Arkansas Keeps Rolling: New Red Light Laws
We’ve kept an eye on this one for a while now. Arkansas residents will now be able to keep rolling through stop signs and, thanks to a new bill, will be able to cross at red lights when there is no other traffic present.
States like Idaho and Oregon have had similar bills in place for decades, but as legislators across the country work to better accommodate both motorists, cyclists, and foot traffic, traffic laws like this are growing more and more popular. Arkansas is the next state to step up, and it’s a place that trail meccas alike Bentonville are helping to usher in.
The new legislation comes in the form of ACT 650, which states that cyclists must stop at red lights, but can proceed if there is no other traffic present. Additionally, they’re now allowed to roll through stop signs when the intersection is cleared. Supporters of the law, including local cycling advocates, say that it’s stop and re-starting at intersections that cause the most confusion for both cyclists and motorists. As a result, it’s the reason behind many crashes.
We’ve all been there; the well-meaning motorist stops at a four-way and, even though it’s their turn, waves a cyclist across. In the hesitation, a driver coming in another direction goes. Horns blare and all too often a cyclist is injured. They usually get the blame, even if it isn’t their fault. With legislation like ACT 650, the right-of-way shifts the onus for the cyclist’s safety onto their shoulders, with both motorists and cyclists knowing what’s going to happen at every intersection, every time.
With a little clicking we found a local news channel present ACT 650, which we think is worth watching.
We’re excited to see more progressive traffic laws and standards being incorporated across the country, especially in places where cycling is a year-round transportation option like Arkansas.