D.C. Moves Forward With Idaho Stop Plan

A proposal to outlaw right turns on red and legalize the so-called Idaho Stop for bikes and scooters is aimed at improving road safety and limiting dangerous interactions between cyclists and drivers.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 21, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The District of Columbia is poised to ban right turns on red lights as part of an effort to improve road safety for cyclists, reports Keely Bastow in the Washingtonian.

The Safer Streets Amendment Act of 2022, introduced by District councilmember Mary Cheh, “would restrict right turns on red lights and also implement the Idaho Stop, which allows bikes, e-bikes, and scooters to treat red lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs.”

Proponents of the Idaho Stop say it makes cyclists more visible and gives them more time to get ahead of car traffic. Some also see the proposed change as an equity issue: “Passing the amendment also would mean that cyclists would not be ticketed for what they already do, a practice that disproportionately affects residents of color; in 2020, over 87 percent of cyclists stopped in DC were Black.”

Late last year, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a similar bill to legalize the Idaho Stop in that state. The Idaho Stop is legal in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, Delaware, and its namesake state, Idaho.

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