WASHINGTON - Bicyclists in D.C. could no longer be required to come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs.
Last month, Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced a bill summarizing the ideas of her Bicycle & Pedestrian Working Group, which met between May and June 2015 to discuss new ways to approach road safety in the District.
Part of that bill suggests implementing a traffic procedure similar to the “Idaho Stop." Per that law, cyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs and red traffic lights as stop signs.
Cheh’s bill suggests the following:
A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign or a steady red traffic control 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 roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection, 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.
A final report of the group’s findings is currently in the works, but a spokesperson in Cheh’s office says the findings are in alignment with the bill.
Paris recently adopted a similar law, allowing cyclists to ‘jump the lights,’ the BBC reported. San Francisco is also considering similar legislation.
The D.C. Council has not yet set a hearing date for the bill.