BIKING IS NOT A CRIME

CalBike is championing a suite of laws to end the criminalization of people on bikes.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Over-policing hasn’t made our streets safe and it never will.

Police handing out tickets, especially for minor violations like riding without lights or biking on the sidewalk, doesn’t increase safety. There is only one thing proven to reduce traffic collisions: infrastructure, like protected bikeways and intersections, which reduce injuries and deaths for people biking, walking, driving, and taking transit.

Yet, for decades, California has underinvested in safe infrastructure and overinvested in traffic policing, sometimes with lethal results. So decriminalization is a critical part of our Invest/Divest Campaign.

To create Complete Streets where people in all transportation modes and all bodies and identities can move freely, we need to free our streets from police violence as well as traffic violence.

Two bills from CalBike’s Biking Is Not a Crime slate are on the governor’s desk for his signature:

  • AB 825 Bryan: Safe Passage for Bikes Bill. Allows bicycle riding on a sidewalk adjacent to a street that does not include a Class I, Class II, or Class IV bikeway.
  • AB 819 Bryan: Decriminalize Transit Fare Evasion. Removes misdemeanor classification for transit fare evasion.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
WHAT WE’RE FIGHTING FOR

Bicycle Stops by Police Disproportionately Target Black and Brown Californians

As a 2022 LA Times investigation showed, police are more likely to stop Black and Latino people on bikes, more likely to search people stopped while biking, and less likely to find any evidence of criminal activity during those stops.

The 2023 report from California’s Racial Identity and Profiling Board (RIPA) finds that Black and Latino individuals are disproportionately likely to be singled out for police-initiated traffic stops.

In California, Black people are 4x more likely to be asked to waive their rights and be searched compared to their White neighbors.

CalBike is committed to working toward safe streets for all Californians. That means protection from traffic violence through better infrastructure and and end to police violence that disproportionately targets people of color.

If our current traffic policing policies were effective at preventing injuries and fatalities, we wouldn’t have the escalating deaths of people walking and biking over the past few years. Traffic stops by armed officers are often designed to combat crime rather than reduce collisions, and they effectively achieve neither goal. Removing armed officers from traffic enforcement frees police departments to focus on tactics proven to reduce crime and reduces the frequency of interactions that too often turn lethal for Black and Latino drivers and bike riders.

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Two people biking in Ocean Ave bikeway (2000x600)