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Cyclists hope for passage of new bill in New Jersey

If you ride your bike on the roads to work, for exercise or just for fun, you may know how dangerous it can be. Cars sometimes pass too closely, and when the drivers don't pay attention, your life could be at risk. If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident, then you may be pleased to know that in New Jersey, bicyclists could be receiving a three-foot buffer zone between themselves and passing vehicles.

The May 19 news reports that a new bill is attempting to make the roadways safer for cyclists. The bill would require drivers to stay at least three feet away from the cyclist. This, according to the story, is only one of three bills that were released last week in an attempt to address pedestrian safety. Another of those bills would require cars to slow down or move over when approaching a cyclist or pedestrian, and the third would fine drivers $500 if they commit a road violation that leads to an accident with a cyclist.

The bills have not yet made it to a floor vote. They will have to first have to pass through the Assembly Speaker who decides if they come forward to the floor. This is just the first step in what could lead to safer roadways for cyclists, but some think it's not enough.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, a 2012 law signed in a four-foot passing regulation. Thirty-three other states also have similar laws, although most are three-foot passing laws. According to the news, the laws don't stop the issue from taking place all the time, but it does allow police to cite drivers. The Philadelphia Police Department report citing 836 drivers for the four-foot passing law since it was implemented.

Source:  News Works, "New Jersey bicyclists could get 3 foot buffer zone from cars" Zach Subar, May. 19, 2014

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