Bike friendly Davis, CA, lowers fines against bicyclists

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Bicyclists who run stop signs in Davis — the first platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community — can expect police to issue more tickets soon.

The increased enforcement comes after the Davis City Council reduced fines for stop-sign violations from $202 to $50 for bicyclists.

Apparently police in the college town in California were “hesitant to issue citations for bicycle violations, fearing a significant level of animosity from the public because of the perception that the fines are excessive.”

The Sacramento Bee reports city officials hope the new fine structure will encourage police to issue more tickets and fewer warnings.

The $50 fine is for first-time offenders; a second offense is $100 and subsequent offenses are $250.

The mayor of Davis said told the Bee that the goal is “education and promotion of cycling. Overly onerous penalties don’t meet that goal.”

Back in October 2011, UC-Davis police implemented a policy that allowed students to take an online bicycle safety course for $70 in lieu of fine for running stop signs.

Incidentally, Idaho passed a law back in 1982 that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as “yield signs” if there’s no traffic in the intersection.

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