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Do You Support 3-Foot Passing Rule?

A bill has passed the State Senate requiring automobiles to pass no closer than three feet to bicyclists. What do you think? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

With the South Bay Bicycle Master Plan now approved by all involved cities,  we're gauging local opinions about Senate Bill 1464.

The proposed state law—which would make it a legal requirement for automobiles to give bicyclists a minimum clearance of three feet when passing—has the support of Los Angeles area cyclists.

"The state of California is one step closer to safer cycling!" blogger Jordan Miles wrote on the LADOT Bike Blog in June, after the California Assembly Transportation Committee voted in favor of the bill.

An earlier version of the bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, because it would have required motorists to reduce their speed to at least 15 mph if providing 3 feet of passing space were not be possible, Miles explained.

In response to Brown's veto, occasional Patch contributor Joe Galliani wrote a letter on behalf of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, arguing that the bill was necessary for the safety of cyclists.

"Under current law, a bicyclist remains unprotected and in physical danger," Galliani wrote at the time.

Senate Bill 1464 is the second attempt at a three-foot passing law. To better appeal to Brown, who said that requiring motorists to slow to 15 mph might increase traffic collisions, "the new bill allows vehicles to slow to 'a speed that is slow and prudent,' taking into consideration other traffic conditions if there is not enough room for a three-foot passing space, Miles wrote.

SB 1464 has now passed the state Senate and is up for a vote by the Assembly Friday. How would you vote if it were up to you? Tell us in the comments, and take our unscientific poll below to let us know where you stand on this issue.

RPV Resident August 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Let me clarify my statement. The toot of my horn was done because this bicyclist was not in the bike lane. He was in the middle of the road. I had at least four cars tailgating me because I was trying to keep a safe distance from this guy and going too slow. The cars behind me could not see the bicyclist in front of me. The bicyclist was either oblivious to all the vehicles behind him or just did not give a rats behind. You choose. I "tooted" my horn for his safety and mine.
Greg Hoffman August 25, 2012 at 06:20 AM
As a bicyclist & driver I've seen both sides of the issue. I used to bicycle to work until it simply became too dangerous (cars drifting into the bike lane, garbage & sharpes thrown out of cars, etc). Something had to be done. Perhaps if everyone took pride in their roads & took pride in safe vehicle operating skills, then perhaps additional laws wouldn't be necessary.
Scott Ackman August 26, 2012 at 09:10 PM
So when I pass, legally, a bicyclist and then get stuck at a red light where they pull up next to me and then pass me at the light, if they are not more than three feet from my will they get ticketed or is this just a way for the driver of the care to get ticketed?
Pasgetty August 30, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Already being abused. A guy today with an obvious attitude thought he needed 3 feet between him and the parked cars plus two feet for him plus three more feet for the new law. That's 8 feet.into a lane made to move traffic. This law would be a real bummer.
Wolfman September 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I am a cruiser bicyclist and have a custom chrome stretched crusier bicycle which I ride all the time and I can tell some of these ego maniacs road racer bicyclists ride to dam fast and dangerous through traffic on surface streets.

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