When Colorado drivers pull up to a stop sign or red light, the law is clear on what they should do: STOP. Similarly, bicyclists in Colorado are also required to stop and wait their turn when they encounter a stop sign or red light — although some lawmakers are trying to change that with a recently introduced bill.
Under the language of Colorado Senate Bill 18-144, cities and counties would be able to enact an ordinance allowing bicyclists to roll-through stop signs. If this bill is passed, bicyclists would only have to slow down when approaching a stop sign and, when safe to do so, could proceed through the intersection without actually stopping.
Likewise, bicyclists would no longer be required to wait at red lights until they turn green before proceeding. While they would need to stop first, they could still go through the intersection or make a right turn even though the light is still red.
As you can imagine, this proposed law has ignited controversy among bicyclists and motorists alike.
For instance, many drivers feel it is only fair that bicyclists should have to follow the same laws as cars if they want to share the road. After all, if a driver fails to stop, they can be cited for a traffic violation and have several points added to their driving record. Depending on the circumstances, a stop-sign or red-light violation may even result in a reckless driving charge for the motorist.
And even though some bicyclists believe that not forcing them to stop helps the flow of traffic, there are many who think this proposed law may hinder safety since it makes it more difficult for drivers to predict what a bike rider may do in any given situation.
Ultimately, we will just have to wait and see if Colorado lawmakers decide whether it is a good idea to have one set of traffic rules for cars and another for bikes.