Colorado’s new ‘3 foot’ law requires motorists to give cyclists space

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado drivers will have to give cyclists more space on the road.

The “Three Foot” law requires drivers to provide three feet of space for riding cyclists when passing.

As part of Colorado Bike Month, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Colorado organization announced new signs informing drivers of the requirement.

“I know motorists may think they have to cross a double line to protect a cyclist. The law does take that into account and allows drivers to cross a double yellow line to pass,” said CDOT director Shoshana Lew.

Thirty-five states currently have a one-meter clearance law. CDOT reports that 20 cyclists died on the road in 2019.

Pro cyclist and globally recognized triathlete John Phillips of TriBella Sports told FOX31 that safety laws protect the cyclist and driver by reducing the risk of accidents.

“Cyclists are not leaving, motorists are not leaving. We need to embrace each other so that we can use all our resources as effectively and safely as possible,” said Phillips, adding that the demand for mountain bikes is increasing among those who want to avoid cycling on city streets.

He and others who have petitioned for the law say mutual respect for security is the only way forward.

“If we pass a cyclist in a car, be nicer, on a bicycle a pedestrian, be nicer, and all of the above,” Phillips said.

More than 75% of Colorado residents own at least one bicycle. Phillips said there’s a good reason for the sport’s popularity, explaining that cycling “is just magical. It gives you these endorphins and physical, mental and emotional well-being.”