Motorists will need to maintain a minimum passing distance of 1.5 meters when overtaking cyclists on the road. This is the minimum buffer a new bill passed by the House of Representatives hopes to impose.

House Bill 8911 or the “Minimum Overtaking of Cyclists Distance Act” was unanimously approved on the third and final reading earlier this week. The bill was principally authored by Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento, and ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.

The proposed law also prescribes hefty fines for violators, starting at P5,000 for the first offense; P10,000 for the second offense; P15,000 and suspension of driver’s license for the third offense; and P20,000 and revocation of driver’s license for the fourth offense.

The MMDA, PNP, and local government agencies will be deputized to enforce the ruling.

The proposed law is intended to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation, and provide a safer environment for those who do by imposing the minimum distance.

“The passage of this bill is one way of encouraging more people to take up cycling for better health, contribute to a cleaner environment, and cope with the rising transportation costs in our country,” said Tinio.

If ratified into law, the Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Office, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine National Police are to lead the six-month nationwide information, education and communication campaign on the measure.