Houston police to enforce minimum safe passing distance law
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Art Acevedo announced a campaign to protect cyclists from vehicles on the city’s streets
With all the high profile deaths and road rage incidents that have been in the news lately, the city of Houston has made a bold move in leading the way in enforcing laws to help reduce the amount of accidents and educate drivers or cars and trucks, of the dangers of passing cyclists too closely.
The campaign it’s based on a law the City Council passed back in 2013 called the Safe Passing/Vulnerable Road User Ordinance. It requires that vehicles must be at least three feet away from cyclists at all times. Also, passing trucks be at a minimum distance of six feet.
“We will be writing tickets,” Acevedo said. “And hopefully, get people to voluntarily comply with the law.”
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the law by displaying electronic public safety messages and distributing brochures.
Additionally, HPD officers will now enforce the ordinance with a new C3FT device that measures the distance at which a vehicle a passes a bicyclist.
“It’s basically a radar…that actually measures the distance between the cyclist and a passing vehicle,” Acevedo said, describing the device. “We’ve worked out all the bugs. It’s ready to go and it’s certified for use in court.”
The penalty for any violation is a fine up to $500.