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RB Amgen Prep 2.JPGThe Senate today approved a bill requiring motorists to give bicyclists a three-foot-wide berth when passing them.

Current law requires a motorist to keep a "safe distance," something that Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, the author of Senate Bill 1464, said is dangerous and unclear.

"Providing a three-foot statute is removing the ambiguity that currently exists," Lowenthal said.

SB 1464 is similar to a bill vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. Lowenthal removed provisions to which Brown objected that required motorists to slow to 15 miles per hour when passing bicyclists.

"As a result of the changes we've taken, this bill, this year, has no opposition," Lowenthal said.

The measure passed 27-6 and now goes to the Assembly.

PHOTO CREDIT: Members of the BMC Racing team pedal through L Street traffic near the Capitol in Sacramento on Friday, February 13, 2009. Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee



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