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New Ohio law requires drivers to give bicyclists more room when passing

(WKEF/WRGT)

(WKEF/WRGT) - Whether you ride a bike or drive a car, there’s a new law in Ohio you need to know about. House Bill 154 passed last year and requires drivers to give at least three feet when passing a rider.

It was created by chairman of the Ohio Bicycle Federation Chuck Smith, has been an advocate for bike safety since 1995 when his 11-year-old son was hit by a car.

“That made me really concerned about our laws involving cycling and that’s when I got involved,” Smith said. “It wasn’t fun and it was a case where a motorist exited the interstate and turned right on red and was looking at left to merge into traffic instead of at my son approaching on the bike path.”

It took Smith eight years to pass House Bill 154. It sat on the Speaker of the House’s desk for an entire year. Smith had emailed him over and over again, but got no response, and then began calling.

“When we started calling, his office started complaining they couldn’t get any work done,” Smith said. “But that was effective. And so soon after we heard from them, they put our bill up for a vote and it passed easily.”

Smith even designed a biking outfit with his “3 Feet Please” logo covering a bright yellow shirt and shorts.

Right now Smith is working on creating legislation that would crack down on cell phone use for drivers.

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