After two vetoes, Governor Jerry Brown finally signed a 3-foot passing law for California that requires vehicle drivers to give adequate space when passing cyclists on the road. Why were previous versions of the bill vetoed before? Because they weren’t watered down to allow drivers to pass closer than three feet when the driver “slows to a speed that is reasonable and prudent.” Note that the law doesn’t specify whether the assessment of a “reasonable and prudent” speed and passing distance is according to the driver or the cyclist.
Putting it another way, in a narrow lane will drivers slow their vehicles down to a speed that would be comfortable for them if they were on a bike and the vehicle were passing them?
Will drivers to abide by the Golden Rule and do unto others as they would have others do unto them?
That begs the question: Would the average American driver even consider riding a bicycle given the street and road conditions available today? Sadly, the answer is no, Americans aren’t riding our inhospitable streets that favor people in cars over people on bikes. Most don’t think it’s safe to ride bicycles on our streets.
But that doesn’t mean that when they’re behind the wheel they’ll wait and change lanes to pass either.
Am I the only one who thinks this way? If not, why do you think some drivers don’t apply the Golden Rule?