New law is a green light for cyclists
Governor Jared Polis signed a new law in April giving cyclists more leeway at intersections. The “Colorado Safety Stop” allows bikers to yield at a stop sign or red light and then turn right (or left on a one-way street) without coming to a full stop. The law also applies to electric scooters, e-bikes and electrically-assisted scooters and only applies to riders 15 years of age or older. As it goes with most policies, there are disagreements on both sides. On the pro side, most bicycle advocacy groups endorsed the law. Bikers are happy because this bill affirms what most bikers do anyway and tout that it’s a safe course of action to get bikers on their way, as most accidents happen at intersections.
Law enforcement is the main opponent of the new law, stating the growing size of cities in Colorado plus the increased traffic and speed of vehicles are concerns – not to mention it will be difficult to assign fault when there is an incident.
Over the years, several other states have passed a similar law. Idaho was the first and some refer to these bills as the “Idaho Stop” laws. Colorado was the ninth state to the table, and the bill passed both houses of the legislature with large margins. The Colorado Department of Transportation is partnering with other municipal groups to educate the public on the rules and regulations of the new policy.
By Hollen Wheeler; courtesy photo