The 2018 legislative session in Colorado convened on January 10. The session is limited to 120 days and will adjourn May 9. In that short time, there is much work to be done.

We’ll update this page regularly during the legislative session, and you’ll find detailed information on our policy initiatives and what you can do to help. We’ve made it quick and easy to learn about these issues and contact your state representatives and senators to support funding, infrastructure and support for bicycling in Colorado.

Together, with a unified voice, we can make a difference and continue to make this the #1 state for bikes!

Protect vulnerable road users

SB 18-140 doesn’t make it out of committee.

The latest: Senator Michael Merrifield introduced the bill on Monday, January 29. The bill died in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 14. 


Senate Judiciary Committee Members
Bob Gardner, chair, district 12; El Paso county

John Cooke, vice chair, district 13; Weld county

Don Coram, district 6; Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties

Rhonda Fields, district 29; Arapahoe county

Daniel Kagan, district 26; Arapahoe county

See the full text of the bill.

Senate Bill 18-140 would have made careless driving that seriously harms or kills a vulnerable road user–including bicyclists, pedestrians, maintenance workers, those providing emergency services and more–a class 1 misdemeanor. It also would have required the driver at fault to attend driver improvement school and perform community service. Violators of the law would have been subject to license suspension on a case by case basis.

This law was especially important to protecting people who ride and walk in Colorado. Increased penalties for careless driving can help to deter unsafe behavior behind the wheel and make our roads safer for everyone. If it is reintroduced in the 2019 legislative session, we look forward to supporting it. 

We support Colorado safety stop bill

YES on Senate Bill 144

The latest: Senator Andy Kerr and Representative Yeulin Willett introduced the Safety Stop Bill on Monday, January 29. It passed the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Tuesday, February 13 in a bipartisan vote of 3-2. 

It now heads to the senate floor for a full vote. 


Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Members
Vicki Marble, chair, district 23; Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties

Jerry Sonnenberg, vice chair, district 1; Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties

Lois Court, district 31; Arapahoe and Denver counties

Stephen Fenberg, district 18; Boulder county

Owen Hill, district 10; El Paso county

Senate Judiciary Committee Members
Bob Gardner, chair, district 12; El Paso county

John Cooke, vice chair, district 13; Weld county

Don Coram, district 6; Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties

Rhonda Fields, district 29; Arapahoe county

Daniel Kagan, district 26; Arapahoe county

See the full text of the bill.

This bill, proposed in the Colorado legislature by Senator Kerr, provides common language for municipalities and counties to use should they choose to allow bicyclists to use the “safety stop.” The safety stop allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield and red lights as stop signs if the coast is clear.

It is commonly referred to as the Idaho stop, where a state law was first implemented in 1982. Various versions of the safety stop are already in place in several communities across Colorado. Having consistent language for all municipalities and counties to adopt would help motorists and bicyclists understand the law more easily and avoid confusion while traveling throughout the state.

As stated in the bill, safety stop ordinances and regulations would require cyclists to yield to all traffic in the intersection, including pedestrians. A study of Idaho’s law found no evidence of a long-term increase in injury or fatality rates and bicycle injury rates declined by 14.5 percent in the law’s first year.

Safety stop implementation can reduce conflicts on the roads and improve the flow of traffic by helping motorists not have to wait for a bicyclist to get moving again after a complete stop. While we continue to work toward more inclusive infrastructure for all people bicycling and walking, this is a step to help traffic move safely and efficiently within our current system.

What the proposed law does
  • Sets common language for a municipality or county to adopt regarding the safety stop, including:
    • Requiring people on bicycles to stop at stop signs and stop lights and yield the right of way if there is any traffic at the intersection.
    • At a stop sign intersection, if the coast is clear, the person on a bicycle may proceed like they would at a yield sign at a reasonable speed of no more than 15 miles per hour. Communities can decide to change this speed to 10 or 20 miles per hour.
    • At a red stop light, bicyclists must come to a complete stop and then may proceed straight or right if the coast is clear. For bicyclists turning left, they must stop and wait for green light to make a left-hand turn unless they are turning onto a one-way street in the direction of travel.
    • People on bicycles still must yield to people walking and to other vehicles that have the right-of-way.
    • Failure to yield would continue to be illegal, as well as unsafe.
What the proposed law does not do
  • It does not make the safety stop legal in communities where it is not already.
  • It does not override existing safety stop legislation in municipalities or counties where it is already enacted
  • The proposed law does not change the general right of way rules at intersections.
  • It does not give people on bicycles priority over others in the intersection.
Safety Stop FAQ


  1. What would this law do?
    This law would make it legal for bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights like a stop sign. No left turns are allowed at a red stop light. A bicyclist approaching an intersection controlled by a stop sign would be permitted to roll through the stop sign after yielding the right of way if there are other vehicles at the intersection.
  2. Would cars have to stop and wait for bicyclists?
    No, this law change would allow a cyclist to slowly approach the intersection and proceed only if the intersection was clear and it was safe to continue. The law does not grant a cyclist permission to take the right of way from another vehicle.
  3. Why is it often called an “Idaho Stop?”
    In 1982, the Idaho legislature passed a law that allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield and not always come to a complete stop.
  4. What if I feel safer stopping at all stop signs?
    As a cyclist, nothing in the law would require you to roll through stop signs. If it is your preferred practice to stop each time, then you may keep doing so.
  5. Why not apply this to motorists as well?
    Stop signs must apply to motorists because their vehicles pose a much greater threat to bicyclists, pedestrians and other motorists.
More info on the Idaho Stop

From the study’s conclusion: “There is no single measure as quick and cost effective for increased and safer cycling than to relax stopping rules for bicyclists. Stop signs and signals intended to discourage motor traffic have been placed in precisely the places where bicyclists most wish to ride, often without warrant for motorists let alone bicyclists, discouraging cycling and creating widespread noncompliance with a requisite backlash.”

From the study’s executive summary: “Considering permitting ‘Idaho Stops’ at four-way stop intersections, which would enable cyclists to determine whether to stop or yield based on traffic conditions in order to maintain their momentum. The study shows that only about one cyclist in 25 presently complies with the law to come to a complete stop. A pilot program to allow Idaho Stops at certain traffic signal intersections when traffic volumes are relatively low may also be considered.”

Video from Oregon about the Idaho Stop

Automated enforcement keeps bicyclists safe

House Bill 18-1072 doesn’t make it out of committee. 

The latest: The bill died in the House Transportation and Energy Committee on Wednesday, February 14 by a vote of 8-4, with one represenative not present. We are excited that this bill did not make it out of committee.  


House Transportation and Enery Committee Members
Faith Winter, chair, district 35; Adams county

Barbara McLachlan, vice chair, district 59; Archuleta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Ouray and San Juan counties

Jon Becker, district 65; Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick and Yuma counties

Jeff Bridges, district 3; Arapahoe county

Perry Buck, district 49; Larimer and Weld counties

Terri Carver, district 20; El Paso county

Daneya Esgar, district 46; Pueblo county

Joann Ginal, district 52; Larimer county

Chris Hansen, district 6; Denver county

Dominique Jackson, district 42; Arapahoe county

Polly Lawrence, district 39; Douglas and Teller counties

Kimmi Lewis, district 64; Baca, Bent, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Prowers and Washington counties

Dylan Roberts, district 26; Eagle and Routt counties

See the full text of the bill.

Join us in saying NO to House Bill 18-1072, which aims to dismantle automated enforcement legislation which keeps our most vulnerable users on the road safer.  

HB 1072 “repeals the authorization for the state, a county, a city and county, or a municipality to use automated vehicle identification systems (including red light cameras) to identify violators of traffic regulations and issue citations based on photographic evidence and creates a prohibition on such activity. The bill repeals the authorization for the department of public safety to use an automated vehicle identification system to detect speeding violations within a highway maintenance, repair, or construction zone.”

When properly initiated, automated photo radar systems and red light cameras are effective traffic-calming measures. Studies show that the severity of a crash is directly correlated to speed, and this is even more true for vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians–the faster an automobile is traveling, the more severe the crash. This can be deadly for those who bike and walk.

We believe that automated enforcement efforts are an important initiative in slowing traffic and increasing safety for all road users. Though it can’t prevent all crashes from occurring, it can reduce their severity and protect vulnerable road users. That’s why we are firmly against HB 1072. We hope you’ll voice your concerns to your representatives.

How speed effects crash severity
Studies show that speed and crash severity are directly correlated. The higher the speed, the worse the crash. For vulnerable road users, crashes can be fatal, especially at high speeds.

Relationship between Speed and Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians and Car Occupants

Speed and the injury risk for different speed levels

World Health Organization – Injury Prevention – Speed

Speeding Fact Sheet

Bicycle Colorado supports continued lottery funds for trails

YES on SB 18-066

The latest: SB 66 heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee after passing both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy unanimously. 


Senate Appropriations Committee Members
Kevin Lundberg, chair, district 15; Larimer county

Colonel Kent D. Lambert, vice chair, district 9; El Paso county

Leroy M. Garcia, district 3; Pueblo county

Bob Gardner, district 12; El Paso county

Andy Kerr, district 22; Jefferson county

Dominick Moreno, district 21; Adams county

Jerry Sonnenberg, district 26; Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties

See the full text of the bill.

We want to see funds from the Colorado Lottery Division reauthorized for parks, trails, open spaces, rivers and more.

Since 1992, Colorado has invested more than $3 billion in projects across Colorado made possible by lottery funds, but it might surprise you to hear that the Colorado Lottery was initially approved as a temporary program by voters in 1980. Senate Bill 66 aims to change that and install the lottery as a permanent Colorado Program. We want to make sure that Colorado’s natural spaces get the funding they deserve so that bicyclists, runners, walkers and all other outdoor enthusiasts can embrace and enjoy all that Colorado has to offer. We support SB 66, and hope you will as well. 

Support tougher distracted driving bill

YES on SB 18-049

The latest: The bill was voted down in the State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee on Wednesday, January 24. It did not pass. 


Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Members
Vicki Marble, chair, district 23; Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties

Jerry Sonnenberg, vice chair, district 1; Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties

Lois Court, district 31; Arapahoe and Denver counties

Stephen Fenberg, district 18; Boulder county

Owen Hill, district 10; El Paso county

See the full text of the bill.

Bicycle Colorado is proud to support Senate Bill 18-049, aimed at decreasing distracted driving throughout Colorado. Addressing this issue is critical to improving the safety of our roads for all users. We need your help!

This issue and bill relate directly to Coloradans’ health and safety. Data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) indicates that 620 people died on Colorado roads in 2017 alone, the highest figure in more than a decade. Moreover, between 2012 and 2016, approximately 57,300 distracted-driving crashes occurred with an average of 40 distracted-distracted driving crashes occurring daily in 2016. Forty per day.

Current law prohibits the use of cellular phones while driving only for individuals who are under 18. Senate bill 18-049:

  • Extends the prohibition to drivers of all ages;

  • Increases the penalty for minor drivers from $50 per violation to $300 per violation, to match the penalty that currently applies to adult drivers;

  • Extends the existing prohibition of the use of wireless telephones to include all mobile electronic devices; and

  • Creates an exception to the prohibition of the use of mobile electronic devices for adult drivers who use a mobile electronic device through the use of a hands-free device.

We believe SB 18-049 is critical to improving the safety of all road users, especially vulnerable users such as bicyclists and pedestrians, and we are committed to seeing it pass through the legislature. The bill will go before the State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee on January 24. The message for members of the Committee is one of public safety benefits. Please reach out and let them know that this bill is critical to addressing our state’s rising crash / fatality rates but more so, ensuring the safety of Coloradans and visitors who travel on our state’s roads.


Please keep an eye on this page for updates and how to act.

Learn more about the significant health and economic benefits that bicycling provides to the state of Colorado.

Support a state transportation funding measure that includes dedicated bike/walk funding

STATUS: The bill passed the house on March 31 and is being considered by the senate. This page will have updates as new calls to action arise. Thank you for following this. 

Bicycle Colorado has been working with a multimodal coalition to ensure any proposed new state transportation revenue includes designated funds for walking, biking and transit. Those efforts paid off last week when House Bill 17-1242 was introduced with bipartisan support to increase annual transportation funding by $625 million including $100 million each year for bicycling, walking and transit.

Colorado has significant multimodal needs, including over $330 million of unfunded bicycle and pedestrian projects currently identified by local communities. Addressing these needs is critical to improve the safety and efficiency of our transportation system and provide the options we need to keep Colorado moving forward.

While HB 17-1242 will not meet all the active transportation needs in our state, Bicycle Colorado appreciates the bipartisan effort from the bill sponsors to bring diverse views and needs together into one proposal. We believe HB 17-1242 is an acceptable compromise investment in Colorado’s multimodal needs and we are committed to seeing it pass through the Legislature and be approved by voters in November.

Why more bike/walk funding matters to Colorado
Whether you ride to work on bike paths, explore dirt trails in your free time, test your legs cycling mountain passes, follow your kids as they pedal to school or simply use a bicycle as your number-one vehicle for going about daily life, this issue matters to you. Good bicycling (and walking) infrastructure makes our business, casual and fun rides safer, easier to navigate and more enjoyable.

Bicycling and walking improve communities through safer roads, healthier residents and increased local tourism. Multiple studies have shown that bicycling and walking facilities can also lead to increased property values, benefit businesses by increasing retail visibility and volume, and significantly reduce traffic deaths–which increased dramatically in 2016. That year, bicyclist and pedestrian deaths reached a 15-year high.

In Colorado, specifically, just a 10 percent increase in bicycling and walking would prevent an additional 30-40 deaths per year and lead to $258-$387 million in additional annual healthcare savings to the state.

According the U.S. Census, Colorado has the second-fastest growing population. Our dramatic, rapid growth has increased demand on our infrastructure, and future growth is going to create even more.

Our state severely under-funds bike/walk projects
In 2015, Colorado decided it would prioritize the goal of becoming the nation’s number one bike state as a broad benefit to residents, businesses and tourism. Governor Hickenlooper has, on several occasions, stated that bicycles are simply a part of Colorado’s identity. The intertwining of bicycles into our collective lifestyles helps to create the work-life balance that our state is known for–and it a big reason why people enjoy living and visiting here.

However, multimodal transportation options are severely under-funded. Colorado is currently ranked 29th among states in per capita funding for transit, investing just one-twentieth of the national average. Additionally, Colorado currently has a backlog of over $330 million of locally identified (yet unfunded) biking and walking projects.

Residents want more bike/walk funding
According to a statewide study released in late 2016, Colorado residents are, overall, unsatisfied with the state’s bicycling infrastructure, including lack of dedicated and protected bicycle facilities, bicycle-friendly traffic signals and accommodations such as bike parking at destinations.

The ability to ride a bicycle without fear of being hit; the ability to use public transit in conjunction with riding; and the availability of bike lanes, trails and bicycle parking all received low marks from residents.

Recent polling from the Colorado Contractors Association found that more than 70 percent of voters say they are more likely to support a statewide transportation funding measure when told that it includes funding dedicated to multimodal options.

Mayors and other leaders across the state want more bike/walk funding
A broad and diverse coalition of mayors, local and regional officials, civic groups, mobility service providers, trade associations, nonprofit advocacy organizations and others are formally calling (via outreach to the legislature) for a 2017 ballot measure that would provide new revenues for bicycling and walking projects across the state They also request that what funding is provided be flexible to address diverse, local needs so that all of Colorado benefits. The coalition has sent two letters to the Legislature within the last month to make their position clear.

Groups supporting this include the American Council of Engineering, Metro Mayors Caucus, LiveWell Colorado, I-70 Coalition and others. Mayors from Aspen, Boulder, Edgewater, La Junta, Lamar, Longmont, Palisade, Telluride, Trinidad, Vail and Wheat Ridge also endorse this call for statewide funding, as well as dozens of council members and county commissioners from cities and towns both urban and rural across the state.


Access our Voter Voice advocacy campaign to quickly and easily contact your state representative.

Support license suspension for hit-and-run suspects

STATUS: The bill was introduced and will be heard first by the House Transportation Committee 

Hit-and-run legislation, HB 1277, was recently brought forward by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill–Driver’s License Suspension Leaving Accident Scene–would immediately suspend the license of a driver who is suspected of a hit-and-run crash involving serious bodily injury or death, getting dangerous drivers off the road as soon as a summons or arrest is made. Hit-and-run crashes disproportionately affect children and adults who walk or ride bicycles, and the number of such crashes is on the rise.

Please contact your state legislator today and ask them to support this bill. Something needs to be done to make a hit-and-run a more serious offense.

2018 issues no longer under consideration

The following two issues either passed or failed in the legislature. We left them up so you can see what we have been working on and learn about each issue. Our work is not done.

THANK YOU to everyone who contacted their elected officials regarding one or more of these issues. Even though two were unsuccessful, the groundswell of constituent emails and phone calls will help us when we bring up these issues again. The more bicycle enthusiasts can show a unified, strong and vocal front, the more successful we will be in the future.

Clarify statewide eBike regulations

UPDATE: The bill passed and was signed into law. 

Bicycle Colorado supports bicycling for everyone. Therefore, we want to see the number of bicyclists grow and to make it easier for people to use bikes for everyday trips. Some trips are too long, too hilly, or have cargo too heavy (like children) for regular bikes to meet the need. Electric bikes (eBikes) can help solve the problem. Most often, they are used to replace car trips.

Bicycle Colorado helped Colorado to be one of the first states to define and legalize eBikes in 2009. This year, the eBike industry has come together to agree on a defined classification system to improve safety and enforcement. House Bill 1151 will align Colorado’s definitions with the national standards. It does not affect management of eBikes on public mountain bike and hiking trails.

eBikes get more people to bike and get people to bike more often. They help:

  • People who are older
  • People who live in parts of the state that are hilly or windy
  • People who have long commutes and currently drive instead of bike
  • People who have a physical limitation that makes cycling difficult
  • People concerned about sweating while biking in work clothes
  • People who need to carry large items or children
House Bill 1151: What it does
  • Defines 3 classes of electrical assisted bicycles, depending on their top speed and whether the electric motor assists while pedaling
  • Requires manufacturers to label electrical assisted bicycles so they are easy to identify
  • Continues local government authority to manage electric-assist bicycles on bike paths under their jurisdiction
  • Prohibits a person under the age of 16 from riding a class 3 electrical assisted bicycle except as a passenger
  • Helmet usage is the same for Class 3 eBikes as low-powered scooters and allows certified bicycle helmets instead of motorcycle helmets
House Bill 1151: What it does not do
  • It does not affect management of eBikes on public mountain bike and hiking trails
  • Does not change existing eBike access to roads and bike lanes
Why Bicycle Colorado supports House Bill 1151
  • A key part of our mission is to encourage and enable more Coloradans to ride bikes for everyday trips and recreation. eBikes make bicycling accessible to more people by providing an option with electrical assistance.
  • As more bicyclists use roads and paths, bicycles become more visible which has shown to improve safety for everyone.
  • Many Coloradans who wish to start riding or ride more don’t do so due to physical constraints or limits of endurance. E-Bikes are a gateway for these people to bike more.
  • For bicyclists wanting to carry heavy items and/or children, electric-assist can make these rides feasible instead of taking a car. eBikes can help replace thousands of the daily single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips made every day.
  • Boulder has permitted eBikes on many shared used paths in its city for over two years. The city completed a study and found that average eBike travel speeds were similar to traditional bicyclists. Further, there has been no significant increase in crashes.

Stop the practice of rolling coal

UPDATE: The bill passed and was signed into law. 

Have you ever been riding your bicycle and been subjected to an intentional blast of black diesel smoke from a passing vehicle? This alarming action called “rolling coal” is far too common. It’s not only a health hazard, it’s extremely dangerous to have your view of the road suddenly and completely obscured and can lead to crashes.

Rolling coal doesn’t just affect people traveling on bicycle or foot. Drivers caught in the cloud of black smoke can’t see and run the risk of getting in an accident. It’s a nuisance for people enjoying our city centers either by walking through them or dining outside. Finally, rolling coal can deter tourists from taking bicycling trips to and within Colorado.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s laws make it almost impossible for police to ticket coal rollers. Rep. Joann Ginal of District 52 (Ft. Collins) introduced a bill to help law enforcement cite this dangerous behavior. It failed in the senate in February.

On March 31, Sen. Don Coram of Montrose introduced a second-chance bill that would make intentionally shooting exhaust at bicyclists, pedestrians or other motorists a traffic infraction punishable by a $100 fine. It’s almost identical to Rep. Ginal’s proposal. The new version deletes references to harassing behavior and includes specific exhibitions for commercial and agricultural vehicles.

Support higher penalties for texting while driving

STATUS: SB17-027 passed! It is now before the governor to hopefully be signed into law.  

Senator Lois Court and Representative Jovan Melton have introduced legislation to increase Colorado’s penalties for texting while driving. Currently, the fine for texting while driving is $50 and one point assessed against the violator’s driver’s license for a first offense, and a $100 fine and one point assessed against the violator’s driver’s license for a second or subsequent offense. SB-27 increases the penalty to a $500 fine and five points for a first offense and a $750 fine and six points for a second or subsequent offense.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic injuries and fatalities. In 2009, Colorado passed legislation outlawing texting while driving in response to a distracted driver who tragically killed a Fort Collins girl who was riding her bike.

Unfortunately, the existing penalties for a behavior that can have such high consequences do not seem to be much of a deterrent. Colorado has some of the lowest texting while driving fines in the U.S. Deaths on Colorado’s roadways jumped about 11 percent in 2016 to 605, a total that includes a 15-year-high number of pedestrians (84) and bicyclists (16) killed. In January, Colorado Department of Transportation executive director Shailen Bhatt blamed the surge in crashes on an “epidemic of distracted driving” (Denver Post).

ACT NOW! Click the red button to the left to quickly and easily speak up by emailing a message of support to your state representative. 

Bicycle Colorado

Thanks for sharing, @cyclist_lawyer!

  • Safe Streets Day at the Capitol is just a week away! Click the link in our bio to register today for this FREE event. At Safe Streets Day, you can share how important better bicycling and safer streets are to you—directly with your legislators! Come out and support (and be sure to register so we can link you with legislators and get you breakfast) on February 27 from 8-10 a.m.
  • What a difference a day makes!
  • Bikes + trees. Did you take advantage of the sunshine on your bike today? Share your photos by tagging @bicyclecolo!