By Miriam Raftery
September 24, 2013 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1371, which requires drivers of motor vehicles to allow at least three feet when passing a bicycle on a highway traveling in the same direction, under most circumstances.
An exception is made if a driver is unable to allow three feet due to traffic or roadway conditions, such as a very narrow road, bad weather, poor visibility, or road surface conditions. In such cases, the driver must slow down to a speed that is “reasonable and prudent” and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the bicyclist.
Violators can be fined $35, or $220 if the bicyclist is struck.
The law applies only to highways, not surface streets. It will take effect September 16, 2014.