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Bike talk: how to navigate the new bike buffer zone

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 17: People ride along a controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West on August 17, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. In what is being viewed as a victory for the Bloomberg administration, a judge on Tuesday dismissed an effort by Brooklyn residents to remove a bicycle lane installed by the city on Prospect Park West. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with his transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, has attempted to make New York more bicycle and pedestrian friendly with numerous bike and pedestrian lanes around New York City. The effort has angered some in the city who see the lanes as adding to traffic, taking up parking spaces and a danger to pedestrians. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
People ride along a controversial bike lane on Prospect Park West on August 17, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

A new California law will require drivers to stay three feet from bicycles.

A new California law will require drivers to stay three feet from bicycles. The legislation takes effect on September 16, and is intended to clarify existing laws, which say only that drivers must pass cyclists by a “safe distance.”

But is the new law enforceable? Assemblyman Steven Bradford says that “Law enforcement won’t have a ruler or yard stick out to measure that,” and that the heart of the law is focused on education. The Auto Club of Southern California is part of the awareness campaign for the bike buffer -- proponents are hoping that the law will help people consider bikers more seriously.

Is the bike buffer the best way to keep bikers safe? Is it possible that it could make the road more dangerous for cars trying to keep a legal distance? How will law enforcement in the LA area approach the new law?

Guest:

Sergeant Stephen Egan, LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division

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