Bicycles, etc.; minimum clearance for passing. (SB97)

Introduced By

Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) with support from co-patrons Sen. Jeff McWaters (R-Virginia Beach), and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Minimum clearance for passing bicycles, etc. Increases from two to three feet the minimum clearance between a passing vehicle and a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/26/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14100486D
12/26/2013Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/15/2014Reported from Transportation (13-Y 1-N)
01/17/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N)
01/20/2014Read second time and engrossed
01/21/2014Read third time and passed Senate (31-Y 7-N)
01/24/2014Placed on Calendar
01/24/2014Read first time
01/24/2014Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/07/2014Assigned Transportation sub: Subcommittee #3
02/07/2014Assigned Transportation sub: Subcommittee #2
02/24/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 2-N)
02/27/2014Reported from Transportation (16-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2014Read second time
03/03/2014Passed by for the day
03/04/2014Passed by for the day
03/05/2014Read third time
03/05/2014Passed House (72-Y 27-N)
03/05/2014VOTE: PASSAGE (72-Y 27-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2014Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB97ER)
03/07/2014Signed by Speaker
03/10/2014Signed by President
03/27/2014G Approved by Governor-Chapter 358 (effective 7/1/14)
03/27/2014G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0358)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 2 minutes.


Bob Peckman writes:

If any of you ride a bike, you will know that 3 feet is very close when you are on a bike whch swirves a little and that passing vehicle will kill or maim you if things don't go the wy that driver assumes they will. I would like you to get on your bike a have a patrol officer pass you with two feet of clearance, You may not find an officer willing to do something that dangerous, but if you do, you will come back and work for the passage of this bill.

The transportation committee may feel that bikes aren't good for transportation. If so, working to legislate us off the roads would be logical. But to allow us to continue randomly being killed one by one make no sense!

Bob Peckman writes:

There are vindictive motorists who threaten us by tailing too close. This is a physical threat to our lives. If we hit an obstruction and fall, we're dead. The law should not facilitate such behavior. This behavior does not facilitate traffic. They pass us when it is safe to do so and allow others to do the same. Cyclists should be subjected to assault and threats than anyone else, even if we do think we have a right to use the roads safeely.

Cal Pletcher writes:

I feel this bill serves to bring more attention to the rules protecting a cyclist and may save lives.

Deb Duncan writes:

I support this, as I've had friends who have been endangered by motorists who, either intentionally or not, have driven far too close to them.

Andy Williams writes:

I support this Bill. It is a step in the right direction!

Andrew Schafer writes:

This is an important bill giving cyclist the right to a safe use of roads designed for large vehicles without thought of other transportation modes. THis bill gives us a virtual safety "envelope".

Jeffrey Walters writes:

I support this bill. Thank you.

Amy Laughlin writes:

A law to help the many use their 3,000 vehicles as weapons rather than transportation. A law that may not only save the lives of bicyclist, but save people from their own lack of control.

Sue Madeyski writes:

As a recreational cyclist who was "hit and run" by a car almost 2 years ago, I feel motorists need to be educated regarding how dangerous it is to pass a cyclist too closely, The car that hit me "clipped my elbow" with the side mirror causing me to fall. I love living (and cycling) in such a beautiful state but wish there were more laws (and these laws were enforced) so cyclists did not have to feel like "moving targets" when attempting to improve their health.

Henry writes:

I support support this bill and hope it can save a few lives.

Mark writes:

I support this bill. My brother was clipped by a car coming from behind him by a car that did not allow enough room to pass. The 3 foot distance is adopted by almost half the states. (New Mexico, I believe, requires 5 feet.)

This is long past due.

Bob Counts writes:

Please pass this bill. As a frequent cyclist in northern Virginia, this measure would help safe riding on roads with little or no shoulder. I commute from Maryland to Virginia on bike weekly. It makes no sense for the measure to be adopted in Maryland and not in Virginia.

Thank you.