New Bicycle Law Requires Three Foot Clearance for Riders

Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1371 into law in hopes to reduce the risks of bicycle accidents throughout the state. The new California law, dubbed "Give Me 3" by the California Bicycling Coalition and known officially as the Three Feet for Safety Act, will require motorist to give bicycle riders three feet of clearance when passing. Under current law, drivers are required to pass at a "safe distance." The new law establishes a clear distance.

The bill was widely supported throughout the state. Although Southern California, including Santa Barbara, has become known as a car-centered locale, bicycling as a mode of commuting and transportation is steadily increasing in popularity, especially among students attending local schools and colleges. With the passing of the new law, which will take effect on September 14 of next year, lawmakers are hoping that rates of bicycle accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death will decrease.

Details About Give me 3

The Three Feet for Safety Act requires all drivers passing bicyclists from behind to ensure that their vehicles are at least three feet away. If traffic or roadway conditions do not make this possible, however, drivers are required to slow and pass at a "reasonable and prudent" speed so that riders are not endangered. Drivers who violate this law may face a $35 base fine, which can add up to $154 with fees. Drivers who violate the law and cause accidents that injure cyclists will be subjected to fines of $220, as well as potential driver's license penalties.

Bicycle Accident Attorney in Santa Barbara

Bicycle riders are among the most vulnerable on public roads and highways. Because they have little protection against motor vehicles, bicycle riders involved in traffic collisions frequently suffer injuries. In many cases, they suffer catastrophic injuries and long-term damages.

As bicyclists are so vulnerable, motorists are required to drive safely when sharing the road with riders. When they fail to uphold this obligation and injure bicyclists, victims may have a right to hold them liable for their damages by filing a personal injury claim.

If you or your loved one has recently been injured in a bicycle accident in Santa Barbara or any of the surrounding communities, our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers at Santa Barbara Injury Law Group are prepared to review your case and determine your right to compensation. For a free consultation, call (805) 793-0227 or fill out a free case evaluation form.