BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                      AB 28

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          Date of Hearing:  April 27, 2015


                                 Jim Frazier, Chair

          AB 28  
          (Chu) - As Amended April 22, 2015

          SUBJECT:  Bicycle safety:  rear lights

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes bicycles to have a solid red light or a  
          flashing red light on the rear in place of the required red  

          EXISTING LAW:

          1)Requires that a bicycle operated during darkness be equipped  
            with all of the following:

             a)   A white light that illuminates the road in front of the  
               bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in  
               front and from the sides of the bicycle.

             b)   A red reflector on the rear that is visible from a  
               distance of 500 feet when directly in front of lawful upper  
               beams of vehicle headlights.

             c)   A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or  


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               ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a  
               distance of 200 feet.

             d)   A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the  
               center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each  
               side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that  
               bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the  
               front and the rear need not be equipped with these side  

          2)Requires that reflectors and reflectorized tires be of a type  
            meeting requirements established by the California Highway  

          3)Authorizes that the front white light be attached to the  
            bicyclist rather than the bicycle as long as it meets the  
            visibility requirements.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

          COMMENTS:  A recent report from the Governor's Highway Safety  
          Association (GHSA) on bicycle safety found that bicyclist  
          fatalities increased 16% nationwide between 2010 and 2012.   
          California had the highest number of fatalities of any state  
          during that time period at 338.  The report additionally noted  
          that in 2012, nearly 27% of bicyclist death nationwide happened  
          between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.  The report noted that enhancing  
          bicycle visibility through lighting is important, but did not  
          address the extent to which visibility played a role in  
          nighttime fatal crashes.  

          Under current law, bicycles are required to be equipped with a  
          front light and a variety of reflectors, including a red one on  


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          the rear of the bike that is visible from a distance of 500 feet  
          when directly in front of a vehicle's headlights.  The federal  
          Consumer Products Safety Commission requires that all bicycles  
          sold in the United States be equipped with this rear reflector,  
          which must meet standards set by the commission.  

          This bill authorizes a bicycle to be equipped with a solid red  
          light or a flashing red light in place of the red reflector.  If  
          a bicyclist wishes to remove the red reflector that his or her  
          bicycle comes with and replace it with a rear light, arguably  
          the bicyclist is no longer in compliance with the law even  
          though there is no sacrifice in terms of visibility, which is  
          the purpose of the reflector requirement.  The author wants to  
          encourage bicyclists to be as visible as possible at night and  
          believes lights are a part of the solution.  This simple change  
          to the law ensures that rear lights are authorized should a  
          bicyclist choose to use them. 





          None on file 


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          Analysis Prepared by:Anya Lawler / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093