CYCLING - The Idaho Stop

Stop SignThis one surprised me, research that shows it is actually safer for cyclists to slow down and go past a stop sign without stopping instead of coming to a full stop. The US state of Idaho's statute Title 49, Chapter 7 permits it, along with different behaviour at a red light. Cyclists are required to stop and yield, but may proceed on the red if it is safe to do.

In Policies for Pedaling, the City of Chicago is encouraged to permit the "Idaho Stop" for bicycle riders. The idea is examined starting at page 4.

Brandon Whyte's masters project, The Idaho Stop Law and the Severity of Bicycle Crashes: A Comparative Study examined Boise, Idaho and Champaign / Urbana, Illinois. He found that in Illinois there were more serious injury crashes involving cyclists.

The Chicago-Kent Law Review examined the Idaho Stop rule as an incentive to urban cycling.

The Velo-City Global 2012 conference in June, 2012 hosted by Vancouver saw a presentation by Jason Meggs: Stops as Yields, Safety and Effects of the Idaho Stop Law.



If good for a bike why not a motor vehicle?

This goes along with one study I saw that was done in England where they removed the stop signs and left it to be a free for all. Rather than increasing the accidents as expected it reduced them at the same time increasing traffic flow. Only problem that was found was for pedestrians that were visual impaired. Not having a walk sign that let them know when it was safe to proceed left them to be helped by others. Believe this has been tried in a few other cities with the same result.

My only question if it works for bikers why not vehicles? The same principle.

I always point out I was taught by my dad and not some professional. When approaching a traffic light why rush up on it, slow down before you get there and then you don't have to come to a complete stop. Back in the 50's for commercial drivers this was what was recommended. In the case of a heavily loaded truck it does save fuel. Next time you are stopped beside one at a stop sign watch when they start off and you can see the tractor torque over. Whether a bike or a vehicle it does require more energy to move from a stop than from a slow speed

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