Drivers now required to give bicyclists three feet when passing

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- A bill headed to Governor Rick Snyder says cars must allow three feet or a "safe distance" when passing a bike on the road.

Before the bill, Michigan was one of eleven states that did not have "safe passing" law. But some cyclists don't think the three-foot distance is enough.

"Its not much. I would give a little bit more than three feet," Paul McKinley said.

"I feel more unsafe now than I ever have before. Cars sometimes are aggressive toward bikes," McKinley added.

Bikers say they think the new law is a step in the right direction, but they still want more room when they're out there on the roads.

"When you're on your bike and right next to a car, this moving vehicle is going a lot faster than you are and is a lot larger than you are. Its kind of intimidating," Catey Regis said.

And it can be extra intimidating if you've had a close call.

"I was running in Lansing right past Impression Five Science Center and a car pulled right out in front of me. I went over the hood and the bike broke in half," Ian Tiilikka said.

Police say it's not always the drivers who are at fault.

"Sometimes accidents happen where a vehicle has the right away and a cyclist crosses against the traffic control device, so that causes an accident and fairly significant injures," East Lansing Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez said.

Police also say that the most common spot for a car-bike accident is at an intersection. Gonzalez also added that people should simply use common sense and what they learned in driver's education.

If drivers are unable to give the required three feet, they are allowed to pass bikes on what they think is a "safe distance."