Capitol Alert

Rolling bicycle stop bill pulled in California

A bill that would allow California bicyclists to roll through stop signs has hit the brakes for now.

Facing heavy opposition at its first committee hearing Monday, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte said he would hold Assembly Bill 1103 until next year to work through concerns from law enforcement, automobile organizations and advocates for the blind.

“As often happens with legislation at the Capitol, a lot of the groups didn’t take the bill seriously until it came up in hearing,” the Big Bear Lake Republican said in an interview. He said some opponents had never sat down with him to discuss their objections, so additional time would allow them to meet and hopefully come to an agreement about safety questions before Obernolte brings the bill back next session.

Supporters of AB 1103, which is based on a law adopted by Idaho in 1982, argue that three decades of experience there show it is safer for bicyclists to yield at stop signs, rather than coming to a complete stop, when there is no oncoming traffic because riders can move more quickly through the dangerous part of an intersection where they are most vulnerable to being hit by a driver.

But a wide array of groups lined up against the measure, raising worries that it would be difficult to enforce, confuse drivers and endanger visually impaired pedestrians who cannot hear bicyclists whizzing by.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff