3 Feet to Save Lives


It took 10,000 messages and three years of negotiating, but Governor Brown has signed the “Three Feet for Safety Act!”   People riding bicycles will soon be lawfully required a three foot buffer when passed by a motorist!

Now we all have to do our part to inform Californians about the “Three Feet for Safety Act.”  We have to do everything possible to end the epidemic of preventable deaths.

Why Is This A Big Deal?

A person traveling by bicycle on a street is vulnerable.  Similarly, road construction crews are vulnerable.  As are pedestrians – nearly 4,300 people died when hit by cars in 2010, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.    Fast moving auto traffic creates risks for people and states and local communities are addressing this challenge in a number of ways.

Passing-from-behind collisions kill more adult bicyclists than any other cause in California and in the US.

When drivers give bicyclists more space as they pass, a leading cause of deadly collisions is minimized and more people feel comfortable about choosing to ride their bikes, which in turn promotes a more livable and economically viable community for us all.

Smile and Move Over

What you can do:  Pass people on bicycles safely when you drive, giving at least a three foot buffer zone between your car and a person on a bicycle.

Help your friends and family understand that by doing so they help prevent crashes that kill more adult bicyclists than any other cause in California and the US.

3 Feet to Save Lives – More Information

Victory for California cyclists: Riders get their three-foot cushion.  LA Times.  The state is beginning to catch up with the rebirth of cycling around the nation.

Give California Cyclists 3 Feet–It’s Now the Law.  KQED News.  The law says that the distance will be measured between “any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.” In many situations, that calls for 3 feet between the cyclist’s shoulder or handlebars and the vehicle’s side mirror.

Momentum Magazine.   “Too often cars and bicycles come precariously close to each other.  Bicyclists need at least three feet between them and a passing car.”   Article found here

Other States.  Twenty-one other states and the District of Columbia have already enacted a specified minimum passing distance for motorists, requiring 3, 4 or 5 feet buffer zones to protect people.    Safely Passing Bicyclists Chart:  Available here