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Bicycle Safety: Proposed Three-Foot Rule

Jun 23, 2016

Senator Thomas F. O'Mara and Assemblyman Phillip Steck submitted amendments to the Vehicle & Traffic Law to establish a three-foot safe passing distance when cars overtake a bicyclist. The law currently requires that drivers passing cyclists maintain a “safe distance” from the bike.  As this rule is vague and difficult to enforce, the bicycling community has mobilized to champion passage of the amendments and to make the collision of a motor vehicle with a person operating a bicycle definitive evidence of a legal violation.

Despite significant efforts by the New York Bicycling Coalition, the amendments were not considered in Albany this legislative session, but the Coalition promises to bring the issue back to the fore in future sessions. If interested, please contact your assembly member to advocate for the new law.

Bicycle collisions with automobiles can result in serious injuries or fatalities. Every person riding a bicycle on a New York roadway is granted all of the related rights, but is also subject to all of the same duties and responsibilities as the driver of an automobile. We encourage you to bike and drive safely and carry sufficient automobile insurance coverage before setting out on your bike this summer.

Our firm represents people seriously injured in automobile, motorcycle and bicycle collisions. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another, please contact our office for a no-fee consultation.