While you’re stopped at a light, have you ever noticed those grooves cut into the pavement? Those are called induction sensors, and they are usually used to detect vehicles and change the traffic light. They come in handy for many drivers trying to get somewhere, but motorcyclists hate them. These loops often don’t detect motorcycles, but there are things you can do to change that.
Is There a Solution to Getting Stuck at Red Lights When You Ride?
- The Kick Stand– One of the first solutions to trigger a green light at an induction loop controlled light is using your kickstand. Put your bike in neutral, flip out the stand, and try to sit it on top of or near the induction loop groove. This often trips the sensor, but it’s not a 100 percent guarantee.
- Magnets– Induction loops detect changes in magnetic fields caused by conductive metal. Motorcycles sometimes don’t have enough conductive metal to do that, so someone clever just started selling rare earth magnets to bikers. These magnets produce strong magnetic fields and they come in two varieties: the handheld version (you have to lean over to swipe it near the strip), and the kind you attach to the bottom of your bike.
- The Trigger Device– There are several trigger devices that promise to trip red light sensors for motorcyclists. Most hook up to the motorcycle’s electrical system to generate a magnetic field close to the ground. These devices have a spotty track record, and some even require that you move back and forth over the sensor.
- Flasher Devices– Some intersections have sensors that will change if an emergency vehicle’s flashing lights are detected. To take advantage of this, some places will sell devices that supposedly mimic the flashing pattern of emergency vehicles. However, flasher devices are illegal and should never be used to trigger green lights.