New California 3 Feet for Safety Act in Effect

A new law aimed at reducing motor vehicle – bicyclist crashes went into effect in Sacramento on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. The new law requires motorists to keep a distance of at least three feet from a bicyclists when passing them from behind. This law imposes fines against a motorist that doesn’t give enough room.

The law prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction on a highway from passing at a distance less than 3 feet of the motor vehicle and the bicyclist. According to the new law, if conditions prevent motorists from giving cyclists the three feet of space, drivers must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and may only pass when there is no danger to the cyclist, (AB1371, Bradford).

The penalties for violating the law fall into two categories. For a violation that does not result in personal injury, the fine is $35.00, and after admin fees the fine amounts to $233.00 for the offender. For a violation that involves injuring a bicyclist, the fine is $220.00, and after admin fees the fine is $959.00.

A recent report by the California Highway Patrol indicates the number of bicyclists killed in vehicle collisions in California is up by 13 percent. The Three Feet for Safety Act is expected to reduce these types of collisions.

This law is helpful for cases when a bicyclist has sustained personal injuries caused by a motorist. The Edward A Smith Law Offices has been successfully handling bicycle accident cases for over 25 years. If you or a loved one are a bicyclist that was injured by a motorist, please contact our office at 1-800-404-5400,

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