AB 28, as amended, Chu. Bicycle safety: rear lights.
Existing law requires that a bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined, be equipped with a red reflector on the rear that is visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A violation of this requirement is an infraction.
This bill would instead require that a bicycle operated under those circumstances be equipped with a
begin delete red flashingend delete light on the rear that is visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when
directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor begin delete vehicle, or, in lieu of the red flashing light, reflective gear worn by the bicyclist.end delete By revising the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also include a statement of legislative findings and declarations.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) The Governors Highway Safety Association’s report entitled
4“Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicyclist Safety” states that the
5greatest numbers of bicyclist deaths
6 occurred in high population states with many urban centers. In
7addition, according to the report, this state
begin delete has the highest bicyclist at 338 deaths
8fatality rateend delete
begin delete between the years 2010 and 2012,end delete
10 followed by Florida (329), Texas (143), New York (138), Illinois
11(80), and Michigan (72). These six states accounted for more than
12one-half (54 percent) of all bicyclist fatalities.
13(b) In California, there were 123 bicyclist fatalities in 2012.
14These deaths had an impact on the family members of the
15bicyclists, as well as motor vehicle drivers involved in those
16accidents and the families of those motor vehicle drivers.
17(c) Because bicyclists frequently travel across city boundaries,
18their safety should be a regional and state issue. In this regard, the
19Legislature urges bicyclists to wear reflective vests, in addition to
20helmets, to ensure their safety.
22 Although there are many different approaches to reducing
23accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities to bicyclists, enhancing
begin delete through reflective clothing and lightingend delete is important,
25particularly in light of the fact that many collisions take place in
26periods of darkness. In 2012, 27 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
28(e) In order to reduce the bicyclist fatality rate in this state, the
29state should require that bicycles operated during darkness upon
30a highway, a sidewalk, or a bikeway be equipped with a red
P3 1flashing light, or with reflective gear worn by the bicyclist in lieu
2of a red flashing light.
Section 21201 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
(a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway
5unless it is equipped with a brake
begin delete whichend delete will enable the
6operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean
8(b) No person shall operate on the highway a bicycle equipped
9with handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his or her
10hands above the level of his or her shoulders in order to grasp the
11normal steering grip area.
12(c) No person
shall operate upon a highway a bicycle that is of
13a size that prevents the operator from safely stopping the bicycle,
14supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the
15ground, and restarting it in a safe manner.
16(d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a
17sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local
18jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets
19and Highways Code, shall be equipped with all of the following:
20(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in
21motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of
22the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
23from the sides of the bicycle.
begin delete red flashingend delete light on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500
26feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of
27headlamps on a motor
begin delete vehicle, or, in lieu of the red flashing light,
28reflective gear worn by the bicyclist.end delete
29(3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle
30visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of
32(4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the
33center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to
34the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are
35equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not
36be equipped with these side reflectors.
37The reflectors and reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting
38requirements established by the department.
39(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached
40to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
P4 1from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp
2required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
4Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
5the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
6district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
7infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
8for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
9the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
10the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California