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Thread: Three foot rule

  1. #26
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Three foot passing rule in Maine was also passed with a few other cycling safety laws, including one which allows cars to cross a double yellow no-passing line when safe to do so.
    In Vermont and PA, dbl yellows dont specifically mean "no passing" unless there is a sign stating that section of yellow means no passing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
    In Vermont and PA, dbl yellows dont specifically mean "no passing" unless there is a sign stating that section of yellow means no passing.
    Then WTF do they mean? I know you didn't make the rules or issue orders to waste paint, but if painted lines like double yellows don't have meaning, why bother?
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Then WTF do they mean? I know you didn't make the rules or issue orders to waste paint, but if painted lines like double yellows don't have meaning, why bother?
    I guess, suggestions?
    I lived in both states, and this gets covered a lot in motorcycle touring forums I also visit. I could not give a reason why, but some googleage will confirm the anamoly

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    Quote Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
    I guess, suggestions?
    I lived in both states, and this gets covered a lot in motorcycle touring forums I also visit. I could not give a reason why, but some googleage will confirm the anamoly
    I believe you. Many years ago I got ticketed in NYS for crossing a double yellow to go around a dog. The cop was following me, and I knew he was there, but felt a dog didn't count. When I got to court, and made my explanation the judge told me you can't cross a double yellow for any reason, and was ready to find me guilty. I countered asking that if a boulder had rolled down the hill and blocked the lane, would we have to wait there forever until the state sent a truck to clear the road. (she let me off).

    The rules on double yellows vary and some states explicitly include exceptions while others don't. But common sense should prevail. The placement of no passing zones (by pavement marking or sign) is based on the distance needed to pass a vehicle moving near the posted speed, so there's a decent amount of room (time) to pass a bicycle if the road ahead is clear. Most drivers here in lower NYS pass with a half lane shift and it works fine for everybody. I prefer common sense and courtesy to black/white rules that foster frustration on all sides.

    Rather than 3' foot laws, I'd prefer an education campaign, (and legal clarification) about using half lane shifts to pass bicycles safely when there's an opportunity to do.
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    The minimum passing distance laws aren't about an arbitrary distance that makes passing "safe", they're more to make an unsafe passing distance a specifically citable offence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    The minimum passing distance laws aren't about an arbitrary distance that makes passing "safe", they're more to make an unsafe passing distance a specifically citable offence.
    Yes, that's the purported logic.. Unfortunately lawmakers don't consider the practical considerations of enforcement. In all but the rarest of cases, it'll be impossible to produce acceptable evidence if the motorist decides to plead innocent. So we first have to have the police actually observe the violation, then testify as to what he saw.

    The fact is that laws like this are only enforced by occasional crackdown blitzes, the same way that jaywalking is in most places.

    Of course the law might help in civil cases if the bicycle is hit, but like existing law is subject to the "he swerved" defense unless physical evidence at the scene such as skid marks render that impossible.

    Like I keep saying (I'm the rydabent of useless laws) laws like this about politicians making hay with a constituency, but they don't change anything. If the state cars about road safety, they'll produce PSAs about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Of course the law might help in civil cases if the bicycle is hit, but like existing law is subject to the "he swerved" defense unless physical evidence at the scene such as skid marks render that impossible.
    You mentioned earlier urban situations where road widths / traffic simply prevent a 3' pass. The 'he swerved' defense becomes harder to make if the driver can objectively be shown to have been performing a maneuver that would have been illegal (even without the accident).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Probably the same authority that gives cyclists license to play traffic control.
    So, You favor becoming collateral damage on account of a driver that doesn't like cyclists' and wants' to get by the cyclist regardless of the consequences?

    Quote Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
    You showed them!
    At least I think I did them a favor. Despite their dislike of cyclists.
    Last edited by Chris516; 07-23-14 at 06:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    So, You favor becoming collateral damage on account of a driver that doesn't like cyclists' and wants' to get by the cyclist regardless of the consequences?....

    .
    Kickstand may confirm, but from his posts I believe he has far few driver issues that you do. I certainly don't have nearly the number, and that's with almost 50 years riding roads all over the country.

    Drivers probably vary by region, and all of us occasionally run in to a rude driver and/or close pass, but IMO anybody who is way above average in his negative interactions is either having extremely bad luck or has a problem in his mirror.
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  10. #35
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    My rule is change lanes, then change back once I've passed. ALWAYS. I never get near the three foot mark. Even on a two-lane road, I wait until there's no oncoming traffic and then get over to pass. Cyclists get a wide birth.. better safe than sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Kickstand may confirm, but from his posts I believe he has far few driver issues that you do. I certainly don't have nearly the number, and that's with almost 50 years riding roads all over the country.

    Drivers probably vary by region, and all of us occasionally run in to a rude driver and/or close pass, but IMO anybody who is way above average in his negative interactions is either having extremely bad luck or has a problem in his mirror.
    It definitely does.

    1. I had far fewer problems(if any) with motorists', in (Duluth)Minnesota. Than I have had in the D.C.-Metro region.

    2. In the seven years that I have been back in the region, I have been hit three times(the most recent being intentional on the part of the driver). In the four years I lived in Minnesota. I was NEVER hit by accident or intentionally.

    3. In Minnesota, cyclists' are respected. In the D.C.-Metro region, they are hated.

    4. In Minnesota, there was never a need for the state DOT to put signs saying 'Cyclists May Use Full Lane'. In the D.C.-Metro region, the signs are being posted all over.

    Still, Motorists' in the D.C.-Metro region will tell cyclists' to get off the road. People in the D.C.-Metro region are all 'me first, and get out of my way'.

    The region is one of the most congested regions of the U.S.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    My state's 3 ft law, that takes effect in 2 months, states:

    "A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator."

    But there is also another clause in the law that states:

    "If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway."
    ^This
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    So, You favor becoming collateral damage on account of a driver that doesn't like cyclists' and wants' to get by the cyclist regardless of the consequences?
    You can't control what others do, going excessively wide wont stop a determined driver.........and since you like to play "what if"......what if that vehicle you're imagining is coming the other way turns out to be another bicycle.....you're actions have placed him into a head on situation......collateral damage of your actions.

    There is a point where excessive acts of self preservation become acts of cowardice that are counter productive and endanger others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    3. In Minnesota, cyclists' are respected. In the D.C.-Metro region, they are hated.

    4. In Minnesota, there was never a need for the state DOT to put signs saying 'Cyclists May Use Full Lane'. In the D.C.-Metro region, the signs are being posted all over.

    Still, Motorists' in the D.C.-Metro region will tell cyclists' to get off the road. People in the D.C.-Metro region are all 'me first, and get out of my way'.
    "All" is a strong word. So is "hated". I rode in downtown DC and adjoining MD / VA suburbs for a couple of years. I don't recall one single hostile incident with a driver - careless, yes, but hostile, no. I'm not disputing that it ever happens, but it's far from universal. Riding the Mount Vernon or Capital Crescent trails, a more common problem was drivers causing confusion by stopping at trail crossings out of misplaced courtesy, despite having right of way.

    Aside from the fact that there are "Bikes may use full lane" signs in MN, the fact that you interpret pro-bike signage (erected at public expense) as evidence of universal antipathy may say more about your attitude toward drivers than their attitude to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Kickstand may confirm, but from his posts I believe he has far few driver issues that you do. I certainly don't have nearly the number, and that's with almost 50 years riding roads all over the country.
    I have ridden in all of the lower 48 and Germany, yet I've never encountered a general hostility towards cyclists that some claim to exist. The few acts of hostility and situations where I was actually in danger while cycling in my lifetime are so few they hardly are worth mentioning.
    I do see plenty of stupid driving but I recognize it for what it is, potentially dangerou, rather than a clear and present danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Kickstand may confirm, but from his posts I believe he has far few driver issues that you do. I certainly don't have nearly the number, and that's with almost 50 years riding roads all over the country.
    I have ridden in all of the lower 48 and Germany, yet I've never encountered a general hostility towards cyclists that some claim to exist. The few acts of hostility and situations where I was actually in danger while cycling in my lifetime are so few they hardly are worth mentioning.
    I do see plenty of stupid driving but I recognize it for what it is, potentially dangerous, rather than a clear and present danger.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl Grey View Post
    "All" is a strong word. So is "hated". I rode in downtown DC and adjoining MD / VA suburbs for a couple of years. I don't recall one single hostile incident with a driver - careless, yes, but hostile, no. I'm not disputing that it ever happens, but it's far from universal. Riding the Mount Vernon or Capital Crescent trails, a more common problem was drivers causing confusion by stopping at trail crossings out of misplaced courtesy, despite having right of way.
    Yes, 'All' is a pretty strong word. So is 'hated'. I don't know how many years ago you rode in DC or, any of the adjoining suburbs in Maryland, or Virginia. But the roads have become more congested. Riding on the Mount Vernon and/or Capital Crescent trails, may seem convenient. But not at 15mph, when you are going somewhere and time is of the essence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Earl Grey View Post
    Aside from the fact that there are "Bikes may use full lane" signs in MN, the fact that you interpret pro-bike signage (erected at public expense) as evidence of universal antipathy may say more about your attitude toward drivers than their attitude to you.
    Not MN, in MD. The signs have gone up to remind motorists', of a cyclist's right to be on the road. Also, That a cyclist may use the full lane.

    Just an hour ago, on the way back from my ride. I was on the same two-lane blacktop I had previously mentioned the other day. When a vehicle first tried to cross over the double-yellow to pass me. Despite there being a local county bus in the opposite lane. Then again, on a blind curve with a hill.

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    I last rode in DC in 2012. It seemed plenty congested then. But perhaps driver attitudes have changed dramatically in the past 24 months or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Not MN, in MD.
    You said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516
    In Minnesota, there was never a need for the state DOT to put signs saying 'Cyclists May Use Full Lane'.
    I simply pointed out that this is not accurate. There are, in fact, "May use Full Lane" signs in Minnesota.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl Grey View Post
    I last rode in DC in 2012. It seemed plenty congested then. But perhaps driver attitudes have changed dramatically in the past 24 months or so.

    You said:
    I simply pointed out that this is not accurate. There are, in fact, "May use Full Lane" signs in Minnesota.
    When I lived in Minnesota(Nov.'02-Jan.'07), the signs didn't exist. But the respect of motorists' towards cyclists', was far better than it is in the DC-Metro region, now.

    The congestion the DC-Metro region continues to get worse. In Maryland alone. There was a big fight over what is called the ICC(Inter County Connector). It was meant to make it easier to go to/from the neighboring county in Maryland. To/From the county I live in. It is barely ever used. So, The only road project I know of that is worse than that. Was the 'Big Dig' in Boston. Even before the ICC. Was the creation of HOV lanes. That was supposed to help increase carpooling, and decrease the number of cars on the road during rush hour.

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    This is a great topic and very interesting responses! I have (along with my wife) been passed unsafely to many times to count and have thought about a video camera especially in the event of being hit. I was told by a lawyer friend that video couldn't be used in court and it had something to do with privacy and the offending party not giving the "OK" to be videoed?

    Is there any truth to that and can anyone shed some light on this? I just have a hard time believing this as I was discussing video with a police officer and he told me video would be helpful, he never said it wouldn't be legal? Thanks!

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    We had an incident here where a GoPro biker was run off the road by a vehicle towing a trailer. They were approaching a guardrail and the biker had to bail and go off the road and his bike. The video was shown on the local news web site and the driver was found quilty and fined based on the video evidence. Probably the best kind of driver training

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenR View Post
    We had an incident here where a GoPro biker was run off the road by a vehicle towing a trailer. They were approaching a guardrail and the biker had to bail and go off the road and his bike. The video was shown on the local news web site and the driver was found quilty and fined based on the video evidence. Probably the best kind of driver training
    Something tells me the cyclists in question may feel differently. Personally I would prefer adequate driver training and educational PSAs rather than post in incident education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizman View Post
    This is a great topic and very interesting responses! I have (along with my wife) been passed unsafely to many times to count and have thought about a video camera especially in the event of being hit. I was told by a lawyer friend that video couldn't be used in court and it had something to do with privacy and the offending party not giving the "OK" to be videoed?

    Is there any truth to that and can anyone shed some light on this? I just have a hard time believing this as I was discussing video with a police officer and he told me video would be helpful, he never said it wouldn't be legal? Thanks!
    I don't know about admissibility in court but if in public space, it is your constitutional right to take photos or video of anything and anyone that is in view while you are in a public space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Kickstand may confirm, but from his posts I believe he has far few driver issues that you do. I certainly don't have nearly the number, and that's with almost 50 years riding roads all over the country.

    Drivers probably vary by region, and all of us occasionally run in to a rude driver and/or close pass, but IMO anybody who is way above average in his negative interactions is either having extremely bad luck or has a problem in his mirror.
    In the latest issue of 'Bicycling' magazine, the cities of Washington(DC), Arlington(VA), and Alexandria(VA), made the top 20(of 50) as far cycling infrastructure. But the article doesn't even go into respective state traffic law and, those drivers' that want cyclists' of the road.

    Washington was even rated as one of the least congested citys' in the US.

    That is hogwash on both counts.

    I was out on a short ride today. While the driver wasn't behind me or going the direction I was going. I could hear one driver repeatedly honking their horn at someone. It sort of reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwnA...vh3wycsvivxhs1

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    take any political discussions the the Politics and Religion forum, please

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