Sometimes the third time IS the charm. On a third re-introduction to state legislature, Gov Brown has signed the revised Three Feet for Safety Act.
From the ktla article: “Assembly Bill 1371 was authored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford of Gardena.. Existing law requires drives to pass while keeping at a “safe distance,” but the new law establishes exactly what that distance is: 3 feet.
The city of Los Angeles — known for generations as a car-centric locale — sponsored the bill. In recent years, enthusiasm for cycling in L.A. has been buoyed by the support of a growing activist community and politicians such as former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The city in 2010 launched a “Give Me 3″ graphic campaign encouraging drivers to create a safe cushion between vehicles and bicyclists.”
The “Give Me 3” #giveme3 slogan was developed by artist Danny Gamboa, of ZKO Films and avid Ghost Bikes activist in Los Angeles. Upon hearing news of the bills passing, Danny exclaimed an elated, “finally!” and joked that “I’d like to thank Antonio Villaraigosa’s Elbow for starting this campaign that lead the 3 foot law.” It belies the years of work that advocates from all levels: grassroots campaigners and individuals, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition at the city/regional level and the California Bicycle Coalition at the state level.
“Earlier versions of the 3-foot passing law were vetoed by Brown in 2012 and 2011, with the governor expressing concern about certain provisions that troubled Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol, according to the Los Angeles Times.”
And each time the bill was altered – for better and for worse. According to Ted Rogers, of ‘Biking in LA’ –
KTLA: “Violations are punishable by a $35 base fine, which comes to $154 with additional fees, according to the California Bicycle Coalition. Drivers who collide with cyclists and injure them while violating the law will be subject to a $220 fine.”
At a Public Safety Committee in LA it was voiced that the reason for such a small fine was to encourage officers to ticket – without either personal feelings that the offense wasn’t worth a fine or to be subject to sympathy that the offender wouldn’t be able to bear the expense of a more severe fine. Considering that you pretty much can’t park in LA without accidentally racking up $50-$200 in fines, it smells of… something.
KTLA: “The law, among 15 signed by Brown Monday, is slated to take effect Sept. 14, 2014.”
Advocate and LA Bike Trains conductor Michael MacDonald explains the delay: “the law has been enacted and will go into effect 9/16/2014 after law enforcement and municipalities have been educated on the change to the vehicle code.”
Twenty-one states have similar laws, according to a list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures in June.”