Event Promotes Awareness of CA 3-Foot Passing Bill In Effect Next Week
This morning, California legislators, law enforcement representatives, cycling advocates, and the Automobile Association of America (AAA) gathered to promote awareness of the state’s new 3-foot passing law. Long in the works, the Three Feet for Safety Act, A.B. 1371, goes into effect next Tuesday, September 16.
As the campaign has shifted from passing the law to enforcing it, the promotional hashtag that used to be from a cyclist’s perspective, #GiveMe3, has now appropriately given way to one from a driver’s perspective, #IGive3Ft.
Here is the summary of the new law, from its legislative preamble:
The bill would prohibit, with specified exceptions, the driver of the motor vehicle that is overtaking or passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. The bill would make a violation of these provisions an infraction punishable by a $35 fine. The bill would also require the imposition of a $220 fine on a driver if a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist causing bodily harm to the bicyclist, and the driver is found to be in violation of the above provisions.
The well-attended press event took place in front of Serious Cycling bike shop in Northridge. Most speakers, including the law’s authors, Assemblymembers Steven Bradford and Matt Dababneh, emphasized that the new rule will make streets safer for everyone.
AAA’s spokesperson Marianne Kim concluded her remarks urging cyclists to not break laws and to always wear helmets, which she analogized to seat belts. AAA, which fought against earlier versions of the law, is now distributing fliers to raise awareness about it. The background of the AAA’s “3Ft for Safety Act” flier features a car tire skid mark skidding into (or out of) a pool of spattered blood directly over the California Bicycle Coalition logo.
Also, enjoy this short 3-foot passing law video, below, created by Los Angeles cyclist Nathan Lucero. View more of Lucero’s work here.