Minnesota state representatives have recently introduced a bill that would permit bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. When approaching a stop sign, cyclists would be required to slow down enough to be able to stop if necessary. Bikers would be required to stop if a vehicle is in or approaching the intersection. But they could proceed through a stop sign without stopping if it would be safe to clear the intersection. At a red light, bicyclists could also make a right turn, or a left turn onto a one-way street, without stopping. When there is no vehicle nearby, they could proceed through the intersection after a full stop without waiting for a green light. See the full text of H.F. No. 4245.
This bill was proposed during Bike to Work Week by Minnesota Reps. Phyllis Kahn and Jim Carlson, who are self-identified bicyclists. The bill is based on current law in Idaho and was introduced to improve bicycle commuting and also addresses the issue that bicycles often don’t activate the pressure plates that trigger traffic signals to change. The state of Oregon also has a similar law.
It will be interesting to see how this bill will be supported by bicycle and transportation groups. It appears that the law may provide several benefits to bicycle commuters. On the other hand, would cyclists push beyond the letter of the law and blow through stop signs with nary a yield? We’re interested to see what you all think of this law. Would you support and advocate for the passage of this law?