California State Senator Alan Lowenthal introduced SB 910,on February 2011 with support from the City of Los Angeles and the California Bicycle Coalition. As amended on March 25, SB 910 adds a new section 21750.1 to the California Vehicle Code, which would read in part (with emphasis added by me):
The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance, at a minimum clearance of three feet, at a speed not exceeding 15 miles per hour faster than the speed of the bicycle, without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken bicycle.
The “motor vehicle” language specifically exempts cyclists from the three foot and 15 MPH requirement.
Santa Clara County Expressways are a network of high speed arterials with 40 MPH to 55 MPH speed limits. Some of these expressways are popular with commuting cyclists of all abilities because they feature wide, smooth shoulders and few intersections. Fast recreational cyclists riding at 30 MPH are common on Foothills Expressway from Cupertino through Los Altos to Palo Alto, but slower commuters poking along at 10 to 15 MPH aren’t uncommon, and some uphill segments drag cyclist speeds down to the single digits.
Cyclists are also allowed on long stretches of California Interstate highways and other limited access highways. Long distance touring cyclists often utilize these roads. On hills and in headwinds, their speeds very often drop down below 10 MPH.