'California Stops' to Remain Illegal in California

oak lawn stop sign.jpg
The governor gave the red light to a law that would have taken the sting out of our ubiquitous "California stops."

AB 909 would have roughly halved the fine for turning right on a red light without stopping from the current $450 to an estimated $220. But, after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger skewered the bill with his veto pen last night, the heavy fine for the California stop will California keep going. You can read Schwarzenegger's veto message here:

AB 909.pdf


The bill, authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), argued that the current $450 fine was the very same as the penalty for blasting straight through a red light or driving far over the speed limit -- and therefore excessive. But Schwarzenegger disagreed. Per his veto message:

A driver running a red-light, whether they are traveling straight, or turning right, makes a very dangerous traffic movement that endangers the nearby motoring public, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Modifying existing law to make red-light violations from a right turn less egregious sends the wrong message to the public that California is tolerant of these types of offenses.

(It's more fun if you read it in Arnold's voice).

AB 909 had the support of automobile clubs, the teamsters, and, without a doubt, legions of put-upon motorists. It was opposed, however, by a consortium of law-enforcement agencies, bike groups, senior organizations, and pedestrian groups.

Drivers are urged to stop, count to three, and then turn.

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