False Stop

By Chris Roberts : sfweekly – excerpt

In San Francisco, some lawbreakers are also lawmakers.

At least three members of the Board of Supervisors advocate the “Idaho Stop,” the maneuver — named for the one state in the country where it’s legal — wherein a bicyclist treats a stop sign as a yield and rolls through without coming to a complete stop as long as the way is clear.

This is a touchy subject. Bicycle etiquette — or the lack thereof — is a sore point with the motorists and pedestrians who believe that San Francisco’s cyclists, the number of whom have tripled in the last decade, are an entitled menace. This summer’s short-lived San Francisco police crackdown on scofflaw bicyclists did have support from walkers and drivers before a Bicycle Coalition-organized outcry canceled it…

The law is also unlikely to change. What San Francisco police enforce on the streets is the California Vehicle Code — state law…

The Idaho Stop isn’t a priority even among the bicycle lobby…

But it is an impediment to law-abiding peace on the streets. In the short-term, Supervisor John Avalos has introduced legislation that, if passed, would instruct police to treat cyclists yielding instead of stopping at stop signs as the “lowest law enforcement priority.”

That’s how SFPD is already supposed to treat low-level marijuana crimes. Thus, rolling through a stop sign could soon be no worse than rolling a joint in public — though judging by the size of the tickets ($100 for illicit marijuana, $200-plus for stop signs), this city has already picked its priority… (more)

How much are motorists charged for rolling through stop signs?
Hopefully someone will address the issue of liability when accidents occur due to reckless behavior on the part of anyone breaking the law. All vehicle operators on city streets should be licensed and required to purchase liability insurance. Whether or not they have insurance they should be held accountable for any damages they cause to any other persons or property regardless of what kind of vehicle they are operating. There should be no exceptions.

One thought on “False Stop

  1. It has been my experience that bicyclists who don’t follow the laws of the road are a danger to themselves, pedestrians and other motorists. Why have laws that only a few have to follow? It doesn’t make sense and it compromises the safety of everyone.


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