« Back to Archive

Stop laws

Does anyone know if Pennsylvania is working on adopting bicycle stop laws similar to Idaho? I've cut and pasted the Idaho laws below. Curious because as a regular commuter biker, I typically will slow down and go through stop signs (I'm a slow biker to begin with, so I'm crawling through the stop at probably 2-3 mph). Going to a complete stop when no other cars are around I find is kind of ridiculous given you are on a bike and have a much higher awareness of your surroundings, not to mention slowing down puts you at the speed most car drivers are at when they proceed through stop signs. Curious if this law is something people are working on changing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Idaho Stop" and Vehicle Detection Errors Idaho has modified its laws to accommodate bicyclists approaching stop signs and red lights as follows: A bicyclist approaching a stop sign must slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing or stopping, the bicyclist 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; and A bicyclist may, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping. A bicyclist approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution; However, a person making a right-hand turn must only slow to a reasonable speed and yield the right-of-way if required before cautiously making such a turn; and A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.
2015-04-21 10:42:33
It's a sensible law. I don't think it would pass at this point. Any legislator who would sponsor it wouold be subject to ridicule from te "Bikes need registration and insurance" crowd. There would be plenty of suburban representatives who would drool over the opportunity for cheap publicity opposing it. I have no problem with the laws as they are now, as long as they are equally enforced for bikes, cars, taxi's, buses, and trucks. If I have to stop at a few stop signs to get some jackass cagers off the road? I'm OK with that. If it would lead to enforcement of speed limits in the city, I'd be willing to stop at every stop sign, count "One thousand one, one thousand two one thousand three" before proceeding. And bow towards Harrisburg 5 times a day.
2015-04-21 10:56:59
Just roll thru them like everyone else on here. If peds are crossing no big deal. Except watch out for the guy who will clothes line you if you get too close. Essentially just pick and choose what law you want to observe and what law you want to break.
2015-04-21 11:14:31
The short answer is, no, not a chance of this happening. The long answer is, what Mick said. mntbiker25's proposal accurately describes the way most automobile drivers operate, so if bike riders are held to an equal standard, no sweat. And if by chance you're a white, middle aged, English speaking male, in the US in 2015, you're probably pretty safe rolling a stop sign here or there. Others mileage may vary.
2015-04-21 12:12:29
What you do is, convince some legislator to introduce a bill requiring motorists to put their cars in park, or set the parking brake, momentarily, at each stop sign. That conveys the message that we want to get across, that *nobody* stops at stop signs, or rights-on-red, so get off the cyclists' case, couljapleez.
2015-04-21 13:11:07
Oh boy! Here we go.
2015-04-21 13:11:23
How about requiring drivers to get out of their car and clap their hands over their heads one time before proceeding through the intersection? Personally, I'd find that very entertaining.
2015-04-21 14:46:47
"Oh boy! Here we go." Asinine discussions like this one (which have been hashed out 9000+ times) are the exact reason why this board needs a sage feature. While we're re-arguing about shit that people are tired of talking about: 1) I think helments are safety equipment meant for racing and nothing more. Anyone that is not racing (or training to race) is simply wearing a Styrofoam fashion accessory when they put on a bicycle helment. 2) I think carbon fiber has surpassed literally all other materials as the clearly superior choice of materials for making bikes. All bike should be made of crabon, and nothing on a bike should contain less than 51% crabon. Anyone that disagrees is stuck in the stone age. 3) I think brakeless fixies belong on the track and nowhere else. If you ride a fixie without a brake (no, the chain does not count), you deserve the vehicular manslaughter that will probably befall you. 4) Lance Armstrong did nothing wrong. What he did was against the rules, sure, but something that is against the rules is not necessarily morally wrong. PEDs should be allowed in all sports. 5) I forgive Pinchy Pete. He apologized for his behavior and has done nothing wrong since then, so I think he atoned for what he did. Good for you, Pinchy Pete. 6) Chili should always contain beans and is, in fact, inauthentic without them. 7) Chocolate ice cream is objectively better than vanilla. If you like vanilla ice cream, you're basic.
2015-04-21 16:04:45
Now that is some good stuff.
2015-04-21 16:11:14
^^ You had me at #3.
2015-04-21 16:15:28
Thanks for shitting on myensr's sincere and completely non-inflammatory question. Way to rep the message board. Very welcoming. Perhaps this individual had indeed not hashed this out 9000 times, a simple redirect link to somewhere it has been hashed out would have been adequate. Bunch of knowitall smartass fucks. (Not you V, we were typing simultaneously).
2015-04-21 16:26:29
"Bunch of knowitall smartass fucks." You forgot to put spaces between know and all. Quit reading and listening to the news and go for a bike ride. It'll make you feel better. Stop signs are optional.
2015-04-21 16:37:08
Spoken as the one who threw out the first snark.
2015-04-21 16:46:58
I was serious about the bike ride. Cheers.
2015-04-21 16:48:54
The point is most traffic laws are not enforced for any of the road users . The police don't know or enforce the current laws or care . Try to get a conviction if you are run off the road or worse. I feel the Idaho stop is the least of our worries !
2015-04-21 16:53:22
You forgot to put spaces between know and all. Since the phrase is used adjectivally, it should be hyphenated: "know-it-all". People on this board may be tired of talking about Idaho stops, but arguing about punctuation and ice cream is always in order. Now, the point of vanilla ice cream is of course to work together with the chocolate chips, fudge, or similar added to it. Vanilla with chocolate > chocolate alone > vanilla alone This is well known.
2015-04-21 18:02:11
Moose tracks ice cream. Yum.
2015-04-21 18:38:26
Ahhh, but French vanilla icescream is fine just like it is, and IMHO is made worse with added frivally. (does FOX news call it freedom vanilla? oh wait, Charlie Hebdo, were good)
2015-04-21 19:07:17
I feel like the first few replies were a fair attempt to respond. Then, that done, the thread was repurposed.
2015-04-21 19:11:26
For me? "Ice Cream" is a good answer to any question I might have.
2015-04-21 19:27:26
@jon ok. I would love to see the Idaho Stop made legit in PA, but I don't see the political will to make that happen anytime soon. But then again I never thought I'd see a cycle track on Penn Ave nor bike lanes on the 6th street bridge. But I'd rather champion for laws (and enforcement) that protect cyclist rather than just convenience us.
2015-04-21 20:46:19
I ask because a guy screamed at me today for not coming to a complete stop at an intersection. I was there first, going pretty damn slow, and just proceeded through. I couldn't help but think about how I was actually going slower than most cars when they come to a "stop". Anyway, the guy was super angry/cursing. I think having this law could possibly REDUCE road rage and make biking safer. It sounds like bikers pretty much follow the Idaho law anyway, so actually making it law might make people less angry.
2015-04-21 21:18:16
"I ask because a guy screamed at me today for not coming to a complete stop at an intersection." Let 'em scream. Wave and smile.
2015-04-21 21:55:43
And remind them that a car running a stop sign at 4 miles per hour can easily kill while a bike moving at 4 miles an hour cannot. You can also point out that a stopped bicycle is unstable (can fall over). I had a friend break a hip when he stopped his bicycle and didn't get his foot unclipped in time to arrest his fall. Cars, on the other hand, do not risk falling over when they come to a stop. Bicycles are far easier to steer and control when they are moving slightly than when stopped. We know that, but people that haven't ridden a bicycle for 10 or 20 years might have forgotten it.
2015-04-21 23:17:15
Then, that done, the thread was repurposed. It's Earth Day, so we're repurposing threads. Reduce, reuse, recycle. This board is so ultra-eco-friendly that it makes other boards green. Ahhh, but French vanilla icescream is fine just like it is, and IMHO is made worse with added frivally. Yes, it's excellent as-is, but I must respectfully disagree that it becomes worse if it's, say, scooped on a warm brownie with some chocolate and caramel syrup drizzled on top. I ask because a guy screamed at me today for not coming to a complete stop at an intersection. So you'd rather have him scream about how cyclists get special laws? (Though I suspect the average screamer isn't exactly well-informed on current laws regarding bicycles, so changing them will have little impact on his screaming.)
2015-04-22 02:09:21
This is de rigueur for this board. Not much useful discussion happens here anymore.
2015-04-22 05:21:24
myensr, if the goal is to make people less angry and stop screaming at bike riders, legislation isn't going to make that happen. If it wasn't the rolled stop sign, it would have been something else, or the mere presence of a bike. There is probably something mentally wrong with the person who behaved the way you describe, and unfortunately you can't legislate away assholes. Your best bet is to ignore them, make sure you're not in a position where they can hurt you, and toodle on with your day. Don't let them get to you, be safe, keep riding.
2015-04-22 05:56:31
ericf, there's a little button on the main message board page that says "New Topic". Whatcha wanna talk about? (sic)
2015-04-22 06:25:13
Speaking of Earth Day, why isn't anybody talking about the large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions that are coming directly from animal use? Why aren't more environmentalists vegan? :D
2015-04-22 15:01:24
Personally, I'm too busy worrying about being killed by produce trucks in the Strip. But that's just me. ;-)
2015-04-22 19:59:39
Jan Heine could be renamed "captain obvious." ...simply following the traffic rules isn’t enough to make you safe.
2015-05-11 15:19:55
Still "audio pending" at 4:15 p.m. Try again later, I guess.
2015-07-03 15:17:12
We were listening to this at the newly named Nada Regatta (as all water activities are cancelled) free bike valet parking yesterday. I brought a radio to hear the Capital Steps at noon, but then decided to listen to Science Friday also.
2015-07-04 07:48:32