Oregon Legislature Passes ‘Idaho Stop’ Bill

Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr
Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr

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Oregon cyclists will be able to treat stop signs and flashing red traffic lights as “Yield” signs under a bill that narrowly passed this week in the legislature after 15 years of grassroots advocacy.

The bill, if signed by Gov. Kate Brown, would make Oregon the fourth state to legalize a version of the so-called “Idaho Stop,” named after the tuber-famous state that first legalized the practice. Delaware lawmakers passed a similar law in 2017 and Arkansas did the same earlier this year.

Oregon State Rep. Barbara Smith Warner led the charge to get the 31-28 vote for passage, according to Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland. Smith explained that allowing cyclists to yield rather than stop “was about ‘usability’ and that, unlike driving a vehicle, bicycle riders constantly need to start and stop under their own power.”

The Idaho Stop has been shown to provide safety benefits as well. The year after it passed 1982 in its namesake state, cycling injuries dropped 14 percent. Overall, studies have shown, cities in Idaho are about 30 percent safer for cyclists than other cities. That law allows cyclists to treat red lights like stop signs as well.

For decades Idaho stood alone with this well-known and successful policy. Now, in the last few years, it has finally begun to gain traction in other places. In addition to Arkansas, Delaware and Oregon, Utah also took up the issue before it died in the House earlier this year.

8 thoughts on Oregon Legislature Passes ‘Idaho Stop’ Bill

  1. Was this passed WITH, or withOUT, the GOP legislators…

    last I heard, they were doing a wildcat strike of their jobs at Oregon legislature and had fled to Utah, and are being protected by “patriotic militia” from any police coming to try to come get them.

    The article is not clear is the number of votes is just those who are present, or how many total votes overall there should be.

    I’d really be curious to know if the GOPers were there and voted for this…

    or if not…

    then maybe that,s why some common sense and cooler heads finally prevailed!

    Let us know with an article edit, of how many D’s and how many R’s voted for and against, and if the GOP’ers were even in Oregon at all for the vote!

  2. It is perfectly safe for cyclists to slow roll stop signs and flashing red lights when the way is clear with no potential conflicts. It is equally safe for car drivers to do the same. A VERY high percentage of US STOP signs should be YIELD signs for better traffic flow, less air & noise pollution, less wasted fuel & wear on vehicles, and less wasted time making unnecessary stops.
    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  3. How is this suppose to make Oregon roads safe? Bicycles rarely follow rules now. They need to be licenced. Insured and be required to follow rules of the road. I’m a school bus driver and always have to be ongaurd

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