FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA)–Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill yesterday, changing the laws of the road for cyclists.
This new law will allow cyclists to treat stop lights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs.
“I think, you know, if it’s a stop light we should stop, and we should all go when it’s green,” said Renita Wilkerson, a local driver. “If it’s a stop sign, same, everyone has their turn.”
Donald Butcher, the program manager of Bike NWA said, “It’s good to get that person on a bike through the intersection, out of the way for a car so that car can move on and get back into the flow of traffic.”
Arkansans are feeling mixed emotions after a bill allowing cyclists to not follow traditional road laws was signed into law.
Act 650 will make it legal for bike riders to treat stoplights as stop signs, and stop signs as yield signs.
“Just that they don’t have to abide by the same rules and regulations as vehicles do, is a little concerning,” Wilkerson said.
Butcher, an avid biker, said the best way to lower concerns is through education.
He said, “A person on a bike has to yield and has to be cognizent that if somebody at a stop sign at a four way stop is there, they actually have the right of way as they approach that. They can’t just blow through that intersection.”
According to the new law, cyclists can yield to a stop sign instead of making a full stop just so long as there is no danger of a collision or accident.
In front of a red light, those on two wheels can now actually make a left hand turn after stopping as long as it’s a one-way road and there’s no immediate oncoming traffic.
Butcher said cyclists have a history of not making complete stops to help their momentum.
“At times, this caused confusion between bikes and cars because people would say they’re not following the law. Now, it’s a law,” he said.