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Three Foot Law in NY State Assembly

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Three Foot Law in NY State Assembly

Old 12-31-20, 06:29 AM
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hotbike
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Three Foot Law in NY State Assembly

Itís about time, other states have had a three foot law for several years now:
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation...intent=support
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Old 12-31-20, 09:15 AM
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The problem with this bill is that no one is going to know about the law and the only time it will likely come into play is after a cyclist has been injured or killed.

I would much rather see an educational campaign that includes some type of tip for how drivers can determine how far away they are from a cyclist. Most of the drivers along my daily commute sway TOO FAR to the left when they pass me, causing danger for other drivers - especially those in oncoming lanes.

I also don't believe the problem is JUST with motorists.
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Old 12-31-20, 12:31 PM
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Steve B.
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It's better to have the law state 3 ft. then the current, which only states a safe passing distance.

They would need signage to follow, stating that 3ft is the law.
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Old 12-31-20, 02:17 PM
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I have tried many times, while driving, to come up with some kind of reference point -- sort of like the ones we use for parallel parking or other maneuvers - that could be used for passing a cyclist. My aim is to find an object that is in the same location on every car on the road and can be used as a visual yardstick for placing distance between the driver and the cyclist.

I really think a cool little "trick" like that will stick with motorists better than a law that puts a virtually impossible task on a driver. Most drivers can't even estimate how much space is between them and the car behind them when trying to pull into a parking space, and it's usually WAY more than necessary. How are they/we going to guess at "three feet" while in a moving vehicle?
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Old 12-31-20, 06:49 PM
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Laws are worthless without enforcement or even education, and there won't be any enforcement of this. Most drivers already on the road will never know about it and those who might see it in updated DMV drivers manuals from now on won't remember it. There's a NYS law requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians, but I still get cut off regularly. A few days ago, a nitwit did a right turn in front of me while I crossed with the signal, at the same time yelling, "Obey the law!" at me.
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Old 01-01-21, 01:39 PM
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It's not going to change anything unless they put signs up on road where there is bike traffic.

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Old 01-01-21, 02:35 PM
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And again I will ask: How can a driver judge when he/she is three feet or more from a cyclist? We all know how hard it is to parallel park in a space between two other cars, the greatest difficulty being estimating the space between your bumper and the car behind/in front of you.
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Old 01-02-21, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
And again I will ask: How can a driver judge when he/she is three feet or more from a cyclist? We all know how hard it is to parallel park in a space between two other cars, the greatest difficulty being estimating the space between your bumper and the car behind/in front of you.
As I recall, the existing "safe passing distance" law in NY State was enacted as opposed to a "3 ft. passing", as the consensus of assorted police chiefs queried by the bill supporters indicated the police had no method to enforce a 3ft. passing law. Which is absurd. It's likely easier for a LEO to observe a dangerous pass (if they are present to see it) than it is to see somebody talking on the phone.

As well, if you get rear ended while cycling on a shoulder, having 3ft as the law is instantly a violation, where as a "safe passing" is much too variable and open to interpretation. Is why most states with such laws state "3 ft.". Hopefully this gets passed.
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Old 01-03-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
As I recall, the existing "safe passing distance" law in NY State was enacted as opposed to a "3 ft. passing", as the consensus of assorted police chiefs queried by the bill supporters indicated the police had no method to enforce a 3ft. passing law. Which is absurd. It's likely easier for a LEO to observe a dangerous pass (if they are present to see it) than it is to see somebody talking on the phone.

As well, if you get rear ended while cycling on a shoulder, having 3ft as the law is instantly a violation, where as a "safe passing" is much too variable and open to interpretation. Is why most states with such laws state "3 ft.". Hopefully this gets passed.
Good point about the "safe passing distance" rule being too ambiguous to stand up in a lawsuit.

I guess there are two ways to look at it: From the legal standpoint, and from the safety standpoint - meaning its effectiveness in avoiding collisions in the first place. I think it's a good idea to have specific parameters for legal matters; but, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I also wish there was a way to educate drivers as to what "safe passing distance" translates to when you are behind the wheel. Most drivers are not looking to cause accidents or harm cyclists; they just don't know how to pass one safely.
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Old 01-05-21, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
And again I will ask: How can a driver judge when he/she is three feet or more from a cyclist? We all know how hard it is to parallel park in a space between two other cars, the greatest difficulty being estimating the space between your bumper and the car behind/in front of you.
I have a PhD in parallel parking. With practice it becomes second nature.

Motorists can err on the side of caution when determining clearance. I live in PA. Weíve had a 4í law for nearly 9 years. The issue is compliance and education about the law.
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Old 01-28-21, 12:05 PM
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One more law for motorists to ignore. I think the intent is good. Perhaps it will help if there is an accident. GlennR 's sign example is helpful. But it still comes down to motorist with being responsible. That is the week link.

By thotbike, thanks for posting this so at least we know what new cycling related laws are being proposed and voted on.
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