Cycling is important to our nation. It makes us healthy, reduces our medical costs, and gets us out in the fresh air. It’s quick and easy to go out your door and hop on a bike. It’s fun, good for your mental health and sense of well being. You can go as fast or slow as you wish, and it can be as inexpensive as picking up a used bike for a few bucks. Cities across our country are working hard to increase the number of cyclists in their communities for all these reasons plus reducing the number of cars on the road and the costs associated with maintaining overburdened roads, gridlock, road rage, police, and the administration required to manage our roads.
But if people are justifiably afraid to ride on our roads it becomes an effort in futility. There are cycling memorials all across our country, from little crosses that we have all seen at the side of roads, to online memorials listing those killed by cars.
Like most congregations and communities across our country, the cycling community deserves protection. In Nevada, and in almost half of the 50 states, there is a 3 Foot Law.
Having a law is great, but police have no way to enforce it and it is written such that a collision is required for a driver to be cited.
It may be surprising to some cyclists but most drivers don’t know that 3 Foot Laws exist across our country. In May of 2012 Rutgers University published an outstanding analysis of all the 3 Foot Laws across our country. They reached several key conclusions and recommendations, some of which are listed in our Blog. One of the key conclusions and recommendations was:
“the distance for safe passage is defined by the motorist’s determination of how much space they must give a cyclist in order to pass them clearly and safely in the circumstance where a cyclist fell into the roadway.”
That translates to drivers giving cyclists a whole lane of room. A whole lane is well beyond 3 feet.
How can individual cyclists mobilize as a national community to help educate drivers and protect themselves?
3FootCycling.com’s mission is to help create a safe cycling environment across our country by facilitating an active, educated, aggressive, well organized and sustained cycling community that has the methods and tools to document cycling incidents and enforce the current 3 Foot Laws while lobbying for more comprehensive 3 Foot Laws.
- 3FootCycling.com begins by providing free Memorials and Injury Report galleries that display the faces and stories of regular citizens who were killed or injured. It’s important that everyone from drivers to legislators to cyclists see people just like themselves who were injured or taken from us and think about their own loved ones.
- Our free membership also allows drivers to show their support for safe cycling by being listed as a National Driver Role Model.
- 3FootCycling.com provides a National Incident Database where cyclists can upload Incident Reports to track and analyze their encounters with reckless drivers and to identify repeat offenders. Incident Reports are shared nationally so repeat offenders can be identified by a network of cyclists. Cyclists encountering the same vehicle can collaborate to notify the authorities and possibly strengthen legal action. It is important that we identify reckless drivers before they cause an accident. Documenting reckless driving for our legislators can also help strengthen our 3 Foot Laws. Access to the National Incident Database and our Community Forums is included in our $10/year Community Membership.
- Our 3FootCycling.com Community Forums provide a place to discuss all aspects of 3 Foot Cycling including legal strategies such as cycling focused attorneys using the 3 Foot Laws in concert with other legal strategies to prosecute reckless drivers, insurance policies that cover cycling, high visibility clothing, safe riding tactics, Point of View video cameras, and even mounting inexpensive Point and Shoot cameras to document incidents. Sharing knowledge and best practices empowers all stakeholders.
- 3FootCycling.com is reaching out to corporations to create driver role models who demonstrate the new normal behavior of giving cyclists a whole lane. It’s in a corporation’s financial interest to lower their potential liability costs and increase their community goodwill.
- We will create a 3FootCycling Advisory Council comprised of representatives of all the stakeholders in safe cycling. Advisory Council members will provide their perspective and insight into creating a safe cycling environment.
- We will host webinars and cyber workshops with experts from cycling, law, technology, government, trucking, and other commercial drivers.