The Three-Feet-for-Safety law went into affect on September 16, 2014.  There was a three year lag between the first veto of this law and it's final enactment.
Bike deaths will be tallied going forward to determine the decrease in bike fatalities by enacting this law.
It is expected the 140  bicycle deaths average per year in California will decrease to about 100.

Cyclists killed or injured after Governor Brown's veto

posted Dec 9, 2011, 10:37 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Dec 9, 2011, 11:27 PM ]

After Governor Gerry Brown made his veto of the 3-Foot-Passing Bill the following people have been injured or killed from hit from behind accidents: 

Omar Gomez of Pomona, 27, Oct. 8,2011, dead (57th So. Cal death this year)
Brian William Davenport of McKinleyville, 52, Nov. 25, 2011, dead
Bob Orneles, Former Mayor City of Arcata, 53, Nov. 29, 2011, punctured lung, 5 broken ribs.
Carol Schreder, Topanga,?, Dec 3, 2011, dead (65th So. Cal death this year)

(The3-Foot-Passing Bill would have taken full effect in January 2012)
Whether it would have made a difference in these cases we may never know. But thanks to Governor Brown, it won’t make a difference for anyone else killed or injured, either.

Youtube the 3-Foot campaign

posted Aug 26, 2011, 9:37 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Aug 26, 2011, 10:14 PM ]

Senator Cannella floor speech:

Republicans have voted for SB910

posted Jul 15, 2011, 11:09 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Jul 15, 2011, 11:28 PM ]

What do Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Jeb Bush have in common? All of them are Republican and all signed 3-foot passing bills into law as governors of their respective states.

It's hardly news that in most of the 18 states with 3-foot passing laws on the books, Republicans and Democrats worked together to get them enacted. Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana and Tennessee enacted 3-foot passing laws with solid bipartisan support.

In Georgia and Kansas, Republican lawmakers sponsored the legislation that was later signed by the Republican governor. Earlier this month Georgia's Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed that state's 3-foot passing law, which was sponsored by two Republican lawmakers. In April, the 3-foot passing bill signed into law in Kansas by Republican Governor Sam Brownback was sponsored by the Republican-led House Transportation Committee.

And in Colorado, Republican Sen. Greg Brophy, an avid cyclist and farmer from the east side of the state, was one of two lead sponsors on that state's 3-foot passing bill, which was later signed by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. Brophy later sponsored legislation to prohibit Colorado communities from banning bicycles, a response to a bicycling ban enacted last year by Black Hawk, CO, a tiny historic mining town that in recent years has become a popular gambling center.

So now in California we have seen 5 republican Senators vote for SB910, and we have seen one republican Assemblyman vote for the measure - than seen him change his vote - after leaving the room, returning to say he voted on the wrong measure. We have heard three republican Senators testify on the Senate floor, two in favor one opposed.  This measure has bipartisan interest.

Yet there has been communication to the authors from the Assembly Republican Caucus  leadership that their position is opposed to having bicycles on any road.  They have indicated they believe the road is for cars. Thus they are advising every republican Assembly-member to vote no on sb910.

Well, their Republican vote would be helpful, but is not absolutely needed to pass our bill. 

Stories of the Close Vote, June 27th.

posted Jul 15, 2011, 10:21 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Jul 15, 2011, 11:09 PM ]

Over the months of work on this bill some exciting stories have not yet been told!

The vote in the Assembly Transportation Committee was a cliff-hanger!  The vote on out SB910 was 6-4 near the end of the day, the vote was held open for call (committee members can vote at any point during the day of the committee meeting as long as the meeting is still in session), Chair-member Bonnie Lowenthal awaited votes past 5:30 p.m. on two bills, basicly giving our sb910 a chance to pass instead of dying due to lack of votes.  We needed 7 yes votes.  Lobiest(AAA, So CAl AAA, CBC, CABO, City of Los Angeles) , supporters (Alan Wachtel, John Burton, Bill Burton, Jim Brown), legislators staff (Alan Lowenthal, John Casey, Howard Posner, Janet Dawson) waited in a near empty committee room for final results.
A republican assembly member, Achadjian, then returned to vote, he voted yes for our bill, we felt relief of tension thinking of success of passing this day.  Then three minutes later Howard Posner tells Senator Alan Lowenthal that Achadjian changed his vote (changed his mind?-that is not allowed after one has voted), he claimed to have voted on the wrong measure, after going backstage, returning sheepishly to request to change his "mistake".  He would have been the only Assembly Republican to vote yes, it appears he was encouraged to change his vote.  So with some degree of protest Alan Lowenthal said members can't just change their mind after a vote, but still one member had not voted anyway, so at past 5:30 the bill was failing, Assembly member Furutani had not voted yet.

Quickly Lobiest, Senate staff members, and interested supporters fanned out around the capitol building, looking for Furutani.  He may have left the building, heading away from work, or may have been engaged in other work, yet his staff and all the rest could not find him.  I think a personal phone call to him was made, asking him to return to vote, yet no sign of him known past 6:00 p.m.  Our bill was not passing, Bonnie Lowenthal kept the meeting open, then from backstage an out of breath Furutani came forward, with a no vote for SB333 and a yes vote for SB910. 

Needless to say most in attendance had relief of a final 7th yes vote, for the bill to pass. Many went to a nearby pub after that vote!

That same day the Teamsters were contacted to try to reach some resolution of their concerns.  This is a story that will be place here soon! I need to take a deep breath,,,

Full Senate vote passes 3-FootPassing Bill!

posted Jun 3, 2011, 8:43 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Jun 3, 2011, 9:00 PM ]

SB 910 passed the full Senate on Wednesday night!  Senator Lowenthal introduced the features of the bill, and Republican Senators Gaines and Cannella spoke in favor of the bill.  One Republican Senator spoke against the bill. SB 910 passed the Senate 26-9 on June 1 and was passed to the Assembly June 2.

The bill is moving forward to the Assembly, then to the Governor!

SB 910 passed out of Senate Transportation on a 6 to 3 favorable vote.

posted May 12, 2011, 10:28 AM by Bill Wright - Burton

SB910 received a 6 favorable to 3 opposed vote from Senate Transportation members.  The session was quite a deep investigation into the topic of a 3-Foot-Passing bill on a day when Senators had to evaluate the California Transportation Commission budget, the future of the High Speed Rail Authority, and other transportation bills. 

Below is a description of the day by CBC director Dave Snyder:

May 4, 2011 

Yesterday afternoon the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee approved Senate Bill 910, our 3-foot passing bill, on a 6 to 3 vote.

Senator Alan Lowenthal, SB 910's author, passionately defended the bill against the same criticisms that defeated our previous safe passing bill five years ago. Alejandro Esparza from the City of Los Angeles, our co-sponsor, joined us at the witness table. Bill Burton of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters and Michael Endicott of the Sierra Club also spoke in favor of the bill.

During the discussion, two senators told of their own experiences of being run off the road by motorists passing too closely. Senator Michael Rubio from Bakersfield, said, "It's been my experience that dangerous passing is often a deliberate act of intimidation and not just an 'accident.' I see this bill as a way to help stop that."

Speaking against the bill were representatives from the Automobile Associations of California and the California Association of Bicycle Organizations (!), although both said they might be able to support the bill if it's amended. AAA doesn't like the provision exempting motorists from the 3-foot requirement if they pass at roughly the same speed (within 15 mph) as the cyclist. CABO has stated that bicyclists are already covered under the existing rule requiring safe passing of all vehicles.

If the bill passes, California will join 16 other states that already have requirements that motorists give at least 3 feet when passing.

Prior to yesterday's hearing we contacted the cycling clubs and advocacy groups located in the districts of committee members, and in just a few days, more than 50 letters of support from clubs (including the Amgen Cycling Club, Channel Islands Cycling Club, Santa Cruz County Cycling Club and Marin Cyclists), local bicycle advocacy organizations and individual cyclists poured in. Few bills generate this much public support. Big thanks to the many of you who sent in letters!

At today's hearing the committee approved two amendments to the bill, and debated another:

-  The $220 base fine (before court costs and fees are added) is limited to violations that result in a bicyclist being injured. Otherwise, the base fine was reduced to $35 (plus $198 in court costs and other fees), same as the fine for unsafe passing. We support this change as necessary to gain votes, but we still believe that passing a cyclist dangerously close is a more serious offense than passing another car unsafely and deserves a steeper fine.

-  Motorists will be allowed to cross the double yellow centerline in order to give a bicyclist 3 feet of clearance. This provision ensures that narrower 2-lane roads won't keep motorists from giving bicyclists adequate clearance.

The Senate committee and the bill's author see the problems with the provision that gives motorists the option to pass closer than 3 feet so long as they're traveling no more than 15 MPH faster than the bicyclist. We promised to work with the author to improve the language to better meet the goal of letting motorists pass more closely at very low speeds in tight urban settings.

This bill is a huge step in protecting bicyclists from harassing motorists and in educating motorists about safe passing.

I'll keep you informed as we move forward to win this legislation, an important piece of our campaign to promote safe, fun, and healthy bicycling on the roads!

In the meantime, Happy Bike Month!


dave snyder signature

Dave Snyder

Relaunch Director/CEO

California Bicycle Coalition

SB 910 is scheduled to be heard May 3rd in Transportation Committee.

posted Apr 18, 2011, 10:29 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Apr 24, 2011, 10:17 AM ]

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011

Transportation And Housing

1:30 p.m. - John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) (Listen to John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203))
Committees: Transportation and Housing
Hide Details

                         MEASURES ARE HEARD IN FILE ORDER	
S.B. No. 150Correa. Common interest developments.
S.B. No. 184 Leno. Land use: zoning regulations.
S.B. No. 443 Strickland. Veterans' memorial.
S.B. No. 444 Evans. Land use: subdivisions: rental mobilehome park
S.B. No. 446 Dutton. Ontario International Airport.
S.B. No. 468 Kehoe. Department of Transportation: capacity-increas-
ing state highway projects: coastal zone.
S.B. No. 563 Committee on Transportation and Housing. Common in-
terest developments: meetings.
S.B. No. 691 Lieu. Vehicles: reducing prima facie speed limits: local au-
S.B. No. 693 Dutton. Public contracts: local agencies.
S.B. No. 749 Steinberg. High-speed rail.
S.B. No. 791 Steinberg. California Transportation Commission: annual
S.B. No. 910 Lowenthal. Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance.
S.B. No. 929 Evans. Local taxation: vehicle license fees.
S.C.R. No. 26 Blakeslee. Vietnam Veterans of America Central Coast
Chapter Memorial Highway.
S.C.R. No. 28 Strickland. Correctional Officer Scott Williams Memorial
S.C.R. No. 34 Evans. Deputy Frank Trejo Memorial Highway.
S.C.R. No. 35 Simitian. Don Burnett Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge.

Proposed wording of Three-Foot-Passing Law for passing bicycles.

posted Mar 20, 2011, 8:48 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Mar 20, 2011, 10:40 PM ]

California Vehicle Code Division 11, Chapter 3, Article 3 (Overtaking and Passing).
Overtaking and Passing Bicycles

(a) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same
direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the provisions of this article at a safe
distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, and the surface and width of the highway.

(b) In no event shall the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway pass at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator, except that the driver may pass the
overtaken bicycle with due care at a distance of less than three feet at a speed not greater than 15 miles per hour faster than the bicycle, if in compliance with subdivision (a).

(c) A person convicted of a violation of this section that is not the proximate cause of bodily injury to any person  shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(This penalty is identical to California’s penalty for reckless driving without bodily injury.)

(d) Any driver of a motor vehicle that strikes a bicyclist from behind or while passing,
and is the proximate cause of bodily injury to any person other than the driver, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days or by a fine of not less than a minimum fine of $2000, or by both the fine and imprisonment.  Striking a cyclist will be considered to be 'gross negligence' if there is no intent to hit the cyclist. (This is proof of Gross Negligence as needed by California District Attorneys.)

(e) Commercial vehicles displaying Oversize or Wide Load signs, or legal commercial vehicles of over 104 inches width driven by professional drivers, are exempt of the requirements of  this section, unless they strike a bicyclist.

Passing Over a Double Yellow Line

21460. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the driver of a motor vehicle may drive to the left of double parallel solid lines to pass a person operating a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, provided that such a movement is safe and that the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle or any vehicle or bicycle approaching from the opposite direction.

The Three-Foot-Passing legislation has the support of District Attorney Paul  Galiegos. t

posted Mar 9, 2011, 1:24 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Mar 9, 2011, 1:34 PM ]

District Attorney support for Three-Foot-Passing law

posted Mar 9, 2011, 1:09 PM by Bill Wright - Burton   [ updated Mar 15, 2011, 7:47 PM ]

The Three-Foot-Passing legislation has the support of District Attorney Paul Galiegos.

He stated the legislation will help legally prove the 'Gross negligence' of drivers who hit cyclists.

Paul Galiegos is Humboldt County's nine year incumbent, twice elected, District Attorney.  He says he will be talking to other county's District Attorneys to gain their support.

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