On Monday, April 28, the California State Legislature took a major step forward in supporting Assembly Bill 550 (AB 550), Assemblymember David Chiu’s landmark bill to advance traffic safety. AB 550 seeks to authorize speed safety systems, which are proven alternatives to traditional speed enforcement that automatically detect and ticket speeding violations in order to change driver behavior and make our streets safer.
In order to get bills passed, the state legislature has a lengthy process where bills are heard and debated at each and every step, where state legislators must vote to allow the bill to move forward. If a bill is supported at each hearing, the governor makes the final decision to sign the bill into law. We’re thrilled that the Assembly Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance AB 550 at this week’s hearing, which is one of the most important first actions that must be taken.
Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition joined a chorus of people calling in to support the bill after we heard from Jenny Yu, a San Francisco resident and primary caregiver for her mother who was hit by a speeding car 10 years ago. “My siblings and I have our hearts broken again and again every day,” said Jenny, as she shared the trauma that the crash has caused in her family. “AB 550 is critically important. Speed safety systems can prevent so much pain and so many deaths.”
Assemblymember Chiu’s bill allows departments of transportation like the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to implement speed safety systems in order to change driver behavior and make our streets safer. With every traffic fatality involving someone biking or walking, we see the impact that speeding has on our streets, and AB 550 gives cities a proven, effective tool to combat this epidemic. “Every year these human tragedies make less and less sense because they are completely preventable,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “Speed safety systems can reduce speeding up to 65%.”
We’ve made amazing progress, but we’re not done yet. The state legislature will hold more hearings until both the State Assembly and the State Senate have had a chance to weigh in, and we’re counting on you to help us get AB 550 through the rest of the way. We’ve put together instructions for how you can get started, whether it’s by writing a support letter or by sharing your story.