Have you ever sat at a red light, watching the seconds tick by wondering if the light will ever turn?
Well, motorcyclists and bicycle riders in Illinois no longer have that problem. A new law now allows them to ride through red lights if the light doesn't turn green within a "reasonable period of time." But, according to the Chicago Daily Herald, not everyone thinks it's a good idea.
The law was changed because proponents said motorcycles and bicycles aren't heavy enough to activate the road sensors that make lights change.
Brian Wenholt, a legislative officer for Will County ABATE, said riders have wanted this law for a while.
"It's something I've been complaining about, and a lot of members have too, for years and years," he said to the Orland Park Patch. ABATE stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education and tries to "preserve the universal right to a safe, unrestricted motorcycling environment," reads their website.
Wenholt said the law is for motorcyclists to safely proceed when no traffic is present and he is working to educate members about the law.
Riders like Jeff Woolard, president of a local Harley owners club, support the law, but have issues with it. He told the Daily Herald waiting at lights has been a problem and that's why he's in favour of it, but he is concerned with the lack of specification on the amount of time people have to wait before moving forward.
Motorcyclists and bike riders must stop at the light, but can continue almost immediately making it more of a stop sign rather than a red light.
"The potential does exist to become confusing, not only for officers, but motorists as well," said Naperville police Sgt. Gregg Bell to the Daily Herald. "Motorists on the roadway must be self-conscious of what is going on around them as they go about their business, but more importantly, motorcyclists need to be extra careful when deciding to do this."
State Senator Susan Garrett, one of few senators to vote against the law, believes it will make roads more dangerous.
"It's giving a certain group of drivers a convenience that sets a new standard for how we use red lights," she told the Daily Herald. She also worries about who will be at fault if there is a crash.
The law, which has been effective since the beginning of the year, was pushed through by the House and Senate who overrode a veto by the governor. The governor was trying to include an amendment that would specify an amount of time riders must wait.
The law does not apply to Chicago.