The bill amended Revised Code section 4511.27, among other statutes. Prior to the enactment of this bill, the Code provided little guidance to motorists when passing a cyclist on the road. Previously the law stated that a motorist, “shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance.” This language left every driver to subjectively determine what a safe distance was. The amendment which became effective March 21st, 2017 clarified R.C. 4511.27 to read, “When a motor vehicle . . . overtakes and passes a bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance.” This has become an extremely important modification because the added space now allows for cyclists to have a protective buffer in case he or she needs to swerve, or take evasive action due to debris or another obstruction in their path.
While this new law is a positive step towards protecting cyclists, it likely will not end car/bike accidents. Because such accidents can be catastrophic or fatal, it is important to contact a skilled injury lawyer if you or someone you love are the victims of a car/bike accident.
 Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Traffic Crash Facts (2015), http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2015crashfacts.pdf (last visited Mar 24, 2017).
 2015 Ohio HB 154