Are there any laws governing how to pass a bicycle sharing the roadway?
There is! Vehicle Code Section 21760, was passed several years ago and established the 3-foot rule. The 3-foot rule states that when a motorist passes a bicyclist, the car has to be at least three feet from the cyclist.
Newly added to that section in 2023 is that if a cyclist is in a vehicular travel lane, not a bike lane, and two lanes are going in the same direction, a car must completely change lanes to pass a cyclist. The car can’t take only half a lane to pass; they have to fully change lanes to pass the cyclist, then can come back into the original lane. This rule applies when cyclists have the right to an entire lane because they do not have a designated bike lane to use. If a cyclist is in a bike path or bike lane, and the car has a regular lane to drive in, there shouldn’t be an issue. When you come into instances where a cyclist has the right to be in a lane and they are sharing one lane with a motorist, that is when the statute applies. The motorist would have to change lanes to pass when safe to do so.
If you have any questions about how bicycles can maintain safety on the road, we’re happy to entertain them here at Bonnici Law Group. Contact us at (619) 259-5199 or click here for more information!