Two California lawmakers are proposing a new law that would allow bicyclists to roll through stop signs...without stopping.
Assemblymen Jay Obernolte from Hesperia and Phil Ting introduced their measure last week.
They emphasized that cyclists could treat stop signs as a yield only if conditions were safe.
Being a cyclist himself, Obernolte says there is a lot of data to support the change in law.
“Their loss of momentum causes them to spend a substantially longer amount of time in the intersection.”
He says the longer it takes for a bicycle to pass through an intersection the more likely they'll be hit by an oncoming vehicle.
Research done in Idaho shows that when they enacted a similar law there was a major decline in bike-related injuries.
Obernolte says cyclists would still have to stop at red lights, but that may force them into less-traveled side roads which would lessen road congestion and increase safety.
San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ryan Keim says he doesn't know if the new law would help or hurt safety concerns.
“It’s similar to any traffic violation. It’s dependent to the area if there are serious safety concerns...but our No. 1 priority is safety for bicyclists and motorists.”
It had always been illegal for bikes to roll through stop signs in 49 states, but it's not often enforced.
Obernolte says the measure would eliminate the gray area on a law he called "selectively enforced"
Opponents of the bill argue that the bill is going to lead to more accidents.
San Diego Bike Shop owner, Mo Karimi says motorists and cyclists may clash especially in more developed areas.
“It’s a bad idea, a safety hazard...in city areas, that’s going to be a problem. Everybody already knows the rules.”
Oceanside resident, Joel West says the measure will build bad habits.
“Before, I was slowing down enough so it kind of looked like I was taking it seriously...but if I get to decide what is a reasonable speed, I am going to go through faster than ever before.”
Check out the proposed bill here.