City of El Monte, BikeSGV Launch First ‘Traffic School’ Program for People on Bikes in Southern California
On January 1, 2016 California Assembly Bill 902 went into effect making it legal for local jurisdictions to offer law enforcement-sanctioned traffic diversion classes for people cited with a traffic infraction while on a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle.
A little over a year later the City of El Monte has become the first community in southern California, and one of only a handful across the state (e.g., Gilroy, Sacramento), to launch a 'traffic school' for people on bikes.
For BikeSGV and Day One, launching the program in a high-need, lower-income community like El Monte was particularly important as the monetary cost of a violation on a bicycle is generally the same as when driving a motor vehicle. With court fees this means a stop sign violation can cost around $200 and a red light violation more than $400, significant sums, especially for low-income individuals and families who are most likely to rely on bicycling for everyday transportation.
The program is the result of a collaboration between BikeSGV, the City of El Monte, Day One, and the Honorable Daniel Lopez of the Los Angeles Superior Court in El Monte, and made possible by Metro Los Angeles grant funding awarded to the City of El Monte as part of the ongoing I-10 Active Commute, Healthy Community Program. The 3-hour City Cycling class curriculum covers the rules of the road as they pertain to bicycles, safe riding techniques, and on-street instruction.
Free classes are offered at the Jeff Seymour Family Center - home to the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center at 10900 Mulhall St, El Monte - as well as other locations along the I-10 corridor, and taught by bi-lingual nationally certified bicycle safety instructors. For more info, or to register for a class, please visit www.bikesgv.org/bicycleeducationcenter.html or contact BikeSGV Education Director Jose Jimenez at (626) 566-8302 or via email.