The Ohio Bicycle Federation’s Board of Trustees has been working on a number of improvements to Ohio’s “Bike Laws” including a “3 Foot Law.” On September 28, the 3′ Law was introduced in the Ohio legislature.
The OBF is working with Ohio State Sen. Teresa Fedor, a Democrat from Toledo, who became the primary sponsor of the BIll and who introduced the bill tothe media along with Mark Wagoner, a Republican, at a press conference on the Statehouse lawn on September 28.
While the law is not without problems, and critics, already, its introduction is an indicator of a renewed interest in Safety in Columbus that bodes well for cyclists.
The full text of the bill is published below! The key language to note is NOT that “three feet” is the required distance. Rather, the bill reads that “a safe distance” is required when passing ANY vehicle. The bill adds that “When a motor vehicle overtakes a bicycle, the safe passing distance shall be not less than three feet….”
So a “SAFE DISTANCE” is always required. That distance shall never be less than 3 feet, although it COULD be more than three feet…
Good luck and good riding!
The Bike Lawyer [and OBF Board Member]
=== FULL TEXT OF THREE FOOT PASSING BILL ===
LSC 128 1077
128th General Assembly
Regular Session . B. No.
A B I L L
To amend section 4511.27 of the Revised Code to
establish a safe passing distance between a motor
vehicle and a bicycle.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 4511.27 of the Revised Code be
amended to read as follows:
Sec. 4511.27. (A) The following rules govern the overtaking
and passing of vehicles or trackless trolleys proceeding in the
(1) The operator of a vehicle or trackless trolley overtaking
another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the same
direction shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this
section, signal to the vehicle or trackless trolley to be
overtaken, 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 or trackless trolley. When a
motor vehicle overtakes a bicycle, the safe passing distance shall
be not less than three feet.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is
permitted, the The operator of an overtaken vehicle shall give way
to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle at the latter’s
audible signal, and the operator shall not increase the speed of
the operator’s vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking
(3) The operator of a vehicle or trackless trolley overtaking
and passing another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the
same direction on a divided highway as defined in section 4511.35
of the Revised Code, a limited access highway as defined in
section 5511.02 of the Revised Code, or a highway with four or
more traffic lanes, is not required to signal audibly to the
vehicle or trackless trolley being overtaken and passed.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever
violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within
one year of the offense, the offender previously has been
convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or
traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a
misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the
offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more
predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Section 2. That existing section 4511.27 of the Revised Code
is hereby repealed.
. B. No. Page 2
LSC 128 1077