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Bill submitted to allow cyclists to yield at stop signs

State representative Daniel Patterson has once again submitted a bill which would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.

HB 2130 states:

C.  The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign and any person who is at least sixteen years of age and who is riding a bicycle approaching a yield sign or a stop sign shall slow down in obedience to the sign to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right‑of‑way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver or bicycle rider is moving across or within the intersection.  If after driving or riding past a yield sign or stop sign without stopping the driver or bicycle rider is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, the collision is prima facie evidence of the driver’s or bicycle rider’s failure to yield the right‑of‑way.

The addition would require cyclists slow to a reasonable speed, yield the proper right or way and then proceed through the intersection without coming to a complete stop.

Patterson said last year when the bill failed to make it out of committee that more support from the cycling community was needed to make the bill a priority.

Here is a video Oregon put together explaining the idea, which is often called the “Idaho Stop” because Idaho allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.

What do you think? I’ll have a follow-up post with how to support the bill.

17 comments
Frosted Flake
Frosted Flake

Clearly, getting hit by a car is not high on bicyclists priority list. Clearly, a stop sign states without equivocation that the right of way belongs to the other guy. Clearly, attempting to take the right of way in violation of a stop sign can get you killed, and deservedly. Beyond this, what point is there to make to a bicyclist regarding a stop sign? Since shoulder surgery (actually TRIPLE shoulder surgery) six months ago, I have covered 1200 miles on my bike. In the six month previous, I covered 1800 miles. I NEVER stop at a stop sign, unless I have another reason. I treat a stop sign as if it were a yield sign. And I am wrong because, WHY? Addressing scofflaws, it is a fact that a driver is required to pass a bicycle at least so far away so as to NOT have to swerve if I fall in his direction AND STILL not hit me. How many drivers do this? And how many treat bicyclists the same as any other piece of trash on the road - as if hitting it might damage the car? As if just missing is plenty good enough? As if a bicyclist is in a dangerous place HE OUGHT NOT BE IN, and whatever happens to him is his own damn fault?

Bob S
Bob S

It's a bad idea to treat different users differently when they all mix in traffic on the public roadway. Same roads - same rules - same rights. See http://tinyurl.com/CA-Idaho-law for a discussion when this came up in California.

zz
zz

We, like 3wheeler, do this anyway. Relatively few get burned for doing it (mostly when cops get a grant to pay attention to it) and very few situations arise from doing it. Are we, as Matt alluded to, opening a bigger can of worms to get this than it's worth? I like that it decriminalizes what we already do and that it beefs up the penalty for the scofflaws. But, I'm ambivalent about the momentum, greatest efficiency thing because....well, it's like saying more people would ride bikes if riding bikes was more like driving cars. Put a motor on it, then, if it's too much like work. It's car drivers who think they ought to be able to go from A to B, non-stop and with no effort. It is really fustrating to stop for so much traffic sometimes, but other people have a right to the road, too. I like making more yield intersections because that's a change that applies to everyone and is better PR.

3wheeler
3wheeler

This would make legal what I have been doing for 45 years. I like that. I'll gladly send notes off to the requisite public servants. THANK YOU, Mr. Patterson! THANK YOU too, Michael.

Frank Tellez
Frank Tellez

What an interesting story. I hate stop signs when I ride my bike, but as a car driver it would be dangerous if bikes didn't have to stop. What's to prevent a bike from riding out in front of a car if they don't feel like stopping? Maybe it should read that bikes don't have to stop if no car is present but do have to stop if a car IS present.

Red Star
Red Star

All the above info is great, but keep in mind that this is a state bill that might become a state law. In other words, let's not be too Tucson-centric about this. If the push has to come from below it has to be state-wide to have a chance. How to generate awareness and action by cyclists in Maricopaland, Flagstaff, Yuma, Sierra Vista, and so on?

Sky
Sky

This is a great, common sense bill. Tucson cyclists should embrace it and promote it. TPD treats bicyclists badly. This will help keep us from getting targeted for a quick buck, with no safety downside. Those that risk only their own lives by dangerously blowing through an intersection already do. It would be nice if you all would post a list of key committee members to contact and write a post in support of the bill.

ChrisR
ChrisR

I think it's a great idea, and if it needs a strong showing of support from the cycling community, then I'm in! Just tell me which politician to write!

rynsa
rynsa

This will fail... again. I admire Representative Patterson's moxie, and I wish him all the best in his efforts to address the inherent transportation and economic class biases of our legal system. But the car culture is not interested in relinquishing power; it's only interested in maintaining the status quo. Besides, the TPD has too much to gain by keeping current stop sign regulations. Think about all that lost revenue from ticketing the poor and winning federal grants!

Guy Rovella
Guy Rovella

Great idea but we're going to have to really lobby the committee members hard with thousands of letters to have any hope of getting it past these guys. We need a list of committee members.

3wheeler
3wheeler

This is from the article you linked: "And let me preface my comments by explaining that I am a daily cyclist (for over 40 years) who always stops at stop signs and always waits for the green light. However, I do admit that at stop signs I will often slow VERY perceptibly, almost to a full stop, before entering the intersection. While I know this violates the letter of the law, I also know that almost no motorists come to complete stops at stop signs unless there is cross traffic to wait for. I think this is acceptable, and apparently so does law enforcement, because virtually all of us who drive do the same – often in full view of traffic officers – and are never stopped for it. Cyclists need not be held to a higher standard than motorists in this situation." He says right there that he follows the Idaho law, HE DOESN'T ALWAYS COME TO A COMPLETE STOP. This guy even has the gall to justify his not stopping by saying that motorists don't all come to complete stop! How fatuous. To support his argument that the Idaho law is a bad idea, he uses an illustration talks about blowing traffic lights. Traffic lights are not part of the law. What more needs to be said? The Idaho law merely makes legal what we ALL do right now.

Matt Zoll
Matt Zoll

Many thanks to Representative Patterson for the proposed legislation. A few weeks ago Green Valley/Sahuarita bicycle advocates and I met with the Sahuarita Chief of Police who's the head of the State Police Chief's Association. The Mayor of Sahuarita, who's an avid cyclist, had asked us to meet to discuss possible legislation that would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields. I mentioned at the meeting Representative Patterson's work on this last year. By this point hopefully the mayor and the chief have been in touch with Representative Patterson or will soon be to discuss the proposed legislation. Some cautions to consider: 1) the perception of drivers that many of us are scofflaws who get special treatment could harden with this legislation, and 2) children tend to do what their older peers or parents do and would run the stop signs too, but they don't have nearly the same capabilities to roll through stop signs relatively safely as do older youth and adults. This would be a major concern with stops at more major streets. Some of you may have some good answers for these concerns (and other issues that people think of) so it would be good to discuss those. After I drafted the safe passing legislation 10 years ago it went through some amendments that unfortunately watered down the legislation. This may occur too with the stop sign bill. One item to think about is that there is quite a difference between stop signs at local/local streets and stop signs at local/arterial streets. Many of us as cyclists (and sometimes as drivers) have had close calls with other cyclists running stop signs from the local street onto the arterial or collector roadway that we're traveling on. Perhaps an adjustment to the proposal would be to allow cyclists to yield at stops on local/local (urban and rural) but also on more major roadways such as rural minor arterial and rural collectors. There are official street classifications for these roadways, but it may be difficult for cyclists (and drivers and police) to make these distinctions, so it might be somewhat difficult to implement. As a start, however, if the legislation as proposed can't seem to gain traction it would be great to allow cyclists to at least yield at 4-way stops at neighborhood traffic circles, as well as at 4-way stops and T-intersections that are on local streets. Ultimately, however, it would be best if all traffic circles and T-intersections on local streets were controlled by yield signs rather than stop signs as some jurisdictions do, and perhaps 4-way stops on local street intersections that don't have traffic circles could be converted to 4-way yields. Definitely a great proposal to kick off discussion and hopefully it can have success in some form or another. Again, many thanks to Representative Patterson.

billdav
billdav

Did you read the text of the law (it's in the article)? Bicyclists would have to yield to the cars. It's not a free ticket to blow stop signs without regard for cross traffic, as you seem to think.

Red Star
Red Star

"Maybe it should read that bikes don't have to stop if no car is present but do have to stop if a car IS present. " But, Frank Tellez, you would have to define "IS present." 10' ? 50'? two blocks? Of course the secret gorilla lady in all this is COT's DOT Stop Sign Lady, rational stop signs seem to be off the bike table...no words on this from her...

Tim
Tim

Has this bill passed? I was just ticketed for coming to a stop but NOT putting my food down on 3rd/Treat this morning and the officer had not heard of this bill. Anybody know how to check its status?

3wheeler
3wheeler

Matt, The point here is that we all do this now. The accident statistics won't budge one way or the other if this law passes. Every cyclist except perhaps the very youngest understands that they may get killed if they pull out in front of a car. That self interest is what keeps the collision statistics where they are now and will continue to act if this law passes. I have "Yielded" when crossing major arterials thousands of times and live to talk about it. Almost everyone who is reading this note has done the same. I see no reason to complicate the bill with multiple sub-clauses. In the end, the most important thing to consider are the statistics in Idaho. If it's worked there for 27 years, we shouldn't be worried about it not working here.

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