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Government and Politics

Ohio bicyclists seek 3-foot passing law
House Bill 145 would require motor vehicles to keep a distance of at least three feet while passing a bike rider

Chuck Smith of the Ohio Bicycle Federation says the bill would make it easier for bicyclists to pass through intersections without pedestrian buttons or properly functioning detectors.
Courtesy of Elvert Barnes, Creative Commons
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Bicyclists in Ohio are making a second attempt at a bill that would help ensure bicyclists safety.

House Bill 145 would require motor vehicles to remain at least three feet away while passing a bicyclist. Chuck Smith of the Ohio Bicycle Federation says the bill would also give bike riders equal status with motor vehicles at intersections where lights aren’t functioning properly.

LISTEN: Bicyclists face issues at intersections without pedestrian buttons

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“I used to bike commute to work every day around five in the morning and I could wait at an intersection for a very long time before a car could come by to trip the light. And I was lucky because I had pedestrian buttons to push but there aren’t always pedestrian buttons at intersections.”

Smith says the federation testified on behalf of the bill last May and will hold a summit at the Statehouse in May.
Listener Comments:

A minimum passing clearance law is very sensible, and something that's been passed in over 20 states, plus many other cities. Many motorists underestimate the amount of clearance needed for safety, and/or consider saving their time to be more important than the safety of cyclists. This would make education of motorists much easier.

Regarding non-functioning traffic signal detectors: Motorcyclists as well as bicyclists have had the experience of sitting in a left-turn-only lane, waiting for a green arrow that never comes. Vehicle detectors should be calibrated to detect _all_ legal vehicles, including bicycles. And if a detector is faulty, a person can't be expected to wait forever, or risk a ticket. Proceeding when safe is certainly reasonable.

Posted by: Frank Krygowski (Poland, Ohio) on January 22, 2014 5:01AM
Try staying of the streets in the first place and use bike trails that is what they are made for.

Posted by: Anonymous on January 18, 2014 5:01AM
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