Last month Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1371. The new law requires motorists to leave a three foot buffer when passing a cyclist traveling in the same direction. The motorist may not cross a double yellow line; if there isn’t enough room, the motorist cannot pass. Brown had vetoed previous versions of the bill.
A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.
The fine for violation of the law is a measly $35. If a collision results, the fine goes up, but only to $220. Other states have similar laws. The trouble is that they are seldom enforced, unless a cyclist presses the issue.