As outdoor dining and similar street-side venues became commonplace throughout the U.S. during the pandemic, so too did deaths and injuries from vehicles crashing into those diners and pedestrians. California Assemblymember Dr. Bill Quirk (D-20) saw the same trend in his state and introduced legislation that created incentives for the installation of safety barriers in the context of outdoor dining and related activities on streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Quirk’s bill, AB1989, was approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom on August 26, 2022.
Quirk used data from the Storefront Safety Council as part of the documentation showing how risks at outdoor dining areas have increased as such venues have become more common. These tragedies happen all around the U.S. when property owners fail to protect outdoor diners and others from errant drivers. It just takes one crash to end a life — and put a restaurant or small retailer out of business.
This article originally appeared in Retail & Restaurant Facility Business