When California Assembly Member Steven Bradford originally authored the 3 foot bill that is now on the books as California Vehicle Code 21760, he included a provision to allow motorists to cross the double yellow line when passing cyclists.
The original bill read (in part):
The driver of a motor vehicle on a two-lane highway may drive to the left of [double parallel solid yellow lines, etc] to pass a person operating a bicycle proceeding in the same direction ….
The 2012 version of this 3 foot passing bill also contained this exception. Governor Jerry Brown called out this yellow line exception as the reason for his veto, and promised to veto this bill yet again unless this exception was removed.
Bradford amended his bill, both houses passed AB 1371, Brown signed it, and “3 Feet for Safety” became law this year.
In response to the death of Matthew O’Neill at the hands of a careless driver in August 2014, his friends posted a Change.org petition that asks the state legislature and Governor to change the 3 foot passing law to allow motorists to cross the solid yellow line when passing a cyclist. As was previously communicated to Governor Brown’s office, several states allow this exception.
Crossing the solid yellow line to pass cyclists on the road can be executed safely and is already a common practice for drivers when police aren’t watching. The same goes for drivers who pass stopped post office and delivery vehicles, fallen trees, dead animals, and even the occasional pedestrian or jogger. This proposal is good sense and needed.
Sign the petition here. As of this writing 900 people have signed, with 700 more needed to present this to the legislature and the Governor’s office.