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Old 08-27-09, 01:04 PM   #1
corkscrew
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Passing Etiquette using the Idaho stop law.

After reading a few threads/posts about properly taking the lane at a light, as its illegal/not nice to pass on the right. However, the Idaho stop law allows one to essentially treat reds/stops as yield signs. Stop, and proceed through when clear.

As an Idaho resident, I was thinking about this on my ride home the other day.

If I take the lane @ a light to avoid passing cars on the right, then I can't proceed through the red when traffic has cleared. But if I am to utilize the Idaho Stop law, I have to pass cars to get TO the the light.

Discuss.
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Old 08-27-09, 01:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by corkscrew View Post
After reading a few threads/posts about properly taking the lane at a light, as its illegal/not nice to pass on the right. However, the Idaho stop law allows one to essentially treat reds/stops as yield signs. Stop, and proceed through when clear.

As an Idaho resident, I was thinking about this on my ride home the other day.

If I take the lane @ a light to avoid passing cars on the right, then I can't proceed through the red when traffic has cleared. But if I am to utilize the Idaho Stop law, I have to pass cars to get TO the the light.

Discuss.
Using the "Idaho Stop" law is an option. If it is indeed illegal (for bicyclists) to pass on the right, then not passing on the right takes precedence.
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Old 08-27-09, 09:26 PM   #3
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Just because Idaho has this particular law does not mean you are entitled; it is no different in application than the 'right turn on red' law. If the lane you are in at a red is a straight-or-right-turn lane, and someone in front of you is going straight, TOUGH -- you wait.

It's the same with this law. (It would be advantageous in a lot of areas around the country....)
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Old 08-27-09, 09:49 PM   #4
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Is it really illegal to pass a stopped car on their right? If so, is it legal to "share" the lane and just pass them on the left? (most cars leave a little space on their left instead of hugging the center line). Then once you have filtered to the front, you can proceed through the red light if all is clear.
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Old 08-27-09, 10:12 PM   #5
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If the lane you are in at a red is a straight-or-right-turn lane, and someone in front of you is going straight, TOUGH -- you wait.
People wait because their vehicle doesn't fit in the gap. Not because they are being altruistic or nice or even law abiding. To pretend that your bike is 6 ft wide because cars are seems insane.

pacific's suggestion seems very reasonable.

A side note, I know that everyone says "you don't expect people to pass you on the right" but I don't feel this way. In the real world, I'm passed on the right all the time. Driving down the road in the middle or left lane, people always pass on the right if their is a gap to fill. If I'm sitting at a red light in the right lane, people are always driving up on the shoulder to make a right if physical space permits. I expect it.

Last edited by fetad; 08-27-09 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-28-09, 05:39 AM   #6
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I don't remember it being illegal to pass on the right, though I don't know the law for Idaho. ISTM that you're doing exactly what cars do when they pass you within the lane on the left.

I personally don't filter forward unless there's a bike lane. And if you do, you have to watch out for right turners at the light.

I have a light on my route where most traffic going in my direction turns to the right on a road that leads off on an angle. Only about 15% of traffic proceeds forwards. If I'm first at the light, I move far left to allow people to pass ME on the right. Are the people who do so breaking the law by passing me on the right?
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Old 08-28-09, 08:27 AM   #7
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Assuming Idaho allows right turn on red, I'd be a bit uncomfortable sitting there on the right watching for both a traffic gap and the potential of a right hook.
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