Monday, 17 October 2011

Governor Vetoes Bicycling Safety Bill

Governor Jerry Brown's veto of an important bicycle safety bill has come as a complete shock to cycling groups and Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers. Last week, the governor vetoed a bill that would have required motorists to keep a minimum distance of 3 feet between their vehicles and bicycles.

There had been plenty of hope for the signing of this bill, and those hopes were heightened with the kind of support the bill quickly attracted. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong have been vocal supporters of the bill.

The bill requires drivers to keep a “safe distance,” defined as a minimum of 3 feet, from bicycles, in order to prevent the danger to bicyclists when motorists drive too close to them. Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers see this situation all too often.

Governor Brown, however, decided to veto the bill, citing safety concerns. According to the Governor, drivers would have been required to drop speeds in order to maintain a minimum of 3 feet distance between their car and a bicycle, and this could increase their risk of being involved in a traffic accident. The Governor seems to have depended on inputs from the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation in his decision to veto the bill.

The California Highway Patrol had made clear its opposition to the 3-foot bicycle safety bill. This is in spite of the fact that such laws are already in place in several other states. At least twenty states have some version of the 3-foot law, and have seen great success in reducing the number of bicycle accidents and deaths. However, the California Highway Patrol reportedly advised the Governor that if the bill became law, it would cause a number of rear-end collisions, triggered by drivers who slam their brakes when they see a bicycle.

Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers
would have liked to see more protections for bicyclists and a safer environment for them, but it looks like that will not happen this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment