March 20, 2013
Several cities in Indiana have authorized ordinances requiring a certain amount of space to be maintained between a vehicle and a bicycle while passing. The regulations are being passed in an effort to improve safety and reduce the number of Indiana Auto Accidents involving bicycles.
South Bend is the latest city to adopt such a measure. According to a recent article published by the South Bend Tribune, it is now illegal for a motorist to pass a bicycle with less than three feet of space between the two. Violations are punishable by a $15 fine.
The new law was passed on Monday by a unanimous from the South Bend Common Council, making it the third city in the state to adopt such a measure. The only other two municipalities with such laws are Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. No state law of a similar nature exists, despite Indiana’s driver’s manual recommending three feet of space be given when passing a cyclist.
A spokesperson for the Bike Michiana Coalition, a sponsor of the bill, stated the ordinance will not only promote safety, but also a mutual respect and sharing of roadways between motorists and cyclists.
The Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the importance of sharing the road and are hopeful the new rule will reduce the number of accidents along the state’s highways.