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New “daylighting” law aims to make pedestrians and cyclists safer

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Injuries |

There’s no question that pedestrians and bicyclists are extremely vulnerable on or near California streets – even in marked crosswalks. According to the Federal Highway Administration, half of traffic-related injuries occur near intersections. Now there’s a new law that will help make them more visible to drivers when they’re crossing the street. 

The law, recently signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, prohibits drivers from “stopping, standing or parking” within 20 feet of any crosswalk (15 feet if there’s a curb extension). The law applies whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked and only to the side of the road from which vehicles are approaching.

What is “daylighting?”

When vehicles are parked or stopped alongside a curb near a crosswalk, it can make it difficult, if not impossible, for approaching drivers to see if there’s someone crossing or preparing to cross in front of them before they get into the intersection.

The safety measure mandated by the law is called “daylighting.” Similar restrictions were already mandated in some California cities, including San Francisco.

The assemblymember behind the legislation said that it “will save lives and make our streets safer for everyone.” He noted that “California’s pedestrian fatality rate is nearly 25% higher than the national average.” Groups including the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) and Streets For All celebrated the new law.

Drivers have another year before ticketing begins

Drivers won’t be ticketed for not obeying the law until the beginning of 2025. Until then, law enforcement officers are directed to issue warnings. 

We all know, unfortunately, that some drivers ignore all laws, signs, lights and other safety measures. Whether out of negligence, distraction, impairment by drugs or alcohol or the fact that they’re driving too fast to slow down or stop, the results can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or worse because of the actions of a driver, it’s crucial to have sound legal guidance before agreeing to any settlement.

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