By Jim Welte and Dan Abendschein
The roads in L.A. County and throughout California may become a little safer for bicyclists thanks to a signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday.Motorists trying to pass bikes will have to stay at least three feet away starting next September. Brown signed the bill after two straight years of vetoing because it allowed drivers to cross a double-yellow line to make room for a cyclist or required them to slow to 15 mph when passing within 3 feet.
The bill goes into effect in September 2014.
The law applies when bicyclists are riding in a regular roadway; not when a bicyclist is in a bike lane. (For more FAQs about the new three-foot law, click here.)
AB 1371 does not allow motorists to cross a double yellow line; if there is not enough room to provide a three-foot buffer zone, motorists must slow to a safe and reasonable speed.
Sierra Madre's police blotters occasionally reference a bike accident, but in Patch's time covering Sierra Madre there does not appear to be a news story of any serious accidents. The behavior of cyclists in town has been hotly debated on the site occasionally, including in this memorable public post from June.
So could this law make local cyclists safer? Why or why not? Is it fair to drivers?Please tell us what you think in the comments section below.