Stop Signs Actually Mean Yield to WA Bicyclists Beginning Oct. 1
Keeping Washington bicyclists safe is the push behind the state joining a plethora of other states who have already passed laws that say bicyclists may treat stop signs as yield signs.
The Washington State House of Representatives voted 77–20 to pass SSB 628 with bipartisan support. The vote follows an almost-unanimous 44–1 vote in the Senate last month. It heads to Governor Jay Inslee next for his signature.
The reason why cyclists rolling through stop signs is safer than stopping is because cyclists can keep their momentum going through intersections, continuing along at a slow roll is safer than coming to a complete stop. If a bicyclist can slow down their speed just enough to be able to make sure there are no cars coming, they can then capitalize on their momentum and power through the intersection with more safety.
The "Idaho law" is already in effect in several other states and their studies show collisions between motorists and cyclists have declined in those states since the law was established.
While cyclists will reserve the right to stop or yield at the stop signs police say riders will still be ticketed if they run right through the stop sign.
This is good to know because beginning October 1st, if you are in a vehicle and you see a bicyclist slow down and not completely stop it's okay, they are doing it correctly, being a tattletale is not necessary.