VIDEO: Bicycle safety tips

VIDEO: Bicycle safety tips

Michele Ellson

Yideo courtesy of Bike Walk Alameda.

California's new "Three Feet for Safety" law went into effect this week; the law requires drivers to give cyclists a three-foot berth as they pass or to slow to what the California Highway Patrol calls a "reasonable and prudent" speed and to pass only when it won't endanger a cyclist. Drivers caught violating the law will get a $35 ticket plus fees, and if they cause a collision that injures a cyclist, they could face a $220 ticket - plus fees that could push the cost of the violation to $959, according to Bike Walk Alameda.

“This bill is a great reminder that we all have to be responsible users of the road." said Lucy Gigli, president of Bike Walk Alameda. “I bike on Oak Street frequently and I am constantly honked at and passed unsafely. I hope awareness of this new law will change that.”

Californians make two million bike trips a day - a 50 percent increase over 2000, the California Household Transportation Survey. And the city has been working to make it safer and easier for cyclists to ride here, with projects including a planned cycle track along Shore Line and Westline drives.

"Alameda's flat terrain makes it easy to bike to work, school or the grocery store, or just for fun. The new ‘Three Feet for Safety’ law requiring motorists to stay at least three feet away when passing a bicycle will help keep our cyclists safe," Vice Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft said.

Bike Walk Alameda produced this video to show cyclists ways of riding safely on Alameda's streets, and the California Highway Patrol issued safety tips for cyclists and drivers listed below. Meanwhile, you can read the new law here.


- Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Obey all traffic laws. Cyclists are subject to the same laws and fines as motor vehicles.
- Be predictable, be visible, stay alert at all times.
- When traveling slower than other traffic, allow faster traffic to pass when safe.

- Watch out for bicyclists. Cyclists have the right to use all roads except where specifically excluded (freeways, etc.)
- Give at least three feet when passing, or slow down to a reasonable and safe speed.
- Be patient. If a roadway is too narrow for a cyclist to share with a vehicle, the cyclist has the right to ride in the center of the roadway.

Source: California Highway Patrol