“Idaho stop” bill introduced in Arizona — would permit bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs when safe to do so
I got a call yesterday from my State legislator, Daniel Patterson, who told me that the “Bike safe-yield” bill had been introduced again this year. This bill would permit bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs when safe to do so. I really support this bill as it would solve a fundamental problem with the application of our car-based traffic laws to bicyclists.
The bill does not permit cyclists to blow through stop signs. It permits bicyclists to slow to the speed necessary to determine whether an intersection is safe for them to pass through without coming to a complete stop. We already have these signs all over town in the form of “Yield” signs on those intersections where authorities conclude it is unnecessary to require vehicles to come to a complete stop. This bill would recognize that such intersections are far more common for bicyclists than for motorists.
Bicyclists have unimpeded views around them, they are usually traveling more slowly, they are more aware of their surroundings, and they don’t generally hurt anyone but themselves when they hit something. This bill improves the conditions for bicyclists considerably, and helps get cyclists off the main arterial roads because it permits them to navigate lesser-used streets that have lots of stop signs.
The relevant part of the bill reads:
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 bill is here.
Rep. Patterson has said he will need support from the cycling community, something that fell short last year when this bill was introduced.