From Bicycle South's e-newsletter:
It's Official! 3 Foot Safe Passing Bill Became The Law On July 1st!
Georgia Bikes! and other bicycle advocacy groups were successful this past Georgia Legislative Sesson in getting a Safe Passing Law that requires motorists to maintain at least 3 feet of distance when passing cyclists. Previously, drivers were only required to keep "a safe distance."
Visit the Georgia Bikes! website for more information, but here is a summary of what the Better Bicycling Bill (HB 101) covers:
- Motor vehicles must provide at least three feet of safe passing distance when overtaking a bicyclist
- Cyclists may move to the center of the lane, i.e. take the lane, when surface obstructions, hazards or debris make traveling to the right unsafe
- Cyclists must travel in the direction of traffic while using a designated bicycle lane*
- Bicyclists have the right of way in a designated bicycle lane
- Designated bicycle lanes must be built according to recognized national design standards
* While the new law only specifies that cyclists in bike lanes must travel in the same direction as traffic, bicycles, as vehicles, must abide by all normal vehicular laws. Wrong way travel in any traffic lane is unlawful and unsafe.
The following image illustrates the kind of elbow room the new law protects:
|Photo courtesy of the GA Bikes! website