New state bill would let Washington cyclists roll through stop signs

Feb 14, 2020, 12:26 PM | Updated: 1:51 pm
Stop sign, cyclists...
Washington cyclists may soon be able to roll through stop signs. (Unsplash)

When can red mean yellow? The answer: When riding a bicycle in Washington state, according to legislation approved by the the state Senate.

On a vote of 44-1, Senate lawmakers approved SB 6208 this week, a measure that would bicyclists to treat all traffic stop signs as “yield” signs, a change that would permit them to legally roll through sign-controlled intersections without stopping (provided it’s safe to do so). Currently, bicyclists are required to obey the signs in the same manner as vehicle traffic.

The measure would not apply to traffic lights.

In testimony to the Senate Transportation Committee, State Sen. Andy Billig said the change would improve safety for both cars and cyclists.

“The bill allows cyclists to keep up their momentum,” the Spokane Democrat said. “And to keep distance from cars.”

“Often at stop signs, the bikes are hanging back on the side,” he continued, “[They’re] really in the blind spot of cars. When this has been done in other states, it really increases safety as well as convenience.”

Billig added that the change also is something motorists would appreciate. When a cyclists comes to stop signs, it takes them a while to get back up to speed. If they roll through, he said, they can more easily and quickly get out of the way of trailing motorists.

Lawmakers hinted that questions remain about SB 6208, including whether electric bicycles should also be allowed to roll through stop signs, given their relative higher average speeds and ability to accelerate quickly. As currently written, electric bikes would be included in the changes in the same manner as regular bicycles.

The measure now is headed to the state House of Representatives. Similar bills have become law in four other states, including Arkansas, Delaware, Oregon and Idaho.

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7 – 10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

KIRO Nights on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to kiro nightsTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 7 pm for KIRO Nights with Jack Stine.

KIRO Nights

KIRO Nights

Seattle Public Schools...
KIRO Nights

Despite early pushback, Seattle Public Schools reaches ‘fantastic’ vaccine mandate compliance

Of Seattle Public Schools' 7,283 full time employees, 99% have received COVID immunizations, and 205 have sought religious or medical exemptions.
3 days ago
Seattle city attorney...
KIRO Nights

Seattle city attorney candidate defends past inflammatory tweets as ‘satire and sarcasm’

Seattle city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy defends incendiary posts on social media, claims 'Twitter is an inherently satirical and sarcastic.'
22 days ago
vaccination plan, Biden...
Jack Stine

Jack Stine’s six step COVID vaccination plan

KIRO Nights host Jack Stine came up with his own six step plan to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID, focused on a change in messaging.
1 month ago
Vaccine consent, vaccinated protest, lawsuit vaccine mandate...
Jack Stine

Stine: Refusal to get vaccinated is about consent for some

Not wanting to get vaccinated has nothing to do with grand or romantic illusions of a conspiracy, but rather a very basic concept: consent.
2 months ago
Jack Stine

Stine: If I win the COVID vaccine lottery … or any lottery

Lotteries present a tremendous amount of potential for someone to lose themselves from suddenly being endowed with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
4 months ago
cancel rent...
KIRO Nights

Push to ‘cancel the rent,’ extend moratoriums driven by risk of more homelessness

With eviction moratoriums set to expire at the end of June, some local groups are pushing for the state to cancel rent and help people avoid homelessness.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
New state bill would let Washington cyclists roll through stop signs