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Rolling Stop....cycling situation (Read 1969 times)

    Yesterday morning.....commuting to work I am riding behind a school bus. Not uncommon, I take the same route everyday. The warning lights begin to flash, the bus comes to a stop, the stop sign swings out and the flashers are now red.

     

    I stop my peddling, coast up along side the bus, there is no pedestrian traffic crossing the road so I return to peddling and roll along.......no stop. Again, this is almost a daily occurence since school has begun, the only thing that changes is the block I pass on.

     

    Sooooo......Last night on my way home I stopped at a convience store and guess what.......the driver of the bus is there. She immeaditly recognizes me as the biker that rolls thru her stop sign frequently. Our discussion is cordial but she did mention that on occasion she wanted to get on her radio and call me in.....Belonging to a bike advocacy group I give her a card that explains rolling stops and agreed that if it made her feel better I will now stop behind her bus...She said she has no problem with the rolling stop but also warned me other bus drivers may not be so forgiving.

     

    I am well aware that as a cyclist I am to obey the traffic laws but lets be realistic, these traffic laws were written for motorized vehicles. It is not always prudent and / or safe to follow the traffic laws and common sense must apply. I've never been ticketed on my bike but I have been stared down by our friendly officers in blue.

     

    Here's some info on rolling stops: Rolling Stop

     

    When I told my wife about my encounter with the bus driver she was not as understanding...... Her opinion is that I should stop.......This bus makes about 7 stops on this stretch of road. It can obviously accelerate faster than I can so getting around it between stops is not possible. I would likely end up mixed in with a bunch of cars before my left hand turn off which now puts me in jepoardy......not to mention pissing of the motorist....which is a mostly high school kids going to school.......In my opinion....it's a law written for motorized vehicles and does not need to apply to cyclist.

     

    What would you do.......?????

    www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

      i don't like it. here are all of my cranky reasons why:

       

      my car would be much more efficient if i did rolling stops. it would save lots of wear on the clutch, too. rolling stops would be better for me, but worse for everyone else.

      the expression 'rolling stop' strikes a nerve for me. my mother was disabled for the last 10 (TEN!) years of her life by a delivery truck that hit her side of the car after doing what the officer on the scene actually described as a 'rolling stop'.

       

      in my neighborhood, the school bus often pauses with its stop signs un-deployed in order to let traffic pass. i'll bet yours would do that for you.

       

      i'm also cranky because on the rural roads where i run, cars are incredibly polite and careful. bike riders seem to think they own the shoulder or whatever part of the road they are on.

       

        Thanks for the info on the rolling stops. I am not sure if we have that here in IL, but I know I have never seen a bicyclist make a complete stop at a stop sign. I have always wondered if bicyclists are to strictly follow the laws written for motorists. As you said, it is impractical and often unsafe to make a complete stop, especially when you have to clip in and out if you have a road bike. I do not cycle much because I can't afford a decent bike right now, so I can't really speak from experience...but I would say continue to do what you're doing. As with anything, there will be some growing pains as more and more people start to cycle. People need to learn to share the road and respect cyclists. I hope you don't run into any problems, but it sounds like you are willing to fight it if someone does report you.

         

         

        MTA: I guess this is kind of a slippery slope, because allowing cyclists to roll through stops is unfair to other motorists who want to roll through stops. Also, stop signs on buses are more strictly enforced because of the number of children who've been hit by passing motorists.

        2010 Goals: Run 1500 miles Sub 22 minute 5K Sub 37 minute 8K Sub 1:45 HM Complete a marathon


        Puttin' on the foil

          I depends where I am and who's watching (warning - lawyer answer ahead!) - I live in Spokane, Washington, about 30 miles west of Idaho.  In Washington, the rules of the road apply equally to bikes.  I've had a friend actually get a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign on his bike.  But if I'm in the middle of nowhere and no one is watching, I will roll through a stop sign.

           

          Idaho has done it right.  There are different rules.  Bikes are legally allowed to roll through stop signs if safe to do so.  Also, at stop lights, bikes can proceed through against a red light after coming to a stop and making sure the way is clear.  The reason for this is a person on a bike does not have enough mass to trigger to the light sensors.  There you have it - a least one the Idaho legislature has done right.

           

          MTA - HA!  I just clicked on the link in your post.  That's what I mentioned.  Before you start rolling through stop signs, however, you might want to check your state and local rules.

          Don't be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher Basha once wrote, 'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish.'

             

            the expression 'rolling stop' strikes a nerve for me. my mother was disabled for the last 10 (TEN!) years of her life by a delivery truck that hit her side of the car after doing what the officer on the scene actually described as a 'rolling stop'.

             

             

            I'm sorry to hear about your mother....but that is partially the point. Stop signs are there partly to control the inertia of heavy motorized vehicles......a bike t-boning a car is highly unlikley....if not impossible to harm any one in the car.

             

            And while the argument is somewhat about the cyclist's efficiency and not the car's efficiiency......There is a big difference in what the driver feels vs what the rider must put out to regain his momentum.

             

            Lets take a typical residential street where there are stop signs every block or every other block.......the primary reason for these stop signs is speed control of motorized vehicles.  Even the traffic lights in the downtown districts....primary reason is speed control.....thats why you usually end up stopping at every intersection during heavily traveled times.  They are not necessarily there for intersection control.......why should I on a cycle need to obey these stop signs?

            www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

              Here is what the website of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine states:  "Obey All Traffic Laws
              Bicycles are vehicles and must obey all traffic laws, including stop signs and traffic signals. It can be tempting to ignore traffic rules, but this is when most crashes occur."

               

              I've always been a stickler for coming to a complete stop at stop signs in my car, or so I thought!  At a rural, 4-way stop sign with no other cars in sight, I rolled through the sign without even realizing it.  A sheriff pulled me over and really reamed me out!  He didn't give me a ticket, but now I'm even more careful.  I notice that about 75% of drivers roll through signs.

               

              The fact is, you DID upset the bus driver, and it sounds as if you might get turned in for a rolling stop, so I would be careful if I were you. 

                 

                Stop signs are there partly to control the inertia of heavy motorized vehicles......a bike t-boning a car is highly unlikley....if not impossible to harm any one in the car.

                 

                 i agree. the only similarity between the truck and the hypothetical bike is that in both cases, the person in control did what they considered to be 'safe enough', and ignored  the law. the consequences of an accident would be vastly different, but the outcomes could be equally tragic.

                i think you would be safer if you really stop.

                  Since you asked for opinions, I'll give you mine unfiltered.  Unless you live in Idaho, you're breaking the law.  While I respect your right to advocate for a change in the law, it is still your obligation to obey the laws in place unless and until the laws are changed. Your motives and intentions are irrelevant.  (Remember, we're talking about traffic laws here, not felony crimes ... if you violate the traffic rule you are guilty, regardless of your state of mind.)

                   

                  As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian, I am knowledgeable of the rules of the road in my state and city.  I expect others to abide by them as well.  When anyone chooses to disobey the rules -- regardless of their motive or intent -- it creates a dangerous set of circumstances.

                   

                  Also, you state that the primary reason for stop signs is speed control of motorized vehicles.  I completely disagree.  I believe the primary reason is to provide for a pedestrian's unfettered right of way at designated street crossings -- a principle that would be impinged by a "rolling stop."  Where I live, this "rolling stop" would be a complete disaster, and I hope to never see it proposed let alone enacted.

                  How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                    Also, you state that the primary reason for stop signs is speed control of motorized vehicles.  I completely disagree.  I believe the primary reason is to provide for a pedestrian's unfettered right of way at designated street crossings -- a principle that would be impinged by a "rolling stop."  Where I live, this "rolling stop" would be a complete disaster, and I hope to never see it proposed let alone enacted.

                     I did not state that.....I stated that in some instances such as what I gave in example. I worked in the city engineering and planning......traffic control was part of our responsibility. I know for a fact that stops sign were put in for speed control. I know for a fact that stop lights were programmed for speed control. I programmed them. And that dosen't happen just here.

                     

                    Before you get too snooty and righteous......I obey most all traffic laws. Admittedly, I make a conscience decision to break some where I feel that the laws put me in jeporady.......again, because they were not written for me, they were written for something else. As a cyclist....then you should also know that there are times it is not always safe and prudent to obey the law.

                     

                    I am not advocating breaking the law......Just like Maines Bike advocacy page does not advocate breaking the law. What support would we garner from motorist if we advocated breaking the law. There is legislation right now in Maine that is trying to get some laws re-written to recognize the difference.

                     

                    I didn't ask if I was right or wrong in passing the school bus. I know I'm wrong but I'd rather get ahead of the school bus than mixed up with a bunch of High School drivers.......and if i can do that....safely for me and anyone else....is that such a bad thing? If I hopped up on the side walk....where the kids are...I wouldn't be breaking any rules in this town but I'd certainly be putting kids in jeapordy.

                     

                    MTA: Out of curiosity I just checked where you live. I ride in Chi- Town alot! I have good friends that live down town and getting around by bike is much easier and quicker than by car. In the downtown area...yes...rolling stops are probably out of the question.....there are always cars at the interesections and if your in the shopping and / or the business districts there are tons of pedestrians......it only makes sense here that cyclist should follow the same traffic laws....no argument there.

                    www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

                      There are laws and there is common sense- sometimes the two don't line up. I don't think bikes should be held to the same level  as cars in all cases- In the example if one slows down and is careful, kids are safe, cars are safe, biker is safe- what's the problem?  Rollling stops seem perfectly OK. ( I've been known to ignore rules/laws when  I think they are totally ridiculous).  Maybe this will destroy my credibility but I use to ride a bike around Boston- in that town you could ride the wrong way down a one-way street in front of a cop and not even get noticed.

                        Before you get too snooty and righteous......I obey most all traffic laws. Admittedly, I make a conscience decision to break some where I feel that the laws put me in jeporady.......again, because they were not written for me, they were written for something else. As a cyclist....then you should also know that there are times it is not always safe and prudent to obey the law.

                         

                        Re-read my post and you'll see that I deliberately avoided making any judgment about whether your conduct was "right" or "wrong."  I simply stated that you are guilty of violating the law, which you admit in your response.  I also pointed out that most drivers, riders, and pedestrians expect other people to follow the law ... so, your deliberate violation of the law could create a dangerous situation.  I hope that never becomes the case.

                         

                        (This whole discussion reminds me of the periodic banditting threads that appear, where some well-meaning runner seeks validation to bandit a race because of extenuating circumstances.  They know its illegal, they know they're going to break the law and bandit anyway, but they come to the running forums looking for validation.  And they inevitably get mixed reactions, and they inevitably respond defensively to the critics.)

                         

                        I wish you the best of luck in your legislative reform efforts in your community  In my community, as you graciously acknowledge, such a law would be a real mistake.

                        How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                           

                          Re-read my post and you'll see that I deliberately avoided making any judgment about whether your conduct was "right" or "wrong." 

                           

                          Well, you called it dangerous, and you said it was his obligation. You're splitting hairs here.

                            You gotta do what you gotta do.  Nobody obeys all traffic laws, not in a car and not on a bike.  In many cases doing so is not even the safest option.  I'd keep doing what you've been doing.

                            Runners run.

                               Well, you called it dangerous, and you said it was his obligation. You're splitting hairs here.

                               

                              No, what I said what that when anyone -- driver, cyclist, or pedestrian -- chooses to violate the rules of the road, it creates a dangerous situation.  Since you seem interested, I'll spell it out for you in more detail:

                               

                              As a driver, I expect pedestrians to cross the road at a crosswalk.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                               

                              As a cyclist, I expect drivers to give me access to the full width of the lane.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                               

                              As a pedestrian, I expect drivers and cyclists to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                               

                              No judgments of right or wrong, per se.  Simply observations; opinions at worst.  Hopefully that helps you.

                              How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                                 

                                No, what I said what that when anyone -- driver, cyclist, or pedestrian -- chooses to violate the rules of the road, it creates a dangerous situation.  Since you seem interested, I'll spell it out for you in more detail:

                                 

                                As a driver, I expect pedestrians to cross the road at a crosswalk.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                                 

                                As a cyclist, I expect drivers to give me access to the full width of the lane.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                                 

                                As a pedestrian, I expect drivers and cyclists to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  When they don't, it creates a dangerous situation.

                                 

                                Hopefully that helps you.

                                 

                                Why don't you just spell it out more simply: I think it was wrong.

                                 

                                Since we're modifying, an opinion is a judgment. I think it's a reasonable one, but it's a judgment.

                                 

                                Meh, I just had a crappy run. Fuggedaboutit.

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