Streetsblogger Report: “Give Me 3” Law Gets Empowered in Tennessee

Regular reader and occasional commenter Bob Davis is in Memphis for vacation, doubtless having a great time riding their electric streetcar system.  However, he also sends word that not only does Tennessee have a three-foot passing law for cyclists, but the Volunteer State just made the law more powerful and easier to enforce.  He writes:

Share the Road signs, Tennessee Style.

I was in Memphis TN last week, and found an article about laws that would go into effect in Tennessee on July 1, 2011 (one finds similar articles in many states, and in California, there’s usually such a list just before New Year’s Day).  What’s of interest to Streetsblog readers is that, to quote the [Memphis] Commercial Appeal: “Tennessee’s 2007 law requiring motorists to leave at least three feet between their vehicles and cyclists they pass is expanded by a new law requiring higher standards of care by drivers, and enhanced penalties when bicyclists and pedestrians are hurt or killed in crashes involving motor vehicles.”

Even though I don’t ride a bike, and can still move fairly fast when crossing a street, Streetsblog has raised my consciousness on such matters, and I just wanted to let Angelenos know that progress is being made elsewhere.

If you’re interested, you can read “”Scoffing at Laws Will Pay a Price” at the Commercial Appeal website.  This article should be required reading for Sacramento lawmakers as they debate our own, somewhat watered down, 3-Foot Passing Law.

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