Utah cyclists may be allowed to pass stops signs to make the roads safer 

The Utah House of Representatives is considering a controversial amendment to cycling laws 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Utah cyclists may soon be able to pass stop signs without coming to a complete halt, in an attempt to make riding in the state safer. 

The Utah House of Representatives will now consider a new change to the law to allow cyclists to pass through stop signs as if they are yield signs if the road is clear of proceeding traffic. 

This change would help improve rider safety, according to the bill HB 142’s sponsor, as cyclists could maintain momentum and travel through intersections quickly, as these junctions are where cyclists are most often hit by cars. 

Bike Utah, which supports the law change, said: “Utah is in the middle of a bicycling boom that shows no signs of slowing. According to data from UDOT, in 2020 bike trips increased by 52 per cent. This is arguably one of the more positive results of the pandemic. Studies indicate that the revisions proposed in HB 142 will increase safety for cyclists and reduce incidents of crashes at intersections.  

“According to Utah’s Department of Public Safety’s crash data, in 2019, over 50 per cent of bicycle involved motor-vehicle crashes occurred when the vehicles were turning (right or left) at intersections. Over the past 10 years, people on bikes are 30x more likely to be involved in a crash at a stop sign than a yield sign. 

“Invoking the Cyclist Traffic Amendment in Utah is a cost-effective way to decrease bicycle involved motor-vehicle crashes.”

The bill was approved by the House Transportation Committee in a vote of eight to three earlier this week and the full House will now deliberate on the change. 

But some argue the new law will reduce cyclist safety by causing more issues at intersections and legalising behaviour “that may not be safe.”  

According to Bike Utah, other states that have passed similar laws have seen a drop in bicycle injuries at junctions.

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Idaho saw a 14.5 per cent decrease in these types of collision since passing the law in 1982, while Delaware has seen a 23 per cent drop since 2017.  

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