New law: Give bikes 3 feet

I once heard an acquaintance laughingly brag that he was annoyed with the fact that he, as a driver, was expected to make way for cyclists — and that in fact, he’d recently driven so close to a cyclist that the two-wheeler had to veer off the road. He thought it was a big joke, and couldn’t understand why nobody else thought it was funny.

I think of that nearly every time I drive past someone on a bicycle. I was glad to see in the big stack of end-of-session bills that landed recently on Gov. John Kasich’s desk was one that requires Ohio motorists passing a cyclist to leave at least three feet of clearance between their vehicle and a bike. Kasich signed it into law on Monday.

Previously, drivers had to leave safe distance. Now it’s spelled out. Some cities, such as Dayton, already had the three-foot rule. Dayton has also in recent years gone to some effort to establish clearly marked bike lanes on many of its main streets, especially downtown.

Let’s be careful out there. Drop me an email at