There are 3 street safety-related bills headed to the Governor's desk and we need your help to push them through!
AB 3 -- Street Racing
Yesterday, Assembly Bill 3, authored by Assemblyman Vince Fong, cleared the California State Legislature unanimously and is now headed to the Governor's desk for final approval. AB 3 aims to crack down on illegal street racing by allowing courts to issue a driver's license suspension for up to six months for participating in sideshows.
"Illegal street racing and sideshows wreak havoc in our communities, draw permanent damage to our roads, and claim innocent lives." Assemblyman Fong said. "This bill gives law enforcement an additional tool to curb reckless sideshows and sends a strong message that this dangerous activity will not be tolerated."
As defined in AB 3, "sideshows" occur when two or more vehicles block or impede traffic on a highway, for the purpose of performing vehicle stunts, speed contests, or reckless driving, for an audience.
"Given the danger of sideshows, the consequences are unpredictable and often tragic -- many leading to violence, bystander injuries, and senseless deaths of our youth," Fong said. "Every single street racing crash is devastating and every single street racing crash is preventable."
Last year along, the California Highway Patrol responded to over 25,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity. The Bakersfield Police Department fielded over 6,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity in 2020.
Spearheaded by Assemblyman Vince Fong, AB 3 is co-authored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and Senator Susan Rubio.
The governor has until October 10, 2021 to either veto or sign AB 3 into law.
AB 1238 -- Decriminalize Jaywalking
Co-sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, Los Angeles Walks, and The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, AB 1238 would repeal California "jaywalking" laws by legalizing certain common and safe street crossings that currently qualify as traffic infractions.
This does not change the current law that already requires pedestrians to avoid potentially lethal hazardous situations on the roadway. Instead, it would protect vulnerable pedestrians racially-biased policing, inequitable fees and fines, unnecessary and potentially lethal interactions with law enforcement. It would also remove impediments to walking around your neighborhood, facilitating healthy and safe travel.
Criminalizing common pedestrian behavior also leads to fines, fees, and penalties that place an undue burden on the people least able to afford them. Many low-income people rely on walking as their only way to get where they want to go. Jaywalking tickets can lead to hundreds of dollars in fines and fees they cannot afford to pay. This can lead to outstanding jaywalking tickets as a pretext for warrants and arrests, further impoverishing low-income residents. Fines for jaywalking, an infraction that causes no injury to the community, should be eliminated.
Streets are rarely designed to make walking safe and convenient. Signal timing prioritizes vehicular traffic, there is a lack of crossings between common destinations, and long distances between crosswalks are all too common. The most convenient or shortest route to walk may include crossings where there are no crosswalks. Criminalizing a rational, predictable response to poor infrastructure is unjust.
Walking is a key component of a sustainable transportation system, and there is no evidence that jaywalking laws keep people safe. California is in the process of reforming its laws regarding the use of public spaces. Several categories of infractions have already been eliminated in recent years, and it's time to add jaywalking to this list.
This is the final push for AB 1238, the bill to decriminalize jaywalking! With your support, the bill sailed through the Senate Floor and is headed to the Governor's desk.
We’re uncertain how the Governor will act on AB 1238, but if we can get Governor Gavin Newsom to express his support right now, it would be a game-changer for our efforts.
Here’s what you can do to help:
Tweet Gov Gavin Newsom using this social media toolkit.
Call the Governor’s office using this call script.
Share the campaign and send a message to your members and allies to do the same!
Thank you for your continued support of these bills and our other street safety efforts. To find out how to support these legislative efforts or with any additional questions, please contact Dayna@StreetsAreForEveryone.org.
And last, but certainly not least.
AB 43 -- Setting Speed Limits To Enhance Traffic Safety
There is an urgent call to action to support AB 43, which would give cities the ability to lower speeds on some dangerous streets, not just blindly raise speeds as required by current state law.
It sounds crazy, but current CA state law is based on the "85th Percentile" method of determining speed limits. This means the speed limits are set by how fast most people drive on the streets, NOT based on what's safe for the community. It's hard to believe and comprehend, but this video is a great explanation of how the 85th Percentile law works.
We only have a couple of weeks left to get AB 43 signed into law and take back control of the safety on our streets.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? To find out how to support these legislative efforts or with any questions, please contact .