Governor’s Signature Finalizes Passage Of Bicycle Safety Bill

Posted on September 24, 2013

Cyclists are likely cheering the approval of a law that aims to provide additional protection to cyclists who navigate along busy California roads.  The protection comes in the form of more clearly delineated rules that govern automobiles when they pass bikes.

The law was signed yesterday by the Governor of California, and the measure and its potential impact are explored in a new report.  The measure itself provides for a legal means to crack down on those drivers who do not give cyclists three feet of room when passing them.  Thanks to the Governor’s signature, the law will come into being in just under a year.

The bill enjoyed the support of myriad safety organizations and advocates.  The Automobile Club of Southern California and the California Association of Bicycling Organizations each came out in favor of the bill, which is thought to do a better job of defining what would be considered a violation.  The three foot rule replaces a previous law that simply stated bikes must be given ample space for safety without clearly stating how big that space must be.

Supporters of the bill may have been on edge given the previous track record of similar measure.  Previously proposed laws received a veto in 2011 and 2012.  At that time, the Governor voiced concern about language that allowed a driver to navigate across a double yellow line and bring their speed down to 15 miles per hour, two potential safety issues.  With these passages removed, approval was finally secured.

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