SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A Bay Area lawmaker has introduced a new bill that would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, essentially legalizing the so-called rolling “California stop” for bicyclists.
Phil Ting, a State assembly member who represents parts of San Francisco and Daly City, introduced a measure that would make that roll legal for cyclists,
“There’s actually been a study by a UC Berkeley professor that if they looked at, this could potentially move bikes off busier streets like this one here onto more streets with stop signs,” explained Ting.
Ting says the longer a bicyclist is at an intersection, the more likely the rider is to get hit by an oncoming vehicle.
The bill raises the question about pedestrians who wait at a crosswalk for a car to stop and who might miss a bicycle that is not stopping?
“No biker is going to challenge a car, because they know they’re going to lose, said Ting. So any time a biker sees a car, they’re going to stop. They’re going to yield. And again, bikers and cars have to yield for pedestrians, so that wouldn’t change.”
Under Ting’s proposal, this bill would still force bicyclists to stop at red lights and stresses they would only be allowed to go through a stop sign “if it was safe.”
“Bikers going up the hill, down the hill, it doesn’t really matter. They have to yield to pedestrians,” explained Ting.
Opponents of this bill said if passed, it would encourage bad habits might leave too much up to the bicyclists’ discretion.
Idaho is the only state in the country with a law like this.
According to a 2010 study, Idaho saw a decline in bike-related injuries once this law passed.