SPRINGFIELD — Motorcycle riders could go straight on red under a proposal rumbling through the General Assembly.
In action Wednesday, the Illinois Senate voted 43-12 in favor of allowing the driver of a motorcycle to proceed through a red light which fails to turn green within a “reasonable period of time.”
Motorcycle rights groups say motorcycle riders can sometimes get stuck at a red light for several light cycles because the lighter weight of the two-wheel vehicles won’t trigger sensors that cause stoplights to change at some intersections.
A number of senators who ride motorcycles said getting stuck at red lights equipped with the sensors is not uncommon.
“I ride a motorcycle, so I have been there before,” said state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, who sponsored the legislation.
Early version tested by MCN
We’re still waiting on cars that fly above traffic and we might be waiting another decade, but for the motorcyclist who loves high tech gadgetry, the future is just around the corner and it’s coming to the US from across the big pond.
The project, called Saferider, has been funded by the European Commission, which wants to see the systems on road bikes within five years, and backed by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations.
In the UK, the Motor Industry Research Association is working on systems that will use GPS and digital mapping technology to provide motorcycle operators visual as well as tactile feedback on speed and approaching highway conditions.
MIRA installed sensors that vibrated slightly in the seat and cheek pads in a motorcycle helmet to warn the operator of a vehicle approaching in the riders blind spot.
The report said the cheek pads can be programmed to alert the rider to the danger on the right or the left side. The system will also alert the rider if the motorcycle’s speed is unsafe for the approaching curve or intersection.
MIRA believes that manufacturers in the UK will begin offering the system to consumers in as little as 18 months.
If adopted overseas, riders can expect to see the technology available in the US soon thereafter.