Rolling Stops for Bicycles

In a previous post about the benefits in adopting a rolling stop law in Michigan, we said rolling stops are already a “common existing practice”. We added that having a rolling stop law would make bicyclists more law abiding by making the law more appropriate for biking.

We called it a common practice based on what we see.

However, the city of Portland recently did a field study which found 93% of cyclists already do rolling stops. It’s reasonable to expect a similar compliance rate among Michigan cyclists. Therefore, as we noted earlier, a rolling stop law would only legalize what most cyclists do already.

The Portland field study also found that 78% of motor vehicles rolled their stops. Should they adopt the same law? No.

The difference is motor vehicles rolling stops and running stops is a major source of road injuries and fatalities in the U.S. Pedestrians and cyclists are especially vulnerable.

Bicyclists do not pose this same threat to other users.

In addition, a fit cyclist can generate one-third of a horsepower. Stopping and starting places a much higher burden on cyclists than it does on motor vehicles.

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