Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Idaho Stop Debate Rolls On

toronto stop sign
Rolling Stops for Cyclists May Be Coming to Utah  is one of my favorite posts that touched on a state law that passed in Idaho, and is brought up every year or so by others. I admittedly have rolled through empty stop signs and hate sitting at a stale red light, but try to keep safety and setting a good example in mind when riding, so that drivers and others that may see me riding will respect me. My thoughts are that stop signs exist primarily as a form of speed control for cars rather than a right-of-way system; that's why they have converted most of them to four way stops that don't actually work as well for right-of-way as the old two way stops. Idaho is still the only state to legalize this action, but others are still mulling it.

Now Ruben Anderson joins the fray with Three Cheers for the Idaho Stop!! (or, the Insanity of Over-regulating Parakeets.)

The Idaho Stop is defined by Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland:
This law would make it legal for bicyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs. A cyclist approaching an intersection controlled by a stop sign, would be permitted to roll through the stop sign after yielding the right of way if there are other vehicles at the intersection.
It makes sense; a different kind of vehicle needs a different kind of regulation and control. Ruben writes:
Road laws are solely designed to reduce the carnage caused by 2,000 lb. bullets hurtling around at high speeds. And that is all the laws should be applied to.
We have laws for pig farmers. Should tomato farmers have to build giant manure management systems?
We have laws for dog licensing. Should parakeets have to wear a little collar with a tiny tag?
We have laws for new drivers. Should experienced drivers be forbidden from carrying passengers or driving on the highway?
My favorite bit of hilarity though: Imagine if we applied road laws to everyone who was commuting. Should pedestrians walking down the sidewalk shoulder check twice, extend their arm to signal the direction they intend to walk, then sharply turn?
Ruben concludes:
So, calls for cyclists to obey car laws are as misguided as suggesting cars should obey bike laws, or that parakeets should obey dog laws.
Read it all in A small and delicious life

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