I don't bother with the handbook anymore.
Originally Posted by Gee3
I discovered the actual vehicle code on line a few years ago and haven't looked back.
Go to: dmv.ca.gov
Click on Publications.
Scroll down until you find: 2007 California Vehicle Code (HTML); click on it.
That gets you to the index page.
For example, if you click on P, you get to all topics that start with P, like PASSING.
Under PASSING, you can find:
Left side, use of, 21650, 21750
If you click on 21750, you'll find:
Overtake and Pass to Left
21750. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated.
Replacing 21750 with the 3' law will buy us nothing in practice, and will arguably reduce the legal "safe passing distance" from something more than 3' to only 3' in some instances.