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5195 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 22, 2011 4:11 AM by GarylDavis RSS
GarylDavis Expert 46 posts since
Aug 6, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 26, 2010 8:40 AM

3 feet passing law for motorists?

I have started a blog regarding the 3 foot passing law mainly regarding Virginia and also just for general discussion ABOUT ANYTHING...if anyone wants to participate please go to:

http://www.cycling-sense.blogspot.com/

 

Thanks,

 

Gary Davis

  • Geared Amateur 15 posts since
    Nov 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 15, 2010 6:47 AM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    This would be a great thing, but in all purposes uneffective. Drivers don't know the laws considering bicycles. The law in VA (live here too) is two feet now, and we still get clipped riding on the white sideline! The bill didn't make it, how about lobby for informing the ******* drivers about the law that is on the books now.  Plus, in order for these people to be caught they have to be seen doing such by a cop. And even then hte cops probably would do a thing. I've called in plates to the cops, what happened probably nothing.  So ride smarter is my motto.

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I love reading letters here from riders who make exactly the same points that I do.  Gary is to be commended for initiating a blog on this important point.  "Geared" as well underscores the issues we experience here in Michigan.  I think that a three foot "bubble" to which they often refer to the space in Colorado is patently absurd and have stated that if it was promoted as to be the law here I would be the most vocal advocate against it, as not being big enough.

     

    The "squeeze through" issue is of course significant as well.  If we allow for a space for a driver to squeeze through when there is oncoming traffic then we put ourselves at risk.  I will take more of the lane if I don't think I'm safe to tolerate a passing auto (that is if there are oncoming cars) and move over to the right when the last oncoming car goes back. Now what I promote that I have not seen anywhere else is that when I make that move into the lane I hand signal sort of a "stop" signal as I might if I was slowing down for an intersection. My theory (or perhaps my fantasy!) is that if I make that signal then the trailing auto driver will know that I know that he is there and not presume, as I'm sure you all know the deal, that I am cavalier about the road, hogging it all, and indifferent to the cars.  I will then when the opportunity opens up, wave a sort of thanks when I'm moving over when the oncoming traffic passes through.  I think this is effective from my experience from doing this around here (North of Detroit in general) though none of my local cohorts have made comment on whether it seems to work for them or not.  I can't attest to whether they do it or not despite my frequent letters on this and other points that I'll send to various clubs and so on.  Nevertheless I think it considerate to make this move and many cars appreciate it and don't get to that place where we are just owning the road or the whole universe as has been pointed out to us.  By the way, I WILL NOT WAVE THEM ON to pass me. That is their call and at least one attorney suggested I might be putting myself in a legal bind if say, a passing car were to make a mistake (or if I erred) and there was an accident as a result.  (This reminds me of the old Charles Addams cartoon with the Uncle Fester character driving a hearse on a darkened evening on a mountain and he waves a trailing car to pass but there is a truck coming around the bend that is not seen by the car!)


    I've been writing on the Facebook threads about this ridiculous scenario in Colorado. The intellectual discourse has been as rich with constructive comments from the supporters there as the shore line in Colorado of the ocean. That reads as non existant!  I'm surprised some ride group does not come through in a sort of civil disobedience act and ride through with 100 plus riders.  That would nearly total the population of that town.  The comment that seems to be made over and over is how unsafe the the riders are to the car drivers.  The notion of slowing down seems to be absent. That tour buses could overtake the riders and that they all just block traffic for miles and miles.  Yeah right.  My notion, now I'll admit I've ridden in mountains not there in that county, that riders who are strong enough and skilled enough to ride narrow mountain roads and climb and descend them are also smart enough to do so in a safe manner. They will assert themselves into that lane as we've discussed so as not to get bumped off the cliff but the drivers don't get that and the community neither.  Of course we know that if we can we would pull over to let a long stream of cars go by but I don't think that is the real issue there. The discussion is just replete with the notions that as cyclists we are indifferent to the needs of any others.  Most of us drive cars too, (when we have too) and know it goes both ways. That said I am really getting short with cyclists who keep telling me I'm running lights and swarming cars and hogging the road and being dangerous to auto drivers over and over and I never hear from the police for example what they've done to make my riding experience in their community better.  That stated,

    we've been bandying about the notion of creating a site where riders post incidents where they were buzzed and it goes directly to that police jurisdiction. The police seem to say that they get complaints "ALL THE TIME" that we are doing all these terrible things but do they get complaints whenever we experience a terrible thing that darn nearly kills us?

     

    So, I proposed recently here that we use our phones and call 911 whenever an incident occurs. And darn it I had to do it just two days ago. Some traffic backed up on a local road eastbound. My buddy and I on road bikes came out of a cross street and two mountain bike riders went by. We waved hello and then turned to follow about 30 or more yards back. Then a stream of cars went by and alas a guy in a duster goes past about 1 foot, if that, from me and also nearly hit my pal. I was forced to eat it in a pothole as I didn't have an inch to maneuver. I did not go down. The driver continued on and we yelled and I whistled to the mtn guys and he nearly hit them too. They gave him sort of a wave of frustration.  We caught the guy up the road and he was cavalier at best and said he rides a bike, (I love hearing that from this expert) and that if he were us he'd be on the sidewalk. As we were able to go the speed of the traffic or better actually we in no way held him up.  Turns out he had passed a young man, whom I know as he is from a devoted cycling family, just prior to nearly hitting us and he had nearly hit this nice young man on his Serotta.  So, I called 911. Gave them the description of the car, the plate, the driver and the intersection ahead allowed the guy to miss the officer on his way over but we waited for the police and he came and said the guy will get a call and inferred this incident would tag him of sorts. Don't know if that happens but I felt they were interested.  Kudos to the Beverly Hills, MI police and to the Farmington Hills police for a similar incident I experienced a few years ago where the prosecutors office took the driver to court (the judge thought it not felonious assault) and the case was dismissed but remember, the driver had to retain an attorney and I was informed, probably to the tune of $5,000. So that maneuver cost him.  We need to follow the law but use it too to keep each other safe out there!

     

    Way to go Gary. Good luck with your blog. I'll copy it and send it to about 1,600 riders here.  You can paste this on there if you wish.

     

    EJ LEVY

    Directeur Sportif: MOTIVE FORCE-LooseSpokes

    VP: Cadieux BC/Team o2

    Ride Leader: Wolverine Sports Club

  • soddy Rookie 2 posts since
    Jan 13, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 13, 2011 9:07 AM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    *We have  the  3 foot  passing  law  in Tennessee. If  you  asked  a motorist , that  doesn't bike,  they  would  probably answer  that  they  have no clue  about   the 3 foot passing  law . Only  bikers and their families know  of the law.

    *  I  find that 98% of  my  bike route  encounters are courteous drivers  and  only  a very  small portion of motorist  dislike bikes being on the road. The bike "dislikers"  do  exist.

  • Joepucci Amateur 37 posts since
    Jul 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 13, 2011 7:04 PM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    Has anyone heard about this proposed law in New Jersey, it would require bicycles to be licensed and registered at $10 a bike.

    Outrageous, Absolutely Outrageous!





    ________

    Joe

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 13, 2011 9:20 PM (in response to Joepucci)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    And what is it that they propose to do with the money? Pay someone to issue the licenses? Or build bike lanes? Or educate drivers about their responsibilities to share the road?   And every kid has to register his bike?  And I have to register all 10 of mine?


    Let us know!

     

    EJ

  • Joepucci Amateur 37 posts since
    Jul 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 14, 2011 5:06 AM (in response to MotiveForcer)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    It hasn't become a law, and hopeful won't a law. I googled the story for an update and it was just update this morning at 6:00AM. The same assemblywoman who proposed it, withdraw it.

     

    N.J. assemblywoman slams brakes on bicycle license plate proposal

    Published: Friday, January 14, 2011,  6:00 AM

     

    Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker on Thursday slammed the brakes on a  much-maligned proposal to require bicycles be registered with the Motor  Vehicle Commission at up to $10 a pop, and to force them to sport  license plates.

    Tucker (D-Essex) quickly withdrew the bill, which would have fined  those without plates up to $100, and switched gears to focus on elderly  pedestrian safety. She had introduced the bill after receiving  complaints from senior citizens who had been hit by kids riding bikes.

    "My intention was never to impose a burden or additional costs. My  goal was to at least begin a discussion of how best to protect elderly  pedestrians," said Tucker. "No idea is perfect, but protecting elderly  pedestrians deserves attention. I would encourage everyone to give  thought to how best we can protect elderly pedestrians and suggest  solution."

     

    The bill (A3657), introduced last week, drew outrage from bicycle  enthusiasts and others who called it unnecessary and intrusive  government regulation.

    "I think it’s a victory for everybody who wrote into her, and to  their assemblymen and senators," said Paige Hiemier, vice president of  the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. "It’s a victory for cyclists."

    It never had much of a chance. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver  (D-Essex) said it wasn’t a priority. And while thousands of bills are  introduced in the state Legislature each year, few become law. Since  2010, 6,798 bills were proposed and only 129 have been signed into law.  Most will sit idle until they expire. Few, however, are formally  withdrawn.

    Brigid Harrison, a professor of political science at Montclair State  University, said the bill struck a sour note with the public because  they feel "nickeled and dimed to death."

    "Whether it’s access fees to beaches or user fees on campgrounds and  parks, the cost of living is hitting people in their purses and wallets,  especially in this economic climate," she said.





    ________

    Joe

  • MotiveForcer Community Moderator 448 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jan 19, 2011 12:37 PM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    Over the past couple of seasons I''ve had, in my capacity as a ride leader for several clubs, communications directed towards me on hazardous bike riders. Usually I'm not impressed by the complaints, some from the police but I do know that some riders are flagrant in their breeching of the law, running lights and so on.  Nevertheless even a casual rider will attest to the hazards while riding and in particular the hazards created by cavalier, incompetent, or hostile motorists.  That said, we need to get on the same page.  I urge every rider in our groups to contact the authorities/police whenever there is an incident on the road. Take out your sell phone, take a picture of the offending driver, his plate and call the police and tell them you felt assualted by the driver who purposely drove near you forcing you off the road or whatever.

     

    If more cyclists report every incident in which they are threatened then there are more incidents in which we were threatened and the narrow roads without a bike lane become a problem.  Use that cell phone to advantage.

     

    EJ LEVY

  • Gotta Ride Today Amateur 26 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jan 19, 2011 1:35 PM (in response to soddy)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    Hey Sod,

     

    Thanks for the opportunity to plug the work of the JRCF since you are in Tennessee and may not be aware of our presence.  The Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation promotes cycling as a safe and healthy form of transportation and recreation through advocacy and education, and helps to provide assistance to families cycling tragedies.  Some of the Foundation's goals are:

    • To increase awareness of the Jeff Roth/Brian Brown Protection Act of 2007
    • To promote cycling safety education of children via schools and/or events
    • To provide cycling helmets to children of limited financial resources
    • To promote a harmonious relationship between motorists and cyclists
    • To provide assistance to cyclists who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident
    • To promote road cycling by improving bike route conditions

     

    We are currently working for a specialty license plate which would increase awareness of the 3 ft law in TN and help raise funding for other bicycle intiatives.  One point brought up in this thread is the general lack of awareness on the part of law enforcment officials about bicycle protection under exisating laws. That is certainly a needed area of outreach for the group and the finicial resources we generate with the plate can be directed at educational materials for use in schools, annual law enforcment continuing education, etc. 

     

    I am hoping you can spread the word down in the Chattanooga/Soddy Daisy area on the project. Of couse you can also help out by going to the site and signing up for your own plate today.  Let me know how much work you want to do for us in your area and we will get someting going for you.  Aren't you glad you posted here?

     

    Have a great day!





    Gotta Ride Today

    aka Chuck Faulkner

    Tazewell, TN 37987

    http://www.jeffrothcyclingfoundation.org/

  • Gotta Ride Today Amateur 26 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jun 19, 2011 7:09 AM (in response to GarylDavis)
    Re: 3 feet passing law for motorists?

    Hey folks,

     

    Haven't been by in a while so I wanted to update everyone on a couple of developments in TN since my last post regarding the 3 foot law.  Thanks to the work of Bike-Walk TN, a statewide legislative-regional bike-pedestrian planning group HB100/SB1171 adds teeth to the existing Jeff Roth/Brian Brown Bicycle Protection act to strengthen the level of charges to be applied fro injury to cyclists and pedestrians. You can gt a summary of the new legislation which becomes law on July 1 following this link.  http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billinfo/BillSummaryArchive.aspx?BillNumber=HB1007&ga=107

     

    In February, Michael Montgomery, a cyclist from Franklin TN was run down by a dump truck driver while riding on a designated bike route, in the bike lane. Tn HWY Patrol (THP) conducted an on site investigation and decided it was an accident and no charges would be filed, despite the severity of injuries to Montgomery and eyewitness accounts that the dump truck driver repeatedly veered off the road prior to making contact with the cyclist. A complaint was filed on behalf of Montgomery by The Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation (JRCF)  http://www.jeffrothcyclingfoundation.org/and THP reopened the investigation, amended the accident report and filed charges against the driver. This is the first time a driver has been charged w/ violation of the 3ft law and 1st time THP amended an accident report in favor of an injured cyclist. Most importantly we got word out to a number of THP officers that the 3ft law is an actual law in TN for which charges can be filed.  It amazed me to find out that the existence of the law was not universally know among law enforcement authorities indicating we have much work to do.

     

    In May, we had another cyclist run down near Maryville TN.  Charges were filed against the driver by the Blount Co sheriffs dept on the spot. Interestingly this is the home territory of the JRCF so it would seem we have done a little better closer to home.  On May 17 we hosted the annual Ride of Silence to honor the memories of cyclists killed and injured by motorists http://www.wate.com/story/14673642/maryville-cyclists-ride-in-silence-for-those-injured-and-killed. We had nearly 200 riders and got TV coverage from 2 stations. Here is brief video posted on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRJo4zdFJGs

     

    The weather here has been great overall so we have been riding an awful lot.  I'll be checking back periodically so don't count me gone and forgotten. Hope everyone out there is also riding and having fun.

     

    Horrendous and grevious spelling errors in this message were corrected using the SpellChecker by: Gotta Ride Today





    Gotta Ride Today

    aka Chuck Faulkner

    Tazewell, TN 37987

    http://www.jeffrothcyclingfoundation.org/

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