Introducing: The San Francisco Bike Yield Law

Update 9/28/15: A majority of Supervisors co-sponsored the Bike Yield Law, but that might not be enough to pass it. Mayor Ed Lee today announced a threat to veto this common-sense safety legislation. We can overcome Mayor Lee’s misguided veto threat if we all pull together. It’s more important now than ever that you join us and speak up in favor of smart enforcement and safer streets.

On September 22, our Executive Director Noah Budnick stood on the steps of City Hall with Supervisors John Avalos, London Breed, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Scott Wiener to announce the introduction of the San Francisco Bike Yield Law. Together, we can make this common-sense legislation a model for the rest of the country. Join the campaign!

The San Francisco Bike Yield Law clarifies that people biking must yield to people walking and others with the right of way, but SFPD  shouldn’t waste time cracking down on people biking safely. If a person on a bike comes to a stop sign, and there is no one else at the intersection, the person biking should be able to move cautiously through the intersection without getting ticketed. That’s safe and it’s common sense, recognizing that biking and walking are inherently different than driving.

The legislation will clarify for SFPD that they should focus their resources on behaviors known to cause the majority of traffic deaths on our streets — an SFPD goal, which the six Supervisors aim to help them achieve. (Supervisor David Campos is also co-sponsoring the Bike Yield Law, but could not make yesterday’s unveiling of the legislation.)

This legislation doesn’t do anything to make it harder to prosecute people who blow through stop signs, scare pedestrians, or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. In fact, it clarifies that these behaviors are illegal and that people who endanger others should be ticketed. We’re excited to have the support of the San Francisco Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, who recognizes that we need to design our streets for people, not just vehicles, with safety as our main goal.

We’re extremely excited about this proposed ordinance, and so grateful to Supervisor Avalos and his fellow Supervisors for supporting it right from the start. Next, the ordinance will go to committee and then to the full Board of Supervisors.

Help us make the Bike Yield Law a reality for San Francisco: Support common-sense legislation that helps keep our streets safe.

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