fbpx

Bicycle Safety Stop Campaign

People who ride bikes should be able to treat stop signs as yields.
It’s safe. It’s smart. It’s common sense.

Bike Stop-as-Yield

Every day, thousands of bike riders across California slow as they approach stop signs. They look both ways. If there is traffic, they stop; if not, they roll safely through the intersection. 

Right now, this is illegal under California law. The Bicycle Safety Stop Law (AB 122, Boerner Horvath) would have made this commonsense bike rider behavior legal. The bill passed the California Assembly and Senate. Unfortunately, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed this measure.

Data from Delaware shows that collisions involving bikes at intersections went down by 23% after the state adopted the bicycle safety stop.

You might know the stop-as-yield as the Idaho stop because Idaho was the first state to legalize it, way back in 1982. It’s time for California to make the bicycle safety stop legal, too.

GOVERNOR NEWSOM VETOES BILL TO IMPROVE BIKE SAFETY

SACRAMENTO – The Bicycle Safety Stop Bill (AB 122 – Boerner Horvath, Friedman, Ting) had broad support from the Assembly, the Senate, and people who ride bikes. CalBike is disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed a bill that would make it legal for people on bikes to treat stop signs as yields.

Similar laws are on the books in 10 other states and have been proven to reduce collisions and improve conditions for bike riders. CalBike created a video to explain how the bicycle safety stop works, and more than 75 organizations across the state signed a letter supporting the bill.

“Governor Newsom showed today he doesn’t understand the needs of people who use bikes for everyday transportation. This commonsense law would have reduced conflict between bike riders and car drivers,” said Dave Snyder, Executive Director of CalBike. “I’m disappointed that, while climate change ravages our state, the governor blocked a popular measure that would have helped more people choose carbon-free transportation.”

CalBike Senior Policy Advocate Jared Sanchez said, “CalBike hears complaints every year about punitive sting operations that have nothing to do with safety and are sometimes used as a pretext to stop Black and Latinx people. These police interactions too often have tragic results. The Bicycle Safety Stop Bill would have been a step towards making the streets safer for every Californian.”

Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, the bill’s original author, said, “We know from the example of other states that when riders are allowed to yield at stop signs, they choose safer streets and will spend less time in dangerous intersections. It’s time for California to live up to its values and start encouraging — not penalizing — smart riding in our state.”

In Delaware, a recent study found that collisions involving bicycles at intersections decreased by 23% after the state made the safety stop legal. The governor’s veto prevents California from joining a long list of states that have implemented the safety stop: Idaho, Delaware, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. None of those states have reported any safety problems after implementing this rule.

CalBike video explaining the bicycle stop-as-yield law

Thank you to Spencer Boomhower for the animation, originally created to promote the Idaho stop in Oregon.

4 reasons to support the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill

  1. Safety. Our streets are safer when everyone knows what to expect from each other. Legalizing the commonsense move of slowing and rolling through a stop sign on a bike reduces conflicts between bike riders and car drivers.
  2. Uniformity. California’s neighboring states have adopted similar laws. The bicycle safety stop will help bike riders throughout the West know what to expect.
  3. Respect. A minority of car drivers will use any excuse to stereotype people who ride bikes as outlaws. These anti-bike attitudes lead to harassment and threatening behavior on the streets and, in a few cases, to outright violence against bike riders. Legalizing the safety stop recognizes the rights of people on bikes to share the streets and affirms that they are riding responsibly when they practice the bicycle safety stop.
  4. Equity. Like other minor infractions, failure to stop is disproportionately enforced against poor and BIPOC people. Removing the infraction takes away one tool of oppression.

Sign the petition now.