July 20, 2017
Bicycles are subject to all of the same laws as automobiles when riding on the road. For the most part, this is entirely for the safety of the cyclist, but it also helps keep traffic flowing and predictable. Although this has been the longstanding law, there is one key amendment that is taking shape early 2017 in California that could shake things up.
According to California Assembly Bill 1103, cyclists would be allowed to legally treat stop signs as yield signs.
“This bill would … authorize a person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise.”
While controversial, this bill may prove to increase the safety of the discerning cyclist if used properly. “The longer it takes for a bicyclist to pass through an intersection, the greater likelihood that they’ll get hit by an oncoming vehicle …” said Jay Obernolte, one of the assemblymen who introduced the new measure.
However, there are some that disagree:
“Joel West, an Oceanside resident who has worked in his community on transportation issues, said the bill is a bad idea that will encourage bad habits. If enacted, he predicts that instead of cautiously riding through stop signs, bicyclists will completely blow through them because the law gives them the discretion to determine what’s safe.”
No matter what the verdict is, it is evident that potential revisions are coming to the longstanding laws for cyclists on the road.
Don’t hesitate to contact Gary Brustin with any questions regarding local cycling laws.