Oklahoma House Bill 1770 Would Legalize Idaho Stops and Provide Cyclists Additional Protections.

On March 16, 2021, I wrote about the status of Delaware’s Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act.  The protections afforded to bicyclists in Delaware’s intersections are set to expire this year as the Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act contained a sunset provision.

The Oklahoma Legislature followed the safety statistics in both Idaho and Delaware. The Oklahoma House passed House Bill 1770 with an overwhelming vote of 76-13 on March 11, 2021.  On April 20, 2021 the Oklahoma Senate approved the Bill and sent it back to the House for further consideration.

My compliments to Representative Dobrinski and his Staff.  House Bill 1770 sets forth a straightforward and easy-to-follow-standard for bicyclists to apply at intersections:

An “immediate hazard” is defined as “a vehicle approaching a person operating a bicycle at a proximity and rate of speed sufficient to indicate to a reasonably careful person that there is a danger of collision or accident.”

House Bill 1770 also provides a standard for bicyclists approaching a steady red traffic-control signal.  A complete stop is required when traveling through the intersection.  However, “if a person operating a bicycle determines there is no immediate hazard, he or she may proceed through the steady red traffic-control signal with caution.”

Where a bicyclist is making a right-hand turn at a steady red traffic-control signal, he or she may “roll” the intersection provided, he or she “slow[s] to a reasonable speed and yield[s to] the right-of-way, if required, to oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard[.]”

House Bill 1770 also makes it a crime of reckless driving for a motorist to “taunt or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle, equine or animal-drawn vehicle.”  This only appears to be a misdemeanor offense as the maximum penalties are six months in prison and a One Thousand Dollar fine.  House Bill 1770 also prohibits drivers from “us[ing] a horn when passing a person riding a bicycle, equine or animal-drawn vehicle under normal conditions if no imminent danger of a collision exists.”

This is very encouraging news out of the State of Oklahoma.  I would love to see similar legislation regulating intersections in Kentucky and Ohio.