Colorado Could Be the Next State to Legalize the Idaho Stop

Colorado is the latest state to consider allowing people on bikes to pass through intersections more freely than cars.

1 minute read

January 29, 2017, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Copenhagenize Design Co. / Copenhagenize

John Wenzel reports on a bill in the Colorado State Legislature that would legalize the "Idaho Stop."

Senate Bill 93, introduced Jan. 18 by Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, would permit a person riding a bike or “electrical-assisted bicycle” to pass through intersections without stopping if the rider “slows to a reasonable speed, yields to vehicles and pedestrians, and can safely proceed or make a turn.”

Much of Wenzel's coverage is devoted to explaining the rationale behind the bill, citing precedent and studies supporting the case for legalizing the Idaho Stop.

The law is commonly referred to in the biking community as the “Idaho stop” and is credited with reducing cycling-related injuries by 14.5 percent the year after it was implemented, with no change in fatalities, according to a 2010 study by Jason Meggs, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health.

As expected, there are politicians who oppose the bill, and there are bike advocates excited about the possibility of the bill's passage. Wentzel is careful to allow both sides to state their case. With the bill, Colorado joins a handful of other states, and the District of Columbia, to debate similar regulations in recent years. 

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