Recently Georgia changed its law to provide that motorists passing anyone on a bicycle must pass at a safe distance of three feet (thirty six tiny inches). This now makes 13 states, including our neighbors in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, which have enacted legislation defining safe passing distance as three feet when drivers are passing a bicyclist as simple life saving provisions for the citizens of their states. However, right in the middle of the map and standing out is Alabama which refuses to extend the simple protection of thirty six tiny little inches of safety when a large rumbling motor vehicle is passing a small child on a bicycle, a commuter cycling to work or a senior riding a bicycle to volunteer at a hospital. This MUST change NOW. The lives of our citizen bicyclists is not a political issue, it is not conservative or liberal. This is about the safety of everyone regardless of politics, wealth, religion or social status. This is a human issue.
Tell your Governor, Senator and Representative that you want them to support an amendment to the Alabama Code that defines safe passing distance of a bicyclist as three feet. It is time that Alabama provide the same safety for Alabama bicyclists that all of our neighbors provide for their bicyclists. It is time to protect our children, our commuters, our recreational and competitive cyclists, our seniors, our families, and every human being who rides a bicycle in Alabama for whatever reason. It is time to recognize that people on bicycles are vulnerable to harm from large vehicles and that drivers owe a special duty to take care of those who would suffer more in a collision. This is one small step toward making our streets safer and more complete for users of all kinds whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, young or old, urban or rural. Please help us take this first vital step toward change. It is not the responsibility of the cyclist to avoid being hit by the driver; it is the driver's responsibility to avoid hitting the cyclist, pedestrian or child. Make them responsible to pass safely.