OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has approved legislation to better protect bicyclists in Oklahoma. Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, and Rep. Mike Dobrinski, R-Okeene, are the principal authors of House Bill 1770, which would allow people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs.
Under HB 1770, a person on a bike would still have to yield to cars, pedestrians and other crosswalk users that are already at the intersection. For intersections with stop lights, the bike rider would be required to make a complete stop at the red light before entering the intersection and yield the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard during the time they are moving through the intersection. If the bicyclist determines there is no immediate hazard, they can proceed through the intersection with caution.
Weaver said when bicyclists treat stop signs as yield signs, it improves traffic flow because there is less wait time for vehicles and less time in the intersection for bikes. It also reduces accidents.
“Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon and Washington already have stop as yield laws on the books. In Idaho, the year after the law passed, they saw a 14.5 percent decrease in the injury of bicyclists. In Delaware, they saw a 23 percent drop in crashes involving bicycles at stop sign intersections 30 months after they passed their stop as yield law,” Weaver said. “I’m confident this bill will make bike riding safer in Oklahoma.”
The legislation also updates state law on hand signals used by bicyclists and makes it illegal for drivers to honk when passing a bicyclist, or animal-drawn vehicle, if there is no imminent danger of collision.
“This bill will improve safety for our bicyclists who share the road with motorists and pedestrians, clarifying the responsibilities for each traveler. As the anniversary of Historic Route 66 approaches, which will bring a great number of cycling enthusiasts to our state, it was important to have these updated safety measures in place.”
HB 1770 now returns to the House for further consideration.
For more information, contact Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email Darrell.Weaver@oksenate.gov