Originally Posted by Douglas
I watch them go through red lights and stop signs all the time
. It used to piss me off royally but then someone on here once even had a name for it, like a "Houston Roll" or something; I inferred from that that it was somehow legal, but I haven't cared enough to research it.
I guess there is a mild rationale for it in that at a long red light with traffic stacking up, when the light eventually turns green and the cars slowly start to roll, a biker is sort of another obstacle in that mess. But it's a mild rationale, IMO. And it still pisses me off :fist shake:
Its an "Idaho Stop" because the law there allows something along the lines of "cyclists may treat a stop sign at an empty intersection as a yield sign" and maybe a similar downgrade to stop sign for red lights. Other areas have similar rules, but I think it was originally statewide in Idaho, hence the name.
Personally, when I ride, I tend to do something similar even though it is not the rule here. I might treat an empty red light as a stop sign--come to a stop and then proceed through if clear. A stop sign gets to behave like a yield of there are no turning or crossing cars--slow down before entering, look both ways, but not actually come to a complete stop (then again, I rarely see cars actually come to a complete stop...so they are all breaking the law too).
Of course if it is a stoplight intersection with traffic, I will sit there and wait for the green. And if there are other cars at a 4-way stop, I will come to a stop and give them their turns (e.g. I will go when the car next to me, travelling the same direction, has their turn and goes). I actually don't really like it when someone tries to wave me through an intersection (especially if they aren't the only other car there)--I should be waiting my turn, I have already made the effort to stop, and then the person behind them will see me zip through and think I am some asshole cyclist (since they didn't see me get waved at). Its a nice gesture, but it kind of breaks everybody's flow.