Friday, October 4, 2013

California Bicycle Coalition: Three Feet For Safety Act Passes

I hate to be a lazy blogger, and I hate to post, verbatim, another blog, but in this case, I'm going to suggest that getting the word out is more important. A few weeks ago there was a petition to ask Governor Jerry Brown to sign "The Three Feet For Safety Act." The law mandates that vehicles give bikes 3 feet of distance for passing. The law was signed and passed, though it doesn't go into effect until September 16, 2014. You can read another interesting blog post about the law here. Good, thoughtful drivers will start observing the law immediately.

Three Feet for Safety Act Hailed by Media; Bicyclists
The passage of the Three Feet for Safety Act on Monday September 23rd was cheered by bicyclists across California. In the past week, the media has also been supportive.
The Los Angeles Times‘s Robert Greene called the legislation a “Victory for California cyclists”. In his column, he recounts the many setbacks that the legislation suffered before Governor Jerry Brown finally put the ink on paper and adds:
“Getting the law on the books has been a top priority for cycling advocates in California. Cycling has long been part of the civic culture in most large cities here, but in numbers that left pro-bike policy a poor cousin when compared with car-oriented laws and regulations — until the last five or six years. The state is beginning to catch up with the rebirth of cycling around the nation.”
Olivia Hubert Allen’s column in KQED News ran with the forceful headline: “Give California Cyclists 3 Feet–It’s Now the Law”. It largely mirrors the LA Times column. So does the column on it in KTLA 5 by Melissa Pamer.
Pamer adds:
“In recent years, enthusiasm for cycling in L.A. has been buoyed by the support of a growing activist community and that of politicians such at former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The city in 2010 launched a “Give Me 3″ graphic campaign encouraging drivers to create a safe cushion between vehicles and bicyclists.
Bicycle Times‘s Adam Newman hailed the new law and showed optimism: “A $35 fine seems pretty petty, but it can be raised to $220 if a.) a collision occurs, b.) the cyclist is injured and c.) the driver is found to be in violation of the statute. Somehow that doesn’t seem like much of a penalty for breaking the law and hitting someone, but I guess a weak law is better than no law.”
Finally, Emily Baker, a California bicyclist, had this to say in response to the law’s passage:
“It’s a shame that there are kits available to buy for cyclists asking not to be killed. While the new law is a step in the right direction, there needs to be a lot more to educate cyclists and motorists and save lives.”

Our executive director, Dave Snyder responds: “That’s why we’re working with AAA and the Better World Club to educate their motorist members about the new law. We’re also working to make sure that the state’s new “Active Transportation Program” preserves funding for education as well as infrastructure to educate everyone about safe sharing of the roads.”

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