New Colorado law could reduce bike-related accidents in DougCo

Natasha Lovato

Natasha Lovato / NewsBreak Denver

(Douglas County, Colo.) After the Colorado Safety Stop law was passed in April, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office hopes to see improved safety conditions for cyclists. 

Bicycle Colorado urged the passing of House Bill 22-1028, the Colorado Safety Stop. The proposal of the bill stated that the law creates safer conditions for cyclists and others because it results in less time spent at intersections, where the majority of crashes with vehicles happen.

Data regarding bicycle-related accidents

According to 2017-2019 data by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the report indicated that 72.2% of reported crashes between bicyclists and drivers took place at, or near, intersections. 

“When bicyclists are able to get out of the intersection and away from that conflict zone before a potential crash can even occur, their safety improves,” Bicycle Colorado stated in its proposal. 

A report pulled by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office indicated 66 bicycle-related accidents since 2019. Nearly half of which occurred in 2021.

The Safety Stop Law

In effect now, the new law allows cyclists over age 15, or children accompanied by an adult, to treat traffic signals as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs. The law applies to those on bicycles, electric scooters, or other human-powered vehicles such as Segways.

The Safety Stop allows bicyclists to proceed after stopping at a red traffic signal, even if the signal remains red. However, cyclists may not stop and then turn left unless at the intersection of one-way streets.

When at stop signs, bicyclists may yield without stopping but must be traveling 10 mph or slower.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is now charged with updating the Colorado Driver Handbook and providing educational materials to driving schools for those under 18 years old.

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Lovato covers local news for Douglas County, Colo.

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