Support Bill 74 – 3 foot passing law

Support Bill 74 – 3 foot passing law

We have previously posted about the 3 foot passing law. This law would require motorists to give cyclists a minimum of 3 feet (1 meter) of space when passing, and increased space at higher speeds.

The bill (Ontario Bill 74) received first reading back in May 2010, after being introduced by MPP Cheri DiNovo. A similar bill in Nova Scotia (Bill 93) received Royal Assent in December 2010, making Nova Scotia the first Canadian province to have such a law. Many US States have similar 3-foot passing laws in effect, but to date Ontario lacks such a law. However, when passed, Bill 74 would make Ontario the second province in Canada to have legislated safe-passing.

Information on the bill can be found here. Please support this bill by writing your local MPP (Sandra Pupatello, Windsor West & Dwight Duncan, Windsor-Tecumseh).

You can also fill out a form here which will send an email to Cheri DiNovo as well as the Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne.

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4 Comments
  • jim
    Posted at 17:56h, 26 February Reply

    thanks for posting this

  • Matt
    Posted at 19:36h, 26 February Reply

    Nope. No way.

    1. This isn’t reasonable on any level with city driving. Cars would be required to move into oncoming traffic just to give cyclists space. How is this safe?

    2. Would cyclists be required to give the same gap when coming up beside cars? If traffic is inching along, and a cyclist starts to fly by everyone, do they all suddenly have to veer away to give him a 1 metre space?

    This is an incredibly stupid law.

    • Steve
      Posted at 15:46h, 27 February Reply

      1) Cars would be expected to behave the way they would when passing any other slower moving traffic (horse-drawn carriage, slow car, tractor, etc.) – wait until it is clear to pass, and then pass safely. Driving into oncoming traffic would be an example of passing when it is unsafe to do so. Passing without giving a safe distance is also passing when it is unsafe to do so.

      2) I don’t believe that cyclists should pass on the right when traffic is stopped, unless there is a bike lane. Maybe in an urban area with extreme congestion passing stopped cars makes sense, but here in Windsor it doesn’t. Those stopped cars end up passing you again seconds later, and they are annoyed by having to pass multiple times. Passing on the right is also unsafe because motorists are not looking for passing traffic on the right hand side and it puts the cyclist into the “right-hook” zone.

  • digitalfiend
    Posted at 23:42h, 27 July Reply

    I wonder how long it will take for this bill to reach Royal Assent. Most of my cycling is done on back roads when possible, though occasionally I’ll have to transit a faster road such as Hwy 12 to reach a particular destination (e.g. heading to Port Perry.) I’ve found that most motorists are reasonable and provide a sufficient buffer when passing but, lately, I’ve noticed that truck drivers don’t extend the same courtesy.

    It is extremely dangerous to be buzzed by a dump truck or 18-wheeler doing 90km/h+. The air-wake they create at those speeds can be tremendous on a windy day and, when they pass so closely, you can quickly find yourself pushed off the narrow shoulder into the gravel, which would generally lead to a crash on a road bike.

    I try to minimize the amount of time I spend on narrow higher speed roads out of respect for motorists but sometimes there isn’t a choice and a law like this would hopefully make it easier to hold discourteous drivers accountable.

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