On Friday 23 September 2022 California Governor Newsom signed the "OmniBike" Bill into law making four significant safety enhancements to existing law concerning cycling.
Existing law required motorists to give people on bikes a 3-foot margin when passing, this law was difficult to enforce and did not provide enough space for safe passing. The change requires motorists to change lanes whenever passing a bicyclist, the new law is easier for police to enforce.
- Some jurisdictions requiring bicycle license laws have abused the law by harassing youth riders, the new provision removes bicycle licensing laws throughout California. AB 1909 removes the pretext for biased policing against bicyclists.
- In some areas eBikes are banned on bikeways, the new provision allows eBikes equal access to bikeways everywhere. Exceptions are State Parks and Recreation Departments may continue to prohibit them, local authorities may ban them from equestrian, hiking, and recreational trails.
- Bikes are considered vehicles and follow normal traffic rules at intersections, the final provision allows bike riders to cross streets on pedestrian
walk signals rather than only a green traffic light. AB 2264 directs Caltrans to give pedestrians a 3-7 second headstart on crossing the street. If AB 2264 is signed, provisions in AB 1909 allows people on bikes a
headstart, too. A study in San Francisco shows traffic violations reduced 65-98% when pedestrians are given this headstart. For more detail see the CalBike report.