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Could California (Finally) Get That Stop-as-Yield Law?

4:48 PM PDT on August 23, 2022

Bikes parked in front of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento
Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

California bike riders are this close to getting the right to treat stop signs as yield signs. A.B. 1713 is on the Senate floor and voting is imminent - but the bill could use support to guarantee its passage.

CalBike is asking people to call their Senators and urge them to vote 'yes.'

Streetsblog has written plenty about why this bill makes sense and how it increases safety in states that have passed similar measures. Last year a similar bill made it to the Governor's desk, but Newsom vetoed it.

A.B. 1713 addresses the concerns he had then - basically that it would be confusing for young people to try to navigate yielding behavior - by making it apply only to riders eighteen and over. This isn't a fabulous solution - even if arbitrarily changing laws for people when they turn eighteen has some precedence in the youth helmet law - but if it gets the bill passed, and Californians can see for themselves how it works in action, a more rational safety rule for everyone is within reach.

There are only a few more days left in the two-year legislative session - the deadline to pass all bills is next Wednesday, August 31, so the vote has to happen before then.

Other bike-relevant bills still waiting their fate in the Senate include:

    • A.B. 1938 from Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman would allow cities to lower speed limits. It's been amended to death, and now includes strict definitions of what defines a "speed trap," but furthers Assemblymember Friedman's previous work on this issue.
    • A.B. 2438 is Assemblymember Friedman's bill to require state transportation funding to support, rather than work against, state greenhouse gas reduction goals.
    • A.B. 2264 from Assemblymember Richard Bloom, which would standardize pedestrian head starts at signals on state highways, is on the Senate consent calendar, which gives is a high chance of passing.

Meanwhile, over in the Assembly, votes are pending on:

    • S.B. 932 from Senator Anthony Portantino, which would require cities to develop bicycle and pedestrian plans and traffic calming plans.
    • S.B. 457, also from Senator Portantino, would offer a personal income credit for households that own fewer than one car per adult.

And Assemblymember Friedman's "omnibike bill," A.B. 1909, has passed both houses and is headed to the Governor's desk.

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