SBill 932, a measure introduced by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Pasadena) to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety, passed the Senate Transportation Committee today.
The bill would require California cities to take concrete steps to reduce traffic collisions and fatalities and has garnered an impressive list of supporters, including Streets For All, ActiveSGV, CalBike, and Streets Are For Everyone.
“SB 932 is an effective way to mitigate injuries and fatalities and will yield positive change for our communities,” said Portantino. “Many of our streets remain more dangerous than ever and using data-driven plans will improve street safety, save lives and encourage more people to walk and bike to their destinations. It has been a tremendous benefit for me as a policymaker to reach out to the biking community to learn more as a recent biker and to collaborate on this important public safety and environmental effort. This bill isn’t just about cyclists, it’s about the safety of everyone using our streets. I am saddened by the all too common tragedies and we must take bold steps to improve safety.”
Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documenting a nearly 20% increase in traffic fatalities in the first six months of 2021 highlights the need for SB 932.
Though California has been part of a national trend to create safer streets, many cities lack data on how to address traffic violence, deaths caused by accident, serious injuries to pedestrians, cyclists, and other human-powered-transit users. In certain cities where the most dangerous streets and corridors have been identified, no plans exist to remedy these deadly situations. Even in cities that have developed safety plans, meaningful changes that would actually save lives have yet to be implemented.
“2021 was the deadliest year for traffic violence in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and across California, fatalities from car crashes are up nearly 20%. It is beyond time for all cities to plan for and implement traffic calming measures on their deadliest streets. We are proud sponsors of SB 932 for its use of both incentives and reasonable mandates to move cities to act now before any more lives are lost to this crisis,” said Bubba Fish, Legislative Advocate at Streets for All.
SB 932 requires a county or city to include a map of the high injury network in its General Plan and would further require a county or city to identify and prioritize safety improvements that would address serious and injurious traffic collisions. The bill would increase or decrease the 15-year implementation period, based on whether the measures introduced by a county or city achieve results to reduce percentages of traffic violence.
SB 932 creates an annual grant program to award funding to cities and counties that implement timely and effective short-term efforts to mitigate bicycle, pedestrian, and other human-powered transportation injuries and fatalities.