My letter sparked a reaction!
Joe did not break the law
[Velocipete]'s Aug. 21 letter ("Which bikers have to obey laws, Joe?"), chastises Joe Souchery for saying he drove through a red traffic light while on his motorcycle may have been misdirected and uninformed. Saunders seems to be taken aback at Joe's comment and points out what he views as some hypocrisy. I did not see Joe's mention of his riding through red traffic signals, so some of this is pure assumption on my part.
Minnesota Statute 169.06 subd. 9 allows for an affirmative defense to a citation for failing to obey a traffic control device by the rider of a motorcycle in situations where the person has: brought the motorcycle to a complete stop, the signal shows red for an unreasonable period of time, the signal has appeared to have failed in detecting the motorcycle's presence (and therefore not cycled the signal) and the motorcycle proceeds so as not constitute a hazard to other traffic.
Unfortunately, there are too many people that have erroneous views of what is and is not legal on Minnesota's roads.
So, folks, be well informed before you are well heard.
SGT. DON MAROSE
The writer is a drug recognition expert for the Minnesota State Patrol.
And the response generated a response of my own!
I would like to thank Sgt. Don Marose for clarifying the law that allows Joe Soucheray and other bikers to bypass a red light. Due to the weight of cycles and the technical limitation of metered traffic signals, this seems fair and reasonable. I assume all bicyclists should be able to utilize this affirmative defense, since by law "Every person operating a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle" (Minnesota Statute Section 169.222, Subdivision 1).