Bills making progress in the Michigan Legislature would make bicycling safer in that state.
One would allow cyclists to hold out their right arms to signal their intention to turn right. Current law requires them to use their left arms bent at a 90-degree angle, which few motorists understand is meant to signal a right turn.
Another bill would allow cyclists to run red lights that don’t change because they aren’t triggered by the presence of a bicycle.
“So-called smart signals … use sensors embedded in the pavement or overhead infrared detectors to switch on the green light only if traffic is waiting,” explained Michael Eckert, a columnist for The Times Herald. “The problem is that there isn’t enough iron in most bicycles, or enough heat in most bicyclists, to catch the sensors’ attention. So the light never turns green.”
Two dozen other states have laws allowing cyclists to ride against a red traffic light in that circumstance, Eckert wrote.
Michigan bicyclists, like their counterparts in Wisconsin, would also like passage of vulnerable roadway user legislation which would carry enhanced penalties for motorists who seriously injure or kill a cyclist, pedestrian or other nonmotorized road user.