Michigan House poised to OK 3-foot distance to pass bikes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A bill up for a vote in Michigan's Legislature would require drivers to allow 3 feet (0.9 meters) of clearance while passing a bike, unless it's impracticable.

Wednesday's House vote comes after months of hearings and behind-the-scenes work. Michigan is among 11 states with no "safe passing" law, and bicyclists have been pushing lawmakers to act as more riders are killed by motorists.

As introduced, the legislation would have required 5 feet (1.5 meters) of clearance. But the House is settling on a 3-foot distance.

Another bill up for a vote would mandate teen drivers receive at least one hour of instruction on laws pertaining to bicycles, motorcycles and other "vulnerable" roadway users including pedestrians.

Similar legislation is under consideration in the Senate, where a 5-foot passing distance is proposed.