According to NBC San Diego, 2014 will be a year marked by increased bicycle safety thanks to the new legislation requiring motorists to provide a minimum of three feet to bicyclists when passing on a roadway. Dubbed the Three Feet For Safety Act, the bill was proposed by Assemblyman Steven Bradford of Gardena and sponsored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a cycling enthusiast who was injured by a passing taxi four years ago. Current legislation requires motorists to provide an unspecified “safe distance” to bicyclists when passing, but the lack of specification creates a gray area of ambiguous liability.
The bill received popular support from a variety of cycling and motorist organizations, such as the California Association of Bicycling Organizations and the Automobile Club of Southern California. The government affairs manager for the latter organization stated that “[t]his gives clear information to drivers about passing at a safe distance. Everyone using the road needs to follow the rules and watch out for everyone else.”
California’s Governor Brown has been historically hesitant to approve such a bill. Brown vetoed similar incarnations of the bill in 2011 and 2012 because he worried that passing a cyclist would result in cars crossing double-yellow lines and crashing into oncoming traffic. A representative of Assemblyman Bradford stated that despite the difficulty of estimating exactly three feet while driving, the passing of the bill will serve as a reminder to motorists and cyclists to share the road safely and remain vigilant of one another. In September, when the bill comes into effect, motorists will be fined $35 for unsafe passing and $220 for unsafe passing resulting in a bicycle accident.
I Was Injured By A Passing Driver And I Need An Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, we can help. Attorney Joshua Bonnici is a longtime cyclist with an intimate understanding of the risks that cyclists face on a daily basis. Our attorneys have the resources and expertise to ensure that those responsible for your physical, emotional and financial hardships are brought to justice. For more information or free legal advice, contact us. To schedule a free consultation with one of our bicycle accident attorneys, call our firm today at (858) 261-5454.
[Did You Know: Nine percent of the 677 California bicyclists killed by car accidents were 14-years-old or younger in 2011.]
Bonnici Law Group, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer