CA bike legislation protects cyclists

File photo

File photo

by Elpin Keshishzadeh

Last Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a statewide legislation that promotes safer conditions for bicyclists on the road, according to CBS Local. The legislation requires all motorists to keep a distance of at least three feet while passing bicyclists.

Executive Director at San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC) Andy Hanshaw told Patch.com of Encinitas the coalition is pleased and supportive of the bill.

The legislation follows the same safety guidelines that have been set by 22 other states and the District of Columbia. According to California law, if three feet of space is not accessible, motorists are mandated to slow down and pass only under circumstances that do not endanger cyclists.

“Along with our statewide advocacy colleagues, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition was happy to support AB1371, which will provide an enhanced safety measure to protect cyclists on the road,” Hanshaw said to Patch.com. “This increased safety measure in conjunction with more infrastructure planned for our region bodes well for all people who ride bicycles in San Diego.”

Although the bill has created a safer environment for bicyclists for the time being, the SDCBC is continuing their fight for stronger safety measures on the road.

“We need to continue our push for safer and better infrastructure, and we continue to push for safety enhancements on the road,” Hanshaw said in a recent phone interview.

The push continues to pay off.

On Friday, the San Diego Association of Governments approved a $200 million investment for the regional bike plan early action program, which will provide the city with bike projects for the next 10 years.

“By approving scenario 1 for the regional bike plan, SANDAG has put into motion essential improvements that will enable folks to ride bicycles more safely on more direct and convenient routes that connect more cities throughout the county,” Hanshaw said to San Diego County News

Some of these future projects include bikeways at the San Diego River Trail, Bayshore Bikeway connections, and connections running from southeast to downtown San Diego.

Bicyclists on campus are also supportive of the recently passed bill.

Pre-nursing sophomore Tricia Gabbard said although cyclists are held responsible under the same laws as motorists, drivers often times forget they share the same road.

“I think it will keep bikers and drivers safe,” Gabbard said.

The legislation will go into effect on Sept. 16, 2014.

 

Photo by Daniel Oines