Mann &

New Bicycling Law - House Bill 1028

The new law allows cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs and stop lights like stop signs. In other words, at a stop sign, cyclists can ride through an intersection with a stop sign without stopping but must yield the right of way to through traffic. At a stop light, a cyclist has to stop but then may proceed through the red light traffic is clear.

This statute codifies what most cyclists had been doing anyway and gives everyone on the road a clear understanding of the rules at intersections, which is one reason we at Mann & Maximon fully support it.


Previously, Colorado regulations allowed counties or municipalities to adopt an ordinance that permitted a person riding a bicycle, electric scooter, or electric-assisted bicycle to make a safety stop at some intersections controlled by stop signs and traffic control signals. 

Performing a safety stop means that the person treats a stop sign like a yield sign and a red light like a stop sign. In the latter situation, the person may not make a left turn unless they are turning onto a one-way street.

Unfortunately, the adoption of these ordinances was optional. As a result, Colorado was a patchwork of ordinances that changed between counties and municipalities. What was legal at one intersection might have suddenly been illegal at the next. And even if cyclists were familiar with where the ordinances apply, few vehicle drivers were.

HB22-1028 altered the existing regulations to remove the patchwork of ordinances. When the bill passed, safety stops became legal at all intersections in the state that are controlled by stop signs or traffic control signals. Furthermore, pedestrians were added to the list of persons that may take advantage of the safety stop ordinance.

Why It’s Called a Safety Stop

Safety stops (also known as “Idaho Stops”) mimic behavior that most cyclists and pedestrians already engage in. Most cyclists will slow down before a stop sign without fully stopping unless traffic makes it unsafe to continue. Pedestrians do the same thing, except they move slowly enough that they don’t need to slow down.

But just because most cyclists and pedestrians engage in this behavior and believe it is safer, that doesn’t prove it is safe. 

Rather than trusting the gut of cyclists, researchers at U.C. Berkeley performed a study in 2010. The results of this study showed that in the year following the adoption of safety stop laws, bicycle injuries declined in those locations by 14.5%.

Because safety stop laws already existed in parts of Colorado, bicycle and pedestrian injuries may not see the same drop as in this study, but they should still drop in the coming years. Just having universal laws throughout the state will make roadways safer. 

Additionally, because the law will be the same throughout the state, vehicle drivers are more likely to be aware of the laws affecting cyclists and pedestrians and react appropriately.

Safety Stops in the Other States

As you probably expect, given their nickname, safety stops are legal in Idaho. Additionally, some safety stop variations are legal in Delaware and Indiana. 

Seven other states also allow cyclists to treat a light as a stop sign when it is malfunctioning or inoperative. This is particularly important at intersections with sensor-controlled signals because bicycles usually won’t set off the sensors.

While there is limited data from these states, what data does exist suggests that these common-sense laws have improved bicycle safety and decreased injuries since they were enacted. This is one of many reasons that the non-profit Bicycle Colorado (who Mann & Maximon proudly supports) supported the implementation of HB22-1028.

Everyone Is Responsible for Cyclist and Pedestrian Safety

As important as this new law is, it won’t end bicycle accidents in Colorado. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents still happen every day. And as avid cyclists, we are extremely familiar with how reckless vehicle drivers can be when sharing the road with bicycles.

If you or a family member was injured by a negligent driver while riding a bike, speak with the attorneys at Mann & Maximon. Our knowledge of bike riding and the law will serve you well. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Contact Us For a Free Initial Consultation

In almost all the types of cases that we handle, contingent-fee representation is available. This means that we only get paid if and when you do. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you for an initial consultation; we are here to help you.

Call our office at 303-991-2233 or use our online contact form to get in touch with us today.