New California law requires safe space for bicyclists on the roadway
Last Updated: 77 days ago
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A bill requiring drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing was signed into California law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The law was promoted by the California Bicycling Coalition as “Give Me 3.”
Existing law requires drives to pass while keeping at a “safe distance,” but the new law establishes exactly what that distance is: 3 feet.
Bakersfield bicycle enthusiasts say this law give them space they need to help them be safe while on the roads.
"It's about time a law like this with passed," said Mark Wilkins. "Unfortunately drivers don't always obey the laws, like not using their cell phones while behind the wheel, but this law can help save lives."
The law requires drivers who pass cyclists from behind to keep their vehicles 3 feet away. If traffic or roadway conditions prevent motorists from giving cyclists 3 feet of clearance, drivers must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and only pass when the cyclist will not be endangered.
Zach Davis owns a Bakersfield bicycle courier service. He says this new law will raise awareness that everybody needs to share the road.
"Riding your bike around town can be kind of stressful at times. People are always in a rush and don't always pay attention to cyclist . I always have to watch my back," said Davis.
Violations are punishable by a $35 base fine, which comes to $154 with additional fees, according to the California Bicycle Coalition. Drivers who collide with cyclists and injure them while violating the law will be subject to a $220 fine.
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