- Richard L. Duquette
Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoes Bicycle Bill As Unsafe
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bicycle safety bill that would have required motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of passing room or slow down. He believed this bill was fundamentally unsafe because it would cause more car accidents. By asking people to slow way down on one lane 40 MPH roads, Gov. Brown fears that incidents of accidents and road rage will increase. The other 20 states (and the District of Columbia) that have passed similar safety laws did not seem to give this concern as much merit as Gov. Brown does. Instead, they seem to prioritize the safety of their bicycling citizens, making sure that the laws around bicyclist passing are clear and the consequences actionable.
The bill was endorsed by Lance Armstrong and LA Mayor Villaraigosa, but Gov. Brown claimed that Highway Patrol and Caltrans both raised legitimate concerns. (Word is that other Automobile interest groups like AAA and the Teamsters Union have come out against the bill as well).
The bill's creator, state Senator Lowenthal, is understandably disappointed. Not all hope is lost, however, as Gov. Brown claims he'd be willing to work with Lowenthal to "address his concerns" in the bill next year.