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See the Progress

34 States and Growing

Laws governing how much distance is required when passing a cyclist vary by State. Most States now have a law that requires “at least three feet” of clearance when passing a cyclist. Some States only require “a safe distance” while others get more specific. Pennsylvania for example requires “at least four feet”.

The information contained below is gathered and maintained as best we can.  If you are aware of anything different in your state, please let us know.  Just send an e-mail to info@3FeetPlease.com and we’ll do the research and update our information.  There are also many great cycling advocacy groups around the country that provide detailed information about cycling in their specific areas of the country.  The League of American Bicyclists (around since 1880) is a wonderful source of all-things-bike.  Bikelaw.com has a wealth of information regarding specific laws in specific States.  FindLaw.com and Justia.com have also been very helpful in finding an easy-to-read version of the law for most states.

The “Ranking” information below comes from the “2019 Bicycle Friendly State” rankings published by The League of American Bicyclists.  A link to each State’s report card is included in the State details.  A summary of all the 2019 rankings can be found here: https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/2019BicycleFriendlyStateRanking.pdf

Finally, if you are aware of any upcoming activities to make cycling safer in your area, please let us know.  Or, if you are an advocacy group for your area that we can add to our growing list of resources, we would love that information too.

Notice: The information contained on this page, or in any provided link, might be updated at any time and not necessarily reflect the latest information available. Please check with the state, or search the state laws, to review the latest version of any legislation.

Bicycle Passing Laws – by State

Alabama – legislation passed in 2015 (2019 ranking: 45)

Summary: Alabama has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. However, it can be somewhat confusing and ambiguous based on the speed of the vehicle or when the roadway lacks double yellow lines. There are also provisions requiring that a cyclist ride within two feet of the right shoulder of the road. Riding that close to the shoulder can be a daunting task – even for an experienced cyclist.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Alabama Code 32-5A-82”.

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-32-motor-vehicles-and-traffic/al-code-sect-32-5a-82.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/alabama/2014/title-32/chapter-5a/section-32-5a-82/

There are restrictions to the Alabama law that make the law somewhat ambiguous and confusing. The following blog by Danny Feldman (March 15, 2018) provides more context to the Alabama law.

https://www.bikelaw.com/2018/03/three-foot-passing-law-in-alabama/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Alabama.pdf

Groups to check out:

Alaska – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 39)

Summary: Alaska does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that, for the most part, only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Alaska 13 AAC 02.065 overtaking a vehicle”.

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Alaska.pdf

Groups to check out:

Arizona – legislation passed in 2000 (2019 ranking: 23)

Summary: Arizona has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. However, the law can get a bit confusing when it comes to whether or not fines are applicable. Sadly, the maximum civil penalty for someone who kills a cyclist is $1,000. What makes this somewhat absurd is that the fine doesn’t apply if the cyclist is injured/killed if they were not riding in the bike lane and there was a bike lane that was considered “present and passable”. Some of the bike lanes we’ve ridden on in Arizona are more dangerous than riding in the vehicle lane.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Arizona 28-735 overtaking bicycles”.

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/az/title-28-transportation/az-rev-st-sect-28-735.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Arizona.pdf

Groups to check out:

Arkansas – legislation passed in 2007 (2019 ranking: 32)

Summary: Arkansas has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. Unlike other states, there are no specific restrictions regarding bike lanes or vehicle speeds (a good thing). Fines for breaking the law are “not to exceed $100” and fines for causing serious physical injury or death are “not to exceed $1,000.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Arkansas 27-51-311 28-735 overtaking a bicycle”.

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2010/title-27/subtitle-4/chapter-51/subchapter-3/27-51-311

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Arkansas.pdf

Groups to check out:

California – legislation passed in 2013 (2019 ranking: 4 – TOP 5!)

Summary: California has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “… at a distance of less than three feet”.  California adopted their law in 2013 and included what some have referred to as a “commonsense” provision in their legislation.  It is possible to pass a bicycle with less than three feet of clearance in certain situations where it is “reasonable and prudent” and the driver may only pass if “doing so would not endanger the safety of the operator of the bicycle…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “California Vehicle Code 21760”.

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_California.pdf

Groups to check out:

Colorado – legislation passed in 2009 (2019 ranking: 7 – TOP 10!)

Summary: Colorado has three statutes that address passing cyclists in traffic – passing oncoming vehicles; overtaking a vehicle on the left; and overtaking a vehicle on the right.  Colorado also addresses how to measure the distance between a vehicle and a cyclist by defining the distance as “including all mirrors or other projections, and the [near] side of the bicyclist at all times.”

For details, search with the following keywords:  “Colorado Title 42-4-1002”, “Colorado Title 42-4-1003”, and “Colorado Title 42-4-1004.”

From FindLaw.com:

https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-42-vehicles-and-traffic/co-rev-st-sect-42-4-1004.html

From Justia.com:

https://law.justia.com/codes/colorado/2016/title-42/regulation-of-vehicles-and-traffic/article-4/part-10/section-42-4-1004/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:

https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Colorado.pdf

Groups to check out:

Connecticut – legislation passed in 2008 (2019 ranking: 21)

Summary: Connecticut has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”.  Unlike other states, there are no specific restrictions regarding bike lanes or vehicle speeds (a good thing).  Breaking the law is considered an “infraction”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Connecticut General Statues 14-232.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ct/title-14-motor-vehicles-use-of-the-highway-by-vehicles-gasoline/ct-gen-st-sect-14-232.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/connecticut/2013/title-14/chapter-248/section-14-232/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Connecticut.pdf

Groups to check out:

Delaware – legislation passed in 2017 (2019 ranking: 6 – TOP 10!)

Summary: Delaware has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet”.  Delaware also requires vehicles to change lanes to pass a cyclist if there is a lane available traveling in the same direction.  This is especially nice for high-speed 4-lane+ roads.  When the extra lane does not exist, a driver must always provide at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Delaware Code Title 21 4116.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-21-motor-vehicles/de-code-sect-21-4116.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/delaware/2014/title-21/chapter-41/subchapter-iii/section-4116

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Delaware.pdf

Groups to check out:

District of Columbia – legislation passed in 2009

Summary: Our Nation’s Capital has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “in no case less than three feet”. The law is pretty straight-forward – “A person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance, but in no case less than 3 feet, when overtaking and passing a bicycle”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “District of Columbia 18-2202.10.”

Groups to check out:

Florida – legislation passed in 2006 (2019 ranking: 10 – TOP 10!)

Summary: Florida has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. Like many states, Florida’s law also includes “other nonmotorized vehicles” in the passing law.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Florida Statute 316.083.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/fl/title-xxiii-motor-vehicles/fl-st-sect-316-083.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Florida.pdf

Groups to check out:

Georgia – legislation passed in 2011 (2019 ranking: 19)

Summary: Georgia has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Georgia Code Title 40-6-56.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-40-motor-vehicles-and-traffic/ga-code-sect-40-6-56.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2014/title-40/chapter-6/article-3/section-40-6-56/
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Georgia.pdf

Groups to check out:

Hawaii – legislation passed in 2018 (2019 ranking: 38)

Summary: Hawaii has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet of separation between the right side of the driver’s vehicle, including all mirrors or other protuberances, and the left side of the bicyclist…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Hawaii Traffic Code 291C-43.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/hi/division-1-government/hi-rev-st-sect-291c-43.html
From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/hawaii/2018/title-17/chapter-291c/section-291c-43/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Hawaii.pdf

Groups to check out:

Idaho – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 33)

Summary: Idaho does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Idaho Title 49-632.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/idaho/2011/title49/chapter6/49-632/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Idaho.pdf

Groups to check out:

Illinois – legislation passed in 2007 (2019 ranking: 16)

Summary: Illinois has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “… but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Illinois Statutes Chapter 625 11-703.”

From Justia.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/il/chapter-625-vehicles/il-st-sect-625-5-11-703.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Illinois.pdf

Groups to check out:

Indiana – legislation passed in 2019 (2019 ranking: 24)

Summary: Indiana has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet”.
Indiana buried their law a bit in HB 1236 and it is not readably searchable and somewhat confusing. The summary of the bill specifically addresses “Electric Bikes” but the details in the House Bill state “The operator of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or electric bicycle shall: (A) allow at least three (3) feet of clearance between the vehicle and the bicycle; and…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Indiana Code Title 9-21-8-5” and “Indiana HB 1236 2019.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/in/title-9-motor-vehicles/in-code-sect-9-21-8-5.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/indiana/2018/title-9/article-21/chapter-8/section-9-21-8-5/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Indiana.pdf

Groups to check out:

Iowa – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 26)

Summary: Iowa does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only require a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

What is more than a little surprising is that Iowa boasts one of the premier group rides in the World – RAGBRAI. Overall, the towns, cities, law enforcement, and organizations like the “Register” paper do a wonderful job of supporting cycling across their beautiful state. If you’ve never ridden in RAGBRAI, it’s an incredibly well-organized and supported ride. It’s worth doing at least once in your cycling career. Many of us have done it several times.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Iowa Code 321.299”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Iowa.pdf

Groups to check out:

Kansas – legislation passed in 2011 (2019 ranking: 37)

Summary: Kansas has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. Kansas has also addressed a difficult issue in their law that, while arguably lessens that safety of cyclist being passed, allows for passing cyclists on roads where passing might not otherwise be allowed. The issue is that on a two-lane road with “no-passing” lines or signs, especially when going uphill, it is very difficult for vehicles to drive at bike speed – often 10mph or less – while waiting for a passing zone. The Kansas law allows for passing the cyclist “proceeding in the same direction in a no-passing zone with the duty to execute the pass only when it is safe to do so.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Kansas Chapter 8-1516.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ks/chapter-8-automobiles-and-other-vehicles/ks-st-sect-8-1516.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Kansas.pdf

Groups to check out:

Kentucky – legislation passed in 2018 (2019 ranking: 43)

Summary: Kentucky has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “a minimum distance of three feet”. The same legislation also specifically applies to electric low-speed scooters. As with many states, Kentucky has a provision for passing a cyclist when less than three feet of passing distance is available. In these situations, the law requires the passing vehicle to “use reasonable caution in passing the bicyclist or electric low-speed scooter…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Kentucky Revised Statute 189.340”

Note: when searching for Kentucky’s law, be sure to look for the revised statute that went into effect after July 14, 2018.

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Kentucky.pdf

Groups to check out:

Louisiana – legislation passed in 2009 (2019 ranking: 28)

Summary: Louisiana has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “a minimum distance of three feet”. The legislation also allows for passing a cyclist in a no-passing zone “only when it is safe to do so.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Louisiana Title 32:76.1”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2011/rs/title32/rs32-76-1/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Louisiana.pdf

Groups to check out:

Maine – legislation passed in 2007 (2019 ranking: 20)

Summary: Maine has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet”. The legislation also allows for passing a cyclist in a no-passing zone “’if is safe to do so.” A specific provision of the Maine law is that it allows vehicles to “cross the centerline in a no-passing zone in order to pass a bicyclist…” Many states do not have this specific provision. Maine has attempted to make it clear that maintaining three feet may occur by crossing the centerline.

For details, please see the following link:
https://www.maine.gov/mdot/bikeped/docs/MaineBicyclingLaws.pdf

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Maine.pdf

Groups to check out:

Maryland – legislation passed in 2010 (2019 ranking: 14)

Summary: Maryland has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than 3 feet”. There are however a few very important exclusions to when the law applies. Those exclusions can include situations where the “rider” is not riding to the right of the road; if the “rider” solely causes the passing distance to be less than three feet; or when the highway is not wide enough to lawfully pass with a distance of at least three feet. The Maryland law also addresses “motor scooters” and “EPAMDs – Electric Personal Assisted Mobility Device”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Maryland Transportation Code 21-1209.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/md/transportation/md-code-transp-sect-21-1209.html
From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/maryland/2015/article-gtr/title-21/subtitle-12/section-21-1209/
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Maryland.pdf

Groups to check out:

Massachusetts – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 5 – TOP 5!)

Summary: Massachusetts does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Massachusetts General Laws 90 14” and “Massachusetts General Laws 89 2”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS_ReportCard_2019_Massachusetts.pdf

Groups to check out:

Michigan – legislation passed in 2018 (2019 ranking: 15)

Summary: Michigan has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet”. The legislation also allows for passing a cyclist in a no-passing zone “if it is safe to do so.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Michigan Legislature Section 257.636.”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Michigan.pdf

Groups to check out:

Minnesota – legislation passed in 2004 (2019 ranking: 3 – TOP 5!)

Summary: Michigan has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “in no case less than three feet clearance”. On a bit of a humorous note, there is a provision in the law to exempt “Peace officer operating bicycle” from the law “while performing their duties.” We are behind that 100% if they are helping keep other cyclists safe!

For details, search with the following keywords: “Minnesota Statutes Transportation 169.18” and “Minnesota Statutes Transportation 169.222.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/mn/transportation-ch-160-174a/mn-st-sect-169-18.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Minnesota.pdf

Groups to check out:

Mississippi – legislation passed in 2010 (2019 ranking: 48)

Summary: Mississippi has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”. The legislation also allows for passing a cyclist in a no-passing zone “only when it is safe to do so.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Mississippi Code Title 63-3-1309.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ms/title-63-motor-vehicles-traffic-regulations/ms-code-sect-63-3-1309.html
From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2013/title-63/chapter-3/article-27/section-63-3-1309

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Mississippi.pdf

Groups to check out:

Missouri – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 35)

Summary: Missouri does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing. Missouri actually uses the words “highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall give warning by sounding a horn when necessary…” Of course, from a cycling perspective, we could do without the horn.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Missouri Revised Statute 300.410.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/missouri/2013/title-xix/chapter-300/section-300.410/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Missouri.pdf

Groups to check out:

Montana – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 47)

Summary: Montana does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing. The Montana law also specifies that a driver may not “(a) intentionally interfere with the movement of a person who is lawfully riding a bicycle; or (b) overtake and pass a person riding a bicycle unless the operator of the motor vehicle can do so safely without endangering the person riding the bicycle.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Montana 61-8-320 Right-of-way for bicycles.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/montana/2005/61/61_8_3.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Montana.pdf
Groups to check out:

Nebraska – legislation passed in 2012 (2019 ranking: 49)

Summary: Nebraska has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “no less than three feet”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Nebraska Revised Statue 60-6,133.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ne/chapter-60-motor-vehicles/ne-rev-st-sect-60-6-133.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Nebraska.pdf

Groups to check out:

Nevada – legislation passed in 2011 (2019 ranking: 31)

Summary: Nebraska has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “not less than 3 feet”. The legislation also specifies that when “more than one lane for traffic proceeding in the same direction, [the driver shall] move the vehicle to the lane to the immediate left, if the lane is available and moving into the lane is reasonably safe…” We appreciate states that try to give us a full lane where possible. The issue, of course, is enforcement of these very laws.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Nevada Revised Statute Chapter 484B.270.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/nevada/2013/chapter-484b/statute-484b.270/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Nevada.pdf

Groups to check out:

New Hampshire – legislation passed in 2008 (2019 ranking: 36)

Summary: New Hampshire has a “3 foot” passing law which defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet”. But, that’s just the start! New Hampshire makes you do some math – not a bad thing. For every 10 mph over 30 mph, an extra foot is added. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 30 mph or less – at least 3 feet
  • 40 mph – at least 4 feet
  • 50 mph – at least 5 feet
  • 60 mph – at least 6 feet
  • 70 mph – at least 7 feet
  • You get the idea…

This is innovative and incredibly helpful. Surprisingly, this law has been in effect since January 1, 2009.

For details, search with the following keywords: “New Hampshire Section 265:143-a.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/new-hampshire/2015/title-xxi/chapter-265/section-265-143-a
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NewHampshire.pdf

Groups to check out:

New Jersey – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 12)

Summary: New Jersey does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing. New Jersey however does not consider a bicycle to be a “vehicle”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “New Jersey Statute 39:4-85”.

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-39/section-39-4-85/
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NewJersey.pdf

Groups to check out:

New Mexico – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 44)

Summary: New Mexico does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “New Mexico Statutes Chapter 66-7-310.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/nm/chapter-66-motor-vehicles/nm-st-sect-66-7-310.html
From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/new-mexico/2011/chapter66/article7/section66-7-310/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NewMexico.pdf

Groups to check out:

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New York – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 13)

Summary: New York does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “New York Consolidated Laws Vehicle 1122-a.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/vehicle-and-traffic-law/vat-sect-1122-a.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NewYork.pdf

Groups to check out:

North Carolina – legislation passed in 1995 – kind of (2019 ranking: 22)

Summary: North Carolina has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “not less than 2 feet”. However, this distance is not specific to a vehicle passing a bicycle. Instead, it applies to any vehicle passing any other vehicle.

For details, search with the following keywords: “North Carolina General Statutes 20-149.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/nc/chapter-20-motor-vehicles/nc-gen-st-sect-20-149.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NorthCarolina.pdf

Groups to check out:

North Dakota – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 46)

Summary: North Dakota does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “North Dakota Code 39-10-11”.

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/nd/title-39-motor-vehicles/nd-cent-code-sect-39-10-11.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/north-dakota/2013/title-39/chapter-39-10/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_NorthDakota.pdf

Groups to check out:

Ohio – legislation passed in 2016 (2019 ranking: 18)

Summary: Ohio has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “three feet or greater”. Ohio does add a “kicker” to this law by stating “If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to additional fine…”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Ohio Traffic Laws 4511.27.”

Note, when searching, be sure to look for the revised version after 2016.

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Ohio.pdf

Groups to check out:

Oklahoma – legislation passed in 2006 (2019 ranking: 41)

Summary: Oklahoma has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Oklahoma Statute 47 11-1208.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-47/section-47-11-1208/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Oklahoma.pdf

Groups to check out:

Oregon – no specific legislation for distance (2019 ranking: 2 – TOP 5!)

Summary: Oregon has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver's lane of traffic.” There are restrictions however to this law and trying to define just how far away you need to be if a rider “falls into the driver’s lane of traffic” is difficult. We’ve seen falls that take up the entire lane – or more. Rhode Island has a very similar law.

Oregon often takes top honors (or close to it) in any cycling survey. Both Oregon and its neighbor to the north, Washington, have done a good job of building a cycling culture that provides cyclists with infrastructures most of us would love. The annual Seattle to Portland bike ride put on by the Cascade Bicycle Club is unbelievably well done. Like RAGBRAI in Iowa, it’s a ride that should be on every cyclist’s bucket list. Both rides are in July so you could actually do both in the same year. We did.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Oregon Traffic Laws 811.065.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/or/title-59-oregon-vehicle-code/or-rev-st-sect-811-065.html
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Oregon.pdf

Groups to check out:

Pennsylvania – legislation passed in 2012 – 4 Feet!!! (2019 ranking: 11)

Summary: Pennsylvania has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “not less than 4 feet.” This is the largest, minimal standard in the country. New Hampshire does a nice job as well with their increasing distance, but Pennsylvania takes top honors for “required minimum distance”.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Pennsylvania Statutes Title 75 3303.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-75-pacsa-vehicles/pa-csa-sect-75-3303.html
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Pennsylvania.pdf

Groups to check out:

Rhode Island – no specific legislation for distance (2019 ranking: 30)

Summary: Rhode Island has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver's lane of traffic.” There are restrictions however to this law and trying to define just how far away you need to be if a rider “falls into the driver’s lane of traffic” is difficult. We’ve seen falls that take up the entire lane – or more. Oregon has a very similar law.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Rhode Island General Laws Title 31-15-18.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/ri/title-31-motor-and-other-vehicles/ri-gen-laws-sect-31-15-18.html
From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/rhode-island/2013/title-31/chapter-31-15/section-31-15-18/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_RhodeIsland.pdf

Groups to check out:

South Carolina – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 42)

Summary: South Carolina does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe operating distance” be provided when passing.

For details, search with the following keywords: “South Carolina Bicycle Laws Article 27”.

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS_ReportCard_2019_SouthCarolina.pdf

Groups to check out:

South Dakota – legislation passed in 2015 (2019 ranking: 40)

Summary: South Dakota has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “a minimum of 3 foot separation between the right side of the driver’s vehicle, including any mirror or other projection, and the left side of the bicycle if the posted speed limit is 35 mph or less and shall allow a minimum of 6 meet of separation if the posted speed limit is greater than 35 mph.” We love the six feet!!!.

For details, search with the following keywords: “South Dakota Codified Laws 32-26-26.1.”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_SouthDakota.pdf

Groups to check out:

Tennessee – legislation passed in 2007 (2019 ranking: 25)

Summary: Tennessee has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Tennessee Code Title 55-8-175(c).”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/tn/title-55-motor-and-other-vehicles/tn-code-sect-55-8-175.html

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2010/title-55/chapter-8/55-8-175/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Tennessee.pdf

Groups to check out:

Texas – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 27)

Summary: Texas does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe operating distance” be provided when passing.

Despite the Lone Star state not having a statewide law, some of the cities are doing their own thing to protect cyclists. Groups like Bike Texas and Bike Laredo are doing some great work. In the city of Laredo for example, “3 Feet” is the law. Check them out…

For details, search with the following keywords: “Texas Transportation Code Section 545.053.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/transportation-code/transp-sect-545-053.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Texas.pdf

Groups to check out:

Utah – legislation passed in 2006 (2019 ranking: 8 – TOP 10!)

Summary: Utah has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “within three feet.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Utah Title 41-6a-706.5.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/utah/2010/title41/41-6a-706-5.html
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Utah.pdf

Groups to check out:

Vermont – no specific legislation (2019 ranking: 17)

Summary: Vermont does not have specific legislation regarding how much distance must be provided to a cyclist when being overtaken by a vehicle. Cyclists have to rely on vehicle passing laws that for the most part only requires a “safe operating distance” be provided when passing. Vermont does provide a little more clarity than some states by providing a subsection to the law for “vulnerable users.” That portion of the law states “The operator of a motor vehicle approaching or passing a vulnerable user as defined in subdivision 4(81) of this title shall exercise due care, which includes increasing clearance, to pass the vulnerable user safely, and shall cross the center of the highway only as provided in subdivision.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Vermont Title 23 Chapter 013 1033.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/vermont/2012/title23/chapter13/section1033/

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Vermont.pdf

Groups to check out:

Virginia – legislation passed in 2014 (2019 ranking: 9 – TOP 10!)

Summary: Virginia has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet.” Virginia’s law also applies to passing electric personal assistive mobility devices (EPAMDs), electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, animals, or animal-drawn vehicles.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Virginia Title 46.2-839.”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Virginia.pdf

Groups to check out:

Washington – legislation passed in 2019 (2019 ranking: 1 – TOP 5!)

Summary: Washington has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “at least three feet.” Washington’s law gets a little more specific and requires reducing speed “relative to the speed of the individual”. Washington’s law also gets pretty specific with regard to how to pass when there is insufficient distance available in the lane of travel – “When there is insufficient room to the left of the individual in the lane for traffic moving in the direction of travel to comply with (a)(ii)(A) of this subsection, before passing and until safely clear of the individual, move completely into the lane for traffic moving in the opposite direction when it is safe to do so…”
Washington often takes top honors (or close to it) in any cycling survey. Both Washington and its neighbor to the south, Oregon, have done a good job of building a cycling culture that provides cyclists with infrastructures most of us would love. The annual Seattle to Portland bike ride put on by the Cascade Bicycle Club is unbelievably well done. Like RAGBRAI in Iowa, it’s a ride that should be on every cyclist’s bucket list. Both rides are in July so you could actually do both in the same year. We did.

For details, search with the following keywords: “Washington State Section 46.61.110.”

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Washington.pdf

Groups to check out:

West Virginia – legislation passed in 2014 (2019 ranking: 34)

Summary: West Virginia has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “not less than three feet at a careful and reduced speed.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “West Virginia Code Chapter 17C-7-3.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/wv/chapter-17c-traffic-regulations-and-laws-of-the-road/wv-code-sect-17c-7-3.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_WestVirginia.pdf

Groups to check out:

Wisconsin – legislation passed in 1973 (2019 ranking: 29)

Summary: Wisconsin has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “in no case less than 3 feet clearance.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations 346.075.”

From Justia.com:
https://law.justia.com/codes/wisconsin/2015/chapter-346/section-346.075/
The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Wisconsin.pdf
Groups to check out:

Wyoming – legislation passed in 2015 (2019 ranking: 50)

Summary: Wisconsin has a passing law that defines the safe passing distance as “at least a 3 foot separation.”

For details, search with the following keywords: “Wyoming Statutes Title 31-5-203.”

From FindLaw.com:
https://codes.findlaw.com/wy/title-31-motor-vehicles/wy-st-sect-31-5-203.html

The League of American Bicyclists - Bicycle Friendly State Report Card:
https://bikeleague.org/sites/default/files/BFS%20Report%20Card_2019_Wyoming.pdf

Groups to check out:

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