SB 1329 and Bicyclists -- Updated

There are reports in the news that SB 1329, which went into effect today, allows bicyclists to cross intersections on a red light when the street is clear:

Senate Bill 1329 allows motorcycle and bicycle riders to go through red lights at traffic lights that are engineered to detect motor vehicles.

In Tulsa, two types of automobile-detection lights are used - an underground loop tripped by the weight of a vehicle and a camera-based laser that turns lights green when the beam is broken by a vehicle, Murray said.

Motorcycles and bicycles that aren’t heavy enough may proceed through a red light if no cars are located around the intersection.

“Mostly, this will be at intersections not having some traffic around,” Murray said. “But I know we are going to be getting calls on this one.”

via New laws going into effect | Tulsa World.

I was very excited last year when I heard about this bill.  However, the final bill had the exemption for bicyclists nixed at the last minute.  The bill as passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor only applies to motorcycles (

Some resourceful souls on the OBS mailing list asked about why it ended up this way and the prevailing thought was that bicyclists wouldn’t have enough time to cross at a red.  I know, it’s absolutely silly, but that’s what they reasoned.  So until then, we are legally required to sit at a light that we can’t trigger until a vehicle comes along to trigger it for us. Fun, fun, fun!

Update 11/10/2010:

The Tulsa World has printed a correction regarding the incorrect reporting about Senate Bill 1329 applying to bicyclists, though the online version of the story does not contain the correction:

A Nov. 1 Tulsa World story about new laws going into effect incorrectly listed the vehicles being allowed to proceed through a red light. Only motorcycles will be permitted to go through a red light if no other traffic is present.

via Corrections, clarifications | Tulsa World.

Additionally, The Oklahoman, who also carried this story, printed a correction on page 2 of today’s physical  edition of the paper.

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