Bikers in Orange County should always be looking for ways to increase their safety when riding a bicycle. Safety is especially important for bikers who regularly ride on the area's roadways. Bicyclists share the roadways with people in motor vehicles, which means that riders must be aware of them and take appropriate safety precautions to avoid an accident.
Bicycle riders are not the only ones who have a responsibility to adhere to safe roadway practices. Drivers in cars and trucks also have to do their part to help keep bikers safe. California's Three Feet for Safety Act is a law that seeks to promote bicycle safety. People unfamiliar with the newer law may wonder what it is and what they need to do to obey the law.
The Three Feet for Safety Act became effective on September 14, 2014. The law requires drivers in motor vehicles to keep a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist. Drivers who fail to adhere to the law are subject to a $35 fine. But the fine increases to $220 if the driver violates the law and a bike accident occurs and causes injury to the biker.
In addition to facing fines, drivers who violate the Three Feet for Safety Act could find themselves liable for any injuries that a biker suffers as a result of an accident. Bicyclists who are hit by automobiles can file legal claims against the motorist. Breaking any traffic laws, including the Three Feet for Safety Act, is evidence of a driver's negligence. When a negligent driver causes an accident, the victim is entitled to recover for damages related to the accident.
All of California's traffic laws are designed to help keep everyone on the roads as safe as possible. The laws only work, though, when people adhere to them at all times.
Source: CalBike.org, "The Three Feet for Safety Act is now law in California," accessed on March 9, 2015