PAUL CHINN / San Francisco Chronicle

Andy Thornley, a staffer with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, heads down Market Street recently wearing a reminder for both bicyclists and motorists.


Should motorists be required to give bicyclists 3 feet?

Jerry Brown signs law requiring cars to give bicyclists space

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013 - 6:23 am

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing on a California roadway, after vetoing similar legislation during the last two years.

Assembly Bill 1371, by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, requires motorists to slow down if they can’t give room and makes failing to comply an infraction punishable by a base fine of $35.

Brown vetoed similar legislation in 2011 and 2012. Last year, the Democratic governor objected to language that would have permitted a motorist to cross a double yellow line to make room for a bicyclist. Brown objected in 2011 to language he said would have required drivers unable to move over to slow to a certain speed, regardless of the speed limit.

The new bill will take effect in September 2014.

“I sincerely thank the governor for signing this commonsense measure to protect cyclists on our roads,” Bradford said in a prepared statement. “When cars and bikes collide, it often turns to tragedy. This bill is a great reminder that we all have to work together to keep our roads safe for all users.”

The bill was one of 15 Brown announced signing Monday. Also signed was Assembly Bill 329, by Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, which seeks to curb the use of robotic ticket buying software by scalpers, and Senate Bill 568, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, which requires Internet and social media sites to let users under 18 delete items they post.

The Steinberg legislation also prohibits the operators of websites targeting minors from marketing harmful products to them.

“This is a groundbreaking protection for our kids who often act impetuously with postings of ill-advised pictures or messages before they think through the consequences,” Steinberg said in a prepared statement. “They deserve the right to remove this material that could haunt them for years to come.”

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

Read more articles by David Siders

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