Welcome to SafePassing.com!
Shawnee Trail Cycling Club's mission involves promoting efforts to educate and inform cyclists in all aspects of cycling safety. Along that line, we have created these pages to provide information to cyclists everywhere regarding safe passing efforts, those in place and others in various stages of proposal. Across the country, states have been developing and implementing laws that are intended to make cycling safer on our roads.
Countries with Active Safe Passing Efforts
The focus in the United States has been on establishing laws that govern what constitutes "safe passing", when a motor vehicle must pass a bicycle or other vulnerable road user. The states have each approached this issue in a different manner, most amending existing traffic code to include verbage related to a "safe passing distance" and some that actually define that distance.
July 1st, 2013 Daphne, AL council approves Safe Passing Ordinance!
The most common separation required between a motor vehicle and bicycle is 3 ft, although some states require more. Pennsylvania's recent law uses 4 ft and New Hampshire requires an additional 1 ft for each 10 mph over a speed of 30 mph. Dallas, Tx has taken a unique approach in that there is no distance specified for a car passing a bicycle, but the car must vacate the lane. In any event, most states that don't have a current safe passing law on the books have ongoing initiatives to pass one through their respective legislatures. We've accumulated a list of states and their current status. Follow the links, where available for more information. Visit our site often as we document more efforts across the state to make the roads a little safer for all. As always, if you find an error or omission, let us know.
2011 Nova Scotia enacts one metre law
In 2011 Nova Scotia became the first province to enact a safe passing law when they approved Bill 93, which clarifies a safe passing distance as one metre (3 feet). Nova Scotia is the only province to have implemented such a law, although it is being proposed in others. The following has been extracted from the Nova Scotia government web site.
Bill 93 requires drivers to:
Leave at least one metre (three feet) of space when passing a cyclist. Interestingly, the 1 metre distance applies even if the bicycle is in a bike lane.
Cross a yellow line if necessary to pass a cyclist if it is safe to do so. They must pass only if there is no oncoming traffic or wait if it is not safe to pass.
Avoid driving or parking in bike lanes, unless avoiding a hazard, a left-turning car, or under instruction by a police officer.
Bill 93 requires cyclists to:
Ride single file except when passing another cyclist.
Ride on the right side of the road. They may move to the left of a lane when riding through a roundabout, turning left, or avoiding obstacles.
Use designated bike lanes where they are present and free of obstructions.
There are calls nationwide for a law that would give cyclists a 1.5 meter buffer. No legislation enacted as yet. The first region expected to act on this is Western Cape. As you can see from the article in the link below, this could happen as soon as mid-year 2013.
The effort is tagged with both the motto of “1.5 and stay alive”, and is also referred to as Burry’s Gap. This is in reference to the death of Olympic cyclist Burry Stander, killed on a training ride recently.
January 13, 2013 Calls nationally for 1.5m law
We'll update this table with information and links as we get them. If you have more current updates, let us know.
1 New information, follow link