James asked: I was cycling south-bound along A1A near the Haulover Park traffic signal, when a transit bus approaching me started blowing his horn. In fear of an accident, it caused me to swerve off the roadway. I was cycling on the far right hand side of the road. Is a transit bus exempt from the 3-foot law? When I caught up to him at the red traffic signal, he remarked, “What do you want me to do, there was no room to go around you?”
The statute requiring a minimum of three feet when passing a bicycle applies to drivers of all vehicles.
s. 316.083 – Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle
The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction …. shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.
The driver of the bus is expected to comply with the laws and wait until it is safe to pass. The responsibilities of the overtaking driver and burden for safe passing are described in this post
In such cases, one should obtain all possible information about the offending driver and vehicle, in this case the number of the bus, and immediately report it to law enforcement officials. You can still file a report at your local police department if you have that information.
Working with local advocacy organizations to address institutional problems will eventually result in educated drivers and an improved roadway environment. Here are links to two such organizations in your area.