Sunday, August 5, 2007

Florida 3-Foot Law

We have had many requests for the 3-foot law, so here it is:

*OVERTAKING AND PASSING A VEHICLE
[§§316.083, 316.085, & 366.0875]
The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the
left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again
drive to the right side of the roadway until safely
clear of the overtaken vehicle. A driver overtaking a
bicycle must maintain a horizontal clearance of at
least 3 feet [§316.083]. Three feet is a minimum
"safe distance" for passing a cyclist under typical
urban conditions; when the passing vehicle is large,
towing a trailer, or traveling at much higher speed,
greater lateral clearance is needed.
No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center
of the roadway in overtaking and passing another
vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless
the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming
traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit passing
to be made without interfering with the operation
of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
In every event an overtaking vehicle must
return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as
practicable and, in the event the passing movement
involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles
approaching from the opposite direction, before
coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle
[§316.085].
The prohibition of passing in a no-passing zone
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does not apply when an obstruction exists making it
necessary to drive to the left of the center of the
highway [§316.0875(3)]. Thus, when a cyclist is
traveling so slowly as to constitute an "obstruction,"
a motorist may cross the center line in a no-passing
zone to pass the cyclist if the way is clear to do so,
i.e., when it can be seen that any oncoming traffic is
far enough ahead that the motorist could finish
passing before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming
vehicle.
About 1 percent of bicycle-motor vehicle crashes
involve motorists who misjudge the width or
length necessary to pass a cyclist. Close passing
causes some cyclists to "hug the curb," or
ride on the sidewalk, where crash risk actually
increases.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I would be interested to hear how this is enforced and other experiences.