By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4)– Many cyclists already make so-called “rolling stops” when they approach intersections. Now, there’s legislation to legalize it with a statewide standard. Local governments would have the option of implementing it.
Under current law, cyclists are supposed to obey the same rules of the road as cars.
Motorists like Kelly Hogg say making rolling stops legal does not make sense, “I think we struggle as it is with cars and bikes sharing the road so giving them a little bit more leeway… I think it’ll only make the problem worse that we’ve had with cars and bikes getting in collisions and people unfortunately losing their lives.”
Motorist David Kocourek also worries it’ll be a slippery slope, “They should follow same rules as everybody else. Once you start bending something, you can bend it again, you can bend it again.”
But Sen. Andy Kerr, a Democrat representing Lakewood, is the bill’s sponsor and a cyclist himself. He insists it will make collisions less likely. His bill would legalize the so-called “Idaho stop.” Idaho was the first state to pass a law that allows cyclists to treat stoplights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs.
“Cyclists that are following the law and doing this safely are actually safer,” says Kerr, pointing to a study that found cycling related injuries in Idaho dropped by 14 percent the year after the law was implemented.
“It’s a little bit hard to get your head around but actually it’s because if the cyclists is not sitting at the intersection they can’t be hit by a car and injured.”
Some local governments, Kerr says, already have versions of the Idaho stop, but his bill would create a statewide standard for the “Colorado stop.”
“The people who are being unsafe and bombing through intersections, it doesn’t legalize their behavior,” says Kerr. “It calls them out and identifies them as people who should be getting tickets.”
Kerr carried a similar bill last year but it required all local governments adopt the Idaho stop. This year’s bill gives them the option.
Law enforcement opposed the bill last year and it failed. The police chiefs and sheriffs associations haven’t taken a position on this year’s version. The bill has its first committee hearing next Tuesday.