Starting today, September 16, 2014, the “Three Feet for Safety Act” goes into effect in California, under California vehicle code section 21760. This law requires all motorists to provide at least three feet of clearance between their vehicle and a bicyclist when passing the bicyclist traveling in the same direction. Existing law requires motorists to pass bicyclists while keeping a “safe distance.” The new law defines “safe distance” as three feet. If there is not enough space available, the motorist must slow down and pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist.
Key points to the Three Feet for Safety Act are:
- Existing law requires motorists to pass bicyclists while keeping a “safe distance.”
- This new law defines “safe distance” as at least three feet when passing bicyclists traveling in the same direction. This new law gives an educational tool for motorists. Instead of teaching drivers to give a “safe” amount of space when passing, we teach them to give a specific 3 feet. If they don’t it’s punishable by law.
- If not enough space is available, the motorist must slow and pass only when there is three feet of clearance from the bicyclist.
- Violators will face a $35 fine, as well as a $220 fine if a collision occurs.
- Law takes effect September 16, 2014.
(source: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release)