Good News and Bad News for VRUs
The Vulnerable Road Users Protection Act, AB 2398, is so indisputably valuable that we asked to sponsor the bill. It helps protect every Californian who rides bikes, walk, run, ride horses, scooter, skateboard, and work on our streets – basically everyone. A good Vulnerable Road User law is vital to make California a better place to live.
Good News: On May 28th the VRU bill passed Assembly 72 – 2! Off to the Senate…
Bad News: On May 21st, the day after Bike Advocacy Day, the Assembly appropriations committee amended out a simple, but vital part of the VRU bill:
“The bill would also require, upon a conviction under those provisions that occurred within 3 years of a prior conviction under those provisions, the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle to be suspended for a period of 6 months, or the privilege to be restricted for 6 months to necessary travel to and from the person’s place of employment and, if driving a motor vehicle is necessary to perform the duties of the person’s employment, to be restricted to driving within the person’s scope of employment.“
We are, at the least, disappointed that the Assembly Appropriations Committee axed the provision to revoke the driving license of a reckless driver who injures a vulnerable road user twice in three years. It’s shameful that saving the money it will cost to program DMV’s computers to keep track of such violations is more important than keeping such drivers off the road for a short time. CalBike will work with the leadership of the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees to put the provision back in the bill.
On June 19th, the legislature added two new amendments: Including “A person on an electric personal assistive mobility device as defined in Section 313. and a person in a wheelchair” as being included as a vulnerable road user , and an amendment was added to reduce the maximum fine from $1,000 to $300.