Letter to the Editor

Glad to see support for ‘Idaho stop’

I am pleased to see that Chris Hoeber supports the California adoption of the Idaho law permitting cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs (“Cons of bringing the Idaho stop law to California,” Dec. 6).

I have been riding that way for 84 years so far and have never been touched by a motor vehicle while covering a distance equivalent to over 5.5 times around the world at the equator, including rides in every U.S. state and about 50 other countries.

I should confess that I did get ticketed once for doing that. I was riding to work on Purissima Road in Los Altos Hills, approaching Arastradero Road, and saw that there was no other traffic there, so I rolled through the intersection. However, just as I turned uphill, I saw headlights come on in a police car hiding in the underpass of Interstate 280 just uphill, which meant I was nailed. I saved the cop some trouble by riding up to his window so that he could hand me the ticket, but I found the whole thing annoying because what I had done was perfectly safe but senselessly illegal.

The author goes on to say that “actually stopping and putting their foot down doesn’t necessarily contribute to their safety.” The implied requirement of putting a foot down is not required by law but is a myth that some police like to pretend is true. Are motorists required to put a foot down when they stop? Certainly not. Incidentally, I believe the record for a cyclist balancing in one place without moving is over eight hours.

Lester Earnest

Los Altos Hills

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