California Cyclists Will Get 3-Foot Buffer Under New Law

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Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday he has signed legislation requiring California drivers to stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicyclists. The law requires drivers who pass cyclists from behind to keep their vehicles 3 feet away. But if traffic or roadway conditions prevent motorists from giving cyclists 3 feet of clearance, drivers must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and only pass when the cyclist will not be endangered.

The legislation is expected to go into effect in September 2014, and the law has been widely welcomed by California bicycle accident attorneys, and bicycle safety groups. The law requires motorists to give bicyclists passing space, and requires motorists to slow down if they’re not in a position to give room to the bicycle. Failure to comply with the law would be deemed an infraction, and violators can be penalized with a fine.

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