Thursday, February 4, 2010

Origins of Idaho's "rolling stop" law

HERE is an interesting article about how Idaho's "famous" bicycle rolling-stop law came into being. (28 years ago.) You know - the one that says cyclists have to slow but not necessarily stop at a stop sign, and stop but not necessarily remain stopped at a red light.

The law continues to foster discussions, both within the bicycling community and the community in general.

"Vehicular cyclists" argue that if bicycles are legitimate vehicles, they should be subject to the same laws as other vehicles - no exceptions. Another obvious discussion point is whether inexperienced and/or incompetent cyclists (for example, kids) have the necessary judgment skills to safely cross without stopping.

I support the law, although I can certainly understand those points. It seems common-sense for a responsible roadway user... accelerating requires considerably more energy than maintaining speed. It also respects the judgment of the cyclist... he or she can use that gray matter to decide when and if it's safe to proceed. Stimulating! And there is nothing in the law requiring cyclists to proceed. Inexperienced cyclists are free to stop at every stop sign. And concerned parents can direct their kids to do the same.

The article points out that there's not a "presumption of fault" clause. (If you go past a Yield sign, you are presumed guilty if an accident ensues.) The bike law should probably have that same clause - if you don't stop and end up causing an accident, you are at fault... case closed. I could live with that.

The article is on Bob Mionske's "Bicycle Law" website. It looks interesting; I'll be checking back. Bob is a former Olympic cyclist who is now an attorney specializing in bicycle law.

1 comment:

Auto Accident Attorney Houston, Texas said...

I understand it but cyclists should stop at sign. Kids should be given proper instructions from their parents before handling them cycle.