Great news in from the California Bicycle Coalition! The three-foot passing bill, SB 910, is one big step closer to implementation.
California is one step closer to enacting a three-foot passing law after Tuesday's 44-25 vote in the Assembly to approve Senate Bill 910.
Cosponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition and the City of Los Angeles and authored by Long Beach Sen. Alan Lowenthal, the bill goes back to the Senate for a vote to concur on amendments made in the Assembly, the last procedural step before being sent to Gov. Jerry Brown next week for his signature. The Senate approved the bill in June.
CBC tried to enact similar legislation in 2006 but was blocked by the California Highway Patrol and trucking interests. Trucking interests and AAA opposed the 3-foot passing requirement again this time, but strong organizing by the state's bicyclists and cycling organizations coordinated by the CBC overcame their opposition.
Hundreds of Californians and dozens of advocacy organizations and businesses contacted Assemblymembers in recent weeks to urge a yes vote on SB 910.
Ron Jones, a corporate wellness coach and cyclist based in Valencia, tried unsuccessfully to generate local interest in a 3-foot passing law after his friend and fellow competitive cyclist Norm Hoffman was struck from behind and killed by a teenaged driver in Bakersfield 10 years ago.
“Senate Bill 910 is not just about the bicyclist, but about the motorist who kills someone. That's who this bill also protects,” said Jones. “Maybe if there had been this law and some education about passing bicyclists, the driver would've approached Norm differently.”
Watch for more from CBC in the next week about contacting Gov. Jerry Brown with letters of support for SB 910.
Thanks to everyone who contacted their Assemblymember to encourage passage of this bill.