An existing statute allows a municipality or county to adopt an ordinance or resolution specifying that a person riding a bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or electric scooter may make a safety stop, rather than a full stop, under certain circumstances when approaching an intersection that is controlled by a stop sign or a traffic control signal as follows:
- When approaching a stop sign, if it is safe to proceed, the person may, after slowing to a reasonable speed of 15 miles per hour or less, or 10 or 20 miles per hour or less if so specified by a municipality or county for a particular intersection and marked with appropriate signage, and yielding the right-of-way to any traffic or pedestrian in or approaching the intersection, continue through the intersection without stopping; and
- When approaching an illuminated red traffic control signal, the person must first stop at the intersection and yield to all other traffic and pedestrians and then, when safe to do so, may proceed straight or make a right turn through the intersection or, subject to specified conditions, make a left turn onto a one-way street only.
The act amends the statute to make the substantive requirements described above uniform statewide for most persons 15 years of age or older or under 15 years of age and accompanied by an adult who are approaching a controlled intersection and are not operating a motor vehicle; except that the statewide "reasonable speed" is 10 rather than 15 miles per hour or less and the only municipal or county "reasonable speed" variance option is to increase the maximum "reasonable speed" for a particular intersection to 20 miles per hour. Such persons include pedestrians approaching a controlled intersection with a stop sign and operators of low-speed conveyances, as defined in the act, approaching a controlled intersection with a stop sign or a traffic control signal. However, if a county or municipality has placed a traffic sign or a traffic control signal at a controlled intersection and the traffic sign or traffic control signal provides instructions only to one or more specified types of low-speed conveyances, the operator of a low-speed conveyance to which the traffic sign or traffic control signal is directed is required to obey the instructions provided by the traffic sign or traffic control signal.
The regulation of persons approaching controlled intersections is declared to be a matter of mixed state and local concern, and the amended statute is thus declared to supersede any conflicting local ordinance or resolution but not to affect the validity of any nonconflicting local ordinance or resolution that regulates the conduct of persons approaching controlled intersections. The act does not create any right for a pedestrian or the operator of a low-speed conveyance to travel on any portion of a roadway where travel is otherwise prohibited by state law or a local ordinance or resolution.
The department of transportation, in collaboration with the departments of education and public safety and appropriate nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups, is required to incorporate legal requirements and safe practices for approaching controlled intersections as a pedestrian or while operating a low-speed conveyance into educational materials for persons under the age of 18 and the general public. The division of motor vehicles in the department of revenue is required to include in updates to the "Colorado Driver Handbook" updated information regarding legal requirements and safe practices for approaching controlled intersections that reflect the changes made by the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)