Part of the Bay Area News Group

Gov. signs BART safety bill, vetoes red light camera, bike safety bills

By dcuff
Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 7:16 pm in BART, Bridges, Safety.

California bike safety advocates and critics of cameras that catch red-light runners were disappointed by the governor’s vetoes, but BART officials are pleased he signed a transit safety bill.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 29 that would have restricted government use of cameras to ticket drivers who  run red lights. State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, got the idea for the bill from a constituent responding to his annual “There ought to be a  law” contest. Vera Gill complained that local governments should be required to use the automated cameras to promote public safety, not raise cash.  She got a red light ticket when she wasn’t in the car that was photographed, and she wasn’t even in the Southern California city where the alleged violation occurred. The car, by the way, wasn’t even hers.

In his veto message, the governor said the red light cameras are an issue for local elected officials to manage. (Hey, they get to manage that money from fines, too.)

Bicyclists are bummed that the gov vetoed a bill that would have required motorists passing a bicycle to either leave three feet of clearance or slow to 15 mph.

Senate Bill 910 was backed by bicycle groups as a way to increase safety for cyclists at risk from drivers who try to squeeze by cyclists too closely.

Brown said the 15 mph requirement threatened to trigger rear end collisions that could occur when cars traveling in 40 mph zones slow suddenly to pass cyclists. Brown, however, indicated he might be more supportive of legislation that just focused on the buffer zone.

 

Brown signed a BART-backed bill that allowing the transit agency to ban from stations repeat offenders who commit three infractions within 90 days. AB 716 was aimed at unruly passengers who disrupt service or threaten station agents or other BART passengers.

With the bill now signed, the BART board must devise rules and procedures for carrying out the bans of up to 90 days. The bill goes into effect Jan. 1    

 Click here for the governor’s release on the bills.

And share you comments below and whether the governor did the right thing with these bills.

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