Another type of three foot law

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
By Yokota Fritz

Wisconsin 3 foot law penalizes cyclists who ride in the door zone

In most U.S. states, drivers and occupants of cars and trucks are required to check behind them for traffic before opening their doors.

Dutch style bicycle in San Jose
In Chicago, motorists can be fined up to $500 for dooring a cyclist. Chicago cyclists can travel just a few miles north into Wisconsin, though, to find the completely opposite situation: Doored cyclists can be cited for breaking Wisconsin law.

In Wisconsin, cyclists are required to ride at least three feet away from parked or standing vehicles. And amazingly, there's no law in Wisconsin against opening your door into traffic.

Cyclists should ride away from the door zone, but a law that specifically targets cyclists is discriminatory. State legislators recently introduced bills to change Wisconsin state law to fine motorists who open their doors into traffic, and rescind the existing 3-foot law. Read details in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Meanwhile in Colorado, Bicycle Colorado supports the Bicycle Safety Bill, which includes a three foot passing provision. They're asking Colorado cyclists to call their State senators in support of this bill.

See also: Bus drivers take some pride in catching a door.

Finally, I owe a link to this Bike Haiku.


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Isn't that just another case of banning stuff you shouldn't do anyway, like riding on the sidewalk?
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