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Motorcycles, Bicycles Can Run Red Lights Under New Law

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Illinois motorcycles and bicycles will be allowed to run red lights starting in 2012, but only in certain instances.

Motorcycles and bicycles often aren't big enough to trigger magnetic sensors that switch traffic lights from red to green, WBBM Newsradio's Alex Degman reports.

That could mean the riders either break the law and run the red light, or wait until another vehicle comes along.

State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton) says the new law means bikers can go through a red light if they wait a reasonable amount of time, but that amount isn't yet defined.

"A reasonable amount of time, which was not defined in the bill, will be 120 seconds," says Beiser. "So two minutes, that's what we've come to agreement on and that was part of the governor's concern."

The governor issued an amendatory veto of the measure because he wanted a set amount of time the vehicles must wait.

But lawmakers overrode the veto, assuring the governor's office it would be addressed during the upcoming session.

The law applies to municipalities with fewer than 2 million people, meaning it wouldn't apply in Chicago.

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