Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Cyclists could soon be allowed to proceed at red lights as Colorado lawmakers consider bill

The 'Idaho Stop' bill would change the rules for cyclists at stop signs and traffic lights "to make people safer"...

Lawmakers in the US state of Colorado are considering a bill which would allow cyclists to roll through stop signs and proceed at red traffic lights if the route is clear.

The so-called 'Idaho Stop' law allows those on bikes to slow to 10mph when approaching a stop sign, before proceeding if it is clear of vehicles, pedestrians and other road users.

It negates the need for cyclists to come to a full stop, and also affects the way people can ride at traffic lights too.

When approaching traffic lights cyclists would still be required to come to a complete stop, but are then allowed to check the route for cars and other road users before continuing their journey, even when the light is red.

House Bill 22-1028 has already been implemented in Idaho, Arkansas, Delaware, Oregon and Washington, and has received bipartisan support. In Colorado, it passed a second reading in the House and has one more vote to go before being sent to the Senate.

> Mandatory cycling helmet law dropped in Seattle as it unfairly targets black people and the homeless, say officials

"We wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't going to make people safer," Rep. Matt Gray said. 

"We're not inventing something new, and not a single state that's implemented this has reported higher accident rates. In fact, they've all reported lower accident rates."

Rep. Edie Hooton added: "We have inconsistent laws, from county to county, on how to treat intersections. What this bill does is it creates uniformity around the state on how a cyclist may proceed through an intersection."

The Denver Channel reports the bill has been backed by local campaign groups, including Bicycle Colorado.

The group's director of communications and policy Jack Todd said: "Intersections are by far the most dangerous places for cyclists, people walking, people using wheelchairs, and so this legislation would allow them to get out of the intersection faster and avoid that conflict."

Despite the support, some Republicans expressed concern during a debate on Friday.

Rep. Richard Holtorf labelled the bill "unsafe" and called for cyclists to be required to stop, just as other road users are.

"I would tell you I think this is an unsafe bill," he said. "I think there’s a stop sign for a reason. It means stop. Stop. Look around. Make sure that you’re not going to have a problem with the section.

"What if it’s not safe? What if there’s a vehicle coming through when you clean somebody’s clock and then they’re dead?"

In 2015, cycling campaigners in London suggested adopting the 'Idaho Stop' would be a cheaper and simpler solution to technology which allows cyclists to turn lights green when they approach.

The comments from Stop Killing Cyclists came after the Danish city of Aarhus announced it would be testing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to a bicycle's front wheel which would communicate with upcoming lights and change them green for cyclists.

While some campaign groups were excited by the prospect of the technology coming to London, Stop Killing Cyclists said: "Whilst well-intentioned, this is a very expensive and slow way of using technology to introduce what effectively is called the Idaho Law.

"This law at very low expense would require cyclists in London to treat red lights as 'yield right of way' signs, allowing them to turn left when there is no traffic or pedestrians.

"This would benefit drivers also as it would reduce cycling congestion at junctions."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Latest Comments