As reported on Lehigh Valley Live, Pennsylvania’s 4-Foot buffer goes into effect today:
A Pennsylvania law slated to go into effect Monday requires drivers to allow a 4-foot berth between their vehicles and bicyclists. The legislation will be tricky, if not impossible, to enforce, according to a Lehigh Valley cycling advocate.
The law makes Pennsylvania the 20th state to legislate a distance between motorists and bicyclists, but the Keystone State’s buffer is a foot larger than any other state.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.
I have long believed that passing-buffer laws like this mean well, but are incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. My experience with the 3-foot buffer in Florida, which went into effect in October 2006, suggests that the law didn’t really do anything to change motorist behavior. Furthermore, I have not heard of an example where the law was upheld or used in legal proceedings as part of a bicycle/motor vehicle collision case.
Such laws CAN be beneficial to all road users, but only if enforcement is done in a logical and fair manner, and is coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign to get the word out to bicyclists and motor-vehicle operators. What do you think? Leave your comments below.