On October 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill (AB 122, Boerner Horvath, Friedman, Ting). The bill would have allowed people on bikes to treat stop signs as yields, including giving the right of way to pedestrians. More than 75 organizations across the state signed a letter in support of the bill.
Governor Newsom explained his decision to veto AB 122:
I am returning Assembly Bill 122 without my signature.
This bill would allow a person riding a bicycle to proceed through a stop sign as if it were a yield sign until January 1, 2028.
While I share the author’s intent to increase bicyclist safety, I am concerned this bill will have the opposite effect. The approach in AB 122 may be especially concerning for children, who may not know how to judge vehicle speeds or exercise the necessary caution to yield to traffic when appropriate.
Fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise on the state’s roads since 2010. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that, since 2015, there were 3,059 crashes involving bicycles at an intersection in which the primary collision factor was failure to stop at a stop sign. The data indicates bicyclists were determined to be at fault for 88 percent of the collisions resulting in fatalities and 63 percent of those involving injuries.
I fully support safe and equitable access to the state’s transportation network for bicyclists. The California Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure describes how the state will invest in the transportation network to create safe and accessible bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California State Transportation Agency are increasing active transportation investments and will release design guidance on traffic calming measures this year to encourage more walking and biking through a safe systems approach. For these reasons, I am returning this bill.