Thursday, February 11, 2010

Three foot passing bill clears House Transportation Committee

According to VBF the three foot passing bill passed the House Transportation Committee by vote of 11-10. Earlier it passed the Transportation Subcommittee by a vote of 4-2. Now is the time to contact your delegate to urge them to support HB 1048: Motor vehicles; increases passing distance when approaching bicycles, etc. If you don't know how to contact your delegate, visit the Who's My Legislator site.

Key issues from the VBF 1048 Talking Points:
Non-Motorized Drivers Are More Vulnerable and May Naturally Wobble to Stay Balanced: On the other hand, the bicyclist (and similar road user) lacks occupant protection, resulting in small miscalculations or errors having catastrophic consequences for the bicyclist. Moreover, two-wheeled or single-track vehicles such as bicycles must necessarily wobble some to stay balanced, whereas four-wheeled vehicles don't wobble The catastrophic results of a collision dictate that a greater passing distance be required when a motor vehicle passes a bicyclist.

Wind Blast: The wind blast from a large truck passing with two feet at high speed is far more problematic for a cyclist than for a motor vehicle. Furthermore, wind blasts from large passing vehicles can cause bicycles and mopeds to wobble even more than usual.

Differences in Typical Speed Differentials: Bicycles and mopeds generally pass other vehicles at relatively low speeds, whereas motor vehicles may pass non-motorized vehicles at speed differentials exceeding 45 MPH.
[Update 2/12/2010: See article at, Bill requires more room for bicyclists



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