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3-Foot Bicycle Buffer Zone in Effect in California

By Ross Jurewitz on October 7, 2014

As an avid bicyclist in San Diego, you have probably had a few too many close calls where a car whizzed past you only a hair’s breadth away. Up until September 22, this behavior, although clearly dangerous, was not exactly illegal – state law previously expected motorists to keep a “safe distance” when passing a bicyclist, though it was not specified exactly what constituted this measure.

Fortunately, statewide regulations requiring drivers to give bikes a buffer zone of at least three feet while passing are now in effect. This means bicyclists in California, which is now one of 24 states to enact the buffer zone regulation, have more legal protections on the road.

However, some bicyclists are doubtful of whether the recent law will have any significant effect on their safety.

A 68-year-old Californian bicyclist said, “I’ll feel safer when I see the numbers, and it’s actually working. Right now, I’m leery.”

Motorists that violate this regulation may be subject to a fine of $35, or in case of a collision, $220. This is certainly an improvement over no penalties at all; however, it remains to be seen if the relatively small fine will successfully discourage common negligent driving habits, such as distracted driving, speeding and failure to yield.

Every day, bicyclists face the risk of being hit by rule-breaking or inattentive drivers. The consequences are often serious. It is not uncommon for bicycle accident victims to face exorbitant medical fees and lost work time in addition to other damages.

If you or someone you love has suffered considerable losses in bicycle-car collision, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Jurewitz Law Group today to find out whether you have a valid personal injury claim. We offer free initial consultations at (888) 233-5020.

Ross Jurewitz

Ross Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.

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