Jerry Brown VETOES California 3 foot passing bill for cyclists

I was out riding when news of this came, so sorry for the lateness: California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 1464, the bill that would have required 3 feet of passing distance between a motor vehicle and a cyclist.

Give Me 3 Feet

Brown explained in his veto message that “crossing a double yellow line is an inherently dangerous act that increases the risk of head-on collisions. When a collision occurs, it will result in a lawsuit where the state is likely to be sued as a ‘deep pocket.’ By making it legal to cross a double yellow line, the bill wekans the state’s defense to these lawsuits.

“Caltrans proposed a solution to insulate the state from costly lawsuits, while still providing the three-foot safety buffer for bicyclists. Unfortunately the author [Alan Lowenthal] declined to amend the bill.”

In the meantime, Brown signed AB 819 into law. AB 819 is Bob Wieckowski’s bill co-sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition and the California Association of Bicycle Organizations that directs Caltrans to create an experimentation process for bicycle facility design. This allows local agencies to test nonstandard or innovative designs under controlled conditions, collecting data that could ultimately lead to modifications to the Caltrans Highway Design Manual. A process like this currently exists for traffic control devices (for all traffic), but not for geometric design of bicycle facilities.


  1. Uhhh… crossing the yellow line is dangerous, but buzzing cyclists is not? That guy has got some great logic.

  2. I also hate when drivers say that cyclists force them to cross the yellow line at dangerous times, when it’s abundantly clear that drivers could simply wait a few seconds for a safe time to pass.

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