DENVER — In a move advocated by cyclists but questioned by drivers, the state of Colorado is now making it legal for cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs.
The cycling practice, which is already used by many, is commonly referred to as a 'rolling stop,' 'Idaho stop,' or 'safety stop.'
The legislation will allow cyclists to legally move quickly through what is typically the most dangerous spot for them, the intersection. Colorado Department of Transportation data shows that 72% of crashes between cyclists and cars were related to intersections.
The bill is designed to reduce the amount of time Coloradan cyclists are required to spend at these dangerous crossings.
Riders of bikes, electric bikes, and electric scooters will now be legally allowed to go through a stop sign after slowing down to 15 miles an hour or less and treat red lights as a stop sign, if it is safe to proceed.
Cyclists and scooter drivers will still be required to yield the right of way to traffic going through a green light or pedestrians walking through an intersection.
There's already a place in southern Colorado where this is the case, Manitou Springs. The city instituted a similar law in late 2021. One Manitou Springs cyclist, speaking in support of the move, cited a study in Delaware that showed a 23% decrease in bicycle vs car accidents after implementation of the law.
The state of Colorado is now the 9th state to implement a law allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, but only the 4th to allow red lights to be treated as stop signs.
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