For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Contact: Dave Snyder, 916-251-9433, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jared Sanchez, 714-262-0921, email@example.com
Earth Day Victory for Bicycling
CalBike’s Bicycle Safety Stop Bill Passes Assembly
Today, the California Assembly took a historic step by voting 53 to 11 in favor of the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill (AB 122, Boerner Horvath, Friedman, Ting). Most Democrats and two Republicans supported the bill. The bill will replace the requirement that people on bikes stop at stop signs with a requirement to yield and slow and stop if necessary for safety, including to yield the right of way to pedestrians. More than 75 organizations across the state signed a letter in support of the bill.
“To cut down on car emissions, promote healthy living, and improve equity, we need neighborhoods that encourage safe bicycle riding,” said Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, the bill’s original author. “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.”
“Bicycling is good for California in so many ways: it improves our health, our economy, and our environment. We’re grateful to our thousands of members who agree with that and contacted their assembly members to ask them to remove this nonsensical obstacle to safe and reasonable biking,” said Dave Snyder, Executive Director of CalBike.
The Bicycle Safety Stop Bill doesn’t change existing right-of-way laws. Instead, AB 122 reforms the rules of the road to conform to safe and logical bike riding. It will improve predictability at intersections and mutual respect among road users.
If AB 122 becomes law, California will join the list of states that have implemented the safety stop: Idaho, Delaware, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Delaware, Arkansas, Utah, and North Dakota. None of those states has reported any safety problems with the new rule. A recent study in Delaware found that collisions involving bicycles at intersections decreased by 23% since the safety stop became legal. CalBike has created a video to explain how the bicycle safety stop works.
After unsuccessful attempts at passing this legislation in the past, CalBike pursued the issue this year in an environment of growing support for reducing the police role in traffic enforcement. Unnecessary laws that are difficult to follow pose a risk of traffic stops with tragic endings for people riding bikes, especially Black and Latinx people.