Tonight at 7pm: Joe Linton Discusses #IGive3Ft On KCRW’s Which Way L.A.?
If you haven’t gotten your fill of 3-foot law discussions, tune your radio to KCRW 89.9 F.M. tonight at 7pm. Which Way L.A.? will be hosting a discussion on the 3-foot passing law. I’ll be one of the experts, giving my opinion. We will provide a direct link to the interview in tomorrow’s “Today’s Headlines” post.
It’s the law. Last week, cars passing bicyclists were required to pass at a “safe distance.” As of yesterday, that safe distance is now legally 3 feet.
Drivers who pass too close can receive citations. If there’s no injury, the base fine is $35. If the passing driver injures a cyclist, then the fine goes up to $220. With court and administrative fees, these violations actually cost $233 and $959 respectively.
There has been media coverage. Some clever. Some good. Some dubious. Bicycle injury lawyer Bob Mionski, an interested party if there ever was one, wrote that the law is great, and could be even better. California Bicycle Coalition has a helpful FAQ guide.
I think that any news is good news, though, in this case. The more that drivers are aware of the law, the more likely they are to respect it by passing safely. Most drivers did this already. In the ensuing discussions, cyclists I know have learned things, too. Some of my cyclist friends were not aware that, just like a slow moving tractor or trailer on a rural road, when a cyclist is moving slow enough to back up five or more cars, and there’s no room for the cars to pass, then that cyclist needs to (when it’s safe) pull over and let vehicles go past.