Colorado Adds Opt-In Rolling Stop Cycling Law

Rolling Stop Law

The “Idaho stop” or rolling stop law for cyclists has been pervasively spreading across the United States over the past year. However, while this is great news for cyclists, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for local governments with perhaps different cycling laws to have a voice. This is just what Colorado was concerned with when the rolling stop rolled on up to the doors of state government.

However, unlike other states that have allowed it, Colorado took a more cautious route. They approved the rolling stop for cyclists but ultimately left setting restrictions on speed and implementation up to the local communities in the state.

Colorado is already quite friendly to cyclists, and in that regard, a number of cities already have their own cycling laws on the rolling stop. Furthermore, the state government recognizes that not every intersection is right for it.

Local Communities

This new law allows for communities to opt-in to adopt the Idaho stop for their community as well as regulate what is considered a “reasonable speed” to roll on through. This comes after a failed bill from 2017 that had addressed the same issue but ultimately failed due to conflicts with cyclist laws that had already been put into place in popular Colorado cycling cities.

Around the Country

This sets a great precedent for other states considering the issue of rolling stops for cyclists. It shows that this issue can be shot down if it conflicts with other community laws, but by offering it as a more opt-in affair, it can be adapted for the whole state.

Unfortunately, while this makes it safer for many cyclists, accidents will still happen. If you have been in a cycling accident and need a lawyer to represent you who understand your pain, contact us today. Let Gary Brustin, a fellow cyclist, and his law office come to your aid.

The Idaho Stop is Stopping by Other States

Bicycle Laws

Bike laws are always transforming. Sometimes they focus on the safety requirements for bicyclists, such as under what circumstances a helmet is mandatory or when bicyclists should stay off the road. Other times, the laws are about penalties and precedents: some behaviors (like walking to cross a pedestrian lane) automatically put the burden or liability on the driver involved in a collision. But sometimes the law change how bicyclists should read road signs, and it’s just as important to keep an eye on those updates.

What’s an Idaho stop?

In 1982, Idaho passed a law that let bicyclists downgrade their responses to traffic signs. A red light became a stop sign, and a stop sign became a signal to yield. Delaware adopted the idea last year, and Colorado adapted part of it to fit their road rules earlier this year. Utah is also considering it.

The law was designed to make the roads make more sense for cyclists. Bikes don’t brake and restart the same way cars can, and Idaho had a lot of bikers with technical violations filling up their court space. With the Idaho stop, cyclists and cars both paid more attention to the purpose of stop signs and lights: safety and right-of-way.

But there’s still a lot of contention surrounding the idea of Idaho stops. Some organizations think having separate rules for cyclists and drivers will cause confusion, both for people on bicycles and drivers not expecting a bicycle to “run” a red light. But supporters of the laws maintain that Idaho stops make more sense with the flow of bike riding and aren’t hard to intuit.

California has seen a few proposed bills and resolutions about these rolling stops, and San Francisco has looked into it separately. Whether you’re for or against the idea, it’s another factor to keep in mind if you plan biking across any state or city lines. Go to the Law Office of Gary Brustin for more updates and bike safety news.

Bicycle Law: Michigan Passes 3-Foot Passing Law for Cars Passing Cyclists

Uncontested Votes Passes New Bicycle Law

After a near uncontested vote, motorists throughout Michigan will now, by law, have to take greater care when passing cyclists on the road. Under this newly passed bicycle law, motorists will now be required to give at least a 3-foot clearance when passing a cyclist on the road unless it is “impractical” to do so. Also included in this legislation is a bill that would make it so teenage drivers in Michigan will have to learn safety laws pertaining to “vulnerable” roadway users, a term which includes cyclists before they receive their license to drive.

This new bicycle law comes after staggering statistics that state that 38 cyclists were killed on the roadways of Michigan in 2016, a number that was more than double the previous year, and 2,000 reported cyclist injuries from tangles with motor vehicles. This pressed Michigan, one of only 11 other states with no passing laws for cyclists, to put this new law under consideration.

Future Steps

Michigan, like almost every other state, has seen a rise of cyclists on the roadways and like every other citizen traveling around Michigan, they have a right to be protected. However, now that the law has been passed, the real test comes with enforcing it. For many drivers, they may not even realize they are now required by law to give a 3-foot passing distance, and it is up to law enforcement and drivers to decipher what “impractical” truly means.

However, until the law goes into effect state-wide, cyclists are still in danger. Yet, many local communities have passed 5-foot passing ordinances that keep their local biking communities safe.

Contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin Today

Have you been hurt in a cycling accident? Then you need someone in your corner who can help. If you are a cyclist who has been in an accident with a motor vehicle or otherwise in an accident that was the fault of another, contact us today. Let us help you get the compensation that you need.

The Newest Innovation is in the Bicycle Spokes

Over the years we have seen lighter frames, sturdier wheels, and a number of seat designs. However, throughout all that, the spokes of the average bicycle have pretty much stayed the same. However, one Minnesota-based bicycle company aims to change that with new bicycle spokes made of fabric.

While the spokes at Berd (think Bike + Nerd) are a little more complicated than fabric, the high molecular weight polyethylene spokes, dubbed PolyLight, are an innovation without a doubt. These newly designed spokes are not only stronger than their traditional steel counterparts but are only a fraction of the weight.

The PolyLight material is no stranger to use in sporting goods. Due to its lightweight, resistance to abrasion, impact, and UV damage, they have been used in everything from backpacks to sailboat rigging. Now they will replace steel in using tension to support the wheel instead of being weight supporting pillars like steel.

While these spokes will create an even lighter bicycle, something to marvel considering how light bikes get now, they do come at a price. Unfortunately, that price is, well, the actual price. Traditional steel spokes run at about $4 per spoke, but these new PolyLight spokes run at twice the price at $8 per spoke. This means if you wanted to run out and replace them right now, it will cost a fair bit. However, the benefit is because they support tension instead of weight, the PolyLight spokes will actually likely last you longer.

While upgrading your bicycle is part of the fun of being a frequent bicycle rider, getting into accidents is what makes it not so much fun. If you have been in an accident and need an advocate who is on your side so you can recover damages for your bicycle and your medical bills, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Gary Brustin help you.

Should There Be a Bicycle Tax?

There’s a new slogan coming out of a few select lawmaker’s offices – “We share the road, we should share the costs.” This slogan speaks to what could be a growing trend of a “bicycle tax” that states that adults should pay a small tax on bicycle purchases that go to local governments to support transportation costs. As you would expect, opinions are highly mixed on the issue.

This new tax comes immediately from Oregon where they passed a law that states that adult bicycle purchases over $200 now have to pay an additional $15 to the state to support road costs. Now other towns in Colorado are looking at passing a similar law, and if it succeeds, it could be coming to your bike-friendly town next.

Naturally, bicycle riders and bicycle shop owners lean against the law since it would likely affect a person’s decision to purchase a bike. However, non-cyclists and lawmaker’s argue that it is only $15 and as car drivers, they have been paying such taxes for years. With many cities now putting in dedicated bicycle lanes for cyclists, many are calling for them to help pay for it.

Naturally, this will likely be the cause of much debate over the coming years. Cycling is a body and Earth-friendly way of getting around, and those who care for the environment want to encourage more people to make the switch. However, would a small tax discourage it?

Regardless of the cost of buying a bicycle, people will likely still do it, and this means accidents will still happen. If you have been the victim of bicycle discrimination or a serious accident, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to supporting the rights of cyclists.

General Bicycle Safety Recommendations

Biking is generally a very safe sport, but not without some inherent dangers. Following a few general bicycle safety recommendations will dramatically reduce your chances of injury.

1. Wear a helmet. 

This tip cannot be stressed enough; in many states, it is the law that you wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing a helmet is the cheapest and easiest way to stay safe on your bicycle, regardless of state laws. Also, if your helmet gets damaged in any way, it is now unsafe to use. Replace it immediately with a brand-new helmet.

2. Get regular professional bike tune-ups. 

Ensuring that your bicycle is always in good shape is an excellent way to stay safe. Loose bolts, worn components, and worn tires create unsafe riding conditions and will increase your risk of an accident. Bring your bicycle into a local bike shop to get the recommended tune-ups regularly.

3. Keep your eyes open. 

Be attentive to your surroundings when cycling. Constantly look at the pavement ahead to avoid any nasty potholes or curbs, and be aware of any nearby traffic. Riding your bicycle distracted is certainly a recipe for disaster.

4. Know your comfort level. 

Don’t ride your bike on a busy road if it makes you uncomfortable. Practice safe riding techniques on side roads and residential streets before you attempt to ride on busier roads, and even then avoid riding during rush-hour.

These are just a few general safety recommendations bicycles. Contact us if you have any questions about filing a claim for a bicycle-related accident.

California Law Bans Headphones for Cyclists

If you are a cyclist cruising down your regular cycling strip to work in California with your headphones on and your favorite songs blaring through them, as of the first of the year, you have officially been breaking the law. Unaware cyclists are already finding punishment over this new law that some call overbearing.

According to the Section 27400 of the California Vehicle Code, cyclists are now prohibited from wearing a headset, earplugs, or earphones in both ears, something that many cyclists do to drown out street noise. However, as many have already found out, breaking this new law will net a fairly hefty $178 fine.

While many are outraged at such prosecution of a victimless crime, there are other cyclists that realize there are victims of wearing headphones. The victim’s are the cyclists themselves. So long as they are mindful, a cyclist listening to music probably won’t end up hurting anyone. However, that also means they won’t hear any vehicles coming up behind them. This puts them in grave danger of not being able to react to a negligent motorist. Of course, there would be no need for such laws if motorists were better trained to share the road and more bicycle lanes were installed throughout major cities.

While there won’t be much fighting these fines, if you are a cyclist that has been in a cycling accident due to the negligence of those who need to share the road with you, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin fights for cyclists and their right for their share of the road.