SB 614 Establishes an affirmative defense for motorcyclists who proceed through a malfunctioning red light and allows motorcycles to be equipped with headlamp modulators that meet federal standards
Sponsor: Stouffer
LR Number: 2280S.01I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Transportation
Last Action: 2/28/2007 - Second Read and Referred S Transportation Committee Journal Page: S366
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007

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Current Bill Summary

SB 614 - This act relates to the operation of motorcycles.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE FOR PROCEEDING THROUGH REDLIGHT WITH A MOTORCYCLE ("DEAD RED")- This act provides that a person operating a motorcycle who enters or crosses 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 has been brought to a complete stop;

(2) The traffic signal continues to show a red light for an unreasonable time;

(3) The traffic signal 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 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 (Section 304.281). A similar provision was contained in SCS/SB 969 (2006).

MOTORCYCLE HEADLAMP MODULATORS - This act allows a motorcycle headlamp to be wired or equipped to allow either its upper beam or its lower beam, but not both, to modulate from a higher intensity to a lower intensity at a rate of modulation of 200 to 280 cycles per minute. A headlamp modulator installed on a motorcycle with two headlamps shall be wired in a manner to prevent the headlamps from modulating at different rates or not in synchronization with each other. A headlamp modulator installed on a motorcycle shall meet the standards prescribed by federal law (Section 307.100).