Share the Road

3 Feet Safe Passing bill approved by committee

This is good news! HB 988 was approved by committee yesterday. But we still have work to do - the phrase "when reasonable" had already been inserted by a subcommittee. Our question is, when is it not reasonable to give cyclists a safe passing distance of three feet? If the lane is too narrow to pass safely, drivers should wait until it's safe to pass. Additionally, as Georgia Bikes Alliance board member Eddie pointed out in subcommittee, most people have a difficult time judging distance off the far side of their cars.

We'd like three feet, please. Enshrined in law.

Georgia's cyclists may soon feel more wind at their backs as drivers give a safer passing distance. This week a bill was introduced in the House that would define the minimum safe passing distance as three feet. We don't expect this bill, if/when it passes, to be a panacea, but we do think it will facilitate enforcement by making the law less subjective ("safe" means different things to different people) and help drivers better understand how to interact with cyclists they pass on the street. Georgia would join 16 other US states that have already defined safe passing minimums of three feet or greater (laws are under consideration in seven additional states).

More states giving three feet for bicycles

USA Today reports that a growing number of states are passing 3 feet minimum safe passing laws (story here) to better protect people riding bicycles.  Your Bicycle Coalition is educating drivers to give at least three fee when passing bicyclists, starting with an ad campaign you'll see soon on MARTA buses.  And you can help!  Order a "Give 3 Feet" yard sign (FREE if you pick up at ABC or an event), coming soon! Or sign up to take part in our Share the Road Challenge on Sept 7th. Read more for information on states with 3 feet passing laws.

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