Idaho Stop Law

Update:  Winnipeg is the largest city in the Province of Manitoba.

Winnipeg City Councillors have formally requested the Winnipeg Police Service, to study the idea of potenially allowing cyclists, to roll through stop signs at intersections, where no vehicles or pedestrians are present. In order to implement this new approach, the Manitoba Government would have to change the The Highway Traffic Act.

The Protection and Community Services Committee (Chaired by Councillor Steeves, along with Councillor’s Gerbasi, Nordman and Pagtakhan) met in the North Committee Room of the Council Building in Winnipeg on

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 9:06 a.m. (see Meetings schedule ) and one of the items that was discussed, was the Idaho Stop Law. This is something that bicycle enthusiasts have been pushing for.

This Committee made the following recommendation:


That the Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services recommends that the Winnipeg Public Service report back in 60 days with an analysis of the “Idaho stop law” and other similar regulations that may exist in other jurisdictions and recommendations regarding its potential implementation in Manitoba.

Idaho Statutes are constructed to allow cyclists’ to treat stop signs and red lights like “yield signs” and a full stop isn’t necessary at either. This Idaho law has been on the books for twenty seven (27) years.  As long as it is safe to proceed (clear of vehicles/pedestrians) cyclists may proceed.

Idaho Statutes – TITLE 49 MOTOR VEHICLES


Idaho Statutes – 49 – 720 STOPPING – TURN AND STOP SIGNALS

TITLE 49 – Motor Vehicles – Chapter 7 – Pedestrians and Bicycles:



(1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and,

if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or

stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on

another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving

across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a

reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed

through the intersection without stopping.

(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light

shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded,

he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing

to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A

left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other


(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-643, Idaho Code.

(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100)

feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if

the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

See the Video concerning this law.

We should hear back from Winnipeg’s City Council after the new year.

April 19, 2010 – Bikes over Motor Vehicles

Update: April 23, 2010 – Bike messenger receives a $325.00 ticket when she travels through a red light on her bike.

Update: June 10, 2010 – What are the rules about Drinking and Biking?

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