Friday, March 20, 2009

The "Idaho Stop" - Coming to Oregon?

While Idaho Governor Butch tries to come up with millions more in tax dollars to spend on Idaho roadways, next door in Oregon they are debating whether to legalize the "Idaho Stop" for cyclists. (We're famous!)

The "Idaho Stop" is the statute (49-720) that gives cyclists the right to legally roll through a stop sign when the coast is clear.

(In Idaho, a cyclist must come to a complete stop at a red-light signaled intersection, but after stopping, may proceed cautiously. If I understand correctly, Oregon's proposed legislation would allow cyclists to roll through both signs and red lights.)

Karl Rohde is the lobbyist for Oregon's Bicycle Transportation Alliance; yesterday he testified on behalf of the "Idaho Style Stop Law." A transcript can be seen HERE; he does a good job of explaining why the Idaho law is a good law.

For the record... I fully support Idaho's law. However, I also take full responsibility for correctly determining if it's safe to proceed. I realize the stakes are very high; if I make a poor judgment, putting myself in grave danger and causing stress and grief for another roadway user, I must shoulder the consequences since I only have myself to blame. A cyclist who doesn't understand the consequences, or isn't willing to accept responsibility, should stop at the signs and signals.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

While I live in Idaho, a very large percentage of my bicycle miles are racked up in Utah, as that state is on the work end of my commute. I think that Utah should also adopt the Idaho stop. And crack down on sidewalk racers and bike salmon.