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Thread: The Idaho Stop

  1. #1
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    The Idaho Stop

    I am curious to know your experiences with this technique. I am not currently a commuter but do a lot of city and town riding as part of my regular training rides with a much less organized version of this in the California Bay Area. It works great and I have never had an incident.

    Any good or bad experiences to share? Does anyone know of legislation that either already exists or that is in the works to promote this technique?

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    Sounds like a good idea!

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    Heck, the drivers here treat stop signs as yield and sometimes do not slow much, and rights on red without stopping. When I stop at a four way stop it seems to confuse people whether I am in the car or on the bike. Indiana always had a defective traffic light law where you could treat the light as a stop sign, so if no traffic showed to trip a light my way, and the light did not change for me, I would proceed on that basis when the way was clear. Now they have formalized it. You wait 2 minutes, then go. I suppose if you know there is no video monitoring the intersection and no traffic that 2 minutes might be counted down pretty fast.

    I have heard some complain that some cyclists treat the Idaho Stop more like a full speed ahead and don't yield to oncoming traffic as they should. Maybe these ar ethe sam guys who run red lights and stops not, though.

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    We call that the 'Jersey Roll' in New Jersey

    It makes a lot of sense, after a fashion, but it's not like making the law official in any state would suddenly help. The cops still need to enforce it, and since they barely enforce traffic laws as is, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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    I think auto drivers don't understand that a cyclist can actually hear the other oncoming traffic (unless the earphones are screaming ZZ TOP)! then, it a becomes a matter of natural selection!

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    Here in Washington State the "Dead Red" bill was just signed into law. It says that if a cyclist encounters a traffic signal that won't detect them, they can proceed through when it's safe. It's not exactly the Idaho Stop (wish we had that) but it does provide some ambiguity that you can drive a bike through

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    Depends, if there is other traffic around, I obey everything like I am a car driver that actually follows the law. I just want car drivers to see me stopping at lights and signs just to be a good example. But if there aren't other people around, then I generally follow do the idaho stop.

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    I've been kind of doing the "Idaho Stop" for ages. Now I have a name for it.
    "Lock S-Foils in attack position"

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentheKona View Post
    Depends, if there is other traffic around, I obey everything like I am a car driver that actually follows the law. I just want car drivers to see me stopping at lights and signs just to be a good example. But if there aren't other people around, then I generally follow do the idaho stop.
    This is my general procedure too. Slow down, look around, if anyone at all is also on the road STOP, if not go ahead and roll through as safely as possible with the goal of making everyone's lives easier. I think I am going to name my version "The Cleveland Steamer" even though I live in California. I really appreciate the fact that someone did some real experimentation with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Here in Washington State the "Dead Red" bill was just signed into law. It says that if a cyclist encounters a traffic signal that won't detect them, they can proceed through when it's safe. It's not exactly the Idaho Stop (wish we had that) but it does provide some ambiguity that you can drive a bike through
    I personally think this is a huge step in the right direction anyway. It goes a long way towards eliminating the problem.

    How does the law accommodate for situations where the cyclist needs to make a judgment call on the duration of the light? Is it deemed a "Dead Red" after a certain amount of time or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    We call that the 'Jersey Roll' in New Jersey

    It makes a lot of sense, after a fashion, but it's not like making the law official in any state would suddenly help. The cops still need to enforce it, and since they barely enforce traffic laws as is, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    I posit that since it is a relaxation of existing laws, it would be much easier for cops to enforce. I have always been a big fan of the law of natural selection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    I have heard some complain that some cyclists treat the Idaho Stop more like a full speed ahead and don't yield to oncoming traffic as they should. Maybe these ar ethe sam guys who run red lights and stops not, though.
    The slippery slope would definitely be up for grabs as a counter-argument. Couple this with people trying to race via Strava or whatever and it could create a dangerous situation. I would still try to find ways to mitigate those risks though in favor of adopting this law.

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    I live in Boise, the law works when it is not abused. Education is key. Many drivers do not know the law and think cyclist are breaking the law when they roll through 4 way stops and "run" red lights. I have heard many co workers complain about this. It is also abused by some riders who do not slow down and look, but Overall it works

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    Whenever the police around here need to crank out some tickets, they target cyclists rolling through Stop signs close to UT campus.

    Austin Police Ticket 47 Campus-Area Cyclists on 'Bike to UT Day' | KUT

    Bicyclists heading to campus this morning as part of Bike to UT Day received breakfast and the chance to win raffle prizes.

    But 47 bicyclists also received something else: a ticket.

    This morning, multiple Austin Police officers were seen pulling over bicyclists heading toward campus on Speedway Avenue, just south of the intersection at San Jacinto. The ticketing occurred just blocks north of Speedway Plaza, where a Bike to UT Day party was scheduled to begin at noon.


    Three bicycle cop State Troopers were doing it this morning. I lucked out and managed a last-second complete stop, with one of them staring at me. Took this pic.


  15. #15
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    Doh! I bet some of those ticketed are just hopping mad about the combination of bikey day + ticket trap! Glad you managed to put on your Good Boy hat at the last second.

    State Police on bicycles? Interresting.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Here in Washington State the "Dead Red" bill was just signed into law. It says that if a cyclist encounters a traffic signal that won't detect them, they can proceed through when it's safe. It's not exactly the Idaho Stop (wish we had that) but it does provide some ambiguity that you can drive a bike through
    This is not quite an Idaho Stop topic but the post is here. I learned of a concern lately.

    This was passed for motorcyclists, mopeds, and cyclists in Indiana, too. You have to wait 2 minutes, and if there is no light change, traffic permitting, you can go.

    Sounds nice. Until you are seen doing so by an officer approaching the intersection but not a distance you need to yield right of way to. Such an officer obviously did not see you arrive, but only depart against a red light. Will said officer agree he/she was not a witness to your compliance to the 2 minute rule and let you go, or will he/she take advantage of their weight in testimony and write the ticket? Are you willing to fight such a ticket?

    In Indiana some laws are not enforceable unless the officer sees you break said law. If that applies here, the officer would have to show that you did not wait the two minutes. It is not clear this nuance of officer observation requirement applies.

    https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/...ument-b2808a9a

    Bottom of first page over to second page is the amended code.

    A motorcyclist friend is concerned. I can't find an example of this occurring. But how can an officer tell the difference if he was not present when the motorcyclist or cyclist stopped? My Garvin is set to stop recording when I stop. Will that record show a time stamp? Just curious.

  17. #17
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    I can't remember the last time I saw any type of vehicle come to a complete stop at a stop sign without opposing traffic present.

    The drivers stopping to check facebook don't count.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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