Updated 02/07/2017
After 3 hours of testimony Senate Bill 17-093, Stop as Yield, was defeated. 2 in favor (Nancy Todd- D and Rachel Zenzinder -D), 3 against (Randy Baumgardner- R, Jerry Sonnenberg- R, John Cooke-R).

 

 

Will Hickey put together a comprehensive article with details and information on the "Stop as Yield" bill that is coming up for a vote in front of the Colorado Transportation Committee tomorrow (02/07/17). We really need cyclists from across the state to chime in to help this bill move forward. Details on the bill and what you can do to help push it through can be found below. 

Via Will Hickey

The Colorado legislature is back in session for 2017 and Senator Andy Kerr has a proposal cyclists can get behind. A cyclist himself, Kerr has introduced a “Stop as Yield” bill.

 

The bill (SB17-093) would change Colorado traffic law in two ways:

  • Cyclists would be allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs, rolling through them if there is no cross traffic.

  • Cyclists would allowed to treat red lights as stop signs, stopping and then proceeding through them if there is no cross traffic.

The bill never changes who has the right-of-way, and therefore doesn’t change who is at fault if a crash occurs. What it does hope to achieve is fewer crashes overall, more bicyclists on the road, and smoother more pleasant trips for anyone riding a bike.

 

Idaho enacted “Stop as Yield” in 1982 and so far is the only state to do so. Studies of Idaho’s crash statistics over the last 35 years indicate no problems. Instead, crash and injury rates have dropped and remain below the rates for comparable cities.

 

In Colorado a bill must pass at least four votes. If the bill fails any vote, it stops there and never reaches the next step:

  1. Senate transportation committee debate & vote (scheduled for February 7th @ 2pm)

  2. Full senate debate & vote

  3. House transportation committee debate & vote

  4. Full house debate & vote

After passing both the senate and house the bill still requires the governor’s signature to become law… if he vetoes then the bill is dead.

 

Bike Fort Collins, a local non-profit advocacy organization, has formerly opposed “Stop as Yield” at the city level due to a circuitous and unintuitive city limit. Now that the measure is being considered at the state level Bike Fort Collins is happy to offer enthusiastic support for the measure. When asked for comment Executive Direction Chris Johnson offered several arguments in support of the bill:

“This bill reconciles best safety practices with traffic code, and keeps cyclists from having to choose between following the law and making the smartest safety decision. Consistency and predictability are keys to traffic safety, particularly for vulnerable users.

 

Don't think of this as exceptionalism. Think of it as an acknowledgement that 2 ton metal boxes that can accelerate to 50mph in seconds behave differently from a 25 pound bike that typically cruises at 10-15 mph. Traffic code that recognizes that distinction is a commitment to creating safer roads, which, with epidemic levels of crashes and fatalities across the state and country (overwhelmingly by cars), should be a big priority for all of us.

 

I’m also always concerned about fair policing. Many law enforcement agencies largely ignore these infractions already. Eliminating selectively or inconsistently enforced laws with no public safety benefit reduces opportunity for pretextual and discriminatory law enforcement.”

 

If you support this bill please contact the five members of the Senate Transportation Committee and voice your opinion. Here is their contact information:

Senator

District

Denver Phone

District Phone

Email

Randy Baumgardner (R)

8 - NW Colo (Steamboat, Vail)

(303) 866-5292

(970) 509-9187

randy.baumgardner.senate@state.co.us

Jerry Sonnenberg (R)

Ray Scott (R)

1 - Eastern Plains

7 - Grand Junction

(303) 866-6360

(303) 866-3077

(970) 522-5677

(970) 765-8683

jerry.sonnenberg.senate@state.co.us

ray.scott.senate@state.co.us

John Cooke (R)

13 - Weld County

(303) 866-4451

(970) 302-8432

john.cooke.senate@state.co.us

Rachel Zenzinger (D)

Leroy Garcia (D)

-Western Slope

3 - Pueblo

(303) 748-0770

(303) 866-4878

(719) 406-8311

RachelforColorado@Gmail.com

leroy.garcia.senate@state.co.us

Nancy Todd (D)

28 - Aurora/Centennial

(303) 866-3432

(303) 750-1976

nancy.todd.senate@state.co.us