Jerry Brown signs law requiring cars to give bicyclists space
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing on a California roadway, after vetoing similar legislation during the last two years.
Assembly Bill 1371, by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, requires motorists to slow down if they can't give room and makes failing to comply an infraction punishable by a fine.
AB 1371, Bradford. Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance.
Under existing law, a driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction is required to pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to certain limitations and exceptions. A violation of this provision is an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 for a first conviction, and up to a $250 fine for a 3rd and subsequent conviction occurring within one year of 2 or more prior infractions.
This bill would enact the Three Feet for Safety Act, which would require the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway to pass in compliance with specified requirements applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and to do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, and the surface and width of the highway. The bill would prohibit, with specified exceptions, the driver of the motor vehicle that is overtaking or passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. The bill would make a violation of these provisions an infraction punishable by a $35 fine.
The bill would also require the imposition of a $220 fine on a driver if a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist causing bodily harm to the bicyclist, and the driver is found to be in violation of the above provisions. This bill would make these provisions operative on September 16, 2014.
Because this bill would create a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.