Prop 33 Hurts People Who Help the Environment
By Dave Snyder
California Bicycle Coalition
Why would a bicycle advocacy group oppose Proposition 33, an automobile insurance initiative?
Because if Proposition 33 passes, those of us who have found a way to avoid car insurance costs would be punished by paying higher rates if we choose to own and insure a car again. That's precisely the wrong policy to enact when so many Californians are discovering that our streets are getting safer and that the bicycle is actually a practical and joyous way to get around. Some of us have found biking, walking, transit, and the occasional rental car to be so practical that we've sold our private cars. That's a huge economic benefit: the money we would otherwise spend on cars goes into our local economy, creates local jobs, and helps our own pocketbook.
Prop 33 would let insurers surcharge Californians if they didn't have car insurance for more than 90 days at any time in the last five years, even if they have a perfect driving record. That hurts everyone who rides a bike, walks, or uses public transit to get around, but whose life circumstances change and have no choice but to get back into an automobile.
The California Bicycle Coalition is working hard to make it easy, safe, and fun for people to ride bicycles, and we're succeeding. Bicycling is booming, and our communities are safer, healthier, and more livable places because of it. We would like to be able to tell people that bicycling will save you money on car insurance, but if Prop 33 passes, we won't be able to say that.
It's unfair to penalize people for not owning a car. It hurts college students who commonly don't have a car, contrary to the misleading advertising from the measure's proponents. It penalizes those who choose a low-impact lifestyle. Most of all, it hurts those who are least able to pay.
Prop 33 is an insurance industry scam masquerading as something to help people. In fact it does just the opposite. Vote No on Prop 33.
Dave Snyder is Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, a statewide organization which endeavors to create safer, healthier and more livable communities throughout California by promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation.