California proposes new law to help protect cyclists on the road

Bicycle accidents are common in cities with high traffic. Many cities in California are filled with everyday commuters, many of whom ride their bikes. Unfortunately, due to the congestion that plagues California roads, some of these cyclists are at risk of a bike accident.

Cyclists can easily be tucked away in a vehicle's blind spot. Moreover, it is relatively easy to come within a dangerous distance of a biker. However, when a car is up against a cyclist, the car almost always wins. Even a simple clip could turn into fatal consequences.

The good news is that the state is making legislative efforts to curb bicycle collisions on busy roads. There is a new movement toward bicycle advocacy, which aims to hold vehicles and cyclists to similar passing standards. California Assembly Bill 1371 aims to mandate at least three feet of room between a car and bicycle when a motorist attempts to pass a cyclist on the road. The new law proposal concerning cyclists was introduced by assembly member Steven Bradford back in the early part of 2013; however, lawmakers have not made an official ruling on the bill.

At this time, the law is somewhat confusing regarding exactly how much space should be allotted between a cyclist and motorist. If the bill clarifies the law, this may help cyclists have defined legal recourse in the future. Moreover, vehicles are held to a similar standard when it comes to passing other motorists on the road. Therefore, advocates of the bill support the same protections for bikers.

The bill in question has been amended and reconstructed approximately five times. Soon, the state legislature will render a ruling on the proposal.

While bicyclists may appear to be a nuisance on the street, they are essentially responsible for following the same road rules as other vehicles. For this reason, it makes sense that motorists should respect cyclists in the same way that they respect other vehicle drivers on California roads.

Due to the current ambiguities tucked away in California laws, an injured bicyclist may have trouble in pursuing recourse against an inattentive or careless motorist. Hopefully, lawmakers will transform the law to provide protection for harmed bikers.

If you have been injured in a serious cycling or car accident, you may benefit from speaking with a qualified personal injury law attorney. Even under current laws, an attorney can investigate your accident and assess your right to potential recovery. To learn more, speak to a professional in your area.