If you’re riding within three feet of a cyclist you now may be violating a new statute designed to make the roads safer for bicyclists in Ohio.
HB 154, which passed in December, makes Ohio one of more than half of the states to put in place a three-foot passing law and brings together municipal efforts to legislate the safety of bicyclists. It updates a previous state law requiring drivers to pass bicyclists at a safe distance.
Indiana has considered similar proposed statutes but have not been considered and adopted as law by the legislature. Under this new Ohio law: “The operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle shall pass to the left at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. When a motor vehicle overtakes and passes a bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance.”
The three-foot passing distance is a standard supported both by the American Automobile Association and the League of American Bicyclists.
Supporters of Ohio’s new law believe it will be crucial for helping to prevent bicycle accidents, but that it also will raise awareness about how prevalent bicycles are on some of Ohio’s most dangerous roads.
It’s time for Indiana to pass and adopt a similar statute to protect those who enjoy cycling.