News & Events

Date and Time of Release: 12 September 2014

Date and Time of Incident: 16 September 2014

Subject: New California Law

Beginning 16 September 2014, a new California law affecting motorists and bicyclist will take effect. The new law states, a driver must allow three feet of distance when overtaking or passing a bicyclist traveling in the same direction. If three feet is not available, the driver must then slow to a safe speed and pass when no danger is present. This new law is designed to reduce car vs. bicycle crashes by reminding drivers to give bicyclists a safe space while passing them.

Records kept by the California Highway Patrol, show that in 2012, there were 153 bicyclists killed in California, which reflects a 7 percent increase from 2011. Those deaths accounted for 5 percent of the total fatality collisions in the State. Many of these deaths were preventable. It is predicted the new 3 feet passing law will lower the bicycle fatality rate within the State. Below are a few safety tips for both motorists and bicyclists.

Slow down near bicyclists
Pay attention and avoid driving distractions
Look for bicyclists before opening your vehicle door
Be aware of oncoming bicyclists when making a left turn
Check you blind spots for bicyclists before turning right

Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it (it’s the law)
Stop at red lights and stop signs
Be predictable and use hand signals
Be visible. Don’t hug the curb and wear bright clothing
Use a front and rear light when riding at night
Be cautious of doors being opened into the lane of traffic