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‘Idaho Stop’ bike yield law screeches to halt in committee

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The state Assembly Transportation Committee gave a negative recommendation to the bipartisan Assembly Bill 1103, which would legalize bicyclists’ ability to roll through stop signs. (Natasha Dangond/2015 Special to S.F. Examiner)
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A state Assembly bill that would legalize bicyclists’ ability to roll through stop signs cautiously if no cars or pedestrians are present came to a screeching halt in a state committee Monday.

On Monday afternoon the chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee gave a negative recommendation to the bipartisan Assembly Bill 1103, which was introduced by Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia).

“We decided to make it a two-year bill, keep working on it,” Ting said, which “gives us two years to build more support and hopefully get more information that moves people.”

The bill met opposition by AAA of Northern California, Nevada & Utah and the California Police Chiefs Association, among other groups. The transportation committee expressed concern that there was a lack of data on injury crashes by bicyclists against pedestrians.

“It is difficult to draw a direct cause and effect between the data we have and whether the ‘Idaho stop’ would be safer or more hazardous to cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers,” the committee wrote in its analysis from the hearing.

Ting was critical of that position.

“What’s interesting is even if you look at how many bicyclist fatalities are with pedestrians, versus the number with cars, there’s no comparison,” he said.

He said, “It’s already how [bicyclists] bike. We’re just codifying law with reality.”

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