Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Are You a Cycling Scofflaw?

Do you roll up to stop signs and treat them like yield signs? You know, slow just enough to make sure the way is clear. Do you stop at a red light only long enough to see if there is cross traffic? Treating it like a stop sign and as soon as you know the way is clear take off through the intersection. If you do then you, like me, are a scofflaw.

That is unless you live Idaho.  Yep, in Idaho it's ok to do what is illegal everywhere else. 

With more and more bikes taking to the roads. Intersections are becoming more congested for larger cities. San Francisco is just one of the many places looking to adopt Idaho's biking laws.

I have to admit that I love the thought of seeing these laws put in place for Florida someday. I'm going to assume everyone at one time or another (or all the time) has operated thier bikes in this manor. We all hate stopping and there seems to be good science behind why. I know if I'm riding through downtown on Sundays. I don't see any need for sitting at empty intersection after empty intersection.

What are your thoughts?



thePig said...

I absolutely prefer not to stop, but also make sure I am very careful with the traffic.

I guess there are two things to consider: 1. what is safe. 2. how do our actions affect the wider public's view of cyclists.

As long as the way is clear I think go for it, so I to am a Scofflaw.

Shek said...

I think it is safer to stop at red lights to major intersections. I yield at some minor stop signs near my apartment though I stop with cars at every red light. I dont think the motorists in Jax are prepared to see a bicyclist on the road, let alone see us 'run through' a red light!

second_pancake said...

A 160 pound person on a bike does not trigger a light to change so it makes sense to treat a red light as a stop sign for a cyclist. In regard to the stop sign, if you ride in clipless pedals or even clips, it just makes good sense to be able to treat it as a yield (of course, safety should always be first). Nothing is more annoying to me than to stop at a stop sign, disengage from my pedals, and have to push off, slowly because I'm usually in the wrong gear, almost getting hit by a car that 10 seconds before was a looong way away and is now bearing down on me like a tornado in Kansas. Yes, I'm a scofflaw.