Can California bicyclists legally treat stop signs like yield signs?
That’s the question the City of San Francisco is currently debating, according to the New York Times.
Some members of the San Francisco City Council are inclined to vote in favor of adopting the measure. Many cyclists are excited that the common practice could finally be etched into law.
As a Los Angeles accident lawyer, I can tell you that there are some serious issues with San Francisco’s proposal.
First of all, it’s unclear whether a local ordinance can supersede a statewide law. As I’ve discussed in a previous post, Vehicle Code Section 21200 requires bikes to follow the rules of the road just like cars. That includes stopping at stop signs.
We’ve all seen cyclists blow through stop signs. Many just don’t know that they are required to stop. But granting a license for cyclists to continue this dangerous maneuver will probably lead to more accidents, not less.
Stopping at every stop sign can disrupt a rider’s rhythm. But so can being hit by a car that has the right-of-way.
Which is worse?
I hope San Francisco votes down this dangerous proposal.
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