While California now has a law that will go into effect that was designed to make the roads safer for bicyclists, many riders are concerned that the law is open to interpretation. Beginning on Sep. 16, motor vehicle operators are to keep a 3-foot buffer between their vehicle and bicyclists when passing bicycles riding on the right side of the road. If such space is unavailable, the motorist is to then slow down and only pass when no danger is present for the bicycle rider.
The concern is that motorists may not recognize what a 3-foot gap would be while driving. The driver may not also have a good grasp on what a safe passage would be.
The prior California law was for motorists to pass at a safe distance. The new law was put in place so that drivers could more readily identify what that safety gap would be between their vehicles and bicycles.
The new California law also will contain provisions concerning weather and road conditions when it comes to passing bicycle riders. As one police spokes person noted, the rule requires drivers to operate their vehicles “within reason.”
Unfortunately, no matter what law is put into place, certain drivers will not pay sufficient attention to the presence of bicycle riders. The end result can often be a bicycle accident that badly injures or takes the life of a bicycle rider.
It is because of this inattentiveness that attorneys often will represent bicycle riders after an accident occurs. These attorneys can help riders prove up their case and help them receive the compensation they badly deserve.
Source: USA Today, “New Calif. law: Keep 3-foot gap between bike, car,” Dec. 29, 2013