California Drivers Must Give Bikes 3-Foot Buffer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Californians will now need to take extra care to steer clear of cyclists. Under statewide regulations taking effect Tuesday, drivers must give bikes a buffer zone of at least 3 feet while passing. Cited violators will face a fine of $35, which could turn into $220 if a collision occurs in the buffer zone. California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Edgar Figueroa tells the Los Angeles Times that officers will be watching cars and cyclists and have been trained to gauge distances by sight during their training. Cyclists may legally use a full traffic lane on California roads but must follow the same laws as cars, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. California is the 24th states to enact the 3-foot passing law.