Brown Signs Biker-friendly Safety Bill

Biking on the Pacific Coast Highway could get safer thanks to a bill requiring drivers to leave at least 3 feet of clearance when passing bicycles, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday.

AB1371, or the Three Feet for Safety Act, was written by Assemblyman Steven Bradford to redefine the existing law that that drivers must leave a “safe and reasonable distance” when passing cyclists. The bill establishes that distance as 3 feet.

The law will go into effect next September with any failure to give cyclists at least a 3 feet cushion to result in a fine. Passing at a distance of less than 3 feet will result in a $35 fine. If a collision results from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet and the biker is injured, the driver will be fined $220.  

If drivers cannot give a cyclist 3 feet of clearance, they must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and only pass if doing with will not endanger the cyclist.

Brown vetoed two similar bills in 2012 and 2011, concerned that certain provisions could cause drivers to rear-end cars braking for cyclists or that it would allow drivers to partially cross double-yellow lines to pass cyclists, possibly straying too far into oncoming traffic and causing head-on collisions, according to the Los Angeles Times.

There has long been a call for biker-friendly laws and redesigns for the PCH, most recently last fall when a cyclist was killed near Puerco Canyon Road after colliding with a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus. Although proximity was not a factor in the crash, it drew renewed attention to potential dangers of biking on the PCH.

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“Outdated road design, inconsistent shoulders, and high motor vehicle speeds are a perilous combination for people walking or riding along the highway,” the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition wrote last October. “LACBC calls on all jurisdictions to cooperate in providing a safe, continuous bikeway along the Pacific Coast Highway so that all people can enjoy its scenic beauty.”

The City of Malibu is currently conducting a Pacific Coast Highway Safety Study. A draft of the study’s findings was released last month for public input to help develop a list of recommended projects.  

13StarsManager
13StarsManagerhttps://malibutimes.com
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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