Enforcement of the 3 Foot Cycling Laws currently does not happen.
Police cannot enforce the 3 Foot laws because they can’t be everywhere and when they are in a position to enforce the law, documentation is critical to proving the reckless endangerment.
At a legislative level we are not sure the authors of these laws are serious about enforcing them. Is a collision really required to cause an enforceable violation? The Rutgers 2012 national analysis of 3 Foot Laws referenced in our Blog states that is the case. If that is the case, why even pretend like giving 3 Feet matters? Should it more accurately be called the Bicycle Collision law?
From the Nevada DMV web site.
Motorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle. (NRS 484B.270)
Motorists may be charged with reckless driving if they are at-fault in any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Penalties include a driver license suspension. (NRS 484B.280)
Does California’s new 3 Foot Law that goes into effect in September 2014 really state that drivers must give a minimum of 3 Feet, unless they can’t, then any distance is fine?
One of our goals is to ensure our laws are written with common sense. If they are named “3 Foot Laws,” then driving closer than 3 Feet is breaking the law. If the law states that “Motorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible” and they do not move into an adjacent lane to the left when it is available, then they are breaking the 3 Foot law. It also means that all of the vehicles photographed on the 3FootCycling .com home page are breaking the Nevada 3 Foot Law.
Until the laws are clarified the 3FootCycling.com community must take matters into our own hands, so we can educate corporations, drivers, legislators, and cyclists. Our goal must be to prevent cycling accidents!
If cities, states, and our national government really want to increase the cycling population then we must strengthen 3 Foot Cycling laws based on the realities of cycling as illustrated on 3FootCycling.com. Creating a safe cycling environment by ending reckless driving can only happen if we enforce strong common sense 3 Foot Laws thereby changing driver behavior.
Our Memorials, Injury Reports, 3FootCycling National Incident Database, and Community Forums will also allow us to analyze hot spot patterns which we can share with local cycling organizations, law enforcement, and legislators.