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Law Would Give Bikes a Buffer Zone

Flickr user alisdair
Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

For a third time a California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require cars to maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicycle. The previous two bills were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on why this time might be different.

The first version of the bill would have required drivers to slow down to 15 miles-per-hour when passing a bike. The second would have required drivers to cross double yellow lines -- which would otherwise be illegal -- to ensure they gave bikes enough space when passing them on a highway. Governor Jerry Brown vetoed both.  

The latest bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford. He says this version would give drivers more discretion as to whether or not they want to cross the lines. If they choose not to, drivers must slow down and keep the required 3 foot distance until they can pass safely. Bradford says he believes his bill addresses the governor’s concerns with the two previous efforts. It is currently making its way through the state Senate.