Three Feet for Safety Act Goes into Effect Today!

Give Me Three posterAt long last, those who ride a bicycle in California enjoy some protection as vulnerable road users under the state’s vehicular code. The new law, Three Feet for Safety Act (section 21760), for the first time specifies what ‘safe passing’ means to riders and drivers. When passing riders in the same direction, drivers must allow a three-foot margin. And if there’s not three feet available, the driver must slow and pass when there is sufficient room to present no danger to the rider. Continue reading

Three-Feet Passing Bill on the Governor’s Desk

Give Me Three posterWill the third time be the charm? On the Governor’s desk sits AB 1371, the ‘Three Feet for Safety Act,’ which would create a new standard for unsafe passing that specifically addresses the needs of those who ride a bicycle. Part of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s legislative agenda, two earlier versions of this bill went down by Governor’s veto. How ironic that the California Highway Patrol worked against it. The prospect of yet a third veto has riders again on edge. Will this Governor sign the state’s first safe passing law? Continue reading

State of the Union: Low Regard for Cyclist Safety

State safe passing laws map

Courtesy the National Conference of State Legislatures. Click through for more information.

The National Conference of State Legislatures recently posted a handy little map and table that surveys safe passing laws across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. And boy do those laws vary! The patchwork highlights how state law can and does affect the rider’s reasonable expectation of safety. But the laws also suggest a longer-term challenge: in many states, no law at all exists to guide drivers on safe passing. And the prevailing 3-foot  standard is a low bar with a slim margin of safety in practice. This challenges California to do better. While we could emulate the best of them, the numbers suggest it more likely we’ll simply fall in with the average. Continue reading

Support Senate Bill 1464 ‘Give Me Three’

Give Me Three posterDo you like to ride your bike but fear passing traffic? Have you been brushed or even rear-ended by a careless motorist? Do you despair at the paucity of bike lanes? If yes, then the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) wants you to sign on to their Senate Bill 1464 campaign so that cyclists can bike safe in the knowledge that finally a law exists to criminalize injury at the hands of a careless or negligent motorist. Believe it or not, these safeguards don’t exist today! Continue reading

CalBike & LACBC Bike Summit a Success!

Bike Summit 2011 panel

CBC Executive Director Dave Snyder presides over a morning panel discussion: CBC's Advocacy and Capacity.

Last weekend the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) organized a ‘bike summit’ for active transportation advocates here in Downtown Los Angeles. And we can call it a success: about 150 attendees filled the Kyoto Grand Hotel ballroom to hear from state-level advocates and nonprofit leaders about the year we’ve left behind, and the year in organizing that lies ahead. Continue reading

Your Governor Vetoed SB 910

Jerry Brown 1969

This afternoon, your Governor, Edmund G. Brown, vetoed the most significant statewide cyclists safety legislation ever sent to any governor’s desk. The bill, SB 910, has been hailed by advocates across the state and championed in champion fashion by the California Bicycle Coalition (read the CBC letter). So unwavering and hard-fought was @CalBike‘s campaign that Brown’s veto can only come as a crushing blow to all cyclists who call for protection under the law. Not least, many hundreds of personal stories of intimidation and harm flowed to Sacramento from our two-wheeled comrades to no evident effect.

Give-Me-Three (SB 910) Waits on the Governor

Senate Bill 910 is sitting on the Governor’s desk. That’s the bill that would allow cyclists at least three feet of buffer when being overtaken by a motorist. You’d be forgiven if you thought that existing laws already afforded cyclists safe-passing protection. But you’d be mistaken: in practice, the buffer is anywhere from several feet to a few inches. Motorists evidenty have differing ideas about what constitutes “safe” passage. To right that wrong, the California Bicycle Coalition has been on the job, working hard to move this worthy bill through the Assembly and Senate and its related committees. Now it only awaits the good Governor’s signature.