The California version of the so-called "safe passing" 3-foot law, SB 910, did not pass. Here is right-wing Gov. Brown's rejection text:
To members of the California State Senate:
The intent of this bill is to improve bicycle safety, a goal I wholeheartedly support.
This bill changes the longstanding law for how motor vehicles should pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction. Current law requires drivers to pass at a safe distance; this Bill would specify that the distance must be at least 3 feet or at a speed not exceeding 15mph.
This bill offers some needed and clear improvements to the law such as specifying a minimum buffer of 3 feet. However, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol have raised legitimate concerns about other provisions such as the 15mph requirement. On streets with speed limits of 35 or 40mph, slowing to 15pmph to pass a bicycle could cause rear end collisions. On other roads, a bicycle may travel at or near 15mph creating a long line of cars behind the cyclist.
I encourage the author, proponents, and opponents to send me a bill next year that solves these problems.
I am returning Senate Bill 910 without my signature.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Oh wait. Gov. Brown is a liberal Democrat.