Cyclists and Stop Signs

According to the StarTribune, proposed legislation would allow cyclists to blow through stop signs without stopping if no cars are around.

[The legislation would allow] bikers to proceed though stops in certain circumstances. It would require bikers approaching a stop signal or sign to slow to a speed that allows them to stop.
They’d be required to stop if a vehicle is in the vicinity. But they could proceed through a stop sign without stopping if there’s no traffic close enough to pose a hazard while they’d be moving through the intersection. At a red light, they could also make a right turn, or a left turn onto a one-way street, without stopping. And if there’s no vehicle nearby, they could proceed through the intersection after a full stop without waiting for a green light.

Sounds good to me. I never stop at stop signs anyway. And there’s one stoplight along my commute that I plan on riding through on red every day because cyclists don’t trigger the green signal – so I’d be waiting forever.

Stop signs are rarely enforced on cyclists anyway. One day last week, I was approaching a 4-way stop and happened to be near another cyclist. Traffic is high enough at this particular intersection that I nearly always end up coming to a complete stop. The cyclist in front of me just blew right through it, though, and nearly ran directly into a police car. To make matters worse, the cyclist was riding a fixed gear bike without brakes, so he couldn’t even stop very well to avoid the collision with the police car. I thought for sure this cyclist was going to get a ticket, but the policeman didn’t even seem to care. Just kept driving.

So I welcome this legislation, though I am skeptical it will pass. Woo Hoo!

2 comments to Cyclists and Stop Signs

  • Interesting. I think most bikers pretty much do this already, but it might make car drivers less annoyed if it were legal. I hope it doesn't cause any accidents by bikers thinking they always have the right of way or never have to stop. That biker is lucky he didn't get hit by the police- that could have been awkward for both of them.

  • Editor

    Here is how this law works in a place where it is already on the books, Idaho.