California cyclists are no doubt applauding the recent passage of a bill that seeks to bolster safety at moments when automobiles come up alongside bikes. However, the matter is not fully settled yet, as it still has to receive the signature of the governor before becoming law, something that has proven to be a roadblock in the past.
The bill, which recently secured Senate approval, goes by the moniker of the Three Feet for Safety Act, a name that speaks to what the bill entails. Basically, it would make it so that all motor vehicle drivers that attempt to pass a cyclist have to give those persons a three foot cushion. If a driver is seen by a traffic officer to not be conforming to this law, they could be pulled over and slapped with a $35 citation.
Certain concessions were made in a bid to get support from the Governor. Previous versions of the measure stipulated that drivers would need to slow to 15 miles per hour, which the Governor thought could create a safety hazard or traffic snarl. After that, another bill was vetoed due to concerns about a driver having to cross double yellow lines to make the three foot requirement. Now, the driver is simply called upon to pass as safely as possible, thus avoiding situations where lines might be crossed.