Okay, the headline might be a bit exaggerated, but when I come across a sign like this in a city, my heart goes pitter-pat:
Thanks Laguna Beach!
And in case you don’t know what the sign is referring to, it’s referring to California’s 2014 “Three Feet For Safety Act” (AB-1371), which mandates that
21760. (b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the requirements of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so 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, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
So, basically, cars must give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them, or slow to a reasonable speed and pass without risking injury to the cyclist. Given the frequency with which cyclists need to dodge debris (and just plain lose their balance), a three foot passing margin is really a good idea.
Of course it’d be nice if police actually wrote tickets for violations of this law … but hey, I’ll take a sign as a good start.
Seen on December 24, 2015 as I enjoyed a lovely ride down PCH.