Evaluating the Safety of Adopting a Stop-as-Yield Law for Cyclists in California

Research Lead: Julia Griswold

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Cycling is an affordable and sustainable mode of travel to mitigate traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, and complement public transport in cities. It increases physical activity and promotes public health. “Bike-friendly” laws such as Idaho’s 1982 Stop Law (Idaho Statutes § 49-720) allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red traffic lights as stop signs, allowing riders to maintain their energy and momentum. Laws such as these that legitimize common cycling behavior can encourage people to use this environmental-friendly mode of transportation, and may also free up the courts’ time by eliminating certain minor traffic offenses. Nine states have laws similar to the Idaho Stop Law, however, there is limited research on how or whether these laws affect traffic safety, particularly in large urban areas.

Project Description: This research will examine the potential safety impacts of stop-as-yield legislation in California. The researchers will: (1) review currently available research, (2) conduct a comparative analysis of historical bicycle crash data, and (3) identify research needs for monitoring and evaluating safety impacts of a stop-as-yield law in California should it pass.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000