SALT LAKE CITY — A bill allowing cyclists to coast through some stop signs passed the House Friday.
Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said HB155 is aimed at making bicycling safer by letting them treat stop signs as yield signs on less-busy streets.
She said it can be difficult for cyclists to stop completely then start riding again, especially if their feet are clipped onto a bike's pedals.
"It isn't efficient. It's not even safe in many cases," Moss said. She said a similar law has been on the books in Idaho for 29 years largely without incident.
"This does not give carte blanche to go rolling through intersections because if you put a bike up against a car, the car is going to win every time," Moss said.
A number of lawmakers questioned the need for the bill, which passed 39-33 and now goes to the Senate.
Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, said about one-fourth of the more than 2,000 bike crashes reported last year in Utah occurred in intersections. He warned the bill could lead to even more such accidents and some fatalities as well.
Moss noted her bill was stricter than legislation she had proposed in previous years that would have allowed cyclists to cruise through red lights. Her current bill also applies only to riders who are at least 18 years old.