Ride on Red law: Pa. drivers permitted to go through red lights?

Lawmakers are reminding drivers that the law only applies to broken and malfunctioning lights

SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – The Ride on Red law, which went into effect Sunday, allows Pennsylvania drivers to go through a red light if it is unresponsive or malfunctioning.

“Sitting at a red light that long, you should be able to turn, you know, regardless,” said Anthonio Sapanero, of Sharon. “Especially late at night. If you’re sitting there waiting to turn, and nobody comes through the light and the light doesn’t turn, you know, why sit there?”

The law was originally intended for motorcyclists, who are oftentimes too light to trip the sensors in the roadway, but was expanded to all drivers dealing with malfunctioning or broken lights.

“There’s been times real late, you know, 2, 3 in the morning, where there will be no traffic at all,” Sapanero said. “You’ll be sitting at the red light and the red light just won’t turn.”

Others disagree.

“I think it would be kind of dangerous,” said Sharon resident Alice Redmond. “You’re supposed to stop. People aren’t going to stop, they’re going to think they have the right of way.”

Some say drivers will go through red lights all the time now, even when they are working properly.

“They’re going to use that as a gift just to go anyways,” said Raymond Cary, of Sharon.

Some just aren’t willing to take the chance.

“I probably won’t even use the law,” Redmond said. “I’ll just go ahead and stop at the red lights and wait for it.”

Grace Robinson, of Sharon, said the new laws won’t change what she learned in driving school.

“I still stop on red. I don’t turn on red, I don’t anything except stop on red.”

Lawmakers are reminding drivers that the law only applies to broken and malfunctioning lights, and does not give drivers a pass to go through whatever red light they want.

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