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Why don’t police give tickets to bicyclists running stop signs and red lights?

Brian Freskos

Q. I see bicycle riders going through stop signs and red lights on a regular basis. They split lanes and do other things that would get a motorist a ticket. Why do we not see law enforcement giving tickets to these people?

A.¬†Bicyclists are required to abide by the same rules as a motorist, meaning it is illegal for them to breeze through stop signs and red lights, said Sgt. Mike Donelson, who oversees the Wilmington Police Department’s traffic unit.

There is a caveat, however. In Wilmington, most stoplights change when weight sensors underneath the concrete detect the presence of a vehicle. A bicyclist is too light to trip that sensor. So the law says if the light cycle skips a bicyclist, they are allowed to proceed through the intersection with caution, Donelson said.

If police witness a bicyclist violating the law, the officer should initiate a traffic stop and use their discretion to determine whether a citation or written or verbal warning is appropriate, Donelson said.


Can police cruise private parking lots to ticket cars with expired tags or fire lane infractions?

Can a police officer randomly stop people on the sidewalk and require them to produce identification?

User-contributed question by:
William Cool

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