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Iowa law would make drivers give cyclists more space

http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-law-would-make-drivers-give-cyclists-more-space/article_79edbdb7-fb7b-5182-9d61-a575c43a5c6b.html

SIOUX CITY | Bicyclist Frank Brinkerhoff still remembers when he was nearly hit on Morningside Avenue. He estimates the vehicle came within 6 inches.

“There were chills going up my spine,” said Brinkerhoff, of Sioux City.

Under a proposed law, that driver could be fined at least $100 — and much more if Brinkerhoff was hurt.

16 Replies

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CyclingRoberto, February 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

We have a “four-foot law” here in PA. Unless the LEO’s are willing to enforce it, the distance may as well be an inch as a mile. The only citation I’ve heard of in over a year was issued to a motorist after killing a cyclist.


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#477179

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Ed Kanitra, February 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I will honestly say that I have only had one close call, which is ironic given that most NJ drivers are a******s!


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#477180

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CyclingRoberto, February 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I’ve been hit Ed, and I’ve had many friends hit, club members die, so it’s a reality. Nearly 700 per year in the USA are struck and killed while cycling. If that many people were dying in elevators, it would be front page news.


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#477297

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ts, February 18, 2013 at 11:44 pm

We have had a 3 foot law here in CO for about a year and a half, and I honestly can’t see that it’s made any difference. I doubt if many non-cyclists know about it. In general, most motorists here are courteous enough, but I try not to give any of them a chance at me if I can help it. All it takes is one.


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#477306

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KC, February 19, 2013 at 6:51 am

Unless the law passes and is coupled with a massive promotional campaign to let motorists (and law enforcement officers) know about it, it won’t do any good. We have a 3-foot law in GA, but only cyclists seem to be aware of it. As with most cyclists, I’m sure, I’ve had a couple close calls and numerous people tell me to get out of the road (and believe me, I stick as far to the right as possible as much as possible and even tend to stick to less traveled country roads). Worst yet, though, I’ve had a law enforcement officer tell me there is no such thing as a 3-foot rule in GA. It’s kind of hard to enforce a law if you don’t know about the law, I suppose.


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#477374

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Iceman, February 19, 2013 at 7:38 am

Texas would have had a 3 or 4 foot law several years ago. That idiot Rick Perry vetoed after the legislature passed it . And he says he is a biker!


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#477376

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jwsknk, February 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

one of the issues the Iowa Bicycle Coalition is working on. the 3 foot rule would apply to all slow moving traffic, Amish Buggies, farm impliments & bikes

http://iowabicyclecoalition.org/legislation/


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#477401

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ts, February 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

“Texas would have had a 3 or 4 foot law several years ago. That idiot Rick Perry vetoed after the legislature passed it.”

He probably thought it had something to do with the metric system.


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#477475

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Ragbrai Nation, February 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Unless it’s on cam it won’t hold water


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#477489

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Ed Kanitra, February 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

CyclingRoberto: I’ve been hit Ed, and I’ve had many friends hit, club members die, so it’s a reality. Nearly 700 per year in the USA are struck and killed while cycling. If that many people were dying in elevators, it would be front page news.

I hope you realize that I was NOT making light of the situation! I was simply stating a fact that I have been very lucky.


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#477553

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Ed Kanitra, February 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

Bicycle Friendly State Program ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. States receive feedback, technical assistance, training and further encouragement to improve their bicycling legislation, projects, and programs.

Bicycle Friendly States


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#477554

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Tsnap Xip, February 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I’ll take any law that gives me or my cycling friends a safer environment in which to cycle, even if it’s only a 1% increase in survival.

Cycling Roberto, same here, 4 guys I know of dead from being hit while riding. One was one of my best friends.

The 3ft or 4ft law doesn’t stop the insane bike haters, but it could just give the reasonable drivers another reason to swing wide when passing.


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#478752

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jake d, February 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I agree 100% Tsnap. The idiots are always going to be just that. It’s the majority of responsible motorist that maybe haven’t looked at it from the cyclist point of view that these laws will have the greatest impact.


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#478762

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CyclingRoberto, February 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

OK, there are benefits to the law. I called the local school bus company to inform their dispatcher that the law allowed school buses to cross the yellow line to comply with the four-foot law. I’m happy to tell you that school buses have given me noticeably more room. In addition, if you are the victim of an impact with a motorist, you can use the law to help recover damages. However, in most cases, the average motorist is unaware of the law. Posting “Share The Road” signs doesn’t do the job. Only 20% of signs get read in the first place. Public service announcements on TV and in the newspaper can get the message out once the law is passed. We haven’t seen that here in PA. Seems it should be part of the legislation.


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#478822

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djdingo, March 1, 2013 at 2:25 am

This is a great idea but I don’t see how it can be enforced. Unless there’s a cop behind the car passing you too close or you have a video cam on your bike, I don’t see how it can be enforced.

I hate riding on the road as much as the next guy, it’s always dangerous. Last summer I rode to work on my bike as much as I could and EVERY SINGLE DAY I rode to work, either on the way there or on the way back, I almost got hit by a car, every single time. I’m not joking. I rode right and stayed off the streets as much as I could, rode mostly sidewalks and trails. When you’re on a bike and around traffic you might as well be invisible and you have to remember that when you are out there.

If a car passes you on your bike and you can touch the car with your hand, they are too close. Period. Car drivers think only cars can be on the road and are aggressive towards bicyclists. What it comes down to is that if they get too close they get a scratch on their car while you get injured or killed. It’s not something to joke about.


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