Currently, the same rules apply to bicycles that apply to cars. Like cars, bikes must stop at stop signs and red lights. However, the reality is that bikes are dramatically different than cars. What is safe for one may not be safe for the other.
That is the idea behind the bicycle “safety stop” bill, which recently passed the state House and Senate, and is expected to be signed into law by the governor.
What The Bicycle ‘Safety Stop’ Bill Allows
According to an article from Streets Blog Denver, the bill will essentially allow bicyclists to do legally what many of them already do to stay safe: move through stop signs as if they were yield signs and treat red lights like stop signs.
Bicyclists argue that this is safer than arbitrarily coming to a complete stop at intersections. As the article points out, when bike riders move ahead of cars at intersections, they become more visible to drivers and less at risk of getting hit by turning cars. The goal is to prevent bicyclists from being hit by cars.
Once the governor signs the bill into law, the next step will be for the Denver City Council to institute it locally.
Even if this takes place, bike riders know that they face serious threats on the road. Drivers of motor vehicles tend not to watch for them, and this can lead to serious bicycle crashes. Victims of these crashes have the right to pursue compensation.