It’s time to bring Idaho to California. While certainly not the first to say it, I’m joining the chorus.
The issue at hand: Bicycles and stop signs. In California, the law dictates that cyclists must always come to a complete stop. (Yeah, right.) The debate has been around for a long time, and it always seems to get pushed once again to the forefront when someone gets hurt or killed.
It’s important for cyclists to yield to cars and pedestrians, to stop when necessary, and to not kill ourselves or anyone else. Stopping at every uncrowded intersection, however, is simply not conducive to the physics of cycling, especially the kind of high-speed road sprinting that my fellow racers and I enjoy. Recreational and commuter bicyclists might stop more easily, but they too shouldn’t have to always do so just because it’s “the law.” And as I look carefully for cars and pedestrians in my path that would cue my need to stop, I’m tired of having to also look around for cops before rolling through an otherwise-deserted intersection.
This brings us to Idaho. The law there permits bicyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield and roll through it under certain circumstances, meaning… when it’s harmless to do so! This is hardly a novel concept; in fact it’s exactly what I and so many other cyclists already do everyday, in all those instances when simple practicality trumps the letter of the law.
It would just be nice if we didn’t have to risk being stopped and ticketed for safe judgment, common sense, and keeping the momentum going!