Cyclists soon may turn left on red — sometimes

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The Senate gave a green light Wednesday to a bill that will allow motorcyclists and bicyclists to turn left through red turn signals that do not detect them — when traffic is clear and after waiting 90 seconds.

It voted 24-0 to pass HB316, but sent it back to the House after adding an amendment that would allow that change for only one year — so lawmakers can see how it works before possibly making it permanent. Amendments also allow such turns only for cyclists older than age 16.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, earlier explained that some traffic signals cannot detect cyclists waiting to turn left because they are too small. That leaves them sitting indefinitely with no legal option — because shifting out of the lane or dismounting to push pedestrian signals are also technically illegal.

Anderson said cyclists need some legal alternative and the alternative in his bill is the safest.

The bill had been opposed by insurance companies and law enforcement said it would create confusion with different rules for different types of vehicles.

Lee Davidson