September 13, 2011
MAYOR APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF SB 910, THE “3 FOOT PASSING LAW,” AND SENDS LETTER TO GOVERNOR BROWN URGING HIM TO SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW
New Law Would Require Drivers to Pass Bicyclists at a Distance of at Least 3 Feet
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa applauded the passage of SB 910, the “3 Foot Passing Law,” by the California Legislature. Introduced by Senator Alan Lowenthal (Long Beach) and sponsored by the Mayor and the California Bicycle Coalition, the bill would require that drivers overtaking bicyclists pass at a distance of at least 3 feet.
“This is a reasonable and prudent measure that will increase the safety of our state’s roadways. It brings needed clarity to the state’s Vehicle Code and defines the respective responsibilities of motorists and bicyclists,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.
Clearing its final legislative hurdle last Thursday evening, the bill is now on the Governor’s desk ready for his signature. In support of the bill, Mayor Villaraigosa sent Governor Brown a letter today urging him to sign the bill.
“By sending a clear message that safety for all roadway users is paramount,” the Mayor wrote in his letter, “SB 910 will be powerful compliment to the work that many cities are doing to increase bicycle ridership. In Los Angeles, we recently adopted a plan to make our city one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the nation with an integrated network consisting of over 1,680 miles of bikeways.”
In August 2010, the Mayor joined cyclists and city officials to unveil the City’s “Give Me 3” campaign, a public education campaign to encourage drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. At the time, Mayor Villaraigosa pledged to work on legislation at the state level to enshrine the 3 foot passing distance into the State Vehicle Code. “I am very proud to see that what we started in Los Angeles is now poised to become a part of state law.”
If signed into law, California would become the 19th state with such legislation. Wisconsin passed the first such legislation in 1974. Most other states have adopted their safe passing legislation in the last 10 years.