Idaho Stop in Utah? New Bill Would Allow Cyclists to Treat Stop signs as Yield Signs

Idaho Stop Bill Reintroduced in Utah Legislature for 2018

December 29, 2017 – Cyclists may soon be able to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs if a bill that institutes the Idaho Stop is passed by the Utah State Legislature.

Will the Idaho Stop be legal for cyclists in Utah in 2018? A new bill would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and Ted lights as stop signs in most circumstances.

Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss has introduced H.B. 58: TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNS FOR BICYCLES that would legalize the Idah Stop in Utah. The bill will be considered in the upcoming legislative session.

In 1982, Idaho implemented a law that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and stop lights as stop signs. (See: https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title49/t49ch7/sect49-720/ ) So far, with 35 years of history behind it, cyclists are at least as safe, if not safer with the law in place. According to a 2010 paper and presentation, “bicycle injuries declined 14.5% the year after implementation” and cities in Idaho were 30.4% safer for cyclists than comparable cities without the law. (Meggs, 2010, https://meggsreport.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/idaho-law-jasonmeggs-2010version-2.pdf and https://meggsreport.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/meggs-jason-velo-city-2012-idaho-stops-law-srv2.pdf).
Utah has tried a couple of times to pass the law. The closest it came was in 2011, when it passed the house, and then failed in the senate on a tie vote. In 2010, it passed the house, but failed in the senate.
More recently, Utah did pass a bill that allow cyclists and motorcyclists to proceed through a red light if the light doesn't change within 90 seconds. This helps to remedy the issue that many stoplights are triggered by metal or weight, and cyclists and motorcyclists don't always trigger the light to change. (41-6a-305.  Traffic-control signal https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title41/Chapter6A/41-6a-S305.html?v=C41-6a-S305_2015051220150512 )

The bill text is here, and below: https://le.utah.gov/~2018/bills/static/HB0058.html

TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNS FOR BICYCLES

2     
2018 GENERAL SESSION

3     
STATE OF UTAH

4     
Chief Sponsor: Carol Spackman Moss

5     
Senate Sponsor: ____________

6     

7     LONG TITLE
8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Traffic Code by amending provisions related to operating a
10     bicycle on the roadway.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     provides that a person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign shall yield the
14     right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway
15     so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving
16     across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after
17     slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may
18     cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping;
19          ▸     provides that once a person operating a bicycle approaching a steady red
20     traffic-control signal has stopped and yielded to all other traffic, the person may
21     cautiously:
22               •     proceed straight through the steady red signal; or
23               •     turn left onto a highway that is a highway with one lane in each direction; and
24          ▸     provides that after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, if
25     required, a person operating a bicycle approaching a steady red traffic-control signal
26     may cautiously make a right-hand turn without stopping.
27     Money Appropriated in this Bill:

28          None
29     Other Special Clauses:
30          None
31     Utah Code Sections Affected:
32     AMENDS:
33          41-6a-1105, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 2
34     

35     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
36          Section 1. Section 41-6a-1105 is amended to read:
37          41-6a-1105. Operation of bicycle or moped on and use of roadway — Duties,
38     prohibitions.
39          (1) A person operating a bicycle or a moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed
40     of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near as
41     practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway except when:
42          (a) overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
43          (b) preparing to make a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
44          (c) traveling straight through an intersection that has a right-turn only lane that is in
45     conflict with the straight through movement; or
46          (d) reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the
47     right-hand edge of the roadway including:
48          (i) fixed or moving objects;
49          (ii) parked or moving vehicles;
50          (iii) bicycles;
51          (iv) pedestrians;
52          (v) animals;
53          (vi) surface hazards; or
54          (vii) a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side
55     within the lane.
56          (2) A person operating a bicycle or moped on a highway shall operate in the designated
57     direction of traffic.
58          (3) (a) A person riding a bicycle or moped on a roadway may not ride more than two

59     abreast with another person except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use
60     of bicycles.
61          (b) If allowed under Subsection (3)(a), a person riding two abreast with another person
62     may not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and shall ride within a single
63     lane.
64          (4) If a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, a bicycle
65     rider may be directed by a traffic-control device to use the path and not the roadway.
66          (5) (a) A person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if
67     required for safety, stop before entering the intersection.
68          (b) After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping as required by Subsection (5)(a),
69     the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on
70     another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is
71     moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after
72     slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, if required, may cautiously make a
73     turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
74          (6) (a) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (6)(b), a person operating a bicycle
75     approaching a steady red traffic-control signal shall stop before entering the intersection and
76     shall yield to all other traffic.
77          (ii) Once the person has stopped and yielded to all other traffic as required by
78     Subsection (6)(a)(i), the person may cautiously:
79          (A) proceed straight through the steady red signal; or
80          (B) turn left onto a highway that is a highway with one lane in each direction.
81          (b) After slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, if required, a
82     person operating a bicycle approaching a steady red traffic-control signal may cautiously make
83     a right-hand turn without stopping.

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