Update: AB 1677 has been signed into law by Gov. Brown.

Tour bus safety reform bill by Phil Ting

Remember when a tour bus crashed in Union Square last fall? Assemblymember Phil Ting is taking action to prevent such incidents from happening in the future via AB 1677, his tour bus safety reform legislation.

San Francisco residents will likely remember an incident that took place on November 13, 2015, when a double-decker tour bus crashed in Union Square on a busy Friday afternoon.

As KGO-TV reported at the time, 20 people were injured — six of them critically — as the bus hit a bicyclist and several vehicles. It eventually came to a stop after colliding with some scaffolding at a construction site near Post and Stockton streets, where the new Apple Store was being built.

Inspired by the crash, Assemblymember Phil Ting introduced AB 1677. This tour bus safety reform legislation would enhance public safety by allowing local jurisdictions where tour buses actually operate the opportunity to have more buses inspected.

Tour bus safety reform: AB 1677

As explained in a recent press release from Ting:

“The California Highway Patrol (CHP) inspects tour bus companies. Every 13 months CHP inspects a sample of each bus company’s fleet, resulting in about 30 percent of all buses getting inspected. Ting’s bill gives communities a choice to have a higher inspection rate of local tour bus fleets by contracting with CHP to get the job done.”

AB 1677 passed the CA Assembly in June with a wide margin (52-26). There are now two more steps required before the bill can become law: 1) It must pass a vote by the CA Senate, and 2) It must then be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

[Update: After this article was originally written, the CA Senate voted to approve AB 1677, sending the bill to the Governor’s Office. In response, Ting tweeted, “AB 1677 got out of the Senate & is now just one step away from making our streets safer. #SaferStreets.”]

[Second Update: Gov. Brown signed AB 1677 into law on September 27, 2016.]

On Friday, Ting joined with Assemblymember David Chiu, Supervisor Norman Yee, Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on the steps of City Hall to urge action on AB 1677.

With just a few weeks left until the 2016 state legislative session comes to a close on August 31, time is of the essence.

Tour bus safety reform: City Hall press conference

“Dangerous buses fall through the cracks of today’s tour bus safety inspections,” said Ting at the event. “We are so close to enacting critical reforms that will save lives.”

“It’s time to give communities new tools to take charge and keep local streets safe. Innocent people are paying the price for failure.”

Learn more about about this important #publicsafety legislation at http://asmdc.org/members/a19/news-room/press-releases/advocates-sf-leaders-urge-passage-of-tour-bus-safety-inspection-bill.