Assembly Transportation Committee Schedules June 27 Vote on “Give Me 3″

The California Bike Coalition Asks "for 3" at their booth at the Amgen Tour. Photo: Give Me 3

Having already passed the Senate earlier this month, Senate Bill 910, the three-foot passing law, heads to its first Assembly hearing next Monday, June 27 at 1:30 P.M.  If you can’t make it to Sacramento, you can listen to the hearing here, or follow L.A. Streetblog’s coverage on twitter.

The Assembly Transportation Committee has three local members including Pasadena’s Mike Eng, the Valley’s Bob Blumenfield and Long Beach’s Bonnie Lowenthal who is not related to Senator Alan Lowenthal, the author of S.B. 910, who also resides in Long Beach.  The entire committee roster, with links to each Assembly Member’s home page, can be found here.

As we’ve discussed earlier, S.B. 910 requires motorists to give cyclists a three foot berth when passing unless the motorist is driving less than fifteen miles per hour faster than the cyclist.  While this exemption wrangles many cyclists, most organized groups are supporting the legislation.  Standing in opposition is the California Association of Bicycling Organizations which is concerned that as written it would allow a car traveling 55 miles per hour to pass within inched of a bicycle traveling 40 miles per hour.

But outside of CABO, cycling groups are lining up to support S.B. 910.  The California Bike Coalition has set up a website asking legislators to “Give Me 3,” off roar cycling group CORBA  is encouraging members to call their Assembly Member, and Better Bike Beverly Hills wrote its own letter calling for swift passage.

Alexis Lantz, the Policy and Planning Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition explains why so many cyclists are excited about S.B. 910.  “This law serves as an important progression of the “Give Me Three” campaign by legally defining three feet as a minimum safe passing distance and establishing consequences for those who breach it. We feel this removes the ambiguity that existing now in the CVC regarding safe passing distance and provides a tangible measurement to utilize with motorist education and increase motorist understanding regarding safe passing.”

Last week, the LACBC e-mailed members with information on how they can add their voice to the debate.  Streetsblog will report on next week’s hearing as it proceeds.

Your voice definitely counts! The deadline for calling or sending a message is 5 PM Tuesday, June 21.

You can express your support for SB 910 by phone or by email or fax:

By phone

Call the Assembly Transportation Committee office at (916) 319-2093 with this message:

“My name is _________ and I’m from _________ and I’m calling to express my support for Senate Bill 910, which will be heard by the committee on June 27. SB 910 would help create safer road conditions for bicyclists in our area and help prevent the leading cause of bicyclist fatalities in California.”

Please make this call by 5 PM next Tuesday.

By email or fax

Copy and paste the sample letter below into an email message or onto your own letterhead, add your name and location, and email it to Assemblymember.Lowenthal@assembly.ca.gov or fax it to (916) 319-2154 by 5 PM next Tuesday. Please also send a copy to the SB 910 author, Sen. Alan Lowenthal (no relation to Bonnie), at Senator.Lowenthal@senate.ca.gov or (916) 327-9113.

IMPORTANT! If you or a family member have been involved in a collision or fall in California because a motor vehicle passed too close, briefly summarize the facts in your letter. The information is essential for showing why this law is needed.

Please contact the CBC Communications Director Jim Brown at jimbrown@calbike.org or (916) 446-7558 if you have questions or need more information.