Connecticut's 3 foot law enacted in 2008, Public Act 08-101 requires CT drivers to allow at least 3 ft. of space when passing a bicycle. Connecticut is one of 19 states that have passed this law, but how many non-cyclist know about it? With almost no infrastructure in the state, it is extremely important that motor vehicles know about and follow the 3 ft. law.
I recently read an article in the Shoreline Times, a weekly local newspaper sent in the mail, about bicycle advocates in Madison, CT. The article spoke about a recent bicycle accident on the Boston Post Road in Madison that prompted Rich Nace, a local resident to contact the first selectman about bike safety. For some members of my family who read the article it was the first time they had heard of the 3 ft. law, they were surprised by the law and pointed out the article to me. I otherwise wouldn't have read the article because I generally toss the Shoreline Times right into the recycle bin when it arrives and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
I think we need an advertising campaign like the click it or ticket signs and tv ads promoting the seat-belt law. Random newspaper articles just don't reach enough people. Motor vehicle drivers who do not cycle need to understand that they don't own the road exclusively. The message of sharing the road, driving with regard to other people's safety and the 3 ft law needs to be in every car and truck drivers mind when they are driving. Too often the only thought seems to be getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, and curses to anyone who slows them down. How many times while you were cycling have motor vehicles passed too closely, honked or shouted at you because of their belief that you don't belong on the road?
For more information about the 3 foot law click here