Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OBF Bill Introduction Today

Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo will introduce a bill on Tuesday, June 23 to modify Ohio revised code 4511.27(A) to require that motorists maintain a three-foot minimum clearance when passing bicycles.

Senators Fedor and Mark Wagoner and Ohio Bicycle Federation Chair Chuck Smith will announce the bill’s introduction during an 11:30 AM Tuesday press conference on the West Lawn of the State House in Columbus.

The bill is one of eight Ohio Bicycle Federation proposals to improve Ohio cycling given to Senator Fedor by Smith during a May 15-17 bicycle tour from Toledo to Columbus.

For questions regarding the proposed legislation, check the Ohio Bicycle Federation web site at www.ohiobike.org or email Smith at chuck@ohiobike.org.


  1. Hallelujah!! It's about TIME!! I want to see motorists start getting ticketed for passing too close. I would have had a handful ticketed on my commute to work today... Why are motorists, even in the valley, so rude?!?! I'm tired of getting nearly clipped on the shoulder by people who dont want to share the road with me... and I ride to the FAR RIGHT. I only ride in the middle to turn left (or if there's no traffic behind me, but I always move right over if I see someone).

    I cant wait until some of these motorists start getting ticketed... It's not every motorist, but it's enough of them... I mean, I do not exaggerate, I felt the breeze of at least six cars today that passed me too closely on Riverview Road and Snowville.

  2. Here's an update from Chuck Smith:

    "The introduction of our Ohio Bicycle Federation bill to enforce three
    feet of clearance when motorists pass Ohio bicyclists and the associated
    press conference have been postponed until 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June
    30 due to the funeral tomorrow for Senator Robert Schuler."

    If and when the bill does pass, it's largely a symbolic gesture, in my opinion, although I don't have a problem with symbolic gestures. The announcement and press generated by a new law will generate awareness, which hopefully results in safer roads. I don't ever expect to see a driver get ticketed -- when was the last time you saw a driver get ticketed for not using a turn signal, going over the speed limit anywhere other than the freeway, doing a slow roll through a stop sign, etc...?

  3. Heh. True enough. I've seen a bunch of crazy driving out there. My "favorite" is when a driver passes me quickly on a double yellow, only to turn in a driveway or road just a few feet in front of me, causing me to have to slow down to avoid hitting them. That has to be illegal. If someone tried that to me while I was in my car, it would definitely result in a crash.

  4. Some states have passed laws that specifically address the situation you're talking about! That may be in a later proposal that OBF is working on...

  5. Chuck obviously never encountered the Bay Village Police Department. They regularly ticket people for speeding on Lake Road -- and one fine BVPD officer wrote me a ticket last summer for a slow roll through a stop sign.

  6. Tracey, sorry for your tickets, but I have to say, I'm glad to hear it! By the way, the opinion about "symbolic gestures" was my words, not Chuck Smith's...

  7. In a car, I'm always getting tickets. But they are mostly for speeding (The city of Peninsula has my license plate number memorized...). I rue the day that I get a ticket for speeding on my bike. I think that would be funny. Until I had to pay the ticket, of course.

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  9. I am sure that the police won't be out trying to enforce this law by keeping an eye on cars as they pass cyclists. Where it will come in to play is when there is an incident where a cyclist is struck, it will form a foundation to prosecute the driver of the car.

  10. Well, that would be good. It has been my observation that there are not stiff enough penalties when drivers hit cyclists. The driver who hit and killed the cyclist on TOSRV the year before last pretty much got off with the minimum sentence. And she did a hit-skip initially. It's like they are excusing her behavior since he was off route... It sends to message, to me, that it's okay to hit and kill a driver if he's not on the official ride route. Um. No!

  11. Would his law also apply to bicycles passing cars?
    Most of my cycling miles are in the city. I'm not about to wait behind all the cars on the Detroit Superior Bridge every evening.


  12. Latest news from OBF Chair Chuck Smith:

    Ohio Cyclists,

    I just received word from Senator Teresa Fedor's office that the introduction of our bill to require that motorists leave a three foot clearance when passing bicyclists has been postponed again.

    This time, it was a conflict with budget hearings and end-of-fiscal year announcements which would overshadow our announcement. I will let you know when a new date is set.


    - Chuck Smith