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Not sure if this has been discussed, but have been stuck at traffic lights a couple of times because the road sensors that pick up when a vehicle has come to the intersection, have failed to pick me up. This has resulted in fairly long waits at the traffic lights. In fact one time I ended up backing the bike up and turning left, and the other time had to basically run red light and turn left when no cars were around. BTW I'm not a light lad and was wondering if there is a certain trick to making sure these sensors work which fortunately they do most of the time.
 

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At first I was like back it up to make a left wtf lol then I looked at the location. In the states I stop like 4 feet back then move up 2 feet then another 2 feet so I am at the line(if no cars are behind me). I find that it makes 99.9% of them turn if not I usual turn right (your left ) lol.
 

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Not sure how it works over there in Australia, but here in the states there are a group of states that it is legal to run a red light on a motorcycle if it does not detect you. I usually give it two cycles and if it skips me I run the light when safe to do so.
 

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In Australia lights are on timers but you can clearly see the intersections which have sensors so i make a habit of stopping on them :)

Running a red is illegal unless signed otherwise.
 

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My MSF course instructor told us to just make a right turn flip a u turn and then go through the light since bikes are too light to set off the sensors under the road and too small to be seen by the camera type sensors.
Your MSF instructor set you up for failure then. You could have half a zoo loaded on your bike and it wont make any difference. The most common sensors are induction sensors. Basically a large electromagnetic loop in the ground that detects inductance within the loop. When a large inducting mass (steel vehicle,) enters the loop, the loops inductance spikes and the computer knows there's a vehicle there. Or a large iron asteroid. On a motorcycle, we lack the same mass of iron/steel that most cars have. So if the sensor's sensitivity isn't adjusted properly, it may not trigger for you normally. One thing that has worked for me was using the starter while on top of the loop. Most starters are little electromagnetic DC motors and that little sudden spike may be enough to trigger the sensor.

Your instructor is probably used to the old displacement sensors. A big rubber tube passed through the ground that picked up weight of a vehicle. With more use of large trucks and the lower life span and cost of maintenance, they have been phased out for those that are electrically operated. For optical sensors, they use a camera hooked up to a computer to sense a change in the target area. The software tries to identify the object as a vehicle in order to prevent things like trash and debris from setting it off. The easiest way to set these sensors off are headlights. Most of the software programs on these types of lights will automatically recognize a concentrated light source above a set lumen. If you are at a signal controlled by a camera and it doesn't seem to change for you, flash your high beam at the light. The sudden change and increase in light should fool the software into thinking you are there. One of the lights on a nearby street here was camera operated but wouldn't sense a bicycle. The city of Cypress though makes it illegal to ride on the sidewalk though if there is an available bike lane. So to trip the sensor, one day I got one of my high powered 130 lumen tac light that I got from the military and flash it right at the camera. It worked. Although this only works if the software is designed to recognize a light source as a vehicle. Some are designed to analyze the shape and profile to determine if it's a vehicle or not. Those you can't fool with a light.
 

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Often times you can report lights that consistently don't detect you. They can adjust the sensitivity for motorcycles most of the time. Newer electro sensors can be calibrated to detect bicycles too.
 
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