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3 Feet Rule for Bicycles

Ghost Bicycle-New Orleans 2018

Ghost Bicycle-New Orleans 2018

The Colin Goodier Protection Act was created in honor of Dr. Colin Goodier who was killed on June 9, 2008, when a truck passing Colin, who was riding on his bike, entered into the bicycle training route. Shortly after this accident Colin’s family, as well as others affected by similar tragic incidents, began pushing Louisiana to follow in the footsteps of 12 other states in passing this law. Nationally, two percent of traffic fatalities involve bicycles, a statistic that has pushed states into providing more safety provisions for bicyclists. The law is designed to protect bicyclists on the road by requiring passing vehicles to maintain a three-foot distance between themselves and the rider. Violations of this law can result in a fine of up to $250.00.

LA R.S. 32:76.1.  Limitations on passing bicycles

A three foot distance must be present between the passing automobile and slower traveling bicyclists.

3 Foot Distance Must Be Present Between Passing Car & Bike

A.  This Section shall be known as the Colin Goodier Protection Act.

B.  The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.  An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

C.  The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, is directed to include a summary of this Section in any instructional publication for drivers.

D.  The Department of Transportation and Development is directed to place signs in areas frequently used by bicyclists in an effort to make motorists aware of the need to share the road with bicyclists.

E.  The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is directed to engage in a public awareness campaign to notify motorists and bicyclists of the provisions of this Section.

F.  Any person who violates this Section shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars.

Acts 2009, No. 147, §1; Acts 2010, No. 618, §1.

The City of New Orleans passed a similar ordinance in 2017

Sec. 154-406. – Limitations on passing bicycles.

The operator of a motor vehicle, when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall exercise due care while the motor vehicle is passing the bicycle and shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle. An operator of a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle traveling in the same direction in a no-passing zone only when it is safe to do so.

(M.C.S., Ord. No. 27363, § 1, 4-20-17)

Contact an Experienced New Orleans Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you need help with your Louisiana bicycle accident or car accident, call Lavis Law Firm toll-free at 866-558-9151 or submit your online form. Please keep in mind that you may be facing important legal deadlines.

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