CA law requiring 3 feet between drivers, cyclists begins today | SierraSun.com

CA law requiring 3 feet between drivers, cyclists begins today

Staff report

TRUCKEE, Calif. — California’s “Three Feet for Safety Act” law goes into effect today, requiring drivers to stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicyclists on public roads.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1371 into law last year to increase safety and awareness for bicyclists and motorists on public roadways.

According to the law — formally named California Vehicle Code 21760 — if traffic or roadway conditions prohibit the three-foot passing distance, a driver must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle.”

Violations are punishable by a $35 base fine before the addition of fees that could cost more than $150. Drivers who collide with cyclists and cause bodily harm would be charged a heftier $220 fine.

Previously, California law required motorists to pass at a subjective “safe” distance.