It's no secret that bicyclists across the country often roll through intersections with stop signs, slowing down but never quite stopping unless they need to yield right of way. The maneuver got the name "Idaho stop," because since 1982 the Gem State was the only place where it was legal statewide.
That changed last fall when the Delaware General Assembly passed, and the governor later signed, legislation sponsored by Representative John Mitchell (D). Cyclists in the state may now yield, but not stop, at stop signs on roads with up to two traffic lanes.
Idaho stop laws have been slow to gain traction, with only a few Colorado municipalities and counties adopting ordinances. Debate picked up considerably last year, however, with Arkansas, California, Colorado and Oklahoma lawmakers all considering such measures.
California's bill, AB 1103, is still active. Colorado's bill, SB 93, passed the House but was stopped short by a 3-2 vote in the Senate's Transportation Committee.
Bicyclist advocates typically, but not universally, support Idaho stop laws because they legalize typical riding behavior. They tout Idaho's 35-year track record with no change in overall bike crash trends, and point out that the state's law was amended in 2005 to allow cyclists to fully stop, yield...