Last week, CalBike hosted a bike safety workshop led by League Certified Instructor Bonnie Wehmann. Set in the streets of Sacramento, the workshop was designed to develop a shared understanding of where it is safest to ride a bicycle in a vehicle travel lane. Participants included staff members from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), State Assembly Transportation Committee, and the offices of Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Richard Bloom.
CalBike staff led the workshop's afternoon discussion on opportunities to clarify the interpretation of Vehicle Code Section 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride to the right of a travel lane except in certain important situations, like when there is an obstacle to avoid or when the travel lane is too narrow for a car to pass the bicyclist--giving the requisite three feet--within the lane.
CalBike is committed to protecting bicyclists’ rights. In the new year, we will continue working with the CHP and legislative staff to agree on the safest interpretation of this section of the law for bicyclists, or to rewrite it to make it more clear.
e-Bikes used by workshop attendees were provided by Practical Cycle, Sacramento, CA.
Safe bicyclists know that riding in the center of a narrow right lane is legal and often the safest place to ride, but motorists and police don’t know this because the law is poorly written.
Too many times, they harass or even cite bicyclists doing this. It’s not fair to the victims of harassment, and it’s unsafe because it causes most people to ride in the dangerous edge of the roadway.
We will clean up the law by clarifying its intent, putting bicyclists’ safety needs first.
In 2013, after three years of intensive legislative advocacy, our Three Feet for Safety Act became law. The law requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing people riding bikes. It went into effect in October of 2014, and our focus since then has been on getting the word out through our Give Me 3 Campaign.
This law can only be effective if people know about it. When the law went into effect, we successfully placed stories in 73 news outlets in California and nationally, and immediately succeeded in getting the California Traffic Control Devices Committee to approve a “Give Bikes 3 Feet” sign; the first sign was placed in Napa County in late 2014.
In 2016, we’re pushing for more signs. Know a spot where a Give Bikes 3 Feet sign is needed? Submit ideas here.
We have distributed 20,000 stickers, bumper stickers, and window clings, and are currently developing an updated design, to be released in September 2016.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the waiting list for the next batch of stickers or if you have an idea for a design.