|3 Foot Rule Bicycle Passing Law and Safety News and Updates
What a busy Month of May!
May 19th, 2011, the Governor of Nevada signed the 3 foot rule into law.
Effective October 1st, 2011, all motorists must now give bicyclists and
electric bicyclists 3 feet when passing.
We’ve been following the introduction of SB248 in the Nevada Legislature and, we are happy to report, the bill has become law! It passed the State Senate on April 22nd, 2011 with 21 Yea Votes to 0 Nay Votes. Then, on May 11th, 2011 it passed the State Assembly with 34 Yea to 8 Nay Votes. Yesterday, May 19th, 2011, the Governor signed it into law. Effective October 1st, 2011, all motorists must now give bicyclists and electric bicyclists 3 feet when passing.May 16, 2011 8:55 AM - New Bicycle Law Adds Protection for Cyclists
By Cynthia Hsu
The passage of a new bicycle law in Maryland has created steeper fines and harsher penalties for motorists who injure or kill cyclists.
Now, the maximum penalty for criminally negligent drivers is $5,000 a manslaughter charge, and up to three years in jail. Previously, the maximum penalty was a trip to traffic court and a fine of $300.
The new bicycle law (House Bill 363) comes at a time of high-profile bicycle accident cases. In one, a cyclist is still in a coma after being hit by an 83-year-old driver. The driver received two traffic citations. In another, a cyclist died after being run over. The driver was punished by getting 3 points on her license and was required to pay a fine. In another case, a State Highway Administrator was struck and killed by a motorist. They received a $280 fine and three points against their license.
"The passage of HB363 is extremely important in making Maryland's roads safer and our judicial system more equitable," Carol Silldorff of the Baltimore Bicycle Club, told Bike Radar.
Many cyclists had felt that the previous statutes simply weren't doing enough to protect them. "I'm sorry, I mean, you can pay more than that if you park illegally in Baltimore City and get towed. What is the comparison here?" Penny Troutner, a bicyclist, told WBAL-TV.
While the new laws will take a while to permeate into the consciousness of Maryland drivers, many still hope that it will make a change. The hope seems to be that if there are stiffer penalties, drivers will be more aware of cyclists, reports CBS News.
Around 20 states have bicycle laws that impose similar penalties, reports Bike Radar. The increase in penalties against drivers can mean a safer environment for bicyclists. Many cyclists in other states that still have relatively soft penalties for negligent drivers have been pushing for similar legislation in their state.
Generally, convictions under bicycle laws will take into account both the driver's negligence or recklessness in the situation as well as the cyclist's negligence. The cyclist could contribute to the accident by swerving into traffic, or by biking in the wrong direction. Related Resources:
New Maryland law increases penalties after fatal car-bike crashes (Examiner)
May 11th - HB 101 Signed into Law - 3 Foot Safe Passing Rule was approved!
Gov Deal signed HB 101 into law. April 14th, 2011 - HB 101 was approved by the House 150-9 with a 3 Foot Safe Passing amendment from the Senate. (Effective July 1, 2011)
May 4, 2011 - Delaware Senate passes the 3 Foot Rule Bill
Motorists must leave 3 feet or move into non-adjacent lane to give cyclists space!
Delaware drivers would have to leave 3 feet of space when they pass bicyclists on roadways under legislation the state Senate approved Tuesday.
Cyclists would still be expected to keep to the far right of the road, said Sen. David Sokola, a cyclist himself and sponsor of Senate Bill 38.
The 3-foot rule would be "about the distance of a full-grown man reaching out his arm," Sokola said.
Under the bill, motorists would be required to proceed with caution and, if possible, yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane not adjacent to the lane the bicyclist is riding in, Sokola said.
The Senate passed the bill 21-0, but not without some debate.