correct situation.
I just got a ticket this last Sat night at 1:30 AM for doing this exact thing. I was stopped, the light wouldnt turn green, no one was around, so i proceeded throught the intersection safe and slow. Just around the bend a cop was coming the other direction and he saw me and gave me a ticket. He said, "I know the lights may take a while since its really late and they are on a timer, but you have to be patient." I got a ticket and i want to go to court to fight this somehow. Any info like what was put on here would be appreciated! Any web sites ??? Anything thanks.


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perhaps if you wanted to fight it, you could recreate the situatuion and video tape the traffic light then present the vehicle code stated earlier.


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Kbach66, you forgot to include the last sentence of that code, which specifies when this code applies.

21800 (d) (1) V.C. - 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. This subparagraph shall apply to traffic control signals that become inoperative because of battery failure.

This section of the Vehicle Code specifically deals with traffic signals when they are out completely (i.e. power outages and their battery backup is out). As far as I know, there is no specific code to let you proceed when the light is functioning properly, except that your vehicle will not trigger the signal. Personally, I would not write you a citation if I saw you waiting there for a bit and it was pretty late at night. You may be able to fight in court that the signla was malfunctioning, as it would not turn green for your vehicle, but I would not use the specific code above. The judge or traffic commisioner is going to read it verbatim and it is pretty clear on its intention and application.

Another option would be make a right turn onto the other street, then make a u-turn, and then a right back onto the street you were on. Perfectly legal to make a rioght on the red, when safe, unless posted "No Right Turn on Red". As always, if pulled over, be polite and don't try to be a street lawyer (one without a Law Degree) with your knowledge of the Vehicle Code. I would venture to say most cops know the vehicle code fairly better than most. When push comes to shove they may start to cite you for every litte thing they can find. Yes it is true, your high beam indicator (blue dash light) must be operative.
24408. (a) Every new motor vehicle registered in this state after January 1, 1940, which has multiple-beam road lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator, which shall be lighted whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the headlamps is in use, and shall not otherwise be lighted.
(b) The indicator shall be so designed and located that when lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the vehicle so equipped. Any such lamp on the exterior of the vehicle shall have a light source not exceeding two candlepower, and the light shall not show to the front or sides of the vehicle.

I have never cited anyone for this, but have started to check it before on a few mouthy teenagers. It usually brings them back to reality real quick. There are many other obscure vehicle codes that may be used in similar situations. Don't give the cop that pulls you over the opportunity to get out his Vehicle Code and start using them. There are some 40,000 codes in that thing. Odds are in the cops favor they will find something to use on you. Please excuse the long post, just wanted to give some insight to everyone.
Just my $.02


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Wouldn't you have to cross the white line out of the left hand turn lane to make a right hand turn? I thought that wasn't legal. Also, wouldn't you have to change lanes in the middle of an intersection to make a right hand turn?

I have a million traffic questions that I've always wanted to ask but never know where to look for the information(esp crossing the white line going into an out of a turn lane, don't know the law on that).


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I was thinking he was proceeding straight. If he was in a left turn lane, technically it would be illegal to to make a right from there. For the Vehicle Code information, you can actually purchase one at your local DMV or read one at the library. The only problem is that it is very difficult to just look something up. There is an index in the back, but it doesn't always have the specific words you may think the law would have (i.e. your left turn question. It would fall under traffic signs or signals).

Your left turn lane question is covered in these two Vehicle Code sections:
VC 21461. (a) It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to failto obey any sign or signal erected or maintained to indicate and carry out the provisions of this code or any local traffic ordinance
or resolution adopted pursuant to a local traffic ordinance, or to fail to obey any device erected or maintained pursuant to Section 21352.
(b) The provisions of subdivision (a) shall not apply to acts constituting violations under Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 22500) of this division or to acts constituting violations of any
local traffic ordinance adopted pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 22500).

VC 21462. The driver of any vehicle, the person in charge of any animal, any pedestrian, and the motorman of any streetcar shall obey the instructions of any official traffic signal applicable to him and
placed as provided by law, unless otherwise directed by a police or traffic officer or when it is necessary for the purpose of avoiding a collision or in case of other emergency, subject to the exemptions granted by Section 21055.

I often use to find stuff in any California Code book. For any of the codes:
1. click the "California Law" button on the main page
2. check the box next to the Code you wish to look
3. place text in the search box and click search.

You can always PM me or email with questions. I'd be glad to try and answer them. (home) (work)
Thank you very much for your information, it was much needed. Yes I was going straight across a T intersection. I waited for like 5-8 min at the red before i went. My girlfriend and I looked behind and in front of us 2 times, and figured since it was 1:30 and there was no one in the intersection at the time it would be ok. I was allready through the intersection when the cop came around the bend heading towards me.... he had a red light at the intersection and saw that i ran the red ( i am assuming he guessed mine was red as well). I did not blow through the light at all and had no means of breaking the law in a bad way. I was stopped for like 5 min, and thought the light was broken or something. I am planing on going to court to see what can be done about my ticket, fine, etc.


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I just copied everything as it was typed from the place I got it. I'm sorry if I've steered anybody in the wrong direction. I was just trying to help a brother out. I know if I'm pulled over for it, I would definitely use it as a defense. If that's wrong....oh well, let the judge decide. I think you said it the best when you basically said that when pulled over, don't be an a-hole to the officer, explain your situation. I think most of the time an officer will understand the situation and take the "inoperative stop light" theory into account.