Nebraska 3-foot passing bill on Governor’s desk

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The Nebraska legislature has sent a bill that requires motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing to Gov. Dave Heineman for his signature.

Unlike the struggle similar bills face in some states, the bicycle safety bill — LB1030 — has been in the fast lane in Nebraska. It was introduced by Sen. Tom Hansen in January and unanimously approved and forwarded last week.

The governor’s signature would make Nebraska the 21st state to enact a safe passing law of 3 feet or greater. (See all 20 states with similar laws.)

The bill passed Nebraska’s unicameral legislature by a vote of 45-0, with 4 absences or abstentions. One member noted later that she would have voted in favor of the bill had she been present.

While the League of American Bicyclists only ranks Nebraska 45th out of 50 states for being bicycle-friendly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state rise in the rankings this year.

Pennsylvania is the latest state with a safe-passing bill. The day it went into effect on April 2, a man was charged with sideswipping a bicyclist on the Fahy Bridge in Bethlehem. The motorist tried to escape but was blocked in by a bus and another motorist.

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