What is the new Safety Stop Law in Colorado?
In April 2022, Governor Jared Polis passed HB22-1028 into law, creating “The Safety Stop.” While the law has faced some harsh criticism from drivers and even some law enforcement officials, the purpose of the new legislation is to let bicyclists ride quickly through intersections, reducing the amount of time there and saving lives.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 72% of crashes between cars and bicyclists occurred at an intersection. By making the Safety Stop a state law, it lets bicyclists roll through stop signs (treating them as a yield sign) and treat red lights like stop signs. So, at a red light, bicyclists must come to a complete stop before riding through the red light, as long as the intersection is clear to ride through.
What are the details of the Safety Stop Law in Colorado?
There are a few details which riders must be aware of regarding the “The Safety Stop” in Colorado. For example:
- It is only legal for bicyclists who are 15 or older, unless an adult is present, to perform the Safety Stop.
- Once the bicyclist yields, then they can move through the intersection at up to 10 mph, as long as they have the right of way.
- When bicyclists come to a red light, they must yield to crossing pedestrians and immediate oncoming traffic, and then they can continue straight or make a right turn.
- At a red light, bicyclists can only use the Safety Stop to make a left turn if they are riding onto a one-way street.
- If there is street light or sign that is specific to bicycles, then they may NOT perform the Safety Stop.
What transportation devices can perform the Safety Stop?
The law states that “low-speed conveyances” can perform the Safety Stop. Generally, this mean that if the device is used for transportation or recreation and is of small profile and low speed, it is included. For example, both bicycles and electric bicycles are included, as are electric scooters, wheelchairs, skateboards, and one-wheelers.
How has the Safety Stop saved lives in other states?
The Safety Stop is also known as the “Idaho Stop” because it was first legalized in 1982 in Idaho. In the first year after it became legal, crashes between cars and bicycles were reduced by 14.5% in the state. In Delaware, the Safety Stop reportedly reduced crashes between bicyclists and drivers by 23 %. Since then, Arkansas, Oregon, Washington, Utah, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and of course, Colorado have legalized the Safety Stop, as well.
How can Debbie Taussig Law help you?
If you were injured because another person did not follow the rules set out in the Safety Stop law, Debbie Taussig Law can help. We are a top-rated , woman-owned personal injury law firm located in Boulder, Colorado and serving people across Denver’s Front Range and beyond. We offer free claim evaluations and require no money upfront. Please contact us at 303-442-0176 for any addition information.