BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1371
          Author:   Bradford (D)
          Amended:  8/20/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE  :  10-0, 6/25/13
          AYES:  DeSaulnier, Gaines, Beall, Cannella, Galgiani, Hueso,  
            Lara, Liu, Pavley, Roth
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wyland
           
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  52-20, 5/16/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Bicycles:  passing distance

           SOURCE  :     Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa


           DIGEST  :    This bill, beginning September 16, 2014, establishes  
          the Three Feet for Safety Act, which creates requirements for  
          the safe passing of bicyclists by motor vehicles and establishes  
          fines and penalties for drivers who fail to abide by these  
          requirements.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/20/13 delay the enactment date to  
          September 16, 2014 and address code numbering issues.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:
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           1. Prohibits a driver from driving to the left of double solid  
             parallel yellow or white lines except under very limited  
             circumstances such as passing another vehicle or entering a  
             two-way left turn lane.

           2. Requires a driver who is passing another vehicle or a  
             bicycle proceeding in the same direction to pass to the left  
             at a safe distance without interfering with the safe  
             operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle.

           3. Provides that a bicyclist has all the rights and is subject  
             to all laws applicable to drivers of motor vehicles.

           4. Generally requires a bicyclist who is riding in a bicycle  
             lane at less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the  
             same direction to ride within the bicycle lane.  

          This bill, beginning September 16, 2014, establishes the "Three  
          Feet for Safety Act," which:

           1. Requires the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and  
             passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on  
             a highway to pass in compliance with the provisions of this  
             bill applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and  
             requires the driver do so at a safe distance that does not  
             interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle,  
             having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle  
             and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and  
             the surface and width of the highway.

           2. Requires a driver to pass a bicycle at a distance of at  
             least three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle.

           3. Requires a driver, if unable to provide the three feet of  
             passing distance, to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed  
             and to pass only when doing so will not endanger the  
             bicyclist's safety.

           4. Provides that a violation of these provisions constitutes an  
             infraction punishable by a $35 base fine.

           5. Provides that a violation of these provisions that results  
             in a collision shall result in imposition of a $220 base fine  

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             on the driver.

           Background
           
           "Three-Foot" laws  .  At least 32 states, including California and  
          the District of Columbia (DC) have enacted laws requiring  
          drivers to exercise caution when passing bicyclists and to do so  
          at a "safe distance," though details vary.  Of these, at least  
          22 states and DC define a safe distance as not less than three  
          feet; Pennsylvania requires a minimum distance of four feet.   
          Most do not address the issue of crossing a solid double yellow  
          line and none appears to explicitly authorize drivers to cross a  
          solid double yellow line in order to pass.  A few states,  
          including Kansas, Louisiana, and Maine, allow drivers to pass a  
          bicycle in a no-passing zone "when it is safe to do so."    

           Prior Legislation
           
          SB 1464 (Lowenthal, 2012), which was vetoed by Governor Brown,  
          was virtually identical to this bill.  

          SB 910 (Lowenthal, 2011), which Governor Brown also vetoed,  
          would have required a driver to both provide a distance of three  
          feet between the vehicle and bicycle when passing a cyclist, and  
          to slow to 15 miles per hour maximum.  The Governor's veto  
          message stated that the Department of Transportation and the  
          California Highway Patrol had concerns that such a slow passing  
          speed could cause rear-end collisions.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/13/13)

          Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (source)
          Automobile Club of Southern California
          City of Lawndale Councilmember Pat Kearney
          LibraryBikes.org
          Metropolitan Transportation Commission

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author's office states that  
          aggressive drivers frequently harass law-abiding bicyclists by  
          driving too close to bicyclists or cutting in front of them.   
          Such contentious interactions have led to thousands of  

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          collisions involving bicyclists and motorists each year in the  
          City of Los Angeles.  The City has taken steps to address this  
          situation, including sponsoring numerous public education  
          campaigns and introducing bicyclist anti-harassment legislation.  
           The author's office states that statewide legislation clearly  
          defining at least a three-foot buffer zone for bicyclists would  
          provide a powerful tool in the City's continuing attempts to  
          make the roadways safe for all types of users.   

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  52-20, 5/16/13
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Blumenfield,  
            Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Buchanan, Ian Calderon,  
            Campos, Chau, Chesbro, Cooley, Daly, Dickinson, Eggman, Fong,  
            Fox, Frazier, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Gorell, Gray,  
            Hall, Roger Hernández, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lowenthal,  
            Medina, Mitchell, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Pan, Perea, V.  
            Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Skinner, Ting,  
            Torres, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Bigelow, Brown, Chávez, Conway, Dahle, Donnelly, Hagman,  
            Harkey, Jones, Linder, Logue, Maienschein, Mansoor, Nestande,  
            Olsen, Patterson, Salas, Wagner, Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Allen, Beth Gaines, Grove, Holden, Melendez,  
            Morrell, Stone, Vacancy


          JA:k  8/21/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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