3 Foot Passing Law Introduced in Ohio

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!

Steve Magas

The Bike Lawyer [and OBF Board Member]

3-feet-please-715726

===  FULL TEXT OF THREE FOOT PASSING BILL ===

LSC 128 1077

128th General Assembly

Regular Session . B. No.

2009-2010

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.

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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:

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Sec. 4511.27. (A) The following rules govern the overtaking

and passing of vehicles or trackless trolleys proceeding in the

same direction:

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(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.

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(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

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the operator’s vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking

vehicle.

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(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.

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(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.

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Section 2. That existing section 4511.27 of the Revised Code

is hereby repealed.

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. B. No. Page 2

LSC 128 1077

Printed from: http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/uncategorized/2009/09/3-foot-passing-law-introduced-in-ohio/ .
© 2016.

3 Comments   »

  • Gary huber says:

    It is not clear form your article if this is an active law or simply a bill that is proposed but yet to be voted on. Could you clarify.
    Thanks
    Gary

  • Steve Magas says:

    Thanks for the note Gary. The Three Foot was set to be introduced last week – however, at the last minute the Three Foot Law and another bike law proposal were added to a huge budget bill that is percolating in the House right now. This is an excellent result since we KNOW that bill is going to pass- however, the amendment can be excised by opponents, so we’ll be watching closely and fighting hard to keep this in the bill.
    So to answer your question, which is more complex than it seems:
    A. Three Foot Laws are currently IN PLACE in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo in the municipal code, and are being considered in other cities.
    B. At the State level, there is no separate Three Foot Law bill, however, the Three Foot Law is pending as an amendment to another bill!
    THANKS for asking!

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