Bill would allow bicyclists to roll through stop signs
March 1, 2011
The state House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow some bicyclists to roll through stop signs.
If House Bill 155 becomes a law bicyclists who are at least 18 years old would be allowed "to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping" if they slow to a reasonable speed when approaching the stop sign.
State law currently requires bicyclists to make complete stops at stop signs. Democratic Rep. Carolyn Spackman Moss introduced H.B. 155.
House members voted 39-33 to approve the bill. Rep. Joel Briscoe, a Democrat who represents the Snyderville Basin, voted for the measure. Rep. Mel Brown, a Republican who serves Park City and the East Side of Summit County, did not vote on the bill.
The state Senate is now expected to debate the bill.
The legislation would require bicyclists to yield to nearby vehicles before coasting through a stop sign.
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"If the document is simply about trying to allow cyclists to roll through non-dangerous intersections then I guess I would probably be completely in favor of it," said Charlie Sturgis, executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation. "I like that idea but it seems silly that we have to actually come up with a law for it."
He said bicyclists should not be required to stop at stop signs when vehicles are far away.
"It’s not really about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s a practical thing. Does it matter if I roll through a stop sign if no one is coming? No, it doesn’t matter," Sturgis explained. "Does it matter if I ride in a pack and roll through stop light? Absolutely it matters."
For bicyclists, stopping at every stop sign is a hassle, he said.
"To stop and put your foot down, it’s impractical. If there is no reason to come to a complete stop then why come to a complete stop?" Sturgis said. "I’m so tired of seeing cyclists draw flack. They deserve it at times if they’re riding in packs and run through stoplights where they actually do create a hazard. That’s totally different than rolling up to a stop and continuing on because there is no imminent danger."