Governor David Ige has signed HB2215, the Safe Passing 3 Foot law which requires motorists to provide a minimum of three feet of separation when passing a bicyclist. Washington DC and 36 states have instituted Safe Passing laws to help make roads safer for cyclists and all road users.
These laws directly address one of the biggest hazards to cyclists. According to the League of American Bicyclists, 44 percent of cyclist fatalities result from being struck from behind or sideswiped. The Hawai‘i law, which was signed on Jun. 20, is a direct result of a huge advocacy effort led by the Hawai‘i Bicycling League. The league is Oahu’s oldest and largest cycling organization and has an active chapter on Maui.
“We are very excited about this news and grateful for support from our partners, the community, and especially for HBL for leading the tremendous effort,” said Saman Dias, Co-Founder and Chair of Maui Bicycling League. “This is a big step towards creating a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly Maui and ensuring that all users feel safe on our roads.”
The Safe Passing 3 Foot law amended the existing Hawai‘i Revised Statutes 291C-43, which already required safe passing. The law now specifically states that three feet is the minimum safe passing distance when a motorist overtakes or passes a bicyclist.
“The passing of HB2215 is a huge milestone for cyclists in Hawai‘i and we are proud to be part of the initiative to improve the safety, health and sustainability of our state and our island,” said the Maui Bicycling League in a statement. More than 300 individuals and partner organizations submitted testimony in support or attended the hearing to speak in person.
“The passage of this bill highlights our commitment to ensuring that cyclists are safe on our roads, and that Hawai‘i becomes a more bicycle friendly community,” said Gov. Ige. “I am happy to sign this bill and make Hawai‘i the 37th state in the nation to make this commitment.”
Full text of the bill is available online: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2018/bills/HB2215_.HTM”
Photo: Sean M. Hower