California Legislature Approves Motorcycle Traffic Light Sensors

California State Legislature today approved a bill that would require the installation of traffic light sensors that can detect both motorcy...

California State Legislature today approved a bill that would require the installation of traffic light sensors that can detect both motorcycles and bicycles. The bill, AB 1581, now goes to the Governor for signing.

You read the text of the bill here...
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/....bill_20070712_amended_sen_v98.html

However, it's not a slam dunk the Governor will sign it. There were two previous bills almost exactly like this one, AB 930 of 1998, and AB 2521 of 2002, which Governors Wilson and Davis each vetoed, citing that these measures levy too much cost on local government, and that local government is already free to incorporate these sensors.

However, local governments will not be required to implement these sensors until CalTrans can identify and test the technology that will be used.

AB 1581 goes on to say that the State will impose duties on local governments to pay for a state-mandated local program. It's not clear to me, but it sounds like this program may include CalTrans' testing of the sensors, monitoring the implementation progress, and possibly reimbursing local governments for these new sensors.

This whole idea sounds like an attempt to extract city and county tax revenues to create another bureaucratic system. Local governments are already free to implement motorcycle-detecting sensors, they just haven't done so.

Most traffic lights are able to detect motorcycles, there are only a minority that don't. It's not necessary to spend money to fix a traffic light that doesn't need to be fixed.

I like the idea of allowing motorcycles and bicycles to pass through a red light as if they were a stop sign, only doing so when cross traffic has cleared and when it's safe to do so. That doesn't require the creation of a bureaucracy. I thought California was to enact this as a new law, does anyone know what happened to it?

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