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Arkansas gets 'Idaho Stop' law for cyclists

Published April 5, 2019
The state becomes the second to allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and red lights like stop signs.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BRAIN) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill making his state the second to allow cyclists to roll through stop signs when safe, and to treat red lights like stop signs, proceeding into intersections when safe after stopping, even if the light is still red. 

The law was supported by state cycling groups and national groups including PeopleForBikes and The League of American Bicyclists. 

"This act is likely to improve the safety of bicyclists by promoting the use of side streets and lessening the time that bicyclist are exposed to dangers at intersections," said the League's policy director, Ken McLeod.

PeopleForBikes' Morgan Lommele said, "Studies show that bicyclists are safer when they are able to get a head start at intersections, and they become more visible to the drivers behind them, which helps avoid crashes and keeps all road users safe."

Gov. Hutchinson, center, celebrates after signing the bill.Idaho has the only other law allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights like stop signs. The state passed that law in 1982 and similar proposed legislation is often called "The Idaho Stop."

The bill passed the Arkansas Senate 33-2 and the Arkansas House 75-4 with 21 representatives not voting. It will take effect July 1.

RELATED: In 2017, BRAIN published opinion pieces in favor of the Idaho Stop and opposed to it.

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