On Sept. 20, a spokesperson with the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) announced their intentions to step up their enforcement of the “Minimum 3 in Tennessee” law.

Although the law has been in effect in the state for more than 10 years, police have been less than diligent in enforcing it. They recently acquired C3FT ultrasonic devices though. This makes it much easier for officers to identify those who violate this law.

The increased enforcement of this bike rider protection law couldn’t have come at a better time note some bicycle safety advocates. During the last six years, the number of bike lanes in the city of Knoxville has increased three-fold. Now they span over 17 miles worth of roadways.

City officials hope that increased enforcement of this law will reduce the risk to bikers who have experienced close-call incidents. Under the law, motorists will be required to keep a distance of 3 feet from bicyclists when passing them. By staying this far away from them, the chance of them being clipped by a vehicle’s side mirrors, rammed or sideswiped goes down significantly.

A spokesperson for the KPD noted that they initially intended to simply hand out cards to people they stopped for violating the law in case they didn’t know that it’s been in existence in Tennessee since 2007. They noted that anyone violating the law after the first few weeks, though, would start receiving $50 citations.

Laws requiring motorists to maintain a safe distance from bicyclists first started being enacted in many cities and states across the United States a decade ago. They were enacted in response to countless people becoming seriously injured or dying after being struck by motorists driving too close to them.

Rebuilding your life after you’ve been seriously injured in a bike crash can be difficult to do on many fronts. The traumatic circumstances that led to you getting hurt and the injury itself may have changed you both emotionally and physically. It may have also left you feeling financially distressed. An experienced Knoxville attorney can help make the process of pursuing compensation easy and comfortable for you.