By Angela Greenwood

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A bill making its way through the state Capitol aims to cut down on crashes across California by allowing bicyclists to roll through stop signs. But, many are questioning the safety of both cyclists and drivers.

They’re one of the most recognized rules of the road, but a new law wants to give bicyclists the green light to essentially run stop signs.

Jim Brown, executive director of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, said, “It makes bicycling a little more efficient. You’re not stopping at every block.”

Under Assembly Bill 1103, if the coast is clear, cyclists can skip a full stop and roll through stop signs. The bill is based on an Idaho law adopted in 1982. A study shows in Boise, bicycling accidents are 30 percent fewer than in Sacramento. Both cities have similar sized cycling populations.

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Bear Lake) said: “This is just a judgment call on behalf of the bicyclist.”

Obernolte co-authored the bill and says it makes the road safer, limiting the amount of time cyclists will have to spend in intersections.

“They’re exposed twice as long to unseen vehicular traffic, which is the number one cause of bicycling accidents,” , said Obernolte.

Critics call it an accident waiting to happen.

One resident said, “My concern is even if you don’t see anybody there, it doesn’t mean there won’t be somebody there.”

Some cyclists, including Obernolte, admit to already breaking existing law from time to time and say the new bill will help prevent tragedies.

“If we can prove that overwhelmingly this is going to be safer for bicyclists and motoris than that means it’s got to be a good thing,” said Obernolte.

If passed, the law would not change the right of way for whoever comes to a stop sign first. The bill is set to go before the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday.

Comments (6)
  1. Stan Bennett says:

    Another move by the intellectually challenged legislators. This is just as great as letting motorcyclists squeeze between cars that are stopped at a stop light or driving between cars on the freeway, brilliant.

  2. Plenty of cyclists will die if the liberals are really stupid enough to pass such a ridiculous policy.

    Cyclists are overwhelmingly single, younger, risk-raking males. Car insurance rates are high for them for a very good reason. This will encourage them to take even more risks. Like throwing gasoline on a fire. California is already the only state dumb enough to allow lane splitting.

    When was the last time you actually saw a cyclist obey a stop sign or light?

    1. That’s ridiculous. You can’t argue both ways. If you believe that cyclists are already mostly disregarding stop signs, this law should mean absolutely nothing to you, and you can’t possibly believe that changing the law will cause a huge increase in deaths.

      If this law is passed and cyclists are already rolling through stop signs, then by definition nothing will change, and nobody will die who wouldn’t already have died with the law not place.

  3. Yep, if it benefits some lib dude in spandex panties, laws will never apply.

    1. Just how does someone figure that coasting through stop signs is safer? All that will happen is bikes think they have the right of way and will be run over, Bicyclists already thinks they’re God, break all laws and an awful lot are rude thinking they’re entitled and don’t have to follow rules. I’m sorry but you libs need professional help.

      1. The law lets cyclists treat stops like yields, that’s it. There is no change to how they ride, and no change at all to their behavior when they’re not the only person at an intersection. They still stop, just like they’re supposed to now.

        Your argument is frankly ridiculous, and based in ignorance. If you’re going to argue that cyclists are already lawless, then you should be in favor of this bill. All it does is decriminalize what is already normal behavior.

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