September 29, 2022

The Indiana “Dead Red” Law: What Does It Mean?

At a red light, Indiana drivers are required to stop completely. Many crossroads have sensors built into the pavement to determine when the traffic lights should change. Many of the sensors function by assessing the weight of moving vehicles.

Due to their smaller weight than vehicles, motorbikes, mopeds, and bicycles may not trip the sensors. As a result, motorists, motorcyclists, and other road users may become caught at a red signal that won’t turn green. You might have experienced it.

Indiana legislators enacted the state’s infamous “Dead Red” statute in 2014 to address this issue. Under specific conditions, the law permits motorbikes and bicycles to go through a red light.

Contact a Fort Wayne car accident lawyer to learn how you may qualify for compensation if you’ve been involved in an accident.

What is in Indiana’s “Dead Red” Law?

The Dead Red law in Indiana is remarkably similar to other states’ statutes of a similar nature. The Indiana Code states that a motorbike, bicycle, or motorized cycle may move through a steady red light if:

  • A complete stop is first made at the intersection for at least 120 seconds.
  • They have decided that crossing the intersection is safe because they follow other Indiana traffic laws.

Prior to the law’s passage, riders of motorcycles or bicycles stopped at a red light had few options. If you didn’t want to break the law, you had two options: wait for another car to approach the sensor and trip it, or make a right turn on red and turn around to drive in the direction you wanted.

Other cars passing through a junction with a green light are expected to yield to motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other people who are stopped at a red signal. The Dead Red regulation might not shield you from liability if you fail to yield to cars that are supposed to have the right-of-way to cross the intersection and cause an accident.

Is this law causing crashes and injuries in Indiana?

Dead Red law is the subject of both pro and con arguments. According to those who favor the ban, motorcycles, bicycles, and other small vehicles waiting impatiently at a red light pose a severe safety risk. Smaller cars, such as motorcycles and bicycles, are more difficult to notice, making them more vulnerable to negligent or distracted drivers.

However, it’s essential to be on the lookout for anyone who disregards a red light. Motorbikes and bicycles risk being hit when they cross the crossing at the wrong time.