FRIEDMAN’S ‘ZERO TRAFFIC FATALITIES’ LEGISLATION SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

Monday, October 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         

October 1, 2018                                                                               

Contact: Allison Ruff

(916) 319-2043

 

SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown has signed into law a measure by Assemblymember Laura Friedman that addresses increased traffic-related injuries and fatalities and speeds across the state. AB 2363 creates a Task Force to review current methodology when setting speed limits, then to report and recommend to the legislature how fatalities as a result of vehicle related collisions can be reduced to zero.

           “Speed and safety have been priorities for me since I first became a resident of Glendale. Speed limits and traffic-related fatalities continue to rise, despite a Master Bicycle Plan and investment in engineering to slow the flow of traffic. This policy will begin to address injuries and fatalities as a result of increased speeds across the state.” –Assemblymember Friedman

Speed is the single greatest determining factor in the severity of crashes. Higher vehicle speeds correlate to the increased likelihood of a crash occurring and its severity. It is widely understood that one of the key contributing factors to increasing speeds is our current methodology of setting speed limits.

“The 85th percentile methodology used to set speed limits across the state is decades old, and needs to be reevaluated,” said Assemblymember Friedman.

Since 1959, speed limits have been set using the 85th percentile methodology, per section 21400 of the California Vehicle Code. Given the overall increase of injuries and fatalities due to vehicle collisions on California’s roadways, a re-evaluation of the 85th percentile methodology is necessary.

“Speed is the single most important and overlooked cause of traffic deaths and severe injuries.  With AB 2363, California takes the first step to change our outdated methodology used to set speed limits.  We applaud Assemblymember Friedman in championing this important legislation and her leadership in making our roads safer for all.” - Emilia Crotty, executive director of Los Angeles Walks

The task force, created by AB 2363, will convene by July 1, 2019 and report to the legislature by January 1, 2020. This effort represents the first step taken in decades towards reforming the way California regulates vehicular speeds.  

“AARP believes that AB 2363 is an important first step for California towards addressing road fatalities, a process that will require a multi-pronged, evidence-based approach, as well as a change in public attitudes toward road safety.” –Nancy McPherson, State Director, AARP

Members of the task force shall include, but are not limited to, representatives from California Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Health, the University of California and other academic institutions, local governments, bicycle safety organizations, road safety organizations, and labor organizations.

“AB 2363 will engage cities, state departments, and advocates to analyze the engineering, education, and enforcement of roads and speed limits. This analysis will allow the legislature to pass the most comprehensive and informed piece of traffic safety legislation possible, and ultimately achieve the vision of zero traffic fatalities.” –Esther Rivera, State Policy Manager, California Walks

The task force will look at: the existing process for establishing speed limits, existing speed reduction policies, engineering recommendations to increase safety, existing reports and data on the 85th percentile, how local bicycle and pedestrian plans affect the 85th percentile, and recommendations for alternatives to the 85th percentile.

“AB 2363 facilitates a deep dive into what is at the root of this traffic violence, and what tools the state can give locals to end it.” –Dave Snyder, Executive Director, California Bicycle Coalition

The measure has seen an outpouring of support from local communities, municipalities, and advocacy groups trying to address the issue of increased speeding and its impacts on safety. Leaders in the Vision Zero arena, such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, also prominently rallied around AB 2363.

“Nothing is more important than keeping people safe — that’s why Los Angeles is making unprecedented investments to improve street safety for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This bill will help us make even more progress toward this important goal, and I'm grateful to Assemblymember Friedman, the entire State Legislature, and Governor Brown for getting this legislation passed, signed, and on the books.” 

Cities such as Sacramento, San Jose, Fremont, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Monterey utilize the Vision Zero methodology of engineering, education, and enforcement to reduce injuries and deaths as a result of traffic-related collisions. With California now willing to do a re-evaluation of its traffic safety regulations, we are now on a statewide path towards reducing the number of traffic-related serious injuries or deaths to zero.

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Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.