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California has become the latest state to increase penalties for drivers who injure others on the road.

The new law signed recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also mandates that the California Driver's Handbook and the curriculum of traffic-violator schools include information about "respecting the right-of-way of others, particularly pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders."

Both aspects of the new law are key components of the AMA's Justice for All campaign. The AMA launched Justice for All in response to numerous instances across the country in which drivers killed or injured motorcyclists and walked away with minor fines. In many cases, state laws do not provide for additional penalties beyond a simple ticket for a traffic offense.

The AMA recognized the legislative leadership shown by bill sponsor Sen. Debra Bowen (D-28) and co-sponsor Assembly Member Bonnie Garcia (R-80), along with the activism of ABATE of California, in achieving this victory.

"California's new law shows what can be accomplished when lawmakers and motorcyclists work together," said Nick Haris, AMA Western States Representative. "Riders nationwide have embraced the goals of 'Justice for All' to get laws passed, state by state, and we believe that this momentum will continue to build."

Elsewhere, laws consistent with the Justice for All campaign have been passed this year in New York, Missouri, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Georgia, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Iowa, and West Virginia.
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