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The California Highway Patrol issued a press release about the three foot law that takes effect on September 16, 2014. They provide two paragraphs about the law, and three paragraphs with six bullet points explaining how children on bikes should be more responsible for traffic safety than the entitled, whining adults are in their automobiles.
I’ve added the highlighting. Note also the instruction for children to “ride as far right as possible.”
The onus of responsibility on traffic safety lies on those controlling the more dangerous equipment. Teaching children the rules of the road is fine, but a press release directed to motorists reminding them of their ethical responsibility not to kill people is probably not the right place for this instruction.
You can view the original here.
When the City of Dallas passed their “Safe Passing” ordinance, the DPD also seemed to put the responsibility on cyclists (though not specifically children). Here is how they announced it on their website.
Why would CHP use safekids.org for their bike safety information in regards to the 3 foot law, when there are so many more authoritative sources for bike safety? Because maybe they don’t like the law, and safekids is the one of the few official looking sources that incorrectly state “far to the right as possible” instead of the safe and legal “far to the right as practicable”. With hundreds of highly qualified bike safety experts in the state, CHP went instead to safekids.org, who does not even have someone dedicated to work on bike safety. Below is a list of what they have email contacts for…..notice no bike safety contact.
Sports & Recreation Safety
Safekids.org states “Stay as far to the right as possible”. Possible vs practicable is not nitpicking, its is a huge night and day difference when its comes to safety. To a kid, possible means the door zone, but safekids mentions nothing about door zones. The place where kids commonly ride are near schools, arriving or leaving school, when the street is lined with parked cars. Not just any parked cars, but ones that have a very high probability of dooring due to the high turnover rate and rushed state that parents are in. To a kid, possible may also be interpreted as using gaps between parked cars….pulling into the gap to get close to the curb, then popping back out before reaching the next parked car, an extremely bad practice for multiple reasons.
By substituting “possible” for the “practicable” (from VC Section 21202), and at the same time failing to mention dangers like dooring, safekids.org is putting many kids at risk when their misinformation is distributed statewide by the CHP.
See these links:
Then if you agree, write safekids.org and ask them to please correct their information regarding far to the right. Below are the ‘sports’ and ‘pedestrian’ contacts.