“This bill is a critical step in keeping cyclists and other sustainable commuters safe during their rides. Adopting the safety stop will decriminalize common-sense behavior for bicyclists and create cohesion between the many communities who currently have different rules and regulations regarding safety stops which causes confusion and dangerous situations for bicyclists.”– Rep. Matt Gray D-Broomfield
If you’re a bicyclist living in Colorado, you’re going to love this news. The Denver Post reports that Gov. Jared Polis signed the “Safety Stop” bill into law last week. It allows cyclists to yield the right of way at stop signs for vehicles and pedestrians, but they are no longer required to stop. During red lights, cyclists are required to stop and yield the right of way but can cross the intersection if no one is coming. This bill is aimed at getting bikers out of the intersections, where they can get run into by cars and trucks that aren’t focused. This new law applies to bicycles, e-bikes, and electric scooters.
The main opponents of the plan are law enforcement, who believe more injuries and deaths are possible with this new law. In Colorado Springs, there were 338 bicycle crashes at intersections between July 2015 and June 2020, and bicyclists were to blame for 43% of those crashes. The concern among law enforcement is it will become more challenging to figure out who is to blame in these circumstances. While I think the yielding at stop signs portion of the law is a good idea, I believe that allowing bikers to pass through red lights is potentially a dangerous dilemma. The video from KOAA News5 below explains the different viewpoints on the new law, and how it will affect intersections in Colorado Springs.
Image/Video Credits: Bicycle Colorado, KOAA News5