I read an interesting blog today on the League of American Bicyclist website. To me it came under the category of you have been driving for years can you define certain laws and terms included in the Ohio Code? Safe passing is discussed.
“Safe passing laws require vehicles to pass each other at a safe distance.” Ohio does not set a specific distance but refers to a “safe distance”: (section 4511.27) “(1) The operator of a vehicle or trackless trolley overtaking another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the same direction shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, signal to the vehicle or trackless trolley to be overtaken, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle or trackless trolley.” A bicycle is defined by the Ohio code as a vehicle and would be subject to these rules.
The blog went on to discuss why you and I should care-and post for that matter.
“A safe passing law is valuable because it raises awareness as to how vehicles should share the road. It may also lead to enforcement actions against unsafe passing or be used in legal actions resulting from collisions or other incidents between road users.”
So, is a “safe distance” sufficient or should we lobby for the wording to be modifed to three feet?