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Bicycle Bill of Rights:

Ideas for new legislation to de-criminalize bicycling, to encourage bike commuting and to make biking safer and more efficient.

The "Idaho Stop"

Help bring the "Idaho Stop" to Arizona.  Write your legislators.

The Idaho Stop allows bicyclist to treat a stop sign as yield sign and a red light as a stop sign.
This has been shown to increase safety for bicyclists and significantly reduces bicycle commute times.
Many cyclists already practice this behavior safely. It is now time to decriminalize cycle commuters!

Here is the text of the "Idaho Stop" law: 

49-720. STOPPING — TURN AND STOP SIGNALS. (1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of- way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.
(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-643, Idaho Code.
(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

Colorado now allows individual cities to enact such laws, and Delaware has their own version.  Paris France also find this safer and better for cyclists.

In 2005, then Legislator Doug Quelland introduced a bill to bring the Idaho Stop to Arizona.  Representative Quelland would daily bike from North Phoenix to the Arizona Capital in downtown Phoenix.  He is an avid cyclist and proponent of better cycling laws.  Unfortunately, he was the only one of the 90 legislators that commuted on a bicycle. Most of the Legislators just didn't take an interest in or have an understanding of cycling issues. 

Ask your Legislator to bring the Idaho Stop to Arizona.  It's safe, it decriminalizes safe habits and encourages bicycle commuting.

No Speeding tickets for bicyclists.

A four thousand pound car can be considered a deadly weapon due to its mass and higher rate of speed.
Bicycles however only weigh about 30 pounds and rarely travel over 30 miles per hour.
Therefore it seems silly to ticket a bicyclist for speeding. 

Same rights as cars?  Not really

It is claimed (even by our laws) that bicyclists shall enjoy the same rights as motor vehicles and therefore have the same responsibilities.
However, this is blatantly not true. Bicycles are forced to ride on the shoulder or in bike lanes. Bicycles do not have seat belts. Bicycles are not capable of the same speeds as automobiles. Bicycles don't pollute.  Bicycles are different and should have different rights.

No Stop at 3-way intersections

Bicycles should not be required to stop when going through a three way intersection IF there is no road to their right.

Shared Lane Markings

SLMs should be required to be properly maintained. 

Bicycle Safety Education

A three question bicycle safety test should be required to renew any driver's license or vehicle registration.
The intent of the test would be to educate automobile drivers how to be safe around bicyclists.
The test would consist of random questions developed in conjunction with various bicycle organizations throughout the state.
When a person goes on ServiceArizona.com to renew their vehicle registration, they would be required to answer correctly the tree safety questions before proceeding to checkout.

Bicycle safety question examples:

What is the minimum required distance between your vehicle mirrors and a bicycles handlebars?  (Three Feet)

May a bicycle travel in the vehicle lane? (yes)

Is it safer for a bicycle to ride with traffic or against traffic?  (with traffic)

Do bicycles have to stay in the bike lane? (no)

 

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