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Give me 3': Do minimum distance passing laws reduce bicyclist fatalities?

Cody Nehiba ()

Economics of Transportation, 2018, vol. 14, issue C, 9-20

Abstract: Safely integrating bicyclists onto roadways in the United States has become an important issue as the number of cyclists has steadily increased in recent decades. These concerns have led many city and state legislatures to pass laws requiring drivers to provide a minimum amount of distance between their vehicle and cyclists when passing them on roadways. Many believe these laws are ineffective in reducing the number of bicyclist fatalities because they are difficult for police to enforce, contain loopholes, and the minimum distance required is inadequate. This paper tests this claim empirically using data on 18,534 bicyclist fatalities from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and a differences-in-differences approach, in a negative binomial model, to identify the effect of minimum distance passing laws on bicyclist fatalities. The analysis fails to find a significant effect of enacting a minimum distance passing law on the number of cyclist fatalities after controlling for differences in weather, demographics, bicycling commuter rates, state level traffic, and time variation.

Keywords: Bicycling; Road safety; Traffic fatalities; Passing laws (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R41 R48 I18 R42 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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