California Law takes effect requiring drivers to stay 3 feet from cyclists

GH Women's 8 Panel Cycle ShortCalifornia Law takes effect requiring drivers to stay 3 feet from cyclists
Starting Tuesday [September 16, 2014], motorists can be fined for passing a cyclist too closely.

The new California law, called the Three Feet for Safety Act, requires drivers to keep a distance of 3 feet when passing cyclists on the road. It was passed by the Legislature last year.

The San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition is holding an informational event Tuesday [9/16/14] at 2 p.m. to demonstrate the new law.

“Bicyclists have a legal right to be on the road in California, even on streets that don’t have bike lanes,” said Dan Rivoire, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition, in a news release. “This new law is a reminder that motorists need to slow down and wait to pass a bicyclist when it is safe to do so.”

The law also states that if road conditions or traffic prohibit a driver from complying with the 3 feet law, then the driver must slow down and wait until it is safe to pass.

Anyone observed breaking the law can be cited by law enforcement. The base fine is $35, unless a collision injures a cyclist — then the base fine is $220. Additional court fees and administrative costs may apply.

Rivoire and San Luis Obispo police Officer Joshua Welsh will discuss the new law at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Bicycle Coalition headquarters, 860 Pacific St., No. 105 in San Luis Obispo.

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