The Oregon legislature is considering passage of a law that would allow bicycle riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. These "rolling stops" would allow bike riders to preserve some of the momentum they depend upon for efficient travel, just so long as they don't infringe on the safety and rights of others.

The law is based on one that's been successful in Idaho for the last 27 years, so it's come to be known as the "Idaho Stop" law.

There's some controversy - and whole lot of misunderstanding - surrounding the proposed Idaho Stop law. I thought I could clear some of it up with the magic of animation.

Music: "Celebrated Shoo Fly Galop" by W.L. Hayden, performed by Lucas Gonze (soupgreens.com and gonze.com). Used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

UPDATE: This particular piece of legislation failed to make it to a vote: bikeportland.org/2009/04/20/no-idaho-stops-in-oregon-law-fails-to-win-necessary-support-17477 However, the notion of lightening regulation on bikes hasn't gone away entirely, most recently turning up in the "gut and stuff" placeholder language of a law that would allow people on bikes to proceed were a stoplight not to sense them: bikeportland.org/2011/02/02/false-alarm-on-idaho-stop-law-47209

And the idea of Idaho Stop has proven popular all over the world, as is indicated at least in part by the continued spread of this video, which was originally meant only for the eyes of Oregon legislators and citizens, to convince them of the common sense behind this law.

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