I made a great discovery today! One of the most annoying things I encounter while biking is getting to a red light, but the weight sensor doesn’t detect me because I’m too light, and I have to wait for a car to come to the intersection for it to change.

This is most annoying when there is little or no traffic on the intersecting road. However, I was looking at a little pamphlet of bicycle laws in Missouri when I came across this gem. I’ll summarize in case you don’t want to read it: If you’re riding a bike or motorcycle and come to a complete stop at a red light, you can cross if A- you’ve waited for an undue amount of time, B- the weight/laser sensor has obviously not detected your presence, and C- no cars are coming or are nearby. Here’s the full text:

304.285 Red light violations
Any person operating a motorcycle or bicycle who violates the provisions of section 304.281 or section
304.301 by entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal against a red light shall
have an affirmative defense to that charge if the person establishes all of the following conditions:
(1) The motorcycle or bicycle has been brought to a complete stop;
(2) The traffic control signal continues to show a red light for an unreasonable time;
(3) The traffic control is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or engineered to change to a green light
only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle, the signal has apparently failed to detect the arrival of the
motorcycle; and
(4) No motor vehicle or person is approaching on the street or highway to be crossed or entered or is so far
away from the intersection that it does not constitute an immediate hazard.
The affirmative defense of this section applies only to a violation for entering or crossing an intersection
controlled by a traffic control signal against a red light and does not provide a defense to any other civil or
criminal action.

All this time I thought I was going all Martin Luther King Jr.-style civil disobedience, but now I realize that I was doing what I was supposed to! Good job, Missouri legislature!

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