Affirmative defense to running red lights in Missouri

Posted By Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney || 22-Oct-2011

Have you ever been on a bike or a motorcycle and encountered a red light that would not change for an unreasonable amount of time? That is because many traffic signals are triggered by pressure sensors in the road. Until recently, however, there was no affirmative defense whatsoever for running the red light. Recently, however, Missouri's Bicycle Law was changed by Missouri Statute 304.285, "Red light violations by motorcycles or bicycles, affirmative defense, when", which states:

"304.285. Any person operating a motorcycle or bicycle who violates the provisions of section 304.281 or section 304.301 by entering or crossing 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 or bicycle has been brought to a complete stop;

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

(3) The traffic control 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."