Governor signs bill to prevent vehicles from blocking driver view at crosswalks

(BCN) — A bill designed to increase visibility at crosswalks in California was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Assembly Bill 413, authored by Assemblymember Alex Lee, D-San Jose, prevents parking or stopping a vehicle along a curb at least 20 feet from a marked crosswalk, a safety measure known as daylighting. The regulation only applies to the side of the road of the vehicle’s approach to the crosswalk.

Restricting vehicles stopped or parked all the way up to the crosswalk can increase visibility for approaching drivers and drivers stopped in traffic by allowing them to see if someone is entering the crosswalk with more notice.

Crosswalks with curb extensions will need a 15-foot buffer.

“AB 413 will save lives and make our streets safer for everyone,” Lee said in a statement. “The signing of the legislation represents a simple, but important step forward to improving California’s road safety. California’s pedestrian fatality rate is nearly 25% higher than the national average. By increasing critical visibility of our streets, this bill will help prevent fatal accidents.”

Several cities, including San Francisco and Alameda, already implement daylighting at some crosswalks, but San Francisco’s regulation is currently set at 10 feet. The new law allows local jurisdictions to enforce a different distance if they have traffic safety data to justify doing so and if the space is marked with paint or signs.

Commercial unloading and loading can be permitted in local jurisdictions if specific crosswalks are identified, and the curb is marked with signage or paint.

The bill was championed by the advocacy groups Streets For All and the California Bicycle Coalition, known as CalBike.

Jared Sanchez, policy director at CalBike, said he applauded the governor signing the bill into law.

“As motor vehicles continue to dominate our streets and kill pedestrians at increasing rates, this is an important step to ensure our transportation system is safe for all users, especially the most vulnerable,” Sanchez said in a statement.

About half of all traffic-related injuries happen near intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Citations will be issued starting Jan. 1, 2025. Until then, local jurisdictions are instructed to issue warnings.

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.

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