Stop Signs and Bicyclists

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by XLFD, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    4
    Wow, that it awesome and a real victory for Mass. cyclists. Congrats! I know of similar efforts/wins in other states, but nothing of that magnitude. I really hope that can be leveraged to influence all states to re-visit the issue.

    Efforts like that arise from these kinds of discussions where people recognize that most states' car laws are insufficient for ensuring the safe and effective travel of cyclists as well. First the cyclists need to understand where "equal rights" does not work for inequal abilities, and then band together to educate and influence lawmakers. The tendency seems to be in thinking that the current laws aren't broken so there's no need to fix them, while people rightly use their own experience and judgement to safely navigate situations which aren't covered (or rightly ignore the laws in situations where the laws themselves present an unsafe situation) . The problem is that in many cases cyclists come out on the short end of the stick when motorists' experience and judgement fail them. If most cyclists are okay with the laws as written then there will never be enough support for the kind of effort necessary to institute bike law changes.

    Absolutely, safety comes first. FWIW, I try to be courteous and follow the laws most of the time as well. My comments here are simply the result of questioning whether there is room for improvement in the current laws which could improve not only the safety of cyclists on the road, but also the harmonious interaction between all road users. It's good discussion.
     


  2. Mak'em Lad

    Mak'em Lad New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    The laws, rules & regulations are made for ALL road users and cyclists ARE road users.

    As a car driver & 'white van man' I will treat a cyclist as a car so when passing I imagine they are 1.7 mtrs wide & then give them 1 mtr clearance (one danger of not doing this is in windy conditions the cyclist could be caught up in the slipstream 7 fall under your wheels or those of a following vehicle especally when driving a larger vehicle). If that means I can't pass due to oncoming traffic I slow down to the speed of the cyclist & wait until it's possible to pass them safely.

    Many a time I've had to slow to a crawl following a cyclist because I wanted to turn left & considered it unsafe to pass then turn in front of them.

    I was doing this for many years prior to returning to cycling.

    What does annoy me is the cyclist I've passed (as described above) then scraping passed me on the inside & through the red lights, swerving left & across the ped.X. area (on the road to the left), then back on to continuation of the road (effectively going straight on) often without slowing down.

    If cyclists want motorists to treat them with respect then they should treat the motorist likewise & that includes observing the rules.
     
  3. PBRSTREETGANG

    PBRSTREETGANG New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I'm concerned, if you're on the road, you follow the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles. Here in Cali, it's the law. I look at it as a matter of self-preservation. The reason I'm still here and able to add this post is because I strictly adhere to that principle.

    There have been several close calls when I was a kid and my brain was still developing. I came VERY close to losing my life once from rolling through a stop sign... got lazy and wasn't paying attention. A car that had no stop sign, and the right-of-way, almost T-boned me going over 50. If I had rolled through one second sooner, I'd be stain on the asphalt.

    If I had nine lives, I certainly spent a few of them that day.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,015
    Likes Received:
    177
    Califonia DMV "bicycle section"

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/shr_slow_veh.htm#bike

    No foot down required.

    I'm all for the laws being the same. I don't want confused people driving cars wondering which set of laws apply because at the end of the day, if someone drives over my head, it really doesn't matter to me if I was in the right or wrong.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,015
    Likes Received:
    177
    But the "different laws" by and large the piddly stuff, designed to take out the "guess" factor for those to thick to figure out what is going on. Stuff like cars shall not, for the most part, drive in bike lanes and likewise, bikes shall ride in a bike lane if present unless it's full of junk or you need to turn left or the gem of not riding on the freeway...

    ... not that the dangers of riding with vehicles doing 70+mph on a bicycle stopped generations of English time trialist riding on some big roads with lots of cars and lorries.

    Personally, I think society is to dumbed-down as it is. What the heck do you want? A personal safety bubble for every cyclist... If you feel that a given road is dangerous then take another route. If there are no other routes consider another mode of transport. It'd be nice to get bike lanes everywhere but lets get real - money on cr*p like this needs to be spent on schools instead of our own little p1ssing contest of Car Vs Bike.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    I stand corrected. I wonder if even back in the day our understanding that we had to put a foot down was a misinterpretation of this from the sfbike.org faq's page:


    Anyway, cool I just looked up local Washington law and it's the same, no explicit requirements for putting a foot down, just some recommendations that it'll be harder for an officer to cite you if you do put the foot down but that sounds like a good reason to do a slightly longer trackstand...

    Thanks,
    -Dave
     
  7. steve

    steve Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    5,225
    Likes Received:
    190
    I've never heard of anywhere having this law, it would be a major pain in the butt.
     
  8. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    4
    Even if it isn't in the DMV codes, police officers had been enforcing it as if it is a requirement. Just another reason to have specific laws for cycling so that the police know what the heck they are doing as relates to bike-car interactions.

    Swampy, I'm not asking for a protective bubble. The problem with vague laws is that if there isn't a clear statute violation the police defer to insurance companies to sort it out, and without a credible witness to back the cyclist's claims the motorist probably skates. My experience is that most motorists suck at the "guess factor" when it comes to cyclists -- either being far more conservative than necessary or too reckless -- so I'd prefer that the laws remove the guess factor and replace them with some clearer guidelines so drivers can be educated and cyclists and police know what to expect.



    I'm shocked to hear that from a cyclist -- if you remove the cars then there aren't any dangerous roads. If left to the majority to decide then *all* roads would be too dangerous for other modes of transport. If motorists can be educated on what is proper with regards to safe interactions with cyclists then bike lanes aren't really necessary, but that's hard to do when there aren't clear laws to describe what that is. It's not about a pissing match at all -- the laws need to support and promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport.
     
  9. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,640
    Likes Received:
    34
    Good points, Frenchy.
     
  10. Mak'em Lad

    Mak'em Lad New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have taught several people to drive for start to test standard. I would tell them to apply the park brake at stop lines (even if they just held the button in ready to release it) as to use the foot-brake they were tempted not to come to a halt. At least with the park brake on the would prove to the examiner they had stopped.

    As the rules of the road apply to ALL road users (at least in the UK although there are some cycle specific rules) then they should come to a halt & from what I've seen there are not many who can balance a static bike so would need to put a foot down.

    There are too many drivers who basically observe the laws but flout the rules widely. The difference between a rule & a law is the police can prosecute if you break a law whereas there is no direct offense (as such) they can charge you with for breaking rules. That comes under the umbrella charges of careless, reckless or dangerous driving etc. that cover a multitude of sins.

    Lead by example, drive/ride correctly at all times and hope the others get the message.

    There are no dangerous roads, just dangerous drivers/riders. I am not aware of any different rule for cars & cyclists but there are some that mainly apply to cyclists, some that mainly apply to buses and/or taxis (bus or no car lanes) etc. but they follow the same basic princples rather than conflict. In the UK it is required that learners learn ALL the highway code & can be tested on any part of it.
     
  11. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    11
    I am totally an advocate of obeying the rules of the road, both as a driver and as cyclist. However, I have found 4-way stops to be tricky. As a driver, I always stop. However, as a cyclist, I slow down to an almost complete stop, check for cars, and if I am clearly the first vehicle to have approached the intersection, I roll through it without putting a foot down. I know that this is technically wrong. However, when I do come to a complete stop, get out of the saddle, and put a foot down, the approaching car often makes it to the intersection. While I technically have the right-of-way to enter the intersection first, I have to make an extra effort to ensure that the driver sees me, and is willing to yield to me. Too often the driver of the car wrongly assumes the right of way (presumably because it can make it through the intersection faster). This causes confusion and a dangerous situation that would have been avoided had I simply not made a show of putting a foot down.
     
  12. Mak'em Lad

    Mak'em Lad New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    While not the case at all stop signs, they are normally used at 'closed' junctions (UK) where in order to fully check both way it is necessary to come to a halt.
    At a 4 way stop, no one has 'right of way' (technically, legally or whatever, same as unmarked junctions) but 'best practice/good manners' says you go in order you arrive (or in turn if traffic is to heavy to keep track). In these days good manners goes out of the window when a driver is pushed for time or when the other road user is slower or smaller than themselves.
    Many motorists believe that because they pay road tax & cyclists don't, they have priority. ALL road users are equal regardless of speed, size, road tax etc.

    If you, as a cyclist, are the first to approach the stop and put your foot down but are then beaten in to the junction by another vehicle then clearly THEY have not come to a full stop as they should.

    By the use of the word 'yield' (and your 'share the road' picture) I take it you're from the USA. Whether things are different over there I don't know.
     
  13. Aussie_Al

    Aussie_Al New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Law in NYC is come to a full stop...I "try" to obey the law as much as possible
     
  14. ted6869

    ted6869 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is real SIMPLE if the Light is RED or the Sign says STOP then S T O P ! ! ! ! ! ! !
     
  15. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    While not the case at all stop signs, they are normally used at 'closed' junctions (UK) where in order to fully check both way it is necessary to come to a halt.
    At a 4 way stop, no one has 'right of way' (technically, legally or whatever, same as unmarked junctions) but 'best practice/good manners' says you go in order you arrive (or in turn if traffic is to heavy to keep track). In these days good manners goes out of the window when a driver is pushed for time or when the other road user is slower or smaller than themselves.
    Many motorists believe that because they pay road tax & cyclists don't, they have priority. ALL road users are equal regardless of speed, size, road tax etc.

    If you, as a cyclist, are the first to approach the stop and put your foot down but are then beaten in to the junction by another vehicle then clearly THEY have not come to a full stop as they should.

    By the use of the word 'yield' (and your 'share the road' picture) I take it you're from the USA. Whether things are different over there I don't know.

    I drive a car ,pay taxes ( as much as the next poor schmuck ) and ride a bike , I even consider myself to have some manners at times . If you can afford to ride a bike on the streets for recreation or training etc , than there is a good chance you pay up the nose in taxes - not everybody can afford to pursue cycling as a sport /hobbie /lifestyle . I also roll through stop signs and lights when I should not, but jeeze - just trying to keep up averages - I know - no excuse . We all know what's right and wrong and we have to follow the laws as they are written for the area's we live in . Blasted through a stop light two weeks ago (of course I made sure it was clear ) but a cop was a couple hundred yards away ( parked on a motorcycle ) and nailed me with a ticket . I could not do anything but laugh at myself . Just follow the laws / rules where you live as best you can so you can live to ride another day .
     
  16. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    6
    I don't look at as a question of "breaking the law" or not. I look at as a question of "am I being a jackass?" Run a stop sign or a red light in the middle of nowhere. Who cares? Rdie up a line of cars to a stop sign, run it, and create a traffic jam on the other side as those same cars struggle to repass me. Jackass. Don't be one. Simple. Edit: hey, why are my posts so long?
     
  17. randochap

    randochap New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know of any exception for cyclists in the rules of the road. I think it's not a good idea for cyclists to make up new rules that other road users are unaware of. It's a losing proposition. A skilled cyclist can, gear down, come to a halt and proceed with caution--all without putting a foot down.
     
  18. BrianTX

    BrianTX New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    No special rules in the city. Stop sign means stop.
     
Loading...
Loading...