Traffic laws work best when followed

Have you ever been standing on the side of the road while traffic barreled by? Perhaps you were a pedestrian waiting to cross a busy street or your car broke down on the side of the highway.  The wind from the passing vehicles kicks up road debris, which flies in your direction, striking you in the face and body. You stare down each driver as they pass, making sure they see you and don't veer in your direction. You plot your exit route in case someone does stray from the traffic lane. Roadside workers experience that feeling every day they are on the job. They lobbied for a rule that required drivers to give them extra space to better protect them from those scenarios. How about riding a bicycle with motorized vehicles? How many of you have been riding your bike and had the rocks, glass, dust, etc., hit you after a motor vehicle passed by? Worse still, how many of you have been struck by a part of that passing vehicle? Perhaps, the right side mirror or a part of the trailer smacked you on the shoulder or head. Wouldn't it be great if there was a law to protect you from those occurrences? Well, lawmakers have heard those pleas. In 2010 the Move Over Slow Down law took effect, making it a requirement for drivers to switch lanes or slow down to a safe speed while passing Caltrans crews, tow trucks and emergency response vehicles working on the side of the road. Now, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the Give Me 3 bill, which requires motorists to provide three feet of space between them and the bicyclist they are attempting to pass. If three feet is not possible, he driver must pass slowly and safely. The law goes into effect next September. On Monday, Street Smarts educated the public about the passage of the Give Me 3 law. Them emails and comments were received from drivers expressing their disdain for the new law, declaring their disobedience to the law and demanding that cyclists obey road rules before they obey the law. Really? Sharing the road goes both ways and laws are on the books to help everyone remember their place and the proper interactions expected on the road. Don't threaten someone else's safety because you feel they are disobeying the law. They probably have the same thoughts about you. Please, do the best you can to be safe and thoughtful for all road users. Traffic laws require you to look out for the other guy on the road, whether they are moving or not. Please respect them -- the laws and the people. You'd want them to do the same for you.
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