Pattye Benson

Community Matters


First there was “Right on Red” and now there’s “Ride on Red”


Did you know that drivers are now allowed to run some red lights in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Act 101 legislation allows drivers to go through red lights as long as no one is coming the other way, and they use caution and common sense.

Am I the only person that had not heard about the new traffic law, “Ride on Red”?

The bill was passed by the Pennsylvania House in October 2016 and went into effect last month, February 2017 – its aim to update a previous law. This legislation was originally designed for motorcycles or a horse and buggy but has been expanded to include all vehicles.

The old law was designed specifically for malfunctioning lights – for when the sensors may not be working correctly. Now, traffic lights don’t actually have to be malfunctioning in order for a driver to go through an intersection, even if the driver is facing a red light. If a driver has been waiting two or so minutes and the light has yet to change, then you’re able to treat as a stop sign and go on through.

As I understand it the law came into effect due primarily to Amish horse and buggies and other small vehicles (like motorcycles) that do not trip the magnetic sensors that tell the light to turn green. The idea is that if you are sitting at a light for 2-3 minutes and it simply refuses to turn green, then you can go through; using the appropriate caution.

I see the merits of this law in rural, less populated areas of Pennsylvania — but I’m not sure that this is necessarily a good idea in the more populated/highly trafficked areas of the state. However, it’s good to know about the new law and to be aware.

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