Three-Foot Bike Law Takes Effect Sept. 16

A bicyclist traveling in west Malibu has a very narrow space to bike in as cars round PCH along a concrete barrier.

A new law requiring drivers to give at least a three-foot distance between cyclists and the passing vehicle will go into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

AB1371, the Three Feet For Safety Act, was written by California Assemblymember Steven Bradford and approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 23, 2013, and prohibits drivers from passing cyclists on roadways at a less than three feet distance. If traffic or roadway conditions do not allow for three feet of clearance, drivers must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and only pass when not endangering a cyclist.

A driver faces an initial fine of $35 if caught in violation of the law.

The bill also requires a $220 fine for the driver of the vehicle if a collision causes bodily harm to the cyclist as a result of a driver not following the new guidelines set. 

Old laws allowed drivers to pass cyclists at a “safe distance” without affecting the cyclists and fines began at $100 and could rise to $250 for additional convictions.