Santa Barbara- S County

Cyclists Want To Work With Drivers To Make Roads Safer

ORCUTT, Calif. - Andy Rice was riding his bike along Union Valley Parkway when a car making a left turn at that intersection hit him and split his bike in half.

"The vehicle didn't see me and we collided real close to this crosswalk," said Rice as he showed KCOY 12's Cory James where the accident happened Tuesday.

Rice says the woman driving the SUV that hit him "slammed on the brakes."

In a few weeks, a new California law, Three Feet for Safety Act will go into effect. The bill will require all drivers to keep at least a 3-foot distance when passing bikes.

Tony Gamberutti says aggressive driving has gotten out of hand over the past decade and adds "some people have such a disdain even if you're riding by yourself on the side of the road to come up and yell at you or throw something at you."

Gamberutti manages Main Street Cycles in Santa Maria. He remembers the time when "girls would whistle at you … and you had people passing you slowly and courteously."

Though his bike was destroyed, Rice tells Central Coast News that he suffered minor injuries and says "[his] situation was a pure accident."

Three Feet for Safety Act starts Sept 16 and drivers who fail to keep a 3-foot distance between them and cyclists when passing can face a fine.

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