California stop-as-yield is the law of the land

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents |

Few states have as many bicyclists as California. Those who prefer non-motorized, two-wheel transports can be seen traveling throughout major cities and small towns all over. It is safe to say that many of these enthusiasts prefer pedaling over operating a motor vehicle.

Bicycling in the Golden State is not without its share of detractors, though. Many motorists see bicyclists sharing the road with them as an intrusion, particularly when they don’t comply with certain rules of the road that actually keep bicycle riders safe.

Anything but a new concept

Stop-as-yield is a common and controversial maneuver where bicyclists treat a stop sign as a yield sign provided they can get across the street safely, free of oncoming motor vehicles. The recent bipartisan passage of The Bicycle Safety Stop Law (AB 122) formally makes stop-as-yield a legal maneuver in California upon the state’s governor signing the bill into law.

Stop-as-yield laws have gained acceptance since the Idaho legislature first approved a law back in 1982. The state of Delaware – which has its own “Delaware Yield” law – conducted a study that revealed a 25 percent reduction in bicycle accidents after enactment.

Additional studies revealed that mandating complete stops does not in itself increase or decrease accidents. In fact, pausing travel due to stop signs only slows down bicycle travel and forces the rider to exert more energy, causing fatigue that could itself lead to a collision with another vehicle.

Concern does surround bicyclists – particularly children – who could start habitually running stop signs. Awareness campaigns are paramount to keep all road travelers safe. Accidents caused by negligent acts by someone on a bicycle or in a motor vehicle may require the help of a personal injury attorney.