Bicycle Stop Sign changes proposedPosted on February 9th, 2011 8 comments
Arizona Road Cycling news Mar 2,2011 is reporting that the bill is dead for this session.
2011; 50th 1st regular session Update
The same bill is back HB2130 (2011, 50th 1st regular session), except that the exception for bicyclists would only apply when they are aged 16 or older. This was to address (appease?) some concerns that arose at the committee hearing in 2009.
Original article written for 2009; 49th 1st regular session
a la Idaho. The “Bikes Safe at Stop Sign” bill has been introduced in the Arizona Legislature; you can follow it here: HB2479 (2009, 49th 1st regular session). The bill will make its debut on March 4 before the Military Affairs and Public Safety (MAPS) committee.
Portland-based BTA is backing similar legislation currently in Oregon. (see here and here). If anyone has the language of the OR bill handy please send me a link. Montana also has current legislation pending, HB68. Noted cycling/cyclist attorney Bob Mionske supports the concept (and his colleague opposes it).
For Arizona statutes and compliance issues with stop signs go here.
Here is the introduced version of HB2479 (BLUE CAPS is an addition, red like this is a deletion, and [my commentary is green])
Section 1. Section 28-855, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
START_STATUTE28-855. Stop signs; yield signs
B. Except as provided in subsection C, a driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop…
C. The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign AND ANY PERSON RIDING A BICYCLE APPROACHING A YIELD SIGN OR A STOP SIGN shall slow down in obedience to the sign to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right‑of‑way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver OR BICYCLE RIDER is moving across or within the intersection. If after driving OR RIDING past a yield sign OR STOP SIGN without stopping the driver OR BICYCLE RIDER is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, the collision is prima facie evidence of the driver’s OR BICYCLE RIDER’S failure to yield the right‑of‑way.
The bill was pushed along due to Rep Patterson; here is a message from him:
The bikes safe yield at stop signs bill has been introduced by Rep. Quelland, with bipartisan sponsorship from Phoenix/Maricopa Cty., Tucson, Yuma, Flagstaff and Prescott. This is HB2479, based on the common sense Idaho law, and we ask for your support at the appropriate time. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Representative Daniel Patterson (district 29-Tucson)
Arizona House of Representatives
Committees: Water and Energy, Military Affairs and Public Safety
azleg.gov / dpatterson.blogspot.com
Here is the Idaho law, note that it covers both Stop signs and red signals: 49-720. STOPPING – TURN AND STOP SIGNALS.
(1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic….
Is anyone addressing the issue with red lights? Many of them on secondary and tertiary arterials cannot be triggered by a bicycle and we are (required) to either dismount our bikes and activate the pedestrian button or wait (endlessly) until a car approaches and triggers the road sensor. Any chance of us being able to treat such instances with a right to proceed after a complete stop if no cross traffic is evident?
Ed says: Lynn — legislatively, no, going the “full Idaho” was considered too radical at this time. But in the situation you’re describing the signal is “inoperative” in my opinion (insert standard I-am-not-a-lawyer disclaimer here. use at your own risk!), and the law already accounts for that, see 28-645, just make a FULL stop and then go when safe. Dismounting, waiting endlessly, etc. are not required.
This bill failed? What can be done to resurrect it?
Well, there is an obvious problem with this and I’d like to see how others approached it.
This cannot work at 4-way stops for the same reason that 4-way yields cannot work.
The yield sign / statute says that if there is a collision, it is prima facia evidence that the person with the yield sign failed to yield. So we have yield signs, but absolutely no 4-way yield intersections.
Think about it. If two crash from a 4-way yield, who is the prima facia fault party?
Now the 4-way stops work because we require the driver on the left to yield to the driver on the right. So if there is a crash, we know who had the duty to yield.
Either state that the 4-way stop intersections are not a part of this law (like that will get real confusing) or, better yet, write that the 4-way stop sign situations require the rider on the left to yield and the rider on the right is exempt from the prima facia yield statute.
I think it can be done. How does Idaho handle it?
Eric Post, Esq.
Bicycle / Aviation
3256 East Speedway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
[ed comment: Aren't unmarked intersections (which we do have now) the equivalent of 4-way yields? I.e. drivers must yield to the driver on the right; but, unlike a 4-way stop, there is no duty to come to a complete stop when the way is clear ]
No, because there is no prima facie language in the statutes about unmarked
intersections. It just follows the regular right-of-way law. The regular
right-of-way is altered with a yield sign, so if you have a 4 way yield, the
problem becomes one of arguing adnauseum as to which one really violated the
The problem is ARS 28-855 C – “…If after driving past a yield sign without
stopping the driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the
intersection, the collision is prima facie evidence of the driver’s failure
to yield the right-of-way.”
So I think the way to fix this is to keep the yield to the one on the right
rule for 4 way stops.
Eric is mistaken in suggesting that there are no four way yield signs. If he were to utilize the Bike Route on Fourth Avenue north of Speedway Blvd., he’d understand how right he is aboutt these. These are *NOT* roundabouts. Having driven roundabouts endlessly in Europe, that actually work, I can tell you that these intersections resemble those only in that there is a circular obstruction in the center of the intersection.
Fourth Avenue is a testament to bike enthusiasts cutting off their noses to spite their faces. It used to be a horrible ride, now it’s horrible and deadly.
Good intentions, lousy results. I ride the Avenue regularly (two blocks from my house) and have for almost two decades. Riding it used to suck a little. Now riding or driving it sucks a lot.
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