Governor Walz is expected to sign a comprehensive $1.3 billion transportation bill after the bill passed through the Minnesota legislature on May 21, 2023. The bill is extensive, but one notable addition changes how bicyclists are allowed to proceed through a stop sign.
Previously, a bike rider had all the rights and duties of the driver of a car. That included making a full stop at the stop sign before proceeding through. Minnesota’s new legislation only requires an operator of a bicycle to slow down to a speed which would allow them to stop at the intersection then continue through (or turn) if they see that no other vehicle is in the vicinity of the intersection. Basically, the law allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yield signs. This is commonly referred to as the “Idaho Stop” as that state was the first to pass a similar law back in 1982.
If the bill is signed by Governor Walz the change will be effective on August 1, 2023.
The text of the proposed legislation is below:
Sec. 48. Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 169.222, is amended by adding a subdivision
Subd. 4a.Stopping requirements.
(a) For purposes of this subdivision, “in the vicinity” means located in an intersection or approaching an intersection in a manner that constitutes a hazard of collision during the time that a bicycle operator would occupy the intersection.
(b) A bicycle operator who approaches a stop sign must slow to a speed that allows for stopping before entering the intersection or the nearest crosswalk. Notwithstanding subdivision 1 and section 169.06, subdivision 4, if there is not a vehicle in the vicinity, the operator may make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(c) Nothing in this subdivision alters the right-of-way requirements under section 169.20. The provisions under this subdivision do not apply when traffic is controlled by a peace officer or a person authorized to control traffic under section 169.06.