Once again, Jerry Brown is demonstrating just how out of touch he is with the realities of California streets.
And just how little he cares about the safety of the state’s cyclists.
The California Bicycle Coalition reports that Brown has decided to veto SB 1464, the bill mandating a minimum three-foot distance to pass cyclists. This comes after he vetoed a much stronger bill last year, making him the only governor to veto a safe passing bill twice.
And continuing to align him with Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only
jackasses governors to veto a three-foot passing law.
Last year, he offered an excuse that didn’t pass the smell test, claiming a provision allowing drivers to pass cyclists at less than three feet by slowing down to 15 mph — included to prevent traffic jams by allowing drivers to pass cyclists in congested traffic and near intersections — would cause motorists to slam on the brakes to pass riders on highways, rather than simply go around them or wait for a chance to pass safely.
Yeah, that’ll happen.
This time, the reason given for the veto is an irrational fear that the state could face liability for the provision allowing motorists to briefly cross the center line to pass cyclists, but only when safe to do so.
In other words, legalizing what is already a common practice — and putting the onus on drivers to ensure it’s safe first.
Which makes the feared liability risk as much a fiction as last years brake-slamming drivers.
And this after writing in his veto message that he wanted lawmakers to send him a bill that overcame the problems he cited with last year’s bill. Which the much-weakened SB 1464 did, in spades.
Combine this with Brown’s veto of SB 1310, a bill that would have increased fines for distracted driving by a minimal $10 while adding one point to a driver’s record — after vetoing a similar bill last year — and it suggests that Brown either has no clue what is really happening on our roadways, or just doesn’t give a damn whether we live or die on California streets.
More frightening, Calbike reports that Brown has refused to engage them directly to discuss this bill, or any other aspect of bike safety:
Despite our efforts to engage him directly, Brown has offered no indication of how he views bicycling or expressed any ideas for ensuring the safety of Californians who rely on bicycling as everyday transportation. By vetoing SB 1464, Brown makes clear that he prioritizes legalistic speculation over the safety of Californians.
We’re deeply concerned about what his lack of vision and leadership means for the safety of our streets and roads.
I couldn’t agree more.
And I deeply regret the vote I wasted on him him in 2010.
Jerry Brown was elected to lead all Californians. But he has clearly shown by his actions that he just doesn’t give a damn about anyone who travels on two wheels instead of four.
Once more, we’ve all been Jerry Browned by Jerry Brown. So what’s that saying about fool me twice?