GT Edge Titanium, Mercian Vincitore, Masi Gran Criterium, GT Zaskar, Hercules 3-Speed, KHS Flight Team
Originally Posted by Squeeze
Rick, that was the scenario I was imagining when I wrote my first post in this thread. I think that's absurd.
True, and the Patrolman did write down on the ticket that I was on a bicycle, not a motor vehicle and he even asked me what brand of bike it was since I'd removed all the decals (I didn't expect him to see the "GT" stamped on the back of the top tube). If I'd been on a skateboard . . . I don't know what he would have done!
I think it's only Idaho currently, but if it's true that most cyclists are adopting the "Idaho Stop" it's only a matter of time. Objectively, it may in fact be safer by virtue of spending less time in the intersection.
I can and have argued the other side, that it's better to come to a full stop every time because pedestrians have a right to expect the stop, and with that expectation will confidently walk out in front of a rider without any warning signs. You can't always see them, and they may assume you're stopping. It is after all the law. But that argument fails if rolling stop (or Idaho stop) is common and expected. And, of course, an emergency stop from 5 mph or even 10 mph doesn't put the pedestrian in that much danger.
I think it's situational and clearly there is room for discretion on the part of the cyclist. It seems a little pointless to come to a complete stop at a red light (for instance) in which there is little traffic and no one in the turn lane, for the cyclist to dismount, walk across in the cross walk, and then cycle away when they could have done pretty much the exact same thing moving very slowly but on the bike.
I've been talking with some legislators on a slow burn/long time basis and there is interest in this. It's pretty common sense approach, and it's what is happening pretty much anyhow. Changing the law would therefore have little to no impact on accident rates - which are already pretty low.
I live in a rural suburb. In this sort of a circumstance, it *only* makes sense. There are no pedestrians to "pop" out from behind bushes or other objects. The only point of stop signs and traffic lights is traffic control not pedestrian access. So, I have to admit, I address lights and stop signs on my bike in a "common sense" approach. I'm not going to sit stopped at a light when there are no cars around, I'm going to proceed slowly and run the light. But, in no case, would I blast through the intersection.
I can only answer for myself.
I have not been cited, but have every reason I could be if I blew through a stop sign/light.
I generally come to a complete stop if there are moving cars anywhere near me.
+1. I always stop at a red light, but what lanahk said above is spot on for me as well.
And consider this: what if you weren't a licensed motor vehicle driver? Let's say you were 14 years old. Let's say you had too many DUI/DWI offenses and had your license revoked for life. Let's say you lived in NYC and never had a need to get a licence ever. Let's say you couldn't qualify for a license for some medical reason. All these are valid reasons not to have a license.
Well, I got a warning ticket* when I was about 12, for riding my bicycle on the sidewalks on Main Street (no bikes or skateboards, according to the signs). I certainly didn't have any ID on me at that time, not even a school ID, and the officer simply took my name and address. I imagine the same thing would happen today if I rode my bike down the same sidewalk. I suppose I could lie about my name but I learned long ago that I just get in trouble that way.
Several of your other examples would probably fall under jaywalking laws or something, were anyone to actually be pulled for it.
*these generally don't carry a fine, but they are official tickets and if you get enough of them you get a real one, with a nice fine.
Of course, I always stop when I see a cop, that's elementary; I will stop for a red, and if traffic is nonexistent (nothing going to trip a signal), I will roll it from that stop. Stop signs, I usually treat as a yield, just like most drivers do. Also, if I'm in a dedicated turn lane, my bike alone won't flip the switch, so I'll roll it when the straight lanes go green, and just yield to oncoming.
Tickets? You have to just about ASSAULT someone with a fender to get a ticket, or be speeding 20+ over in town; the PD around here holds pretty tight to the "no blood no foul" philosophy. I think I've seen 2 cars pulled over this whole year so far.