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Is it Legal for Motorcycles to Run Red Lights in Wisconsin?

You might have read about a little-known traffic law in Wisconsin allowing motorcyclists to run red Motorcycle red light laws in Wisconsinlights. But is it true? What are the motorcycle traffic laws in Wisconsin, and how do they affect traffic light protocol? 

Motorcycle personal injury lawyer Steve Caya is an experienced biker and survivor of a motorcycle crash. He understands the importance of fighting for fair compensation for motorcycle injuries and helps Wisconsin riders get the compensation they deserve.

Wisconsin Motorcycle Law: Red Lights

Saying motorcycles are allowed to run red traffic lights is oversimplifying the law. However, a 2006 state statute says motorcyclists and bicyclists can go through red lights if they believe the sensors on traffic signals aren’t picking up their presence. Obviously, the intersection must also be free of cross traffic, and the motorcyclist must have waited at least 45 seconds.

Dean Bartosh, a spokesman for ABATE of Wisconsin, a motorcycle rights organization, recently said of the law:

“It’s a pretty big secret to a lot of people … There’s a lot of motorcyclists that haven’t heard of it. I’ve heard of instances where police don’t know that; they’ve pulled people over, and they had to be informed themselves."

 Contrary to what many people think, the weight of the motorcycle isn’t what fails to trigger the sensors—it’s the motorcycle's lack of metal. Most state-operated traffic signals, including meters at highway on-ramps, are triggered when a vehicle (or mass of metal) interrupts an electrical field at the intersections.

Personal Injury Attorney for when Motorbikes Run Reds

Unfortunately, not every motorcyclist reads the fine print. If they run a light in cross traffic, or failed to wait 45 seconds, the risk of an accident skyrockets. If you were involved in an accident because a motorcyclist ran a red light, a personal injury attorney can help. Steve Caya, an experienced attorney and motorcyclist, is well-versed in motorcycle traffic law and prepared to fight for you in court. 

What motorcycle crash victims NEED to understand before filing a lawsuit

These key aspects of motorcycle injury claims directly affect your compensation.

Here are the 6 things you should know about motorcycle accident settlements in Wisconsin:

  1. How to know whether you can sue for a motorcycle accident
  2. How to file a motorcycle injury claim the right way
  3. The Wisconsin statute of limitations on motorcycle injury claims
  4. How long it takes to settle a motorcycle crash claim
  5. How big motorcycle settlements can get, and how to know what’s fair
  6. Pros & cons of filing a motorcycle injury claim without a lawyer

See examples of real personal injury cases and settlement amounts and contact Wisconsin’s leading No Win No Fee motorcycle accident lawyer for a free evaluation of your claim.


If you have any questions about motorcycle traffic laws or motorcycle accidents in Wisconsin, contact the attorneys Janesville trusts.