Thursday, November 15, 2007

“Whatever Happened To AB 60”

I wonder what happened to the bill proposed by a Santa Barbara assemblyman seeking to improve safety measures for cyclists? I just come across an article, “Wider Berth for Bicyclists Sought To Cut Road Deaths”, posted December 2006, and cannot help but ask about the status of the bill now. Has it been enacted into law? Are the changes sought carried out in the proposed bill.
If enacted, AB 60 or more commonly known as the California Bike Safety bill, will help cyclist by increasing the awareness of other motorists on the safety of bicycle users. The law would also help reduce bicycle accidents in California where a sizeable member of the population used bikes.
Among the important points in the bill included the following:
  • Increase penalty for motorists who strike cyclists
  • Greater state funding for cycling development projects like street enhancements, improvement of traffic signs, etc.
  • Bike safety education
  • 3-foot buffer zone for bicycles that are passed by cars or other motorists
This bill is seen by many as the hope of every bicycle user to ride safely on California streets. It has been two sessions past and the bill has not seen the light of day.
Many Californians, especially bike users, are looking forward to the day when the AB 60 will finally be implemented. But the bill’s weakness is apparently due to the low lobbying support it gained even from bicycle users themselves, who are divided by political infighting in their local organizations.
Despite this, I would like to see AB 60 enacted into law if only to ensure the safety of bike users in California. I hope other states will follow and draft their own safety measures for cyclists.