The so-called “California Stop”/rolling stop is commonly done by motorists and bicyclists. It can often be safely accomplished, though the behavior is illegal because under California law a full stop is required. When challenged about the extent to which I ride a bicycle legally – especially related to stop signs – I disclose that I ride/drive my bicycles in the same manner that I drive my cars. This usually gets a nervous laugh response because the motorists in the audience, although irate about the behavior of “all those bicyclists” realize that they have rolled through stops too.
The League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructors are to teach that vehicle traffic laws apply to bicyclists too, that a full stop is required, AND that the important behavior for everyone’s safety and efficient travel is looking/scanning for and yielding to other approaching road users. Someone can legally complete a full stop and then still fail to yield!
I don’t think we/I should or can successfully object to equal treatment/enforcement – police ticketing bicyclists as well as motorists for unsafe rolling stops. Maybe someday pedestrian and bicycle (clean) travel might achieve superior status and right-of-way over motor vehicle operation. In the meantime, I’d prefer to focus my/CABO efforts on fair and increased education and enforcement toward bicyclists AND motorists who fail to yield — rather than targeting those who creep through carefully.
And, there are too many instances of installation of a Stop sign when no sign or a yield sign would be more appropriate. Right?
Jim Baross, CABO President