How will the ‘Dead Red’ law affect you?


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – More than 230 new laws will go into effect in the Hoosier state starting July 1.

The new “Dead Red” law has motorcyclists rejoicing.

Riders say it’s been a long time coming while some motorists are hesitant.

On a sunny summer afternoon Bill Myers of Terre Haute prefers to be on his motorcycle.

“We get out, my wife and I, and do a lot of riding,” he said.

A relaxing joy ride can come to a halt when at a light that won’t turn green.

“We’ve got a lot of lights along 41 and some of the other major roads where they take a lot of metal to trigger those lights,” said Myers.

Being caught at a light is not just an inconvenience but also a safety hazard.

“You’ve got to make a decision whether to pull out right handed and go on down somewhere else, make a U-Turn and come back, or pull up far enough that a vehicle can pull in behind you, and the problem with that is that it puts you over the white line,” said Myers.

Relief has come in the form of new law to take effect for motorcycle, bicycle, and moped riders on July 1st.

“Now when you pull up to the red light, if you are a motorcycle operator, and you wait the 120 seconds or 2 minutes, if the light has not changed you can proceed if it’s clear enough to do so,” said Sgt. Joe Watts, with the Indiana State Police.

Despite the benefits, its busy intersections, like 3rd and Springhill in Terre Haute, which could be potentially dangerous.

“Anytime you have a law like this when it comes to an intersection we’re always a little nervous until people understand the law,” said Watts.

Watts adds that the new law will take understanding and awareness from both cyclists and motorists.

“Be aware of those motorcycles, but the bottom line is motorcycles can only proceed if it’s clear. The vehicles in the opposite direction that have the green light still have the legal right away,” said Watts.

While Myers is calling the law a “win” he is also aware of the heavy responsibility.

“We’re just not seen as readily as a big vehicle so the safety is still on the responsibility of the motorcycle rider and their passenger,” he said.

The Indiana General Assembly passed the law 84-10 in March, making Indiana the 15th state to have a law like this on the books. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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