Everyone who gets on a bike and rides any amount of distance is going to eventually find themselves at a stop sign. The topic of what’s required by the cyclist at said stop sign is one that is frequently discussed, both by the cyclist as well as the non-cyclist. Here in Oregon, the current law states that the cyclist must come to a complete stop, but does NOT include any language requiring a foot to be placed on the ground, as some often incorrectly believe.
Now, I’m willing to bet body parts that everyone who’s ridden their bike more than just a couple of times has one through a stop sign without coming to a complete stop. At the same time, I’m pretty sure most of us who’ve driven cars have spent less time at a stop sign than is legally required as well…but I’ll stick to the topic at hand here. In Idaho, the laws are different, giving the cyclist the opportunity to make a judgement call:
A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
I’ve always said that when you’re on a bike, either be a vehicle, or a pedestrian…but don’t pick and choose as it’s convenient for you. I’m not a fan of taking a lane of traffic, and then hitting the sidewalk to blow through a red light in town. (I may change my mind, but I’m also not a fan of club rides blowing through red lights for momentum’s sake, as I’ve seen in town here…but come back in a few years and maybe I’ll change my mind.) That being said, when I’m out on a solo ride, or with a few other riders, and we’re out of town or traffic, we tend to ride like Idaho cyclists…just saying.
Whatever your take, I think this video does a good job of explaining the legistation that Oregon is currently considering. I love the graphics, and think that Portland resident Spencer Boomhower does a great job. I think when I’m out on my bike though, that the words floating around me would be more like “hmmm, is someone grilling? I could use a cheeseburger.” Or, “dang, my knees are still bumping my gut on the upstroke….need to lay off the cheeseburgers.” Or perhaps even, “If I crank out another 15 miles, I so deserve a cheeseburger.” Anyway, you get the drift. Feel free to post your thoughts.