New California Law May Help Reduce Bike Accidents

Posted on October 21, 2014 by

Every day, bicyclists face the serious risk of collisions with motor vehicles. In Los Angeles, providing cyclists with a safe environment on the road is a crucial element in reducing crash-related injuries and fatalities. This is the goal of the new law entitled “The Bicycle Passing Distance” or “Three Feet for Safety Act”, which took effect September 16, 2014.

About the “Three Feet for Safety Act”

A motor vehicle passing a cyclist poses risks to the rider and the distance between the vehicle and bicycle impacts that risk. Keeping ample distance while passing a bicyclist provides added safety measure to prevent injury. Three feet is deemed sufficient under the new road law.

Three Feet for Safety Act makes it the responsibility of operators of motor vehicles to maintain a minimum distance of three feet between any part of their vehicle and the bicycle, or its rider, when passing it while traveling in the same direction.

Here are important points to know about the new Three Feet for Safety law:

  • The minimum distance between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its driver is 3 feet.
  • When keeping the 3-foot gap is not possible, the driver of the automobile must slow down to a reasonable and safe speed and to pass the bicycle only when no danger is present to the bicycle.
  • Violators will be liable to pay a fine ranging from $35 to $200 whether or not a collision occurs. The fine can be higher when injury results, in addition to other legal consequences.

Motorists have reacted to the new law, citing difficulties in measuring a 3-feet gap while keeping an eye on the road. They also maintain that slowing down before passing a bicycle can lead to motor vehicle accidents – such as getting rear-ended. Nevertheless, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) enforced the new road rule in September 2014.

Observing traffic rules and regulations is important for bicycle riding safety. But if you or someone you know is involved in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, seeking immediate legal advice from the personal injury Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, will help you to pursue any compensation claim to which you are entitled. Contact us at 310-276-1142.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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