Bicyclists and drivers in north Arkansas react to new bike law

CARROLL COUNTY, Ark. -- Beginning July 1, bicyclists do not have to wait for those dreaded red lights to turn green.

Instead they have to stop, but if they don't see a danger in continuing on, they can keep moving.

"It gives me the ability to take care of my own safety," said Heather Harvey, a bicyclist in Eureka Springs. "For instance if I stop at a stoplight, and I have to stop and all the cars do too, and they haven't seen me, which happens, but I notice that they're not looking at me, I've got the ability to make my own move to go forward or turn when I need to so that I stay safe."

Supporters of the new law said it also helps because bicyclists can keep their momentum.

Also traffic light cameras sometimes don't detect bikes, so bikers can be sitting at the intersection for a while.

"Safety is the name of the game period," said Donald Stepp, who lives in Berryville. "I always treat bicyclists and people who are walking the right of way regardless because I don't want to run over somebody."

Some people said they don’t think the law is a good idea because cyclists should have to follow the same rules of the road as drivers.

The law also states a bicyclist can go through a stop sign without stopping if they slow down and make sure no one is coming before cautiously going through.

But people said with this new law, bicyclists still need to be careful.

"No they've got to stop at the stop signs," said Stepp. "If they don't, and they run out in the middle of the road, they're going to get hurt."

Bikers said although there's not many stop lights in north Arkansas, they believe this law will give them an extra layer of safety.

"Look twice for bikes," Harvey said.