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[KHTS] – A new California law that takes effect Sept. 16 will require drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of room while passing on roadways.

The “Three Feet for Safety” law, authored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, threatens motorists with a $35 fine plus fees, if they get too close to a cyclists. If a collision occurs, the fine could range from $220-959, including court fees, which can increase such a fine by thousands of dollars.

Local Cyclist and bike activist, Kevin Korenthal, sees the law as more of a message to drivers than a cut and dry law about exact measurements.

cyclist“They have a responsibility to give bicyclists enough space to safely pass them,” says Korenthal.

“But bicyclists need to be safe while riding as well,” says Korenthal.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last September, requires motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of room, on either side of the vehicle, when passing a cyclist. If this is not a possibility, motorists are required to follow behind the bicyclist until there is room to pass.

“Three Feet for Safety illustrates what many motorists still don’t understand – that bicyclists legally have a right to be on the road in California, even on streets that don’t include indicated bike lanes,” according to a statement from the California Bicycle Coalition. “Motorists need to respect bicyclists by learning to pass them safely.”

“As a lifelong cyclist, I know firsthand that when cars and bikes collide, it often turns to tragedy,” Bradford said.

“In fact, getting hit from behind, or sideswiped by a car passing too closely, is one of the top ways bicyclists are injured,” according to the CBC. “Nationally, 40 percent of fatal bike crashes are caused by unsafe passing according to the League of American Bicyclists.”

California is the 22nd state to pass similar laws.

Bicycling has increased 50 percent in California since 2000, according to the California Household Transportation Survey, with about 2 million bike trips daily statewide.

In 2014, California moved from 19th to 9th in the annual Bicycle Friendly State rankings by the League of American Bicyclists.

 

– Kimberly Beers

 

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32 Comments

  1. I have a comment. Bicyclists should stay off Wiley Canyon between Lyons and Calgrove if they want to stay alive. Joggers as well. I can’t understand people exercising there for health. It’s more like to cheat death.

  2. They waste a lot of time up there in Sacramento.

  3. Megan Roy Megan Roy says:

    Fine the cyclists for riding their bikes across the crosswalks.

    • and on sidewalks where it’s illegal, and against traffic … the city could be rich

    • Megan Roy Megan Roy says:

      A friend of mine was at a t intersection in a residential neighborhood. He looked right, left, right then inched out to see around the parked cars on the street in front of him. Again, looked right, left, right. As he proceeded to turn, a minor zipped in front of him, on his bike and my friend tapped him. Did 1500 bucks in damage to car. police said report didnt need to be filed, no one was hurt. then my friend got a letter from a personal injury lawyer. Insurance company found my friend less than 51 percent at fault, but they still paid the kid off not to sue. My friend was 100 percent not at fault. Minors are allowed to ride on the sidewalks, but WITH a helmet, and everyone must walk bikes across crosswalks.

  4. Eric Beattie Eric Beattie says:

    I need some laws for my heeleys

  5. Eric Beattie Eric Beattie says:

    Global Warming is a scam, buy a car, you dirty hippies

  6. Nic Miller Nic Miller says:

    And ride the line in the canyons, not 4-wide and ignoring the cars that can’t see them until it’s too late and a car is oncoming and I can’t do sh*t. I’m all for sharing the road, but it goes both ways.

  7. So when they ride the lines to the left on a two way street, we are not going to get pulled over for going over the double yellow?

  8. And while we are at it, how about bicyclists riding on the CORRECT side of the road, and off of the sidewalks as well? Let’s throw a little more law into it.

  9. I won’t vote for it. Cyclists have miles and miles of protected paseos and bike paths in this valley. USE THEM.
    I’m over the Tour de France wanna-be crowd monopolizing Bouquet Canyon Rd on the weekends.
    We’ve had aggressive confrontations more than once around central park. I’ve had my passenger window spat on, and watched riders stop traffic on Copperhill after being stranded in the median while crossing mid-traffic, during a busy traffic hour.
    If they want US to obey laws for them, then license them, and fine them for obstructing traffic, etc.

  10. Just let us ride side walks befor so all hole kills another biker with there car cause they didnt see him

  11. Cody Lucas Cody Lucas says:

    I will obey that law when bicyclists pay the same registration and nonsense that I pay to use the roads. They are generally inconsiderate and a danger to everyone driving on the road.

  12. Cody Lucas Cody Lucas says:

    I will obey that law when bicyclists pay the same registration and nonsense that I pay to use the roads. They are generally inconsiderate and a danger to everyone driving on the road.

  13. Greg Brown Greg Brown says:

    Watch out for those “all holes” for sure! Bust a rim.

  14. Greg Brown Greg Brown says:

    Watch out for those “all holes” for sure! Bust a rim.

  15. Does this law apply to narrow canyon roads and cyclists who choose the road instead of the bike paths? I love to ride but I dont compromise my safety to ride on the road when there are bike path across the street or next to where I am riding. I see this ALL the time. If Im on a 50 mph road and a rider chooses not only to ride on the road but in the traffic lanes, it isnt feasible for me to have to almost stop and then change lanes to avoid hitting them and give them an extra 3 feet when there is a clear and safe alternative. I am not sure but I believe they have the same responsibility to pull over to let faster traffic go by just as motorized vehicles have that responsibility but I never see it happen with cyclists.

  16. Does this law apply to narrow canyon roads and cyclists who choose the road instead of the bike paths? I love to ride but I dont compromise my safety to ride on the road when there are bike path across the street or next to where I am riding. I see this ALL the time. If Im on a 50 mph road and a rider chooses not only to ride on the road but in the traffic lanes, it isnt feasible for me to have to almost stop and then change lanes to avoid hitting them and give them an extra 3 feet when there is a clear and safe alternative. I am not sure but I believe they have the same responsibility to pull over to let faster traffic go by just as motorized vehicles have that responsibility but I never see it happen with cyclists.

  17. does this mean i can drive my car on the paseo’s? awesome….should cut down my commute time!!

  18. Nicole Galdi Nicole Galdi says:

    They need to stay in bike lanes! Placerita cyn is the stupidest place to ride your bike. How about you guys do some real riding and go ride in the mountains

  19. Bryan Pievac Bryan Pievac says:

    I’ll give the guy his 3ft is he stays in his own damn lane
    You don’t see cars riding right on the line so maybe a cyclist shouldn’t do it either
    Isn’t it common sense for bikers? I don’t understand
    You don’t want to be run over by cars yet you ride in the middle of streets with no bike lanes and even when there are bike lanes, you still manage to ride outside your lane in the car lane???
    You want to live right? Shouldn’t you be riding in your bike lane as close as you can to the curb where there are no cars?? I don’t understand why cyclists get all butt hurt when they are crowding the car lanes
    And almost get swiped
    Just last week I almost got in an accident because of a cyclist
    He was riding in the car lane a good 3ft out of his bike lane while I had a uhall truck to my left
    3 choices
    Hit the uhall truck to avoid the cyclist, hit the cyclist, or slam by brakes because he moved another 3ft into my lane now basically riding in the middle of the car lane?
    I chose option 3 because that guy decided to move further into my car lane
    Honked at him and told him to move over
    His response…
    “Hey man share the road..”
    What happened to people’s common sense these days? Seriously

  20. Gary Mason Gary Mason says:

    I ride and I don’t support this… Then again I’m not one of the d-bag riders that ride 2,3 and Even 4 wide on a two lane road.

  21. Daniel Konz Daniel Konz says:

    Laws don’t make riding a bicycle in traffic any safer or any smarter…

  22. Daniel Konz Daniel Konz says:

    Also…
    Has Sacramento looked at a tape measure lately..?
    How wide exactly do they think a traffic lane is..?

    8 foot lane – 6 foot wide truck – 2 foot of bike/rider = -3 feet for room…

    Unless the motorists cross the line or slow an entire lane of traffic…

    Where is the increased safety exactly..?

  23. Wow, what vitriol and hatred. I bet some of you people have loved ones that ride…

  24. As a bicyclist who has ridden the Solvang Century at least 8 times, I must say that I see an ever growing problem with rude, self centered, narcissistic folks — many of whom have now taken up recreational bicycling. Some have vandalized and damaged private property rather than using bike friendly access points specifically placed for them to use; failed to obey the rules of the road, such as stopping at stop signs, red lights, etc.; caused traffic accidents and fled without being identified; people under 18 yrs riding without helmets on; people riding while talking on their cell phones; people riding while having ear buds in both ears and apparently listening to some sort of device; people blasting down narrow hiking trails where bicyling is prohibited; riding when they are supposed to be walking; riding on sidewalks or against traffic; etc . If you want more rights, they really come with certain responsiblities. I would now like to see bicyclists licensed and required to display a license or tag so they can more readily identifiable. I would participate in such too. I challenge the responsible bicylists, including their Advocacy Groups and Clubs to police themselves and gently correct those few that are giving bicyclists a very bad name — I have seen all of this with my own eyes and all during this past year!

  25. What a bunch of a-holes.

  26. What a bunch of a-holes.

  27. What are the rules as to how far into traffic they can ride?

  28. Good luck enforcing that one.

  29. Than the bicyclists should should watch there distance also

  30. Cathy says:

    FYI… cyclist over the age of 16 usually do have a “bike” drivers license, it’s issued by the DMV. It also permits you to drive a car. All of the rules of the road apply to everyone. You can look it up in that little handbook they give out. When I was a little girl we had bicycle safety class once a year at our elementary school (Santa Clarita). It was taught by the local Sheriff. Having a bike is a kids first step of independence. They need to know the rules of the road. But who is going to teach them these days? We need a volunteer program with the bike clubs to fill the gap and educate these young riders. Most of you seem to have had problems with the younger riders. Education is the answer. In this very same SCVTV post they wrote on how a family buried a young girl because some body lost control of their car. Your car is also a weapon when not driven properly. Please share the road and drive safely.

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