New law gives cyclists 3-foot buffer from drivers
Under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California drivers must stay at least 3 feet away from cyclists when passing.
The proposal, bill AB1371, came from Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was injured in a bicycle accident in 2010, sponsored the bill. The law protects cyclists from aggressive drivers and protects cyclist safety.
Currently, the law states that drivers must keep a safe distance when passing cyclists, but does not specify how far a “safe distance” is.
The new law goes into effect Sept. 16, 2014.
Brown vetoed two previous bills in 2011 and 2012, which would have allowed drivers to cross the yellow line or require them to slow to 15 mph when passing. The Governor raised concerns that those bills could hold the state liable if there was an accident resulting in the adherence to the requirements of the two previous bills.
Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, along with other lawmakers opposed the bill, saying that it would be too difficult for drivers to accurately judge a 3-foot distance while driving.
Bradford’s spokesman, Matt Stauffer, said in an interview with the local NBC affiliate that the overall aim is to remind drivers and cyclists that they have a responsibility to behave safely on the road and that case-by-case enforcement will be up to the local police.
Violating new 3-foot requirement would be punishable by fines starting at $35. If passing results in a crash that injures the cyclist, the driver could face a $220 fine.
If you need a car accident lawyer call The Accident Attorneys Group at 877-857-7720.
Source: NBC Bay Area