Bicyclists should adhere to all vehicular laws, not just some
State Senator Mike McGuire:
It was good to see you briefly in Courthouse Square last week.
Please vote NO on AB 122 which would legalize the bicycle "safety stop" (also known as the stop-as-yield).
Legalizing the ability of bicyclists to not observe stop signs is a recipe for disaster. As a lifelong cyclist at age 66, and an accomplished motorist, and as a bicycle shop owner in Santa Rosa California these past 10 years (Bike Partners Bicycle Shop), I can speak from personal experience on this subject. When a bicycle rolls through a stop sign in the presence of other vehicles whether they be behind him, to the side, or ahead, it creates massive confusion on the part of the motorists. Vehicles travel in a flow. The tendency is to follow the car ahead of you through intersections. If a bicycle blows a stop sign, it is very likely that the car behind the cyclist will likewise follow through that same stop sign. It's just human nature. Of course the motorist is looking for stop signs on their own, but the fact remains that when the bicycle flows through as if nothing was there, the motorist is likely to do the same.
The rules of rights of way at four-way intersections are already complicated enough for most motorists. What happens when two cars arrive at the same time? The vehicle on the right or starboard side has the right of way, just like a boat. What happens when the approaching vehicle is signaling a left turn? The straight ahead car has the right of way. Etc etc Adding bicycles to this mix who do not have to adhere to the same rules is dysfunctional and dangerous.
Similar arguments can be made to cyclists on cross streets relative to motor vehicles. It just adds a level of confusion to the whole equation which can get kind of dangerous at intersections.
By changing the law that requires bicycles to stop just like any other vehicle, you're going to open the door to lots of interpretations and abuse of the privilege. I'm fearful of what this will lead to in our state if allowed to proceed.
Please, treat bicyclists on public thoroughfares as vehicles just like a car or a motorcycle. Bicyclists ask to be treated that way, and we should follow the same rules.
Santa Rosa, California, 95404, United States