Safe Passing: California
Update Sep 28, 2012. Governor Brown vetoed SB1464 citing safety and traffic concerns - read more here.
Update Aug 28, 2012. The State Assembly has passed SB1464 by a vote of 54-24, adding California to our growing list of states with a Safe Passing Law. Read the California Bicycle Coalition update here.
Update Aug 22, 2012. The State Assembly has scheduled a vote for Friday on SB1464. Read one report here.
Update Jul 11, 2012. On Jun 25th, 2012, SB1464 (with amendments) passed Assembly 10-3 and has been referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
Orinda, CA (PRWEB) July 06, 2012, Bill Dullea of GJEL Accident Attorneys recently spoke before the California Assembly. Read the PRWEB report here.
Update as of Jun 7, 2012! SB1464 has passed the California Senate by a vote of 27-6 and moves on to the State Assembly for an expected July vote.
As with Texas, California efforts succeeded in delivering a Safe Passing Bill (SB910) to the Governor's desk last October, where it was then subjected to veto. Cycling advocates in the state are not giving up and are now helping to ferry a revision of the 2011 law through to the State Assembly.
Current state law designates that motorists pass bicycles "at a safe distance". The legislation currently in flight (SB1464) would put a specific distance (3 feet) to define what a safe distance would be, although the proposed legislation permits vehicles to pass closer if the 3 foot span is not possible. To quote this confusing part of the legislation,
"21750.1. (a) This section shall be known and maybe cited as the “Three Feet for Safety Act.”
(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the provisions of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.
(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c) of this section or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 21460 due to a substandard width lane, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 21460, or other traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, and surface and width of the highway, and pass at a distance of less than three feet in a manner that does not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle and that provides the maximum feasible distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle and its operator."
One article from the LA Times provides a good recap of the legislation (click here to read). The California Bicycle Coalition compares the differences between the original SB910 and the current SB1464 here.
We'll continue to track the progress of this legislation.