Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the “Colorado Safety Stop” into law on April 13, 2022, making it legal for people on bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs and treat stop lights as stop signs, according to an article by Bicycle Colorado.
The article cites data that shows the Safety Stop—known in bicycle and planning circles as the Idaho Stop—reduces collisions involving people on bikes and automobile. Delaware, which adopted a similar law in 2017, has seen a 23 percent drop in collisions involving bicycles at stop sign controlled intersections. Researchers from DePaul University published a study in 2016 that also supported Idaho Stops for the safety of people on bikes.
Bicycle Colorado also provides additional information on the new law, as listed in the source article:
- Younger bicyclists may perform the maneuver if an adult is present.
Bicyclists can yield and then proceed through stop sign-controlled intersections at up to 10 miles per hour.
- Intersections where bicyclist-specific lights or signs are present that prohibit the maneuver are exempt from the new law.
- The bill defines “low speed conveyances” in Colorado law. These are small profile, low-speed vehicles that people use for transportation and recreation, including bicycles and electric bicycles, electric scooters (not including mopeds), and wheelchairs.
The Colorado Legislature approved the law in March 2022, paving the way for this week’s historic bill signing. Bicycle Colorado says the law has been in the works for years.
The state of Colorado now joins Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Utah – 2021, and Oklahoma among states where the Idaho Stop is the law of the land. California could have been on the list, but Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed AB 122 in 2021.