Michigan House approves 3-foot distance to pass bikes

Mar 21, 2018

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A bill advancing in Michigan's Legislature would require drivers to allow 3 feet (0.9 meters) of clearance while passing a bike, unless it's impracticable.

Wednesday's 98-10 vote in the House comes after months of hearings and behind-the-scenes work. Michigan is among 11 states with no "safe passing" law, and bicyclists have been pushing lawmakers to act as more riders are killed by motorists.

As introduced, the legislation would have required 5 feet (1.5 meters) of clearance. But the House settled on a 3-foot distance.

Another bill approved 105-2 would mandate teen drivers receive at least one hour of instruction on laws pertaining to bicycles, motorcycles and other "vulnerable" roadway users including pedestrians.

The legislation next moves to the Senate, where a 5-foot passing distance has been proposed.