Aiming to curb the volume of auto vs. bicycle accidents on California roads, Governor Jerry Brown Sept. 23 passed legislation aimed at increasing rider safety, a move some see as a hinderance.
AB 1371 requires motorists to create a three-foot buffer between their automobile and any cyclist they pass on the road. If a motorist cannot safely pass that cyclist, then they must slow to a safe speed, allowing the cyclist to pass.
The new law goes into effect Sept. 2014.
One year ago, Gov. Brown vetoed a similar bill, one that would have allowed motorists to cross into opposing lanes to safely pass bicyclists.
In 2011, of the 2,791 fatality accidents that occurred in the Golden State, 114 involved bicyclists, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Before that, California enjoyed some of its lowest number of bicycle-related fatalities since 1984, with 99 in 2009-2010, according to the state's Office of Traffic Safety.
Locally, Arcadia suffered a fatality bicycle accident Oct. 2012.
Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) opposes the bill, stating that drivers may not be able to accurately judge the required distance while in motion.
Drivers find some bicyclists a nuisance on the road, claiming that they take up large portions of the road when in groups, that some do not obey traffic laws and sometimes do not stay within designated bicycle lanes.
What do you think? Could this law make local cyclists safer? Why or why not? Please tell us what you think in the comments section below.