An intersection is seen in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Nov. 12, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
A new California law targeting drivers who stop or park near an intersection aims to reduce traffic crashes and make roads safer.
Most drivers caught violating the new law will get warnings this year, but citations will start to be issued beginning Jan. 1, 2025.
Assembly Bill (AB) 413
, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 20, 2023, prohibits all vehicles, including cars, trucks, and delivery vans, from stopping or parking within 20 feet of a marked crosswalk or intersection or within 15 feet of any crosswalk with a curb extension.
Local governments are allowed, however, to make parking available for bicycles or motorized scooters within the 20-foot buffer zone, according to the law.
The bill would improve visibility, called “daylighting” by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, for other motorists.
Daylighting has been shown to reduce collisions at intersections, according to the California Research Bureau. The bureau found 43 states already prohibit parking within a certain distance of a crosswalk and most states don’t allow parking within 20 feet of one.
Assemblyman Alex Lee, a Democrat from San Jose, said last year the bill would improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles.
“By making it easier for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists to see each other at intersections, we can take a simple and important step to help us all safely share the road,” Mr. Smith said in a press release
in February 2023.
California’s pedestrian fatality rate is almost 25 percent higher than the national average, the state’s Office of Traffic Safety reports on its website.
AB 413 was sponsored by the Los Angeles-based transportation advocacy organization Streets for All.
“Daylighting is an effective and affordable safety measure that will combat the rising tide of pedestrian deaths in California,” said Marc Vukcevich, co-director of state policy for Streets For All
In 2019, San Francisco and Alameda started implementing the policy and have reported increases in safety.
Cities like San Francisco will not issue a citation in 2024 unless the violation occurs in an area marked using paint or a sign, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. After Jan. 1, 2025, citations will be issued for the violation.