Study after study that looks at “Who obeys traffic rules more: Motorists or Cyclists?” have the same result: Cyclists. Yet non-cyclist drivers are quick to complain with great exuberance how they don’t support making cycling safer because “cyclists don’t stop at stop signs” and will blather on and pompously explain why. Those non-cyclists wrong of course.
In our video series profiling bicyclists in Boca Raton, I asked each cyclist how they respond to those who think as Richard (above). The answers are wide ranging and insightful (follow us on YouTube or subscribe to our “Better Bike Friendly” email list). Anyway, beyond whatever motorist psyche issues are involved, some states have enacted a “Stop signs as yield signs” law for cyclists in order to improve cyclist safety. The various versions used in these states are referred to as the “Idaho Stop” or “Dead Red” laws.
Stop signs are the road design equivalent of ‘We’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas’YouTuber – Not Just Bikes
If you rode a bike you’d know
The claim is made and supported by data from the states that enacted the “Idaho Stop” law that it results in a drop in car vs bike accidents. In fact it is particularly good at lowering the deadly “Right Hook”. Beyond that, what I find notable is how a city that is focussed on lowering accidents can leverage the principles behind the “Idaho Stop” law to inform their implementation of Vision Zero.
On his floridacyclinglaw.com blog, cyclist attorney Chris Burns writes in the article “Should Florida Cyclists Be Able to Treat Stop Signs as Yield Signs?“, the rational and science behind the law. He also explains how Florida is an ideal candidate to implement the law next.
Additionally, the League of American Cyclists, says Boca Raton’ hasn’t made any improvement in its “Bike Friendliness Award” for 20 years. So while laws affect behavior, fixing reasons behind Boca Raton’s stagnated implementation of cycling norms points to the need for behavior modification in City Hall. In his article “We Need a Better Bike Friendly Boca“, Jerome Tranie challenges both elected and non-elected officials to lead a change in culture. And, it won’t hurt for motorists become educated and more tolerant when sharing the road.
You can read more about the “Idaho Stop” or “Dead Red” laws at the League of American Bicyclists here.
For an in-depth look at this issue: