Governor declines to improve kids’ safety with SB 1151 veto

Joshua Stark Headshot

Kids walking to school won't get the benefit of SB 1151“Making safety improvements in school zones is obviously important, but not by increasing traffic fines.”

So concludes Governor Brown’s veto message on SB 1151, which would have helped make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school by increasing traffic fines in school zones.  The Governor declined to sign SB 1151 on Friday, citing concerns about the regressive nature of fines.

We disagree with the Governor’s position – and so do the majority of Californians.  SB 1151 won rare bipartisan support in the Legislature, passing through both the Assembly and Senate without a single “nay” in any vote count.

Why? Because Californians understand that every child deserves to get to school safely, no matter where they live or how they get there.

Californians understand that school zones need greater protections, because unsafe driving near schools puts our most vulnerable community members at risk.

And we understand that low-income kids are the ones who most need SB 1151, because they are the ones who are most likely to be injured or killed on their way to school.

Our legislators understand, too.  In 2014, all Californians - from families to legislators - overwhelmingly supported SB 1151.  And we believe that in 2015, we can find the support we need to make this bill the law.

So we’re thanking our legislators for their unanimous approval of SB 1151, and letting them know that we’re not giving up.  Will you join us in sending your legislators a message today?

And, thanks to everyone who sent a message to the Governor in support of SB 1151.  We look forward to working with you next year to continue making it safer for kids of all income levels to get to school.

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TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.