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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Does the 3 feet to pass rule cover salmon?

    Just wondering..

  2. #2
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    In Illinois, where you appear to be, the answer is no:

    (d) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or
    individual proceeding in the same direction
    on a highway shall
    leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing
    the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance
    until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
    source: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publ...?Name=095-0231

    Basically, it appears that if you do something so reckless as riding like a salmon, you aren't protected by some of the laws.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    No, fish don't get special protection from cars, but unless you're driving in the water, it's pretty hard to get within three feet of them. I don't know the rules governing boats well enough to say. But a couple months ago the salmon were in full force in the canal behind my house, and all sorts of boating traffic used the canal, too. So there probably isn't a specific law about this.

    On the other hand, dams are generally required to have fish ladders.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  4. #4
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnemia View Post
    In Illinois, where you appear to be, the answer is no:



    source: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publ...?Name=095-0231

    Basically, it appears that if you do something so reckless as riding like a salmon, you aren't protected by some of the laws.
    Nope, I wasn't wondering because I did it, but because I saw someone doing it the other day.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Nope, I wasn't wondering because I did it, but because I saw someone doing it the other day.
    I wasn't implying that you did it. The "you" was a general pronoun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    The law might not but for me the rule sure does. Wrong-way riders have put themselves in enough danger without any of us adding to it.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  7. #7
    Blissketeer HokuLoa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    No, fish don't get special protection from cars, but unless you're driving in the water, it's pretty hard to get within three feet of them. I don't know the rules governing boats well enough to say. But a couple months ago the salmon were in full force in the canal behind my house, and all sorts of boating traffic used the canal, too. So there probably isn't a specific law about this.

    On the other hand, dams are generally required to have fish ladders.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, it applies to anyone, regardless of which direction they are traveling. As a motorist, they need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect human life. Pecking order is pedestrian, cyclist then other motorists. Right of way is only a legal concept, laws of physics take precedent over man's laws.

  9. #9
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    The unabridged Bicycling Dictionary: Dam, fish ladder, and salmon

  10. #10
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    In Austin, TX, the 3' passing law provides an "affirmative defense" to the charge of passing a vulnerable road user too closely if the vulnerable road user is somehow violating the law.

    So going the wrong way, no lights at night, no brakes on the bike, having a joint in their pocket -- all of these should mean that the motorist can not be charged under that law. (Though a charge under the more vague state law that requires safe passing might still be possible.)

    Here's the actual ordinance, if you want to read it.

  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    The law might not but for me the rule sure does. Wrong-way riders have put themselves in enough danger without any of us adding to it.
    +1

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    I think I'd WANT it to, if I were you; the special brew of stupid may splash on you if you get too close.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    We had a pair of salmon in the road up by Skykomish yesterday:



    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/S...134319338.html
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    That somebody else is breaking the law doesn't mean you can break the law.

    That is, the fact that the salmon is breaking the law doesn't remove your obligation to obey the law.

  15. #15
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    Yeah, it applies to anyone, regardless of which direction they are traveling. As a motorist, they need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect human life. Pecking order is pedestrian, cyclist then other motorists. Right of way is only a legal concept, laws of physics take precedent over man's laws.
    Regardless of which direction........I am scratching my head on that one. Because a salmon rider is already breaking the law by riding in on-coming traffic. So the illegality of salmon riding supercedes any 3-foot law that supposedly allows for salmon riding in the first place.

  16. #16
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    That somebody else is breaking the law doesn't mean you can break the law.

    That is, the fact that the salmon is breaking the law doesn't remove your obligation to obey the law.
    +1

  17. #17
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    We had a pair of salmon in the road up by Skykomish yesterday:



    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/S...134319338.html
    Road hogs.....lol

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuji86 View Post
    Yeah, it applies to anyone, regardless of which direction they are traveling. As a motorist, they need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect human life. Pecking order is pedestrian, cyclist then other motorists. Right of way is only a legal concept, laws of physics take precedent over man's laws.
    It doesn't apply to everyone if it specifically is written to exclude protection for bike salmon. That was the specific question. Now, morally, I agree with you. Drivers should still use the same care, regardless of how the cyclist is behaving. But legally, it doesn't necessarily work that way. I also don't think that's unreasonable, given that it's harder to expect people to know how to react when someone is riding unpredictably and unlawfully.

  19. #19
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    Get a car, salmon!!!
    Reverborama sent me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnemia View Post
    It doesn't apply to everyone if it specifically is written to exclude protection for bike salmon.
    ???

    No traffic law would include that exclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnemia View Post
    Drivers should still use the same care, regardless of how the cyclist is behaving. But legally, it doesn't necessarily work that way.
    ???

    Sometimes, people get tickets they don't deserve.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 11-24-11 at 06:46 AM.

  21. #21
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Regardless of which direction........I am scratching my head on that one. Because a salmon rider is already breaking the law by riding in on-coming traffic. So the illegality of salmon riding supercedes any 3-foot law that supposedly allows for salmon riding in the first place.
    The salmon rider makes it far more difficult for the oncoming motorist -- or cyclist -- to give him room under heavy two-way traffic conditions or a narrow street. The option to simply follow at a safe distance for however it long it takes until a safe pass is possible has been eliminated by the wrong-way rider.

    One possibility is to simply pull over and stop. Something I did once several years ago and have been heavily criticized for in another topic.

    Don in Austin

  22. #22
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    No traffic law would include that exclusion.
    Right or wrong, good idea or bad, Austin, TX's ordinance includes that exclusion.

    (h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that at the time of the offense the vulnerable road user was acting in violation of the law.

    Here's the full text of the ordinance.

    I'm pretty sure the idea was that they didn't want any "innocent" drivers getting tickets for passing scofflaw cyclists too closely (especially if they didn't see the cyclist at all) because the cyclist was at fault for it, such as if they were doing things like riding without lights at night or the wrong way.

    This ordinance was basically written for the state, and was even passed by the state legislature -- but Governor Hairdo vetoed it, so the City of Austin basically passed it as a city ordinance with few or no changes. In any event, it was likely written by motorists rather than cyclists -- and it shows.

    Of course, as written, if the cyclist IS violating the law somehow (a joint in his pocket? no brakes?), the motorist can't be prosecuted (under this section) for doing things like intentionally using his car to threaten the cyclist. (Of course, there are other laws that would apply, so it's not a total head-scratcher.)
    Last edited by dougmc; 11-24-11 at 04:48 PM.

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