Now it’s up to the governor.
Or maybe not.
Reports indicate that AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, passed the California State Senate yesterday, after passing the assembly in April.
The bill would allow a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law in the state, following the lead of several other states that have passed it in recent years.
It allows someone on a bicycle to treat a stop sign as a yield, preceding through the intersection only when it is safe to do so after yielding to other traffic and pedestrians.
In other words, it legalizes the way most people on bicycles already ride. However, it does not allow the rider to roll a stop when someone else has the right of way.
It also does not allow bike riders to go through red lights, as the full Idaho Stop does, by treating them as stop signs.
You will still be legally required to come to a full stop behind the stop line until the light turns green, just as you would in a car; failure to do so can result in a ticket, whether on two wheels or four.
The bill was also modified in the Senate to clarify that it does not change a driver’s liability in the event of a collision. Which as I read it, means drivers won’t be able to claim they’re not at fault in a crash because someone on a bicycle legally rolled the stop.
However, that minor change to the text — along with revisions to the existing law changing “which” to the grammatically correct “that” in the absence of a comma — likely means it will have to go back to the state assembly for what should be a pro forma vote for final approval.
And it’s important to note that the law contains a sunset provision, which means it would cease to be in effect as of January 1, 2028, unless it’s extended by the legislature.
Let’s hope they move quickly, so Newsom can sign the bill before the recall vote on September 14th, in case he’s removed from office.
Correction: Even if Newsom is recalled, he’d have 38 days after the election to sign the bill before his replacement can take office. Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the correction.
Here’s how the legislative council’s digest describes the bill, as it was passed.
This bill would, until January 1, 2028, require a person riding a bicycle, when approaching a stop sign at the entrance of an intersection, to yield the right-of-way to any vehicles that have either stopped at or entered the intersection, or that are approaching on the intersecting highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and to pedestrians, as specified, and continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles and pedestrians until reasonably safe to proceed. The bill would require other vehicles to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle that, having yielded as prescribed, has entered the intersection. The bill would state that these provisions do not affect the liability of a driver of a motor vehicle as a result of the driver’s negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of a motor vehicle.
The bill would also require the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to submit a report to the Legislature, as specified, regarding the effects of this bill.
So it’s a big win.
But we still need to get it over the finish line.
AB122, the bill legalizing Idaho stops for bike riders in California, passes the Senate 31-5. pic.twitter.com/sgOUKi7j41
— big burgers, all-day breakfast and pies (@TribTowerViews) August 30, 2021
Congratulations to Sunset4All on meeting their $25,000 goal to fund LA’s first public/private partnership to improve safety and livability on our streets.
Better yet, that total will be matched by angel donors, for a total of $50,000.
Which definitely calls for a celebration.
I’m sure the owner is a lovely person, though.
Cars are violence. pic.twitter.com/mwrShnFIWn
— Cathasach "Cargo Bike Mayor" O'Neill (@cathasach4bikes) August 30, 2021
It may be touching.
But doesn’t driving alongside your kid while he rides his bike to school kind of defeat the purpose?
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
A San Diego letter writer suggests he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, so we should all just stick to our cars.
No bias here. A Massachusetts letter writer says a new bike lane confuses him, so people should just ride their bikes on the sidewalks, since no one uses them anyway. And get rid of parking meters while you’re at it.
A Glasgow, Scotland writer says everyone has a role to play in making the city safe for people on bicycles, after a bus driver deliberately cut into her to pull into a bus stop as she rode in a bike lane, rather than simply wait patiently for her to move ahead.
When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s completely blocked with a massive amount of truck, forcing anyone on a bicycle out into speeding traffic.
Need to stash 50 or so dirt hauler trucks? The bike lane along Forest Lawn is a great spot to park them. And for added excitement, park the first one (end of video) on a blind corner and be sure not to put up any warning signs.
— swrve (@swrve) August 30, 2021
Stephen Taylor Scarpa went on trial for murder Monday in the allegedly stoned death of Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he was riding his bike in Mission Viejo three years ago; Scarpa reportedly had meth, fentanyl and several prescription medications in his system at the time of the crash.
Renée Zellweger and Ant Anstead are each one of us, as the celeb couple went for a ride through Laguna Beach on their matching Pedego fat tire ebikes.
San Francisco Streetsblog complains that politicians may talk about climate change, but inevitably revert to that status quo when push comes to shove, using the reopening of the city’s Great Highway to cars while the world is on fire as the case in point. Sadly, LA’s leaders appear to be cut from exactly the same cloth.
A new survey says walking has bizarrely become part of the culture wars, with liberals wanting walkable communities while conservatives want to drive everywhere.
That’s more like it. The new electric Cadillac Lyric will come standard with a bicycle warning system to alert the driver if there’s someone on a bike in their blind spot.
Outside’s Joe Lindsey offers advice on how to choose a bike for the gravel-curious.
A new Portland study confirms what we already know — speed kills. An analysis of crash data shows that speeding drivers are the leading cause of pedestrian deaths in the city.
This is who we share the road with. An Oregon man got seven well-deserved years behind bars for running a red light while speeding, and killing an 11-year old boy walking in a crosswalk on his way to school, while stoned on “central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers.” Better yet, he will permanently lose the right to drive in the state.
Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a deaf father of seven was killed in a collision when he was struck by a driver while lying on the roadway, after somehow coming off his bicycle; he leaves behind a fiancé pregnant with twins.
Cincinnati has put the removal of a successful bike path on hold pending a vote by the city council after a petition was started to save the on-street pathway, which has resulted in a 40% drop in speeding drivers. And that’s probably why they don’t like it.
This is who we share the road with, part 2. A New York man was busted for DUI with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit while driving his riding lawnmower on city streets.
An environmentally minded Irish father finds his plans on hold when the new cargo bike he intended to use to ferry his kids to school was backordered; the lack of a viable bus system means he had to rely on the kindness of neighbors to drive the kids to class. Something too many carfree Los Angeles residents can probably relate to.
A Kiwi company says forget aluminum and carbon fiber, your next handlebars should be bamboo. Although what that has to do with Forrest Gump I have no idea.
Once and future mountain bike champ Nino Schurter won his ninth world title, becoming the oldest men’s world champ at 35, after the Swiss rider was the youngest when he won his first at 22.
Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar says he’s just a bike rider, not a pop star.
And Megan Lynch calls this the best recumbent fairing ever.
So who am I to argue?
Spotted driving through the city centre in Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/jFXm6GdsU1
— Mark Crossan (@Sivitiv) August 29, 2021
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.