DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Wednesday that allows bicyclists to get out of intersections faster by treating them as safety stops.
Under the new law, anyone who uses a "low-speed conveyance" – including bicycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters, skateboards and wheelchairs – can treat stoplights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs, when they have the right-of-way.
Proponents of Colorado Safety Stop said the law creates safer conditions for cyclists and others because it results in less time spent at intersections, where the majority of crashes with vehicles happen.
“This is an important moment for people who choose to and need to ride bikes for transportation across Colorado,” said Jack Todd, director of communications and policy at Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit advocacy organization that supported the bill.
House Bill 22-1028, sponsored by Reps. Matt Gray and Edie Hooton and Sens. Faith Winter and Kevin Priola, passed the state legislature last month and went to the governor's desk for his signature last week.
The new law applies to bicyclists 15 years and older and younger bicyclists who have an adult with them.
A bicyclist at a stop sign may yield and then go through at 10 mph without stopping when the intersection is clear and they have the right-of-way.
Similarly, a bicyclist at a traffic light may treat it as a stop sign and go through when the intersection is clear and they have the right-of way.
A few Colorado municipalities, including Thornton and Englewood, already allowed safety stops, according to Bicycle Colorado. This law makes the rule consistent across the state.
“Intersections are by far the most dangerous locations for bicyclists, in Colorado and elsewhere," said Piep van Heuven, Bicycle Colorado’s director of government relations. "When people on bikes are able to get out of the intersection and away from that conflict zone before a potential crash can even occur, their safety improves."
Colorado now joins eight other states with a similar transportation policy: Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas, Oregon, Washington state, North Dakota, Utah and Oklahoma.
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