California’s New Bike Law: Three Feet for Safety
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into law that will require motorists to keep a distance of at least three feet when passing bicyclists on the road. The “Three Feet for Safety Act” was sponsored by the city of Los Angeles as part of the continuing bicycle master plan to make LA a more bike-friendly city.
Beginning September 2014, motorists who fail to pass a bicyclist with at least three feet of leeway will receive a fine of $35, which can be increased to a $220 fine for motorists that violate the law and cause an accident with a cyclist. In the event that a vehicle may not pass a bike at the allotted distance on a narrow street, motorists are required to slow down and pass at a safe speed.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the most common cause of bike crashes is simply cyclist or driver negligence. Pro-bike advocates in California are touting the new law as a victory because it will help increase awareness among drivers and bicyclists about the importance of sharing the road.
Safe Biking Reminders
It may not be possible to prevent all bike accidents from happening, but it is important to always follow basic safety rules to reduce the risk of injury or death as much as possible. Help avoid a bike crash with these tips:
- Always wear a helmet that fits properly.
- Obey all traffic laws and never ride against traffic.
- Communicate your intentions to others on the road by making eye contact and using hand signals.
Trusted Legal Help
If you have been injured or lost someone you love in a southern California bike crash that was caused by a negligent driver, please call Attorney Joseph H. Low IV at (888) 454-5569. Through a free consultation, you can better understand your legal rights and begin the process for obtaining fair compensation for your losses.