South Carolina is in the top 5 states for bicycle fatalities. (See our recent infographic for more facts and figures about bicycling in the Palmetto State:) One step we could take to increase safety for cyclists is enactment of a 3-foot passing law.
Skeptics of the 3-foot laws say enforcement is difficult, especially if there is no collision between the vehicle and the bicycle. Proponents, on the other hand, say the collection of fines is not the point — the point is to increase awareness by drivers that they must safely share the road.
When states consider such legislation, a public dialogue ensues, putting the issue of bicycle safety top of mind. Once the 3-foot law is enacted, a public education campaign typically follows, again bringing attention to the topic and causing motorists to be aware that they are expected to alter their driving behavior.