Three Foot Law Exists in California – But is Anyone Watching?

Bicycle Accident in Sacramento

It’s been little over one year since the controversial 3-foot rule – otherwise known as The Three Feet for Safety Act – was put into law. In essence, the law states that motorists passing a cyclist on the road must create a 3-foot buffer between themselves and the bike to avoid bicycle accidents. While many felt that the law was unnecessary, advocate groups and many lawmakers pushed it through the California Legislature and got it approved. The question many are now asking is – how is the law working out? CBS 13 recently ran a report that gives us a quick snapshot of how far or close law enforcement is towards its goal.

Since going into the books in September 2015, a total of 6 citations have been handed out – state wide – to people breaking the three feet law, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Of those, two were located in the Sacramento Valley Division.

Unfortunately, most law enforcement agencies can’t recall ever writing a citation. Those that offered warnings failed to document when the interactions took place. Many bike safety advocates are encouraging law enforcement officials to work harder at handing out citations.

The overall record for the year, combined with a variety of studies, has proven that the law doesn’t necessarily offer riders more protection. In fact, a study conducted by Rutgers University indicated that even in states where the law has been on the books for years, there is little done to enforce it unless an accident happens. With that said, California Highway Patrol indicates there has been a slight decrease in the number of bike versus automobile collisions in the past two years.

It is important for bikers to remain aware when traveling on Sacramento roads. To discuss your legal options concerning a recent bike accident, contact the Demas Law Group, P.C., for an appointment. We can be reached at (916) 444-0100.


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