Rolling Stop Signs

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve rolled a ton of stop signs.  When I first started riding, it wasn’t even an issue.   People that drove cars didn’t blink an eye if a cyclist rolled a stop sign.  It was to be expected.  But, that was a long, long time ago.

Somewhere, through the time, drivers started getting up in arms about cyclists.   It isn’t only rolling stop signs, but nearly everything, just riding.  I wonder why that happened?  More cyclists, or people having less time?  Whatever the reason, even if you are the most responsible cyclist, concerning laws, you will feel the wrath of drivers occasionally.

Cycling laws interest me.  Each state and their perceptions of what is important enough to restrict cyclists from doing.

Here in Kansas, we have a two-abreast law, which makes it legal to ride side by side.  Plus we have the 3 foot passing rule.  These two laws make it nearly impossible to pass a couple cyclists without crossing the centerline, which is how it should be.   Nearly the only way to pass a cyclist when there is oncoming traffic is for the car to cross over the centerline.  The 3 foot law makes that pretty much mandatory.

We, in Kansas have a Dead Red Law too. which allows bicyclists, and motorcycles, to legally proceed through red lights in Kansas when it is safe to do so.   It is a good law for cyclists.

I saw an article that in California, a couple politicians introduced a bill that would allow cyclist to roll stop signs.  Treat them as yield signs.   This would make a huge difference riding nearly anywhere in the state.  When I’m riding in Southern California, you could go through 100’s of stop signs on any given ride.  I think the state of Idaho has this law already.

Plus, like the creators of the legislation understand, it is safer for the bicyclist.  We all know how to get across an intersection after stopping, but you have to think of a person that hardly ever rides that has trouble locating their pedals while starting, thus looking down and not paying enough attention to the cross traffic.   Going slowly across a busy street isn’t the wisest way to cross that street.

I have no idea whether this will become law.  I’d bet not, but what do I know?  I’m way more interested in alleviating the animosity between cyclists and drivers.  I don’t really get why it even exists.  You’d think that a driver would think it is great that someone is out riding a bike.  For commuting, recreation, or actually training.   People are fickle.

Think all the money they would save putting up special signs for bicyclists.




28 thoughts on “Rolling Stop Signs

  1. Bruce

    Motorists that complain about cyclists rolling stop signs are probably just as likely to roll stop signs
    . Pay attention to motorists at stop signs and you will notice very few come to a stop if there’s no other cars at the intersection. And it seems very few know how their turn signal works either.

  2. Neal Henderson

    Hello Steve and All,

    Recent developments in Colorado …

    Similar ‘Idaho Stop’ law proposed in Colorado fails.


    “After a Senate committee heard two hours of arguments much like those above, Colorado law will continue to require cyclists to obey red lights and stop signs. And, much to the annoyance of many motorists, a lot of cyclists will continue to ignore them.”



    “Idaho is the only state that has both a stop as yield rule and a red light exception that allows a cyclist to proceed through a red light after yielding.

    Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin allow bicyclists to proceed through an inoperative and/or malfunctioning light after either a specified period of time or a reasonable period of time.

    South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin allow cyclists to proceed through a red light after either a specified period of time or a reasonable period of time.

    Tennessee and Wisconsin qualify their laws in unique ways. Tennessee requires that the intersection actually be controlled by a vehicle detection device. Wisconsin requires that the bicyclist have a reasonable belief that the intersection is controlled by a vehicle detection device. Under either law, a cyclist should take extra care to ensure that they can proceed through the intersection and should familiarize themselves with common vehicle detection devices.

    Utah’s law only applies to persons age 16 or older and will sunset in July 2014.

    Washington State has a law that requires signals to be adjusted to routinely and reliably detect bicycles. However, there is no law that allows a bicyclist to proceed through a signal that fails to detect a bicycle or otherwise does not change for a specified or reasonable period of time.”



    +1 mph Faster

  3. Mark

    Stop signs can be yield and red lights stop signs for otherwise law abiding real cyclists. Sure motorists sometimes have a problem with it but how many of them really come to a complete stop anyway? The bigger problem are the non law abiding people riding bikes on sidewalks, against traffic and swerving everywhere taking shortcuts and making rash changes in direction. Funny how motorists get more irate with the serious rider. When you’re riding aware of so many things and constantly on alert and riding defensively you see and hear much of what other users of the road miss. Riding is so much freedom and maybe that’s what pisses off ignorant people in cars.

  4. Bill E

    I remember training in Boise, Idaho, just prior to 1986 road nationals. I slow-rolled a few lights in town, and was pulled over and chewed out by the police. They threatened to arrest me right there; only thing that saved me was both being so young (16) and from PA.

  5. DR

    I find that most drivers assume that every stop sign is a four-way stop. They do a slow and roll assuming they have the right of way. I watch to see that their front tires stop or else I will stop even if I have the right of way.

  6. Bill K

    I roll every stop sign as long as there are no other cars near the intersection (or any cop cars parked nearby). As for Dead red, I believe in Illinois, legally you have to be waiting for two minutes before busting the light. There is one intersection that I have to cross when riding to a friend’s house that will never change unless a car trips the light. I will bust that one whenever I have to, with care, because I will have to cross a four lane road, with a 40mph speed limit.

  7. Larry T

    The USA is simply f–ked up when it comes to motor vehicles and road use. Too little is done to point out the roads are for EVERYONE, not just motor vehicles. Motor vehicle owners believe their fuel taxes are the sole source of revenue to build and maintain roads and anyone out there on a bicycle is a) a low-life too poor to own/operate a motor vehicle or b) some narrow-assed fool in sissy-britches out riding around when they should be working.
    The motorist is king and lots of money is spent reinforcing the idea. The automotive lobby is second only to the gun lobby in effectiveness. How many times have we all heard, “Roads are for cars and trucks! Business and transportation comes first and foremost! Get out of MY way, I’m important and you are not! ” or (my favorite) “Get up on the sidewalk where you belong!”?

  8. mike crum

    I lived in the country forever.. miles and miles of side country roads.. no stop signs for miles.. wtf is a stop light? lol… now down here in texas, theres stop signs every 100 years.. sucks.. I gotta drive 20minutes away in my car to get on roads that are good for the women down here though.. hot!!! but my company can send me to a few other states if I want and I may just do that.. go to a smaller city..

  9. William Comer

    Where do you live? If I were you I would move!!! I’ve been into cycling since 1983 and I love our roads and most of the people that I share them with….living in the south is nice.

    There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but it is rare where I live.

    Also, what is the problem with guns? I have a ton of them and shoot all the time. It is a blast. Handguns (I have a concealed permit as well), shotguns, rifles and the most fun of all AR15. Received my first 22 Browning lever action rifle as a six year old and still have the rifle. I even had a shotgun in my dorm room in the early eighties while attending college. I used to take the city boys out shooting trap, they loved it. I bet every one them to this day still shoots. The only gun lobby I need is the 2nd amendment, keeps us safe and is a helluva lot of fun.

  10. Bryan Barber

    Slowly return the hammer to the uncocked position and put the gun down please. He said the gun lobbyist are effective. What you like or need about guns has absolutely nothing to do with his statement. Chill the fuck out.

  11. Rope a Dope

    Moved to the Land of “Entrapment” er Enchantment I mean after getting two Failure to Yield tickets near the UofA in Tucson. They used to have CHIP Rejects in Tucson chase you down on their Harley’s with a hefty ticket if You didnt put a foot down at a stop sign! Yep its become more dangerous these days because everybody is Texting in their cars and Really dont see us..So Watch Out!

  12. Danny

    Cyclists want respect….then follow traffic laws, i’ll never run stop signs and red lights when out riding

  13. Danny

    My god you are an idiot. I would love to see your ~145lbs take on a several ton car/truck/suv; best of luck

  14. James

    Stop all ya want, you”ll still not get any respect. As long as you are on the road, the drivers are pissed. Wake up & save your self righteousness for something important.

  15. James

    The time for sensible codes re cycling & stops has long past. We are in the era of “cyclist are going to follow the rules”. The citation for the slow roll & the roll on a red that’s clear & isn’t going to trigger is all part of the harassment campaign.

  16. Mark

    I love my bikes and my guns. I live in a very rural area. Great for biking, light traffic. If someone kicked my Door in at 3 am and I called the sheriff, it could easily take them 30 minutes to get to my house. City slickers just don’t get it.

  17. William Comer

    Wow Bryan!!! Angry fella aren’t you?! I sure don’t want someone like you exercising their 2nd amendment rights. Didn’t realize I was hostile, but to you snowflakes everyone that disagrees with you is hostile, lol!!!

    So Mr. Anger please explain how the gun lobbyist are effective? By protecting our rights under the 2nd amendment? If so, good for them. Though, if you adhere to the Constitution we don’t need gun lobbyists . The only reason we have them is because of people like you.

    Let me know if you ever want to go shooting, after some lessons I will even allow you to handle a firearm. I promise you will have a great time. Leave your anger at home, no place for that in my life.

  18. Mark

    Bryan is probably a big city liberal that thinks politicians can fix his life and solve all of his problems.

  19. als

    Mark is probably a rural, white male conservative that thinks Donald Trump will single handily make America great again. Mark strongly believes that “his country has been stolen right out from underneath him”. Mark is so suspicious of government, that every article of clothing he wears it must be sleeveless. His sleeveless attire allows Mark to always be exercising his second amendment rights. Also, Mark’s sleeveless clothes adds a lot of dramatic effect for when he routinely and repeatedly asks people, “Have you got your tickets yet?”

  20. als

    “The only gun lobby I need is the 2nd amendment, keeps us safe and is a helluva lot of fun.”

    Your 2nd Amendment rights are being infringed whenever you are racing in a UCI or USAC sanctioned mass start race.
    You best be building up that lobby!

    The 2nd Amendment says:
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bare arms, shall not be infringed.

    Now take a look-see at some bike racing rules…
    UCI Rule 1.3.026:
    When competing, all riders shall wear a jersey with sleeves and a pair of shorts, possibly in the form of a one-piece skinsuit. By shorts it is understood that these are shorts that come above the knee. Sleeveless jerseys shall be forbidden.
    However, for downhill and 4-cross mountain bike events, BMX, trials and indoor cycling, specific provisions are laid down in the part of the regulations concerning the discipline in question.

    And USAC 1J5:
    Jerseys must be worn in all races and shall cover the shoulders.
    (a) Sleeveless jerseys are allowed only in non-international MTB races and individual time trials. Skin suits may not be worn in Pro gravity events per UCI rules.

    You gotta look close but the UCI and USAC are infringing on our GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO BARE ARMS!!!
    They require jerseys with sleeves that cover your shoulders.



  21. ScottO

    “It is a blast.” Heheheh

    Upon a careful re-reading of the 2nd amendment, I find no mention of protecting your “helluva lot of fun”.

    I will concede that shooting trap/cans on fenceposts/target shooting is fun, I enjoy it. But the folks who wrote the second amendment were very serious on this topic, and our “fun” is not the issue when policy discussions arise.

  22. Marshall

    Whether driver or cyclist, some people just don’t think rules apply to them, especially when it is inconvenient or deemed by them to be unnecessary. This arrogance is displayed daily by members of both groups. Others see this arrogance and think “If they don’t obey the rules, why should I”?

    I believe in “Same Road, Same Rights, Same Rules” and ride accordingly. Cyclists who think they can and should ride in a manner contrary to the rules of the road are a major part of the driver-cyclist animosity issue.

    There is no real justification for not riding or driving as law abiding adults. File any attempt at rationalizing or justifying rule-breaking behavior under Ignorance or Arrogance.


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