Should It Be Legal for Cyclists to Roll Through Stop Signs?

False or true The best way to ensure safety is for cyclists to stop at stop signs as well as the red light.

It seems like an easy choice Doesn’t it?

And do you know what. If you’ve said “true,” you’re probably not right.

Research suggests that it’s in fact more hazardous for bicyclists when they follow stop signs and red light signals the same way that automobiles are required to do. According to studies the general consensus is that it’s better for cyclists to observe stop signals as if they’re yield signs, and red light signals as if they’re stop lights.

The state legislatures are beginning to catch on that trend, and on the 13th of April, Colorado became the ninth state to adopt an act that permits bicyclists ride through stop signals when the coastline is clean. The Colorado law allows cyclists to consider red light intersections as stop lights, meaning they are able to proceed across an intersection after having stopped if there’s not any traffic. Colorado is fourth among the nine states that have the “proceed upon red” clause.

If you’re looking around, it’s an something that’s normal. From the first there’s no reason to believe the idea that giving cyclists more power to ride through the intersections would be more secure for them.

However, let’s take a close take a look.

The most hazardous areas where bicyclists can be at risk are intersections that are occupied by motor vehicle traffic. It is safer for cyclists to just yield and move through an intersection when they can see an opening. If they fail to take advantage of that chance then they’re more at risk when the traffic comes back.

Studies Say Yes

Research conducted of London concluded that ignoring traffic rules can result in fatal results for cyclists. The study found that women cyclists die in crashes with trucks that are large often as male riders. Conclusion: Women could be more at risk due to the fact that they’re more committed to the law, staying in place until the lights change.

Within the U.S., the laws permit bicyclists to go through stop signs and red light are known as “Idaho Stop” laws. They are named in honor of the state which first permitted this. Idaho was the first state to allow it in 1982. It took until the year 2017 before Delaware was the next state to adopt it.

The lengthy gap may explain the fact that no one took note of the Idaho law until 2010 after which University of California researcher Jason Meggs published a paper of 15 pages on it. Meggs discovered that crashes on bicycles fell by 14.5 percent the first year following the year the law was approved. Additionally, he found the rates of bicycle injuries in Boise were between 30 and 60% lower than the rates in two similar California cities: Sacramento as well as Bakersfield.

The research continued. A paper that praised Idaho Stop among other safety suggestions for pedestrians and bicyclists received a lot of attention in 2014 when it was presented at an international meeting in 2014.

As more states are making these laws law and law enforcement agencies are finding that less cyclists are hurt. In Delaware the police department of the state note that crashes at intersections during the 30-month time frame following the introduction of the Delaware Yield law fell by 23% compared to the 30 month period before the passage of the lawand the overall number of bike accidents decreased by 8 percent.

There are some who don’t buy it.

There’s there is no love lost between particular segment of motorists and cyclists. Any talk about giving cyclists more liberty to disregard the traffic lights and signs will be difficult to convince. In the past, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill which was passed by the state’s senate and assembly with large distances. Newsom said that “The way of thinking … could be particularly troubling for children that may not understand what to look for in judging the speed of a vehicle or use the proper caution to slow down to traffic when necessary.”

A significant amount the laws basically make it easier for bicyclists to continue performing. The majority of bicyclists do not slow down at stop lights in the absence of cross-traffic. The police will continue to give tickets to those who do not yield or run red lights.

However, these laws could be affecting the personal and criminal case that goes to the courtroom. Some cases may be more fact-specific with a focus on those who were acting in a safe manner as well as who wasn’t. There may be more accident-reconstruction experts in court.

There is a lot of confusion over the proper yield, the proper time to stop, or who’s accountable for any accidents that occur and some say the confusion could be an excuse to disagree with them.

“We consider that cyclists riding in the roadways should be subject to the same safety rules for traffic like motor vehicles. One road, one law,” stated John Moreno, American Automobile Association spokesperson. “There’s an explanation for the stop sign on the road. The planners placed it there as a result for reasons of safety in traffic.”

It’s certainly logical. However, it is also important to keep bikes separate from motor vehicle traffic.

There is no need to resolve this on your own – Seek the help of a lawyer

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