California 3 Feet for Safety bill amended to address liability concerns

California Assemblyman Stephen Bradford (D-Gardena) amended AB 1371 to address liability concerns Governor Jerry Brown expressed over last year’s version of the Three Foot Safe Passing Law that he vetoed.

The 2012 version of the 3 foot bill passed by last year’s legislature would have allowed drivers to cross the double yellow centerline to pass cyclists. In his veto message last year, Governor Brown claimed “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.”

Bradford’s “Three Feet for Safety Act” has a similar provision to allow motorists to cross the yellow double centerline when it’s safe to do so. He amended his bill yesterday to put responsibility of safety on the driver of the motor vehicle. Crazy concept, I know.

AB 1371 now contains this text:

If a driver of a motor vehicle drives to the left of the markings specified in subdivision (a) or (c) to pass a person operating a bicycle and is involved in a collision, the driver of the motor vehicle that drove to the left of the markings is solely liable for any damages suffered by any person involved in the collision, regardless of the conditions of the roadway.

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