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Los Altos Police Department
Tuesday September 16th, 2014 :: 10:34 a.m. PDT


"Three Feet for Safety" law goes into effect today. Motorists must leave 3ft distance when passing cyclists.

The "Three Feet for Safety" law goes into effect today, requiring motorists to leave at least three feet of distance between their vehicle and bicyclists when passing. In cases where this is not possible, motorists must slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent, and must pass only when no danger to the cyclist is present.

The goal of this new law is to encourage motorists and cyclists alike to "Share the Road." Each have responsibilities to ensure roadway safety.

Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Stay alert and look out for bicyclists. Cyclists have the right to use all roads, except where specifically prohibited, such as freeways.
  • Leave at least three feet when passing a cyclist, or slow down to a reasonable and safe speed.
  • Be patient. If a roadway is too narrow for a cyclist to share with a vehicle, the cyclist has the right to ride in the center of the roadway.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists:

  • When traveling slower than other traffic, allow faster traffic to pass when safe.
  • Ride on the right side of the road with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as safe and reasonable.
  • Riding with traffic requires following the same rules as motorists. Riding on sidewalks requires looking and yielding at all crossings and following pedestrian rules.
  • Use appropriate hand signals and obey traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Make eye contact to be sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop.
  • When riding at dusk, dawn, or in the evening, be bright and use lights - and make sure your bike has reflectors. Wearing clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve bicyclist visibility to motorists is also a good idea.
  • Be predictable, be visible, and stay alert at all times.

Motorists and cyclists alike must remember to respect one another on the road. Everyone deserves to get to their destination safely.

If you have concerns about traffic safety, or would like to report a violation, contact us at 650-947-2770 or file a traffic complaint online at

Los Altos Police Department
1 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-947-2770

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