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Oregon cyclists ‘stop as yield’ rule change begins Jan. 1

Fourth state to enact laws recognizing effort needed to stop, start a bike

(Update: Adding reaction, background, video)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Jan. 1, new rules go into effect in Oregon that will allow bicyclists to yield at stop signs or flashing red beacons, instead of stopping completely, under certain conditions, city of Bend officials said Wednesday. Cyclists must still completely stop at a solid red traffic signal, they noted.

The new rules were created in part due to the physical effort required to stop and start a bicycle. Oregon, Idaho, Delaware and Arkansas have enacted laws recognizing this difference and specifying the conditions under which a cyclist may slow and yield, rather than come to a complete stop.

The new Oregon law requires that cyclists approaching a stop sign or flashing red light slow to a reasonable speed, yield to anyone already in the intersection, and not approach others in the intersection so closely it would create a hazard. 

People riding bicycles still must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, make every effort to avoid an accident, and follow the directions of a police officer or highway flagger.

The full details of the new law are found in Oregon Senate Bill 998, enacted in August. It updates Oregon Revised Statute 811.260 and 811.265.  Violations to the rule are considered improper entry to an intersection - a Class D traffic violation subject to fines of $115, or $225 if in a work zone or school zone, the city noted.

It’s known to many as the “Idaho Stop,” as that state was the first to allow it, back in 1982. According to a study by UC-Berkeley, it reduced bike crashes by 14 percent.

"The voice amongst the community is it certainly makes it safer to be commuting around town,” said Janet Nelson Shofstall, sales manager at Hutch’s Bicycles in Bend.

“It also puts the ownership of the cyclist's safety on their” shoulders, she added. “You know, the beauty of being a cyclist is that your peripheral vision is wide and all-encompassing, and that allows you to really, really be able to scan your environment around you, and be safe by doing so, in a careful, safe manner."

Oregon-Northwest

KTVZ news sources

Comments

54 Comments

        1. According to Harvard Health, pressure on the pudendal artery from bicycle seats can injure nerves and produce temporary or prolonged erectile dysfunction. Wouldn’t the bike haters be less likely than cyclists to suffer from impotence?

      1. Wrong, bucko. I have toured and commuted by bike for about 20 years as I first lived in an area that the climate favored year-round riding. I then rode in western Oregon and then Bend for years.

        The pros of riding (fresh air, exercise, ease of parking, and saving lots of moola by not buying gas) outweighed the cons (vulnerability, longer travel times, exposure to bad weather, and the occasional flats).

        I do love the irony of Lycra Nation whining about stop signs make riding difficult because you have to stop and then pedal back up to speed. Waaah. Pretend it’s interval training.

        Again, Dumbest Law of 2020.

        1. According to your comfort level, by all means continue to fully stop at all stop signs rather than just yielding. Do what you’re comfortable with and I will do the same. Sorry about the latest changes made that might threaten your nanny state authoritarian system.

      1. Better stability with forward momentum, more predictable, faster and therefore less time spent in the danger zone. Try riding a bike every day and you’ll learn why it’s a good law change.

  1. “The new rules were created in part due to the physical effort required to stop and start a bicycle.” I thought the point of riding a bicycle was to exert physical effort.

    1. I use one primarily for transportation and to avoid traffic jams. Car drivers cannot relate to how much better visibility and awareness of surroundings a cyclist has over any driver. I don’t really want the extra workout when being forced to stop when unnecessary.

    2. Agreed. I ride a bike all the time and I think this is a stupid new law. If a person has a problem with stopping and starting their bike they should not be riding one. I don’t have a problem with stopping or starting either of mine.

  2. As someone that does traffic control for a living, this law is going to get someone killed. Instead of stopping, someone is going to completely ignore the stop sign and blow through it.

    1. You must be thinking of car drivers. Awareness and awareness of vulnerability are very present for cyclists. Sorry you have to sit in a car with blood flowing slowly through your head.

  3. I always give bicyclists the right of way since a car vs bicycle is a no brainier. Too often I see bike riders riding against traffic, using crosswalks as a means to stop traffic in roundabouts or riding on sidewalks. Ive come close to having an accident with the ones that ride on sidewalks. They expect you to stop but you can’t if you don’t see them, especially if they’re going opposite direction of travel. They are moving faster than a pedestrian so you might not notice them until they’re almost directly in front of you.

  4. I’m 70 yrs old we were raised to obey all traffic rules stop at stop signs ride against traffic so you could see who was going to run over you This law is so stupid Then when they get run over by moron driver’s LAW SUITES How Stupid Bike rider need to obey the the traffic law as should drivers which don’t speed & turn signals Ha Ha The Bend Parkway or The Bend Freeway at 70 & 80 mph no signals & tailgating The cop’s need to get very very serious with these Snow flakes

    1. dude, take your meds. What are you trying to say with all that gibberish? This new law will help the flow of traffic and savvy cyclists are aware of traffic speeds and safe opportunities to cross the street. This is good news. Oh, and I’m 70 too.

  5. If they want to use the roadways, then they should have to abide by the same laws that motor vehicles do. Does that mean that a vehicle can now do a rolling stop too?

    1. The roads are for everyone and bicycles and pedestrians don’t have motors. They’re not motor vehicles nor do they have the same issues as motor vehicles. For instance, I’ve never heard of a bicycle or pedestrian going off the road and smashing into and destroying a building. I’ve also never seen a car driver have to get out at an intersection and push a button to get a light to stop the pedestrians so that the car could cross.

  6. I can see who the “entitled” bike riders are just from the comments, insults, and name-calling already thrown out. Yes, I do ride a bicycle and yes I do ride motorcycle and yes I do drive a car and yes I do drive a truck. There is a rule of the road people need to understand: Those with the most lug nuts usually win the encounter, regardless of who had the right of way.

    1. Every one already knows that and that’s why this is a great law. Funny how upset some people get when a state government passes a common sense law. Any bike rider will choose the yield option when intersecting with something that has many lug nuts and no chance of stopping regardless of what the stupid government placed sign says.

  7. Seen bicyclists all ready doing this, some of them have been killed. But as long as it’s easier for them, I guess their life does not matter. A vehicle will always win, no matter who’s got the right of way. My life is too important to me.

  8. I definitely would rather be on a motorcycle in Bend. I at least have the chance to escape most situations (in comparison to bicycles). I ride a bike to the gym at times and it scares me with all of the inattentive driving these days. I watch people swerving over the white line quite often and then jerk-steering back over. I don’t like them behind me on a bicycle.I think that if the bike riders think this law might make things safer for them, then who better to decide. It’s their life at stake. Good luck out there.

  9. “The new rules were created in part due to the physical effort required to stop and start a bicycle.”

    That’s a really pathetic reason. Riding a bike is a physical activity, and if the extra effort required to stop and start is too much, maybe a car or bus would be a better alternative.
    I put 1000’s of miles on my bikes when I was younger, before I got my license. I rode everywhere, every day and in all kinds of weather, and I never thought that stopping and starting was a huge inconvenience. I can see where it would be a real workout if you have a basic, heavy one speed bike but how many of those do you see around town ?
    When I was riding bikes we had 10 speeds and I know the newer bikes have more than that.
    They put the extra gears on for a reason. It’s not that difficult to change gears to make it easier taking off.
    I don’t have anything against bikes but this new law seems like a lot of injuries and lawsuits waiting to happen, and I have a pretty good idea who will win. Maybe I’m wrong. Only time will tell…

    1. I’ll agree with you, the physical effort required to stop is a pathetic reason. A better reason is how often a cyclist approaches an intersection and has the right-of-way and no immediate conflict from other traffic. But the law says they have to stop so let’s say they do. It is awkward and a waste of the cyclist’s time and also the other traffic waiting for the cyclist to come to a complete stop, clip out of their pedal, regain motion and balance, clip back in, and then get out of the way at the less than blistering pace of even the most physically fit riders. It’s not physically draining to do all of that but it does take significantly more time than it takes a driver to take their foot off the brake, transition to the throttle, and motor away.

  10. Good to see Oregon joining Idaho on this one. If only they could blend their politics, instead of one being way out on the left and the other way out on the right.

    1. Please name a case where a cyclist (outside of a sanctioned race which always has insurance) caused damages that were more costly than what the rider had in their wallet.

  11. Dear god! Are you serious? We actually spent money to have a law passed because it requires too much energy to stop and start riding a bike? We actually spent money on this??? There are people starving right here in this city, but lets spend $$$ so that bikers have an easier time starting and stopping their bikes. JFC! May be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, if you have that much trouble starting and stopping your bike then perhaps you should find an alternate form of transportation.

  12. Apparently Salem has agreed that bicycle riders getting ran over from running a traffic control is ok. Means the vehicle driver who hits them will get a ticket for sure but they still won’t be hurt, only the bicycle rider will be hurt.

  13. You have SnowFlakes/ Dim Whits the Law don’t apply to them just like some of these driver’s The Bikers need to follow the rules of the road/laws there would be less of them getting ran over & hurt or killed

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