In California, there is a 3-foot bicycle passing law, that has been in effect since 2014 (Cal Veh. Code § 21760). Currently, 30 states have 3ft passing laws protecting cyclists. North Carolina has a 2ft passing law, and Pennsylvania has a 4 ft passing law. South Dakota has a two-tier passing law, with a three-foot passing requirement for roads with speed limits equal to or under thirty-five miles per hour and six feet on roads that have speed limits greater than thirty-five mph. New York has a 'safe distance‘ rule in place, New Jersey has no law.
In general, here in here in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and the cities within the counties encourage road cycling. There are bike paths,
So it was shocking to be riding along Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara, in front of the East Beach Volleyball courts and have a Honda Accord hood basically appearing beneath my handlebars. Now, I’ve had cars pass close by me many, many times. Usually, any cars passing within 2 to 3 ft, I think of them being a jerk. But this car appeared beneath my left elbow. I still don't know how his passenger side mirror missing my handlebars, or my pedals didn’t hit his fender or door panel.