The Idaho Stop – It may be a strange colloquialism to many, but for many more it is used to describe rolling through a stop sign instead of stopping fully. While many cyclists are guilty of engaging in an “Idaho Stop,” a new DePaul University study suggests it might actually be safer than coming to a full stop.
The term Idaho Stop comes from the change in Idaho cycling laws that changed the rules from cyclists, being one of the first states to deviate from the rules that govern motorists. A year after Idaho enacted different rules for cyclists including their rolling stop, injuries and cyclist accidents were down 14 percent.
While it is the law in Idaho, in other states, cyclists are still required to come to a full stop, but you are likely among the many law breakers that don’t. Rolling stops allow cyclists to get ahead of traffic and gain better visibility among the mass of cars. Instead of punishing cyclists that want those benefits even though it means breaking the laws, why not just change the laws? That is a question that many cities, like Chicago, are now asking themselves as the safety benefits of Idaho Stops come to light.
Have you been in an accident because the law requires you to make a full stop at red lights and stop signs? Were you hurt by the negligence of a motorist? We can help. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to representing the rights of cyclists that were hurt doing what they love and just trying to get around.
In most bicycle accidents, the cause can be attributed to a handful of things. Among the top five are driver error, cyclist error, hazardous conditions, faulty equipment and medical emergency (e.g. sudden heart attack). However, as a Florida Today reporter pointed out earlier this year, animals may cause bicycle accidents too.
Accidents Involving Domestic Animals on the Run
The cause behind the reported accident was a box turtle but other animals have been known to get in the way of cyclists as well. FOX21 News reported on one such accident that occurred this past spring. That one involved an at-large canine. Our state does have dog leash laws meant to prevent bicycle accidents. But of course, it doesn’t address other stray animals or the occasional, wayward box turtle.
Current laws dictate that canines are not allowed to roam bicycle paths or other public areas without being on a leash and under control of their respective owners. So even if a dog was tied up before it broke free and caused a bicycle accident, it doesn’t matter. The owner may be responsible for costs associated with the accident, including the cyclists’ medical bills.
Wild Animals and Their Owners Aren’t Beyond Reproach
Leash laws are not the only animal related ones that may influence the outcome of bicycle accident cases. In some cases, strict liability laws commonly mentioned during civil jury instruction may apply (See Series 400 Negligence, Section 461). For instance, let’s assume that the box turtle was a pet. Although the person may have thought of the box turtle as a pet, chances are an argument could be made against that.
If deemed a wild animal by the court, the injured cyclist could potentially sue the person under the section of law we just mentioned. So you see, in our state, there is more to bicycle vs. animal related accidents than meets the eye. To learn more about domestic and wild animals’ possible impact on bicycle accidents in California, please contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin.
We handle cases throughout California, including the cities of:
Silicon Valley, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange County and San Diego. We also have a network of qualified cycling attorneys throughout the country for clients who are seeking representation outside of California.