APD: Crackdown on 3-foot passing rule violators going well


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE


Posted on May 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 6:21 PM

AUSTIN – Two weeks ago, Austin police announced a crackdown on drivers who get too close to pedestrians or cyclists in response to a growing number of pedestrian and cyclists deaths.

KVUE News tagged along with Austin police Tuesday to see how the initiative was going.

“It's going well so far. We've had a number of stops. We're really trying to educate people, so it's a mixture of warnings and citations, depending on the type of infraction,” Austin Police Officer Rheannon Cunningham told KVUE Tuesday.

Undercover officers are enforcing Austin’s three-foot passing ordinance which requires drivers to give pedestrians, construction workers or cyclists at least three feet of space when passing. Big trucks have to give at least six feet.

The crackdown began last week and will continue through the end of the year. In late June or early July, the operation will switch its focus from drivers to cyclists.

Any biker behaving badly will be pulled over and could receive a warning or a citation.

Austin police say they are less focused on writing citations and more focused on education, however, egregious violators could get a ticket costing $167.

“We're doing it on a trial basis for the first couple of weeks starting on the eastside of town, but it is going to roll out through the entire city. And the whole initiative is going to go through the entire year,” Cunningham said.