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  1. #26
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I wonder if the law will be publicized in any manner... if not, then motorists won't know the law and will still insist that bikes don't belong on the road.
    Right. Perhaps cyclist rights groups in California could put together some PSAs publicizing this, and educating Joe Sixpack. Then, it could have some small impact.

    If they weren't $70, and if I didn't already have plenty of jerseys, I'd get some of these:



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  2. #27
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    This is the kind of video that is necessary:





    Motorist not cited, because he "wasn't aware of the law:"

    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  3. #28
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    That third video put up by TromboneAl really shows the problem with these laws. At every level they fail.
    1. No one knows the law exists.
    2. Law enforcement won't enforce the laws.
    3. Even if enforced, the consequences are trivial.

  4. #29
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    I don't believe the typical motorist can accurately judge a 3 foot buffer at the passenger side of their vehicle from the driver seat. And this brings up a question I have about the 3' buffer, for which I have not been able to obtain a definitive answer: what defines the 3' buffer zone? is it to the cyclist's wheel track? handlebar? elbow? The widest point of the rider/bike combination during the pass (which is a variable that can change constantly)? Is the 3' buffer definition stipulated in the text of the law? Not to mention, this will of course be up to officer discretion anyway. Do you think a motorist can accurately gauge 36"? What if the motorist passes within a legal 37" (however the zone might be defined), but a viewing LEO mistakes this as a 35" pass? Should the motorist be fined? I am not opposed specifically to such vehicle codes, but I do find them vague, poorly defined, and prone to a high degree of subjective interpretation, detracting from their usefulness. I still ride under the default presumption that any motorist might be out to run me down at any time, and do my best to take passing distances and other encounters with cars, trucks, and other vehicles under my own responsibility. A flawed exercise for certain, but given the likely poor outcome in an MV vs cyclist MVA, it makes some modicum of sense to me to ride in this mindset. In over 40 years of cycling, I have only been hit by a vehicle once, a Georgia Pacific logging truck, and this was almost certainly intentional. I was unable to avoid it as I was pinned up against a sheer drop off to my right, and I don't think a 3' foot buffer rule would have helped in this case. if it was truly an intentional hit. On the other hand, maybe a 3' law will have some benefit to cyclists in general and increase their relative safety when sharing the road with motorists. BTW, still interested in knowing more about what will constitute the 36" buffer.
    Last edited by madscientist59; 09-30-13 at 09:38 PM. Reason: typo/math correction (thought I had it fixed right the 1st time I edited, but no..

  5. #30
    genec genec's Avatar
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    How about rather than trying to guess within an inch, motorists merely pass well and safely far away... if you don't know if it is 3 feet, give more room.

    The fact is that the prior law specified no minimum distance... so as long as you were not hit, it was legal. This new law tells motorists to move over at least a certain amount... it doesn't say 3 feet and no more... it says at least 3 feet.

  6. #31
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    American Football is measured in three foot increments. I think the average driver (male or female, sports oriented or not) has a rough idea of this distance. 35" vs 37" is not a big deal. I certainly don't care if a motorist is 35" from me. 6 or 8 inches at speed? Yikes. The law is a good thing, and will be improved with time.

    I also think that the real deterrent is in Civil court, and my understanding is that the law will aid in creating that deterrent.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  7. #32
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    ...Motorist not cited, because he "wasn't aware of the law:"
    Most of us have used the ignorance excuse with a policeman or judge at least once in our lives. Remember how far we got with that "defense"?
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  8. #33
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    $35, $220? REALLY? Hell, where I live, the ticket for LOUD stereo starts at $150! (They don't pass out many of those, either.....)

    I got a reckless driving ticket (my LAST ONE) in 1977 -- $150 plus court costs! The ticket for a close pass, even if they GET ticketed, is basically LUNCH MONEY.

    Way to go, Jerry & Co.
    Stanley Roberts on KRON4 rides with police for his "People Behaving Badly" segment. He was with an officer giving out $55 tickets, but the total cost in court would end up over $200.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  9. #34
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I find it amazing that in Calif that is so much in debt that the fines for the 3 foot rule is so low. Generaly tax and spend b'crats latch on to any fines they can as a great source of income.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    I find it amazing that in Calif that is so much in debt that the fines for the 3 foot rule is so low. Generaly tax and spend b'crats latch on to any fines they can as a great source of income.
    The fines in this law have nothing to do with "b'crats". Bureaucrats are generally understood to be career employees of the government, not elected officials. It was the elected legislators, likely with input from the governor regarding what he would be willing to sign into law, who set these ridiculously low fines. Let's keep the blame (or credit) where it belongs.

    Oh, and it's not a "rule", it's a law.

    As to your comment about California's debt: It does indeed have a debt, almost all of which was created during the many years of Republican governorships. To be fair, much of the problem stemmed from Prop. 13, which made increasing taxes incredibly difficult and the fact that CA requires a two-thirds vote to pass a budget, which gives tremendous power to a minority of bad legislators. Now that there is not only a Democratic governor but the D's also hold two-thirds majorities in both legislative houses, California currently has a balanced budget.

  11. #36
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    b carfree

    Elected or entrenched they are all b'crats. And BTW it was Calif's largess to unions that put them in debt.

  12. #37
    Senior Member asmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    This is the kind of video that is necessary:


    Motorist not cited, because he "wasn't aware of the law:"
    Those are excellent videos, thanks for posting.

    Maybe I missed it but I think what he said was that the motorist didn't know what happened which is different than not being aware of the law, esp when it comes to leaving the scene.

    There are at least two things that really scare me on the road:
    1. Pickups with extremely wide snowplows, often wider than the mirrors
    2. Wide trailers with wheel wells that stick out -- typically used by landscapers

    Anyhow, we'd be happy to get any three foot law here -- it's a battle.
    Last edited by asmac; 10-16-13 at 04:01 PM.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Yellow & black traffic signs would be more effective than a law like this. To be honest, it's pretty tough to clear 36" on some heavily congested streets through areas like Melrose, Santa Monica, Hollywood, etc, etc... There are some pretty heavily anti-cycling cops through some areas of Los Angeles County. It's likely a cyclist will get ticketed for violations in these areas before drivers. Residents pay the taxes, cyclists are generally passing through & take the bad side of the resident complaints. I'll say it a 1000 times, it's really up to use to try to be safe, polite & try to be the good citizen. I don't believe the real solution will come for the cyclist until we out number cars. At which point cycling would be less of a recreation & more of a neccesity. Of course, at that point they'll also want everyone licensed & insured.

  14. #39
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    ....To be honest, it's pretty tough to clear 36" on some heavily congested streets through areas like Melrose, Santa Monica, Hollywood, etc, etc... .
    When this 3 foot law takes effect, then the motorist has to follow the cyclist until such time it is safe to make a 3 foot or more pass, if not, then they'll run the chance of receiving a ticket.

  15. #40
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Ignorance of the law is no excuse!

  16. #41
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    When this 3 foot law takes effect, then the motorist has to follow the cyclist until such time it is safe to make a 3 foot or more pass, if not, then they'll run the chance of receiving a ticket.
    Having lived there & commuted by car & bicycle, I find that pretty rediculous. You can't get anywhere in a car, as it is. It's pretty one sided to say we would want this type of situation. If you can't handle a car carefully passing you at 24", you probably don't have the skills tone riding on that street to begin with.

  17. #42
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    Having lived there & commuted by car & bicycle, I find that pretty rediculous. You can't get anywhere in a car, as it is. It's pretty one sided to say we would want this type of situation. If you can't handle a car carefully passing you at 24", you probably don't have the skills tone riding on that street to begin with.
    If a motorist can't display enough patience to share the road safely for a few seconds, maybe a minute, probably they don't have the skills to be driving to begin with.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Laws like this do nothing to help anyone. The probably cause more contempt from everyone. There are better solutions for Los Angeles, at least. Some of them expensive. If you look at all if the runoff/drainage ditches in the county, bike paths along these would make for the beginnings of a great bicycle commuting system. Many of them have built partial of full bike paths. Inter link that with some bike lanes on certain streets & you could have a Great number of people using them. Those of you who have lived there know it's a great place to ride but, it's really spread out. I lived in highland park. My weekend ride would take me just about anywhere from home. Mt Baldy, Across to Santa Monica, Malibu, long beach etc etc. it was never fun to cross silver lake, Los Angeles,Hollywood, Santa Monica during the busy part of the day. Though, a ride out to Monrovia & down the bike path to the beach was a breeze. Ticketing cyclists & motorists who don't obey the law & setting up a good transit system does far more than setting up laws that do nothing, to get yourself more votes .

  19. #44
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    If a motorist can't display enough patience to share the road safely for a few seconds, maybe a minute, probably they don't have the skills to be driving to begin with.
    I certainly goes both ways.

  20. #45
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    Having lived there & commuted by car & bicycle, I find that pretty rediculous. You can't get anywhere in a car, as it is. It's pretty one sided to say we would want this type of situation. If you can't handle a car carefully passing you at 24", you probably don't have the skills tone riding on that street to begin with.
    The problem is that not everyone knows were the right side of their car is, pretty soon 24" turns into 12" or less, then a hit, and cyclists are not a piece of sheet that can be easily replaced in a body shop. There has to be a defining line on when to pass, and 3 foot will soon be it.

    Locally, it amazes me on the number of vehicles with damaged right sides, the ones that really get my attention are vehicles that have tire doughnut marks burned deeply into their right sides.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 10-17-13 at 09:54 AM.

  21. #46
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    I certainly goes both ways.

    Not exactly, motorists are packing several thousand pounds of force along with them if they get it wrong.

  22. #47
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    I certainly goes both ways.
    The irony is that the cyclist can hardly cause harm to the motorist... and in most cases we are talking individuals just needing to go from A to B... so why should a single person have priority over another person, simply because they are using a bigger machine? (BTW if you defend the motorist based on vehicle size, consider that large trucks, and buses would then have priority over any smaller car)

  23. #48
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Right. Perhaps cyclist rights groups in California could put together some PSAs publicizing this, and educating Joe Sixpack. Then, it could have some small impact.

    If they weren't $70, and if I didn't already have plenty of jerseys, I'd get some of these:



    (From 3feetplease.com)
    Actually DMV in California does a pretty good job on a lot of things and one of those is making sure new laws get on the tests.

    This law won't do much for the uber jerks, but for a lot of drivers it will make a difference.

    BTW in Los Angeles a lot of the busses have ad space on the back that says "every lane is a bike lane". Now if they can only get their drivers to think that way.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  24. #49
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Actually DMV in California does a pretty good job on a lot of things and one of those is making sure new laws get on the tests.

    This law won't do much for the uber jerks, but for a lot of drivers it will make a difference.

    BTW in Los Angeles a lot of the busses have ad space on the back that says "every lane is a bike lane". Now if they can only get their drivers to think that way.
    Existing license holders do not have to take the written test again... So it is rather unlikely that the DMV will "educate" those folks.

  25. #50
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Existing license holders do not have to take the written test again... So it is rather unlikely that the DMV will "educate" those folks.
    Un, no.

    Not every time, but existing license holder do on occasion have to retake (part of) the written test. Only half and from when I had to it seemed to be the half that had all the new stuff.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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