New 3 Feet Please website calls for statutory minimum passing distance for cyclists
Success in USA drives UK initiative
The campaigner behind today's new 3 Feet Please website has called for a mandatory minimum three feet of space between bicycles and passing motor vehicles. The initiative is based on successful work in the United States such as 3feet2pass.
According to founder David Love, who is also a Trustee and Vice Chair of the London Cycling Campaign, "Fear of traffic is a huge barrier to would-be cyclists, novices and the less confident. If they felt safer, more would take to the saddle with all the environmental, health and cost benefits that it brings. And the more who ride, the safer it gets."
In the US, individuals like Joe Mizerek with his own 3 feet please USA campaign have had great success with lobbying government at state level to the effect that now 15 of the 51 united states have laws enshrining three feet as the obligatory minimum passing distance for motor vehicles passing bicycles.
Going back to August 2009, we have reported on the USA situation as well as the subsequent Downing St petition here which was ultimately given short shrift by the Whitehall mandarins. Back in November, the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) joined the debate, pointing out not unreasonably that European law calls for a 1.5 metres for passing - more like five feet - and that three feet are therefore a bit of a concession which was born out by our own poll in which 60% of respondents agreed with the CTC. However, as David Love says, "We’re not asking for just 3 feet – we’re asking for a minimum of 3 feet, depending on circumstances."