ABC 19 Cleveland (March 20th, 2017)

New law enforces 3-foot cushion for bikers on Ohio roads

“CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – Sharing the road with cyclists is a concept many people continue to get used to.

“A lot of times cyclists get pushed up against the curb or passed well within 3-feet,” said Jacob VanSickle, Bike Cleveland executive director.

A new law, which takes effect Tuesday, aims to enforce a 3-foot barrier by creating the penalty of a minor misdemeanor for drivers caught too close to bikers. Ohio will become one of 27 states to enforce this type of law.

“You can feel the wind of the car going by you, almost hitting your handlebars. It can be a harrowing experience,” said VanSickle.

About 50 people gathered in Public Square for a ride Monday evening, celebrating the new law they advocated for. Starting Tuesday, drivers spotted within 3-feet of a cyclist face a $150 fine.



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Fox8 Cleveland (March 20th, 2017)

New Ohio law requires 3-foot buffer for cyclists on roads

“A new Ohio law, set to take effect Tuesday, will require motorists passing bicyclists to leave a three-foot buffer.

Ohio joins 27 other states that already have three-foot buffer laws. Previously, Ohio law simply required a safe passing distance. The new law defines that safe distance as at least three feet. Violators could face a minor misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $150 fine.

Bike Cleveland has advocated for the law, which passed in 2016 on the fourth attempt, according to the group’s Executive Director, Jacob Van Sickle. It planned a celebration ride Monday at 7 p.m. starting at Public Square.

“For us, it’s really about ensuring the safety of bicyclists on the roadway but also defining what a safe passing distance is for the general public, at least three feet,” Van Sickle said. ”A big piece of the law is public awareness and communicating to people.”



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Houston Public Media (March 10th, 2017)

Houston Police Launch Enforcement & Information Campaign To Protect Bicyclists

Officers will use a device to make sure vehicles keep a minimum safe distance when they pass a cyclist.

“Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Art Acevedo announced Friday afternoon a campaign to protect bicyclists from vehicles on the city’s streets.

It’s based on a law the City Council passed back in 2013 called the Safe Passing/Vulnerable Road User Ordinance. It requires that vehicles must be at least three feet away from bicyclists at all times. Also, passing trucks be at a minimum distance of six feet.

“We will be writing tickets,” Acevedo said. “And hopefully, get people to voluntarily comply with the law.”

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the law by displaying electronic public safety messages and distributing brochures.

Additionally, HPD officers will now enforce the ordinance with a new C3FT device that measures the distance at which a vehicle a passes a bicyclist.



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Canberra Times (February 15th, 2017)

Canberra drivers flout ‘metre matters’ cycling rule

“ACT drivers will continue to ignore the “metre matters” cycling rule until it is properly enforced by police, cyclists say.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show just two drivers have been ticketed for breaching the law since its introduction on November 1 2015. A further three drivers have been cautioned.



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Spectrum News (November 21st, 2016)

Device Makes Sure Drivers Give Cyclists Their Space


Austin Police created its bicycle safety enforcement program in 2013, and new devices will help them enforce the rules of the road.

A grant from the Bike Austin Education Fund covered the cost of two Codaxus devices, which are mounted to bicycles and use ultrasonic radar to measure distance. These devices are accurate down to the inch.

Cars must stay three feet away; trucks and buses must be six feet from a cyclist.

“You want to have this large vehicle pass you with plenty of room, so you are not maybe sucked in by their wind or you have the option to maneuver around obstacles that might be in the road,” said Austin Police Officer Rheannon Cunningham.


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KXAN (October 14th, 2016)

Make sure you give bicyclists space, APD is watching

“AUSTIN (KXAN) — A typical day for Senior Police Officer Rheannon Cunningham usually requires spending a few hours of her work day either talking about bicycle safety or even getting on a bike herself, which she doesn’t mind at all since she’s already an avid cyclist. As the Austin Police Department’s first and only officer dedicated to bicycle safety, Cunningham’s ultimate objective is to make the roads safer for all users, not just bicyclists.

“I’m a cyclist on my own, so I get to combine my passion for bikes with my job to help make the roads safer for everybody,” says Cunningham, who started her new position three months ago. “With our goals for Vision Zero, this is one component to make the roads safer and they assigned me to it as a full time position.”



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SpyCycle (September 21, 2016)

Overtake Cyclists Safely

“A few days ago, the BBC reported that the West Midlands Police were targeting drivers who didn’t allow enough room when passing cyclists.

The force had analysed 564 cyclist deaths over four years and found that the “vast majority” were down to driver error, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to regular cyclists.

While the Highway Code (rule 212) is somewhat vague when it says that motorists should give cyclists (and motorcyclists) “plenty of room” when overtaking, this is widely interpreted as being 1.5m.

There is an obvious difficulty in measuring that gap and a significant problem in providing proof.



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Fast Company (August 22nd, 2016)

This Bike Sonar Catches Drivers Who Drive Too Closely To Cyclists

In Ottawa–which is using the device on its police bikes–the information could also be helpful for deciding when and how to redesign roads to make them safer for cyclists.

“In 28 states, it’s illegal to drive past someone on a bike without giving them at least three feet of space. Many drivers don’t know the laws exist. And it doesn’t matter, because the laws are rarely enforced–and hard to prove unless a cyclist is actually hit by a car (and sometimes not even then, if a driver can claim that it was the bike that swerved).

“There is a learning curve for cyclists and drivers.”

That’s why some cities are starting to use the biking equivalent of a radar gun. A small gadget mounts to the handlebars on a police bike, sending out sonar that can measure the exact distance to a passing car. If someone veers too closely, the cop can give out a warning or a ticket.

After launching in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015, the technology, called C3FT, is now in 11 cities, including Minneapolis, Houston, and Las Vegas. One of the latest is Ottawa, Canada.



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Change Lanes To Pass [Bike Walk Mississippi] (August 12th, 2016)

Through education and enforcement, this is the story of how one police officer significantly improved the safety of bicyclists on roadways.

Lessons from the 2016 Mississippi Bike Walk Summit: Part 2

“Officer Rob Simmons of the Chattanooga Police Department (“CPD”) is not your average policeman. For nearly a decade, he’s been patrolling by bicycle. One recent bicyclist’s death motivated Rob to become perhaps the most effective bicycle policeman ever known — pushing for reform and new safety technology that’s being adopted nationwide. After he accepted Bike Walk Mississippi’s invitation to speak at the Mississippi Get to B Bike Walk Summit, Simmons recounted his journey to a statewide audience at the Summit in Biloxi this past August.

In 2009, David Meek was hit and killed while riding his bicycle on a four lane roadway in Chattanooga. A grand jury declined to indict the at-fault driver. Tension between bicyclists and motorists spiked to a fever pitch. Officer Rob saw an opportunity to address the standoff and improve safety for all roadway users. But one impediment stood in his way: the bicycling community’s lack of faith in police for not properly enforcing rules of the road against culpable drivers in collisions. Few, if any, citations were being issued against drivers who hit bicyclists (as in the case of David Meek).

Rob came up with a four-step plan to reverse this downward spiral. This plan was designed to educate police, motorists, and bicyclists about what traffic laws apply. It was also designed improve safety through enforcement. At the Bike Walk Summit, he shared this plan as a model for the police departments from across Mississippi whose officers attended the presentation.



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The Washington Post (June 24th, 2016)

A new device could help bikers catch cars that drive too close to them

“Drivers who ride a little too close to cyclists on the road could soon be caught red-handed. A new technology adopted by law enforcement in Ottawa could help enforce legal distance between bikers and cars on the road.

The device, which is mounted on a bicycle’s handlebars like a bike bell, uses sonar technology to measure the distance between the bike and passing cars. The device will beep if the car is within one meter of the bike, the legal limit in the city of Ottawa, allowing the police rider to radio ahead to his colleagues so that the driver can be pulled over. “The safety of all road users is paramount and that includes cyclists. These cycling changes are directed at encouraging cycling, promoting road safety, and sharing the road,” said Rob Wilkinson, coordinator of the Safer Roads Ottawa Program.



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