In the wake of recent collisions that have left bicyclists in Berkeley dead or injured, our question of the week is about SB 1464.
The proposed state law would make it a legal requirement for automobiles to give bicyclists a minimum clearance of three feet when passing. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition supports it.
Here's what the law would do, according to an Assembly analysis:
1)Authorizes drivers on a two-lane highway to drive to the left of double solid yellow or double solid white lines or double parallel lines, one of which is broken, to pass a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction under certain conditions.
2)Establishes the "Three Feet for Safety Act" that requires:
a) A driver overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway to do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the bicycle;
b) A driver to provide three feet distance between the vehicle and the bicycle or its operator when passing; and,
c) A driver to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed when passing a bicyclist if the driver is unable to provide the minimum three-foot passing distance due to traffic or roadway conditions.
3)Makes failure to comply with the "Three Feet for Safety Act" an infraction punishable by a base fine of $35.
4)Requires a $220 fine to be imposed on the driver of the motor vehicle who is found to be in violation of the "Three Feet for Safety Act" that a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the bicyclist.
SB 1464 has passed the State Senate and is up for a vote by the Assembly. The governor vetoed a similar bill last year. How would you vote if it were up to you? Share your thoughts below.
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