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:
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.
I agree with you whole heartedly. I think if a cop was to observe an accident they would probably look at the cyclist being at fault somehow. Two feet isn't enough and it doesn't matter anyway, because motorists don't observe that. I am so tired of being buzzed whenever I go out, or have someone scream obsenities at me when I'm perfectly within my rights to be on the road. There are those that will give you plenty of room and for that I am very grateful.
One important rule of the road (for us) that I have learned. Take 3 feet from the curb....the closer you are to it...the more motorists will try to "squeeze" between you and the white dividing line. By taking your 3 feet you "force" them to cross over the dividing line to get around you and that makes it safer for everyone. It also causes those that don't understand the laws to become irate...Hence...our problem.
Your mention about riding smarter-Yes..you are correct. By that we all know that being the defensive rider is key to our longevity. Several ways to do that, but my main focus when I ride-Wear a helmet, I run lights "both" front and rear in broad daylight, dusk and at night. Brightly colored clothes help and even simple reflective tape on your bike and shoes can attract a drivers attention.
In your communities...become active even if its one meeting a month. Another voice, another vote might bring you one step closer to a goal.
CHECK THIS STORY OUT BELOW---PROBABLY COMING SOON TO A TOWN NEAR YOU
AND THIS REALLLLLLLY STINKS!!!!
A town in the US has banned cyclists on most of its streets, punishing anyone who gets caught with a $68 (£46) fine. Black Hawk in Colorado, which has a population of just above 100, is thought to be the first town in the US to make cycling illegal after a change in civic law.
The curious decree has been introduced for "health and safety" reasons, said administrators of the former goldmining town, which in the 1990s decided to develop gambling to prevent the place vanishing altogether.
Michael Copp, Black Hawk's city manager, the equivalent of chief executive of a local council in the UK, admitted there had not been any accidents to prompt the ban, just concern over potential collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles on 19th-century streets that were designed for horses and carriages.
The town started enforcing the ban on 5 June, five months after it passed the law requiring cyclists to dismount and wheel their bikes through the town. So far eight tickets have been issued, said Copp.
Copp, who does not cycle himself, said the council passed the ordinance after the town experienced a surge in traffic – buses, delivery trucks, and motorists – following a law that increased the maximum betting limits from $5 to $100 once it chose gambling as its raison d'etre.
The ban applies only to the narrow 19th century thoroughfares in a town that is lined with historic buildings and new casinos, not the few residential streets. Cyclists riding in on Colorado highway 279, a main route through the town, would have to dismount and walk about 400 metres, Copp said.
"This ordinance is necessary for the preservation of health and safety and for the protection of public convenience and welfare," says the law, which is set out on the Black Hawk website.
"The rules will allow bicycle traffic that originates locally to continue to operate with City Manager authorisation, while still assuring that such traffic can operate in a manner that is not incompatible with vehicular traffic," says another clause.
Cyclists' lobbies are gearing up to challenge the law, which they say is illegal.
"The danger here is the precedent," Dan Grunig of Bicycle Colorado, an advocacy group, said. "We don't believe it's right or legal and we want to make sure it's addressed before it's spread any further."
Grunig's group, which claims 7,000 members statewide, has appealed to national groups to help.
"An outright ban on being able to ride a bicycle through a community is unheard of in any other community in the country, said Charlie Zeeger, director of the Pedestrian and Bicycling Information Center at the University of North Carolina.
But Black Hawk seems proud to be first. "At this point the council has no intention of repealing the ban," Copp said. "They believe their actions are what's best for its citizens in Black Hawk, which are casinos and their patrons."
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.
Directeur Sportif: MOTIVE FORCE-LooseSpokes
VP: Cadieux BC/Team o2
Ride Leader: Wolverine Sports Club
*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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
I've been thinking about this one for a couple days now and the idea of equipping a bicycle with some sort of "identification" might have been a good idea...what I mean is that both Children and Adults abuse the privilege. I can definitely understand watching out for senior citizens, but how about watching out for us? Cyclists I mean...you know the "law abiding" type like many of us.
If more laws "forced" drivers to pay attention to cyclists on the road so that we could share it, we might not have to worry so much about these types of problems. Anyway, we can only keep plugging away on these laws and continue to educate ourselves and other drivers.
Sigh.....moan...anyway, just letting out my frustration.
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.
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:
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
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
It's amazing how negligent you can be as a driver involving (cyclists), but run a red light, or blow past a stop sign and you can end up in court quicker than you can blink an eye. Run a cyclist over though...and ah, you know it must have been the cyclist's fault somehow. Oh Boy...doesn't that just grate your nerves??? Anyway, sorry about the person involved in the dump truck accident...BUT they got it overturned and charged the driver appropriately. It's about time and another small step in the right direction.
Recently here in Virgina Beach there was a cyclist that was hit by a sideview mirror on an SUV and they suffered a broken leg and back while the driver just kept on going. No charges, I guess no one knows except the person that hit that cyclist. We don't have a 3 foot rule here...they turned it down and not even sure they really care. Some comments from a cycling group here.."Don't ride that road and you won't have to worry about it"!! Uhhhh, that just doesn't sit right you know? It's a 2 lane road, plenty of room for both cars and cyclists, but no mention of how to better share that road, let's just not go there. I guess then that we ought to just stick to sidewalks and ride in our neighborhood cul de sac maybe?
I hope that everyone that has posted in this wall is doing well.
Oh..one more thing. There is an area here called Pungo which is a very old part of Virgina Beach with tiny roads but lots of backwoods where many cyclists ride and also lots of group rides. There was recently a function involving about 200 cyclists and that's when the "thumbtacker" struck! They threw handfuls of small thumbtacks onto the roads at major intersections causing more than 50 cyclists to incur flats and create accidents. Supposedly the perpetrator has been caught and we waiting to see just what, if any charges get filed. People just DO NOT understand the seriousness of such an incident, especially when you are running pace lines at 20-30 mph. Sigh!!! If only we get every person in the United States and especially the ones in legislation to get on a bike and ride just once a month..it would take only a little time for them to realize how unappreciated we are and maybe then would we begin to see the necessary changes to keep us all safe.
Have a wonderful day!