For Immediate Release: October 11, 2021
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.