Making a rolling or "California stop" as you turn right at a red light or stop sign is not only illegal, it is dangerous. But even in Alameda it is something you see drivers doing with some regularity.
The current fine for a rolling right turn in Alameda and many other cities is approximately $450, though the fines vary by somewhat by municipality. Drivers pay similar fines for going through red lights, driving 25 miles per hour over the limit, or failing to pull over when emergency vehicles are passing.
Why you ask would California Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, propose Assembly Bill 909 to reduce the fine to about $220? And why would the Legislature vote to approve it? These are puzzling questions, to be sure.
Apparently, drivers feel victimized by the fine. But isn't the injured or killed pedestrian the victim?
Alameda has lots of kids who walk and bike. Alameda is basically a safe community for those with disabilities to maneuver comfortably. Seniors can enjoy getting around with some confidence. But it is these groups that are particularly vulnerable to sloppy drivers making illegal right turns.
We have all seen people making rolling right turns at red lights and stop signs. Once might be viewed as careless, twice seems like it's becoming a habit, and from there on the "California stop" is unforgivable and dangerous.
The governor has until Sept. 30 to veto this law. If he does nothing, the bill becomes law automatically. Please take action by Monday, Sept. 20 so the governor's staff has a chance to compile all the opposition letters.
What you can do: Aaron Maguire, the governor's Deputy Legislative Secretary is handling the bill and is aware of the opposition. Writing a letter on paper is the best way to be heard. You can find the governor's mailing address on his website, and you should 'cc' your letter to Maguire and Tom Sawyer, Public Safety Liaison to the governor. If you want to call, leave messages for Aaron Maguire at 916-445-4341. The email address for Aaron Maguire is Aaron.Maguire@gov.ca.gov and for Tom Sawyer is Tom.Sawyer@gov.ca.gov
Audrey Lord-Hausman, co-founder of Pedestrian Friendly Alameda, and a long-time pedestrian safety advocate brought Walk & Roll to School Day to Alameda 10 years ago and introduced the "Keep Kids Alive. Drive 25" program to the city. She currently sits on the city's Commission on Disability Issues