A new law that went into effect on Sept. 18 makes it legal for Pennsylvania drivers to run a red light if the traffic signal is broken or unresponsive.
Known as the Ride on Red law, it was originally created to prevent long waits at lights for motorcyclists when their bikes fail to trip the in-road traffic sensors. However, the law has been expanded to apply to any driver facing a malfunctioning traffic light.
If a driver suspects a light is not working properly, he or she must come to a full stop to assess the situation. If it appears that the light is not working or that its sensor is compromised, the driver may continue through the intersection.
While the law does not specify how long motorists must wait before proceeding through the light, lawmakers say drivers must come to a complete stop at any red light before continuing through it to be in compliance with the law.
Lawmakers also urged drivers to remember that the law applies to malfunctioning lights – drivers do not have the right to drive through any red light they want.
However, some citizens have expressed concern about the new law, saying it will encourage drivers to drive through any red light regardless of whether or not the light is malfunctioning.
Dangers of Running Red Lights
Data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety seems to suggest that most drivers understand the risks of running red lights.
The foundation found that 94 percent of drivers feel running a red light is unacceptable when making a safe stop is possible. However, 39 percent of drivers say they have run a red light in the past 30 days.
These are troubling pieces of data as accidents where motorists run red lights were responsible for 709 deaths and 126,000 injuries in 2014. In urban areas, people sustain injuries in 39 percent of crashes where people run red lights.
Did you sustain an injury in an accident caused by illegally running a red light? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The car accident attorneys of Schmidt Kramer will thoughtfully review your claim and pursue all of the compensation you are entitled.