The new three-foot law may be very difficult to enforce.
The measure, which took effect in June, states that a motorist must be at least
three feet away from a cyclist before passing. According to sponsors, the idea is to educate
motorists and encourage them to share the road with cyclists. They do
admit that it will often be up to the officer's discretion as to whether
or not a ticket is appropriate, as measuring 36 inches between moving
vehicles is challenging, at best.
The base fine is $35; if a cyclist is injured, the fine jumps to $225.
Many officer still rely on pacing to check speed limits: they simply follow
a car to gauge its speed and issue a ticket if necessary. Although that
method is tried and true, and inexpensive, it obviously has some flaws.
Aside from being imprecise, it's also dangerous. The officers take
their eyes off the road to look at the speedometer, and take their minds
off the road to perform arithmetic.
More and more officers are now using
more advanced techniques, such as radar, laser and cameras. Better evidence in court means that
it's harder to beat these tickets yourself, which is why you need
an attorney regularly practicing in Fresno courts on your side. If you
don't have a legitimate legal or factual defense, you can still walk
away with a victory, because a lawyer can get the fine and/or points reduced,
and maybe even find some defense that you overlooked.