Hardly a week goes by that we don’t hear about a cyclist being hit by a car. It happens way too often even though there are laws protecting the cyclist. One of those laws is Florida Statute 316.083 Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle. This statute, commonly referred to as The Three Foot Law among cyclists, says:
The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal as provided for in s. 316.156, 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. The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle, on audible signal or upon the visible blinking of the headlamps of the overtaking vehicle if such overtaking is being attempted at nighttime, and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
In addition to Florida, the states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Oregon, Illinois, Tennessee, Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin, Arizona, South Carolina, Washington, Oklahoma and Maine have variations of this law. Even though these laws are out there, we see the news reports every week of cyclists getting hit, even killed, by vehicles passing them. Why is that? I believe it’s because most vehicle drivers aren’t aware of the existence of The Three Foot Law. Not to mention the fact that most drivers are always in too big a hurry. What do we do about it? We educate and Joe Mizereck of 3 Feet Please has taken a big step in that endeavor.
An avid cyclist himself, Joe took matters into his own hands and designed the 3 Feet Please cycling jersey. Designed to help educate drivers, the jersey prominently displays “3 Feet Please” on the back and “IT’S THE LAW” on the front. For those of you who live in a state that doesn’t have a 3 foot law, you can get a jersey where “IT’S THE LAW” is omitted on the front. The left sleeve has the “3 Feet Please” text while the right sleeve has the 3 Feet Please logo. The jersey has three back pockets and a full-length zippered front. It’s available in men’s sizes from medium to 3X and women’s from small to large.
Joe has taken a big step in trying to educate drivers in the law. You can help educate them too by picking up one of his jerseys at 3 Feet Please.