The Physics and Ethics of a Rolling Stop


In 1982, the state of Idaho legalized the "rolling stop," an adjustment to the rules of the road that lets cyclists treat stop signs as yield signs without becoming scofflaws. Nearly three decades later, the rule has a demonstrated track record of safety, but Idaho is still the only state with such a law. Maybe not much longer. Bike advocates in Oregon are working feverishly this week to gain passage of an "Idaho Stop" law of their own. Via BikePortland, this animation by Spencer Boomhower makes a compelling and visually dazzling case for the idea.

  • Yeaaaa! Let’s do this in SF, too pls.

  • Calliope

    Yes! This plus better education for drivers and cyclists for approaching 4 way stops.

    All the time I see cars who are already stopped, remain stopped at a 4 way stop and wave me through when I stop to give them their turn. I don’t want drivers to be polite and yield to me out of turn, but perhaps they do it because they are used to cyclists blowing through stop signs and they don’t think that I’ll stop.

  • Let’s all hope that the previous poster doesn’t mess up a track stop in a gale wind at a congested “stop as yield” intersection, lest “[the] Calliope crash to the ground” and we all end up Blinded by the Light.



Photo: Hui Hwa Nam.

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