— By Kevin Montgomery (@kevinmonty) |
Local cyclist Amy Farah Weiss explains what went down on Haight the other day:
At the 25 second mark, this video shows two cyclists on Haight Street demonstrating the “Idaho roll” (aka yielding at a stop sign rather than fully stopping) … the catch is that these are SF police officers on bikes. I am fully supportive of the “spirit of the law” approach to bike-riding, and wish that tickets were only given when a cyclist shows disregard for the safety/flow of others.
I'm personally interested in this issue since I received a $388 ticket for failing to come to a full and complete stop at an EMPTY intersection on the Wiggle (In my case I applied my brakes and wasn't pedaling, but the officer wasn't moved by my “spirit of the law” defense).
For those of you not in the know, the “Idaho Stop Law” is a nice piece of Reagan-era cycling legislation from the lefty moonbat progressive red state of Idaho permitting cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, making what the two officers did in this video completely legal. And the law works. For 30 years, the law has reduced case load in Idaho traffic courts while increasing cycling rates without increasing accident rates. So it's no wonder people are calling for the adoption of the law in SF, especially given all the unnecessary SFPD cycling crackdowns we've seen lately.
Anyway, it's good to know the rank and file of SFPD agrees with San Francisco's cycling citizenry on this issue. Now, can you stop busting our balls?
UPDATE: In related news:
Doug Madey | [Permalink]
Who wears a backwards baseball hat under their helmet…
Travis | [Permalink]
In fairness, cops drive like that too.
GG | [Permalink]
I think the problem may be the desire to avoid navigating a grey area. It’s easy for cops to determine whether or not a cyclist has come to a stop, more difficult to judge whether they have sufficiently slowed down/looked around/yielded. Not that that’s a good rationale, but just an explanation. The Idaho Stop Law sounds like a great idea, IMHO. Also a big THUMBS UP to the ticketing on Harrison today! I’m on Harrison all the time to go to Mission Cliffs, and the vast majority of bikers I see don’t slow down, yield, or even look around at the stop signs there – I’ve almost gotten hit as a pedestrian more than once. Glad SFPD is paying attention.
I don't think before I type | [Permalink]
There’s lots of stuff cops can do that regular citizens can’t, such as speeding and talking on a cell phone while driving, right?
Mr. Reasonable | [Permalink]
Not quite true. Amy just shot two cops in this video.
Zach | [Permalink]
Most of the cars I saw were of the UCSF stripe (including the one cyclist I saw get pulled over) and not SFPD.
Zach | [Permalink]
Hey Kevin, do you mind removing at least my last name from my Twitter excerpt above? As much as I love the idea of any police officers who read Uptown Almanac thinking I’m an asshole, I could do without it, thank you.
epic hairlip man | [Permalink]
Hey if you want to see officers on bikes blow through a stop sign like a runaway freight train - just camp out at Stockton and Lombard in North Beach.
Jeremy | [Permalink]
Amy’s my hero.
Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable | [Permalink]
Always nice to hear about cops enforcing traffic laws for bicyclists as well as drivers!
Z | [Permalink]
Don’t the officers ride right onto the sidewalk at the end too, cutting off two pedestrians? Isn’t that something like a $200 fine now? I’m 100% for the Idaho Stop Law (aka the spirit of the stop with a real yield), but biking on sidewalks, come on.
Nice video work and questions Amy.
Fossil Fool | [Permalink]
Great video, thanks for documenting. Their roll through demonstrates how natural it is.
Here’s a song I wrote on the issue: “Nationalizing The Idaho Stop”
Petition link: http://www.change.org/petitions/bike-people-nationalize-the-idaho-stop