The Governor just vetoed an important bicycling bill

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents |

California helps to set the standard for bicycle safety and road-sharing initiatives around the country. Local governments and state authorities alike have invested in infrastructure improvements and new laws intended to keep cyclists safer.

However, not every attempt at progress is immediately successful. Bicycle advocates across California recently felt the frustration of last-minute defeat after convincing state lawmakers to pass an initiative they had hoped would reduce cycling collisions.

Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed two bills in October that would have had implications for traffic safety and cyclists across the state. That veto just means that changes to state law that activists thought could improve cyclist safety will now have to wait.

What did AB122 do?

There were two bills that Governor Newsom decided to veto. He provided an explanation for his decision and essentially claimed that both bills might effectively accomplish the opposite of what they aimed to do.

The one with the most obvious impact on cyclists was the Safety Stop bill or AB122. In certain situations, cyclists in California could treat stop signs as yield signs if the governor had signed this bill into law. The idea was that this move would decrease the congestion in traffic and hopefully reduce the number of bicycle crashes that occurred. The Governor cited, among other concerns, how children would handle this change to the rules.

The governor worried that it would result in more collisions. He used a similar justification for his veto of a sibling bill that had to do with reforming state rules on jaywalking. Activists had hoped that by changing how the state handled jaywalking, they could reduce pedestrian collisions or give those hurt by vehicles more options for legal justice after they get hurt.

Cyclists have disproportionate risk out on the roads

Cycling is exhilarating and a healthy hobby, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. It only takes one distracted driver to cause life-altering injuries or death to a cyclist. Activists across the state will continue to push for legal reforms that will decrease the likelihood of collisions or increase the legal protections for cyclists hurt by people in enclosed vehicles.

Knowing state law as it changes can help those impacted by bicycle crashes seek justice.