BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                      AB 28

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          28 (Chu)

          As Amended  August 31, 2015

          Majority vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  | 78-0 | (May 14,      |SENATE: |40-0  | (September 2,   |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |2015)            |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |

          Original Committee Reference:  TRANS.

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes bicycles to have a solid or flashing red  
          light with a built-in reflector on the rear in place of the  
          required red reflector.

          The Senate amendments make minor clarifying amendments to  
          require that a solid or flashing red light must have a built-in  
          reflector to meet bicycle nighttime safety requirements. 

          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  


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               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  
               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:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

          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  


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          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  
          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 or a  
          flashing red light with a built-in reflector in place of the red  
          reflector.  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 with built-in reflectors are authorized should a  
          bicyclist choose to use them.

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Janet Dawson/ TRANS. / (916) 319-2093  FN: