3 ft "Passing Law" seen on cop cars
If the new safe passing law for cars passing cyclists was 1 ft, would you be concerned?
If the new safe passing law for cars passing cyclists was 2 ft, would you be concerned?
As is stands, it is currently 3 ft in California.
Do yourself a favor and find a tape measure. Measure out a distance of 3ft so that you can view said “Safe Passing” distance.
If you are like me and can visualize an automobile moving at speeds upwards of 50mph passing you and just missing your handlebars by 3 ft, you can see the problem here.
The rule was set in place to increase cyclist safety and to avoid the dreaded driver “buzz by” that scares the living daylights out of all of us.
Well, a car moving at twice the speed of a cyclist, that misses them by 3 ft is just that…a “buzz by”.
3 ft is not enough, much like 1 ft is simply not enough.
Recently I saw pictures posted on FB of CHP and local PD cars that had the visual of the 3 ft Passing Rule on plastered across the rear windows. Initially I thought, “Cool, now we have the police on our sides.”
After soaking it all in, I now think that perhaps we are sending the wrong message. This message being that it is OK to actually fly past a cyclist (often observing speed limit) as long as you are 3 ft from killing them. Literally, this is 3 ft from death or serious injury.
Take a look at that measuring tape again. Who are we kidding?
I know that in many states like New Mexico, a 5 ft rule is in place and that many European countries have adopted a 5 ft rule also. In a state that has so many cyclists, why are we seemingly so excited and OK with this 3 ft rule? Is it because we had nothing established before and somehow we are OK with something…finally?
Also, the visual below is misleading. That aint 3 ft in the graphic! More like 6 ft..haha. I am assuming the cyclist's shoulders are at least a foot wide. Maybe they used T. Hamilton's body for the model.
Last edited by rydbyk; 04-24-2013 at 09:26 AM.
Sounds like you just need something to whine about.
How about you go get everyone to obey the three foot rule. That would be nice. Three feet is good enough for me, providing everyone follows the rules.
Cycling should be fun. The rules are stupid. Ride because you love to ride. --QED
What you seem to not understand is that nearly everyone is already passing us at 3ft plus.
Originally Posted by tihsepa
Nobody is passing you at 45mph with less than 3ft. That is suicidal. If they are, then they are drunk and that is a whole different issue.
I promise you that if a car passes at 45 mph by only 3 ft while you are on your bike that you will sh** yourself.
**Edited for kindness
Last edited by rydbyk; 04-24-2013 at 12:04 PM.
California does NOT have a three-foot passing law. The legislature has twice passed a three-foot-passing bill and Governor Moonbeam has twice vetoed the bill.
California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes Three-Foot Law | Road Rights | Bicycling.com
RSRO (ride safely, ride often),
2008 Cannondale SuperSix 1 & 2010 Colnago CLX 2.0
2003 Cannondale R2000 (sold!)
1988 Cannondale ST700 (given away)
1976 Azuki (passed down)
1972 Peugeot U08 (worn out and discarded)
1958 Raliegh 3-speed (sold)
These are just feel good laws that will never get enforced. They're more informative laws if anything.
Here in PA, it's a 4ft rule. And per the law...
The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed.
Drivers have permission to cross a double yellow line in order to give a cyclist sufficient room while the driver passes the bicycle on the road.
I think making drivers aware of the bolded sections is far more imporatant than the 4ft distance.
Nevada has a 3ft rule.... its never obeyed, except by me and other cyclists.
Normally I get passed by people at their posted speed limit (55-65mph depending on the area on Blue Diamond road), just yesterday a Semi truck blew past me, and I felt the vacuum, and then the push.... had I not been able to control that, I would've had a real nice date with a ditch, an ambulance, and the ER. The truck was not 3 ft away from me, and I was in the middle of the bike lane, in fact, the trailer's tires were riding the line. So at my best estimate, I'd say that was a 2ft pass.
Regardless folks, yes, there are traffic rules, they may not be truly enforced, or followed. Bottom line is, its up to you the cyclist to be safe out on the road.
Don't get me started on people using their cellphones while driving..... SMH
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