Hearing on stop-as-yield bill postponed


UPDATE: As of 5:42 PM Friday, 1/5/18, we heard from the office of AB 1103 author Assemblymember Jay Obernolte that the bill won’t be heard on Monday, due to continued opposition among the majority of Assembly Transportation Committe members. Rather than have the bill defeated, the author pulled the bill from the hearing and will be considering possible next steps.

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On Monday afternoon, Jan. 8, the bill to enact an Idaho-style stop-as-yield law for bicyclists will receive its first hearing before the Assembly Transportation Committee.

SABA supports Assembly Bill 1103 and has urged a yes vote by the committee. A yes vote sends the bill to an Assembly budget committee for a second hearing. Click here to read the full text of the bill.

As originally written, the bill would have allowed people on bikes statewide to treat stop signs like yield signs. Idaho enacted the first such law in 1983 (Idaho’s law also allows people on bikes to treat red lights like stop signs, not a provision in this bill). Last year Delaware enacted a stop-as-yield law similar to AB 1103.

In response to last-minute opposition before its first committee hearing last spring, the bill’s co-authors, Assemblymember Jay Obernolte of Big Bear Lake and Phil Ting of San Francisco, revised the bill to authorize individual California cities to implement stop-as-yield programs on a pilot basis for 5 years. The pilot program would include data collection and public education.

We strongly support this revision as the most appropriate way to evaluate the actual benefits and risks of this way of approaching stop signs.

The concept of authorizing the stop-as-yield is solid and appropriate, as it would legalize a common travel behavior. It also appropriately reinforces the importance of yielding as a safe behavior, and puts the responsibility on bicyclists to decide when to yield – bicyclists who ignored stop signs and failed to yield would face the same citations and fines as drivers who fail to yield.

This bill needs your help! Here are three ways you can express your support:

1) Contact the office of Assemblymember Jim Frazier, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, by email or by phone (916-319-2011). Keep your message very brief, especially if you call:

“Hi, my name is __________ . I live in ________ and I ride a bike. I’m calling to express my support for AB 1103 and to urge the committee to approve the bill.”

And if you live in Assemblymember Frazier’s district, please say so. Not sure if you do? Start here.

Why so brief? Frazier’s staff is keeping a tally of how many people support and oppose the bill and they’ll share this information with the rest of the committee at Monday’s hearing. The entire committee already has a detailed analysis of what the bill does and the arguments for it and against it. They’ve also seen letters from organizations like SABA that explain why the bill is beneficial and should be enacted. What they need to hear by Monday is that individual voters support the bill.

2) Yolo County Assemblymember Cecelia Aguiar-Curry is a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. If you live in her district, consider contacting her office by email or phone (916-319-2004) to deliver a similar message. (Not sure if you live in her district? Start here.)

3) Consider attending Monday’s hearing starting at 2:30 PM in Room 4202 at the State Capitol in downtown Sacramento. The agenda is very full and the hearing room is small and fills quickly — arrive extra early to go through security and find a seat. You’ll have a chance to briefly state your name and support for the bill for the record. AB 1103’s author is organizing representatives of groups to deliver more detailed testimony at the hearing.

To learn more about how stop-as-yield works, check out this cool video from Oregon.