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  1. #1
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    Good News, Bad News in The Golden State

    After refusing to sign similar legislation into law the past two years, Governor Brown has finally relented and signed a three-foot passing law. That's the good news. The bad news is the trivial fines:
    A violation of the new 3-foot requirement would be punishable by fines starting at $35. If unsafe passing results in a crash that injures the cyclist, the driver could face a $220 fine.
    Unenforced laws with fines that are so low no one would even notice them isn't exactly a giant leap forward in my mind. Are there any other deadly behaviors that have such low fines for willful violations?

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/C...aw-4837434.php

  2. #2
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    I wonder how the cyclist can prove a rule violation? An onboard camcorder?
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    I wonder how the cyclist can prove a rule violation? An onboard camcorder?
    The article said it was left to local law enforcement to deal with. As I said, unenforced laws...

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    Given the difficulty in measuring passing distances and the section of the law that says you can pass at less than 3' as long as you slow enough to do it 'safely' I don't expect many citations to be issued for close, but non-collision, passes. But having the law in the CVC could lead to better education campaigns that emphasize a minimum 3' passing distance and I hope this distance will appear in future editions of the Drivers Manual and as a test question on the license exam.

    Not sure why this part of the CVC specifies the fine amount since most other sections merely state what is allowed and not allowed without mention of any specific fines for particular transgressions. It should be noted that the amounts stated are apparently just the base amount and there are assorted court surcharges that make the actual amount of the fine considerably higher.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Given the difficulty in measuring passing distances and the section of the law that says you can pass at less than 3' as long as you slow enough to do it 'safely' I don't expect many citations to be issued for close, but non-collision, passes.
    I have a couple of videos that, if this law was in effect at the time, would very possibly garnered the motorists a ticket.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WPeabody's Avatar
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    Not so sure that anyone has to worry about measuring the 3 foot law per se, but rather whether the car comes close enough to sideswipe the cyclist, or makes an aggressive close pass in an attempt to intimidate. (Or simply makes a dangerous close pass out of being oblivious to the situation) People have done that to me in all three ways, and it is not so much a danger to me on a recumbent trike, but to my daughter who rides a DF bike and is not the steadiest rider. I generally have a camera running all the time while on the road, and if someone knocks her off her bike, at least we have the 3 foot law to take into consideration when filling out the report. It's a step in a positive direction, overall. However, this law doesn't go into effect for another year.
    What do you call a cyclist who sells potpourri on the road? A pedaling petal-peddler.

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Se˝ior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Traffic laws are more about assigning blame after the fact than keeping idiots from doing idiotic things.

    A possible side effect would be to give some ammo to arguments about proper behavior, but I don't count on laws to keep me safe on the road. If followed they would do that but only a fool would count on people following laws.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    I've been reading the comments on ktla's facebook page some of the morning. Drivers don't really care, and of course, it's all our fault for being in the road anyway. Nothing new..

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...r&notif_t=like

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    I've been reading the comments on ktla's facebook page some of the morning. Drivers don't really care, and of course, it's all our fault for being in the road anyway. Nothing new..

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...aterČif_t=like
    This seems to be the most common complaint:
    I would just like the bicyclists to obey the traffic rules. Ride with not against traffic, signal when turning, stop at the stop signs!!!
    I have to say it would be nice if motorists did this also...

  11. #11
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    This seems to be the most common complaint:

    I have to say it would be nice if motorists did this also...
    Exactly. They're hypocrites. Not to mention, in my daily commutes, I see more cyclists actually obeying traffic laws than not. There are still people that ride like they have a death wish, but the same goes for drivers.

  12. #12
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    $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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dynodonn'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.
    Listening to one of the co authors of the this latest passing bill, the 35 dollar fine was one of the carrots used in helping get the law passed. The fine amount can still be increased at a later date in time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member aubiecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Listening to one of the co authors of the this latest passing bill, the 35 dollar fine was one of the carrots used in helping get the law passed. The fine amount can still be increased at a later date in time.
    Will a bikers life have to be sacrificed to get the fine increased?

  15. #15
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
    Will a bikers life have to be sacrificed to get the fine increased?
    Hopefully it will be because of a large number cyclists reporting close passing by undeterred motorists.

  16. #16
    Senior Member aubiecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Hopefully it will be because of a large number cyclists reporting close passing by undeterred motorists.
    I hate how bills, that would actually benefit society, get watered down due to politics and back room deals. You can probably thank some lobbyist for that ridiculous $35.00 fine.

  17. #17
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    Notice
    Plenty of the ill will toward cyclist is directed toward VC types "taking a lane"
    Pissing off drivers- no benefit to them or the rest of us.Smart !
    Middle of the lane-with texting on the rise-worst placement for a rider. 1)probability(it is where the car is most often) and 2) more peripheral placement and movement is more noticeable than directly in front.
    " I didn't see him"

    The 3 foot law- pointless-just an extra ticket when a rider gets hit.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
    I hate how bills, that would actually benefit society, get watered down due to politics and back room deals. You can probably thank some lobbyist for that ridiculous $35.00 fine.
    Maybe, but probably not. Gov. Brown has become a notorious bike-hater in his dotage. He vetoed prior bills and this "carrot" of the low fine was likely one of his conditions for signing this one.

    It's sad. During his first run as Governor Moonbeam, he put a bike division in CalTrans. Something happened to him over the decades. (That bike division was removed in the first month after he left office, so no lasting impact.)

  19. #19
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    What is wrong with the safe passing law already in place?

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    What is wrong with the safe passing law already in place?
    It left all the decisions on safe passing up to the motorist to determine. While this new law is less than perfect, it at least specifies a distance other than "well, I didn't hit you;" which in the past, is all you had.

    The reality is a true safe passing law would be based on what motorists now do to each other naturally, they give more space as speed goes up; part of this is due to streets being striped differently, part is due to the natural paranoia of motorists to avoid hitting one another.

    Sadly motorists don't seem to apply those same rules to cyclists, at least all the time. The guys of CyclistView have a nice chart that tells us that motorists now pass safely, depending on your distance from the curb... you can see their chart here: http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/...d-the-3ft-law/ (which BTW is a nice diatribe on three foot laws)

    The problem is that we have all experienced close passing... so motorists tend consider the space they give to cyclists a fungible commodity... something readily taken away if the motorist feels pressure of time, speed, or whatever other rationalization is more important than a "silly cyclist."

    No, a static three foot law is less than perfect, but it beats the "whatever" law that previously existed.

  21. #21
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post

    .......a static three foot law is less than perfect, but it beats the "whatever" law that previously existed.

    Listening to one of the co-authors of the bill, one thing that got my attention is that now if a cyclist is hit due a close pass, the motorist has to now prove why they were closer than 3 ft from the cyclist to begin with.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    There are still people that ride like they have a death wish
    the dying is caused by the motorists, not the cyclists. just saying.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  23. #23
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    the dying is caused by the motorists, not the cyclists. just saying.
    True, but sometimes the 'he swerved' is actually real. I see people weaving all over the road all the time, moving left into the traffic flow without even looking.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Looigi'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.
    IMO, this is the crux of the matter. We need more education and awareness programs (radio/TV spots, ads, billboards,... ) explaining and reminding people how to share the road and of the rights of all road users. You can't expect people to behave the way you want if you don't at the least tell them how you want them to behave and explain why. After that, laws and courts are the recourse for those who don't or won't.

  25. #25
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    IMO, this is the crux of the matter. We need more education and awareness programs (radio/TV spots, ads, billboards,... ) explaining and reminding people how to share the road and of the rights of all road users. You can't expect people to behave the way you want if you don't at the least tell them how you want them to behave and explain why. After that, laws and courts are the recourse for those who don't or won't.
    I just saw a safety PSA ad about not wearing earbuds and walking on RR tracks... I have never seen a PSA about bikes sharing the road with cars. I see safety posters for boating all around the local marina... I have never once seen a billboard talking about cyclists rights on the road.

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