Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three foot passing bill to be heard Wednesday

According to VBF, House Transportation Sub-Committee 2 will discuss HB 1048, the three foot passing bill, tomorrow, Wed. Feb. 10 at 7 a.m. If you haven't done so already, please contact Delegate Thomas Rust (Herndon) 804-698-1086, deltrust@house.state.virginia.gov to ask him to support HB 1048. Two feet is not enough room for motorists to pass bicyclists, especially at high speeds or when there is strong wind. See HB 1048 talking points for more info.

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Delegate Rust responded to my email and said he noted my support; however, he did indicate that the 3-foot rule will be "as a practical matter, difficult to enforce." Just FYI in case there is any discussion around that point.

Thanks for the feedback. VBF posted some good talking points on the three foot passing bill, one of which notes that the main purpose of the change is to let motorists know to give cyclists a wider berth:

"Educational Value: Neither drivers, cyclists or law enforcement officers carry measuring devices to know exactly how closely one vehicle is passing another, but 3 feet seems to be a recognizable educational tool to give the drivers the message to give the cyclists a wider berth (whereas any collision provides the needed proof that the passing distance was inadequate). If the changes to following too closely and passing too closely are adopted, DMV's Virginia Drivers Manual and state Drivers Test can incorporate this information."

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