Cycling can be inherently dangerous when the roads are unsafe. In cities where bike laws are not enforced, cyclists are essentially left without protection. Though they can take steps to be safe, such as riding in a bike lane or wearing a helmet, there is no replacement for excellent biking laws.

California has the Three Feet for Safety Act, which is designed to give cyclists more space. Enacted in 2014, the act requires vehicles that are passing a cyclist heading in the same direction give that cyclist at least three feet of distance between any part of the two vehicles or the operators.

If the operator of the vehicle cannot do that because of the conditions on the road, they can still pass when it is safe to do so. They must slow to a safe speed and pass only when it won’t endanger the cyclist.

If this act is violated, there is a $35 fine. If an accident happens because of a violation of the act, then the driver can be fined $220. Of course, on top of that, the cyclist would potentially have a right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, or a family could use a wrongful death lawsuit. So, it makes sense for drivers to remember this law and to follow it at all times.

It is laws like this one that make it easier for cyclists to use the roads and to be treated as normal road users. They have a right to be on the roads, so long as they are following the traffic laws. They deserve to be safe when they’re exercising their right to travel.