There’s a funny column out in “The OC Register” by David Whiting entitled “Readers say cyclists ignore laws, too.” Well, many cyclists sure do ignore laws. We know firsthand. We’ve seen cyclists coast through red lights. We’ve seen them swerve in and out of traffic without signaling with their arms (though this isn’t necessarily against the law, it is dangerous). We’ve seen them blow through stop signs. We’ve seen them ride way over the speed limit in school zones. And much more. Whiting apparently saw a lot of criticism of cyclists in response to a piece on the new three feet biking law taking effect in California requiring drivers to give cyclists three feet when passing.
Writes Whiting, “Judging by the deluge of emails following a column about a new law requiring drivers to leave 3 feet of space when passing cyclists, drivers care passionately about safety. The same people encased in a ton of steel tell me they fear cyclists. Yes, fear. More than anything, drivers fear hurting a cyclist.” We sense that Whiting is being a bit sarcastic and we at The Bike GPS appreciate his sarcasm. Cyclists are quite vulnerable out there on the road. They’re not protected by a ton of steel around them. And, because of this, cyclists should obey the law. And so, of course, should drivers of motor vehicles. They should all know the laws, too.
The new three-feet rule takes effect on September 16, 2014. It is dubbed AB1371, Section 21750. So just shout that out to a driver should he disobey the law on September 17, 2014. Kidding. Don’t do that. It won’t accomplish a thing. The penalty for violating this law will be $35, though the fine goes up to $220 if a cyclist is injured on account of the violation. How much are the tickets in California when you use your cell phone while driving? We thought so. While the monetary penalty may not be high enough, we at The Bike GPS are mighty glad this new law will hit the books in September of 2014.
Where do you stand on the three feet biking law? We’re curious to hear your thoughts.