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New Bill Would Improve Sight Distances at Intersections

3:06 PM PST on February 3, 2023

“Daylighting” makes it easier for drivers and pedestrians to see each other at intersections. Note that the “NO STOPPING” on the graphic refers to parking or stopping at the curbs within 20 feet of an intersection

Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) just introduced A.B. 413, a bill aimed at improving sightlines at crosswalks and intersections. It would prohibit vehicles from parking or stopping at the curb within twenty feet of a marked crosswalk or intersection, a pedestrian safety measure known as “daylighting."

Widening sightlines at intersections makes it easier for drivers to see pedestrians waiting to cross the street, and allows drivers to see vehicles approaching on cross streets without having to pull out into the intersection, risking a crash. It also makes it easier for pedestrians to spot approaching vehicles without having to step into the street.

Some California cities have already adopted similar safety rules, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Alameda; A.B. 413 would make is a universal practice throughout the state.

According to the press release from Lee's office,

California’s pedestrian fatality rate is more than 25 percent higher than the national average, and no state has more pedestrian deaths on its roadways, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

In 2021, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. reached a four-decade high, with California topping the list with 958, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), 26 percent of cyclist fatalities occur at intersections.

A.B. 413 is sponsored by Streets For All, a Los Angeles-based organization advocating for safe, sustainable and equitable transportation.

“Daylighting is an effective and affordable safety measure that will combat the rising tide of pedestrian deaths in California,” according to Marc Vukcevich, co-director of state policy for Streets For All.

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