Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Bicycles & Red Lights

Some time back, I discussed Minnesota Statute 169.06, which allows a motorcycle to stop completely at a red light, but to move on red if the light does not change for an ‘unreasonable’ amount of time and passage is safe. At that time, I said that I knew many bicyclists who used that statute, although there was no known application of the statute to bicyclists.

Turns out that the statute does not in fact apply to bicycles. During initial passage, the word bicycle was stricken from the statute.

Two bills currently in the Minnesota Legislature are working to change that – S.F. 2453 and H.F. 2616. They’re essentially the same bill, only one is the Senate version, one the House. If passed and signed – and it seems pretty uncontroversial – this would bring bicyclists under the statute with clarity.

It might not be a bad plan to contact your legislators and suggest a positive vote on these bills – just to be sure.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

One Comment

  1. As a motorcyclist, I’ve had to use this rule once and only once when a left-turn signal didn’t trip. It’s helpful to me on my motorcycle, because I cannot filter legally in MN, nor ride on the shoulder.

    I frequently witness bicyclists running red lights without stopping. I’m not terribly motivated to get bicyclists included in this statute because they don’t seem to be hindered in the slightest by not being specifically included.