New York Needs a 3 Foot Passing Law
The Empire State Should Become the 35th State To Legislate the Minimum Space Motorists Should Maintain When Passing Cyclists
by Dave Kraus
You know the feeling, and it happens way too often. You're "JRA" – just riding along – and you hear the vehicle coming up behind you. Your muscles tense and your hands tighten on the bars until they've passed, often way too closely. But hopefully there will be a new law finally passed this year that will lead to safer roads for cycling in New York.
For the fifth year in a row, a bill has been introduced in the NYS Assembly that will set a three-foot standard for the distance a vehicle must pass a cyclist to be considered a "safe pass." At least 34 other states have already passed three-foot laws, but New York is one of the minority of states that has no law defining a specific minimum distance for vehicles to pass cyclists.
Current state law simply reads "a safe distance." But what exactly is a "safe distance?" It's left totally up to the driver of the vehicle to decide. This month Assemblyman Phil Steck of the 110th District (Capital Region) and seven other Assembly members have reintroduced their bill, A547, to establish the three-foot standard. It's a pretty simple bill:
Dave Kraus is a cyclist, photographer, and writer who is always looking for new, interesting routes to experience the outdoors in upstate New York. This article was originally published in Adirondack Sports & Fitness magazine.
Street Banner Says Drive, Walk, Bike…Respectfully
Safety Campaign Encourages Best Practices On Two Feet, Two Wheels, and Four Wheels
With many activities limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, bicycling has seen a surge in popularity as a social, family-friendly activity where people of all ages can get exercise while remaining safely spaced. The Rockland County river villages, long a popular destination for tri-state area cycling enthusiasts, have seen increased usage of its roads and rail trails since The Path for bikes and pedestrians on the Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge opened, attracting 200,000+ visitors since June.
Village and town police departments, local bicycling clubs and Rockland County officials have created a "How to Share the Road Respectfully" safety campaign using street banners in Piermont, South Nyack and Nyack to promote greater respect and awareness among pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. READ MORE
Rockland Bicycling Club is an affiliate member of these national and regional advocacy organizations: