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SB-1464 Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance.(2011-2012)

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SB1464:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  August 31, 2012
Passed  IN  Senate  August 29, 2012
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 27, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 06, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 19, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  April 24, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  April 09, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1464


Introduced  by  Senator Lowenthal
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Chesbro)

February 24, 2012


An act to amend Sections 21460 and 21750 of, and to add Section 21750.1 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1464, Lowenthal. Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance.
(1) Under existing law, a driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction is required to pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, subject to certain limitations and exceptions. A violation of this provision is an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 for a first conviction, and up to a $250 fine for a 3rd and subsequent conviction occurring within one year of 2 or more prior infractions.
This bill would recast this provision as to overtaking and passing a bicycle by requiring, with specified exceptions, the driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway to pass in compliance with specified requirements applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and to do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, and the surface and width of the highway. The bill would prohibit, with specified exceptions, the driver of the motor vehicle that is overtaking or passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. The bill would make a violation of these provisions an infraction punishable by a $35 fine. The bill would also require the imposition of a $220 fine on a driver if a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist causing bodily harm to the bicyclist, and the driver is found to be in violation of the above provisions.
(2) Existing law prohibits a person from driving a vehicle to the left of double parallel solid lines, or double parallel lines, one of which is broken, except as provided. Notwithstanding that prohibition, existing law permits a driver to cross those double parallel lines if the driver is turning to the left at any intersection or into or out of a driveway or private road or making a U-turn under the rules governing that turn.
This bill would prohibit a person driving a vehicle from crossing over any part of any double parallel solid white lines except in the above situations or when entering or exiting designated areas of exclusive or preferential use lanes, as provided. The bill would permit a driver of a motor vehicle to cross double parallel lines to pass a person operating a bicycle in the same direction, if in compliance with a specified provision.
Because this bill would create a new crime and would expand the scope of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21460 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21460.
 (a) If double parallel solid yellow lines are in place a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of those lines, except as permitted in this section.
(b) If double parallel solid white lines are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not cross any part of those double solid white lines, except as permitted in this section or Section 21655.8.
(c) If double parallel lines, one of which is broken, are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of those lines, except as follows:
(1) If the driver is on the side of the roadway in which the broken line is in place, the driver may cross over the double lines or drive to the left of the double lines if the driver is overtaking or passing other vehicles.
(2) As provided in Section 21460.5.
(d) (1) The markings, as specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c), do not prohibit a driver from crossing the markings, if either of the following applies:
(A) The driver is turning to the left at an intersection or into or out of a driveway or private road.
(B) The driver is making a U-turn under the rules governing that turn.
(2) The markings, as specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c), shall be disregarded if authorized signs have been erected designating off-center traffic lanes as permitted under Section 21657.
(e) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate painted lines described in this section if the markers are placed in accordance with standards established by the Department of Transportation.
(f) The driver of a motor vehicle on a two-lane highway may drive to the left of either of the markings specified in subdivision (a) or (c) to pass a person operating a bicycle proceeding in the same direction if in compliance with Section 21751 and if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The left side of the road is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit overtaking and passing of the bicycle to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
(2) The driver operates the motor vehicle to the left of either of the markings specified in subdivision (a) or (c) only to the extent reasonably necessary to comply with Section 21750.1.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21750 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21750.
 The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle, subject to the limitations and exceptions set forth in this article.

SEC. 3.

 Section 21750.1 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

21750.1.
 (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Three Feet for Safety Act.”
(b) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking and passing a bicycle that is proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall pass in compliance with the provisions of this article applicable to overtaking and passing a vehicle, and shall do so at a safe distance that does not interfere with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle, having due regard for the size and speed of the motor vehicle and the bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and the surface and width of the highway.
(c) 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.
(d) If the driver of a motor vehicle is unable to comply with subdivision (c), due to traffic or roadway conditions, the driver shall slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and may pass only when doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle, taking into account the size and speed of the motor vehicle and bicycle, traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and surface and width of the highway.
(e) (1) A violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d) is an infraction punishable by a fine of thirty-five dollars ($35).
(2) If a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle, and the driver of the motor vehicle is found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c), or (d), a two-hundred-twenty-dollar ($220) fine shall be imposed on that driver.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.