Alan Apel, a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certified by the League of American Bicyclists, is preparing a proposal for updating Kansas statutes related to bicycling (see the current cycling laws here), and he’s looking for some input from the bicycling community.
Here are his proposed statutes:
A number of states have revised or added protection for cyclists in recent years. I would like to suggest some or all the following put into state law here in Kansas.
Safe Operating Distance: A driver of a motor vehicle must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall give an appropriate signal, 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 operator of a motor vehicle when overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on the roadway, shall leave a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet (3’) and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
Anti-Harassment of Cyclists: It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle. A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Clearer signaling for cyclists:
- A bicyclist shall indicate a right turn by extending the left arm upward, by raising the left arm to the square, or by extending the right arm horizontally to the right.
- A bicyclist shall indicate a left turn by extending the left arm horizontally.
- A bicyclist shall indicate stopping or decreasing speed by extending the left arm or the right arm downward.
- A bicyclist is not required to give signals provided for in subsection (A) continuously if the hand or arm is needed to control the bicycle.
Clarification of lane positioning:
- Except as provided in subsection (B), every bicyclist operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. A bicyclist may, but is not required to, ride on the shoulder of the roadway in order to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
- A bicyclist may ride in a lane other than the right-hand lane if only one lane is available that permits the bicyclist to continue on his intended route.
- When operating a bicycle upon a roadway, a bicyclist must exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
- Bicyclists riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Elimination of the mandatory sidepath law and clarification of right-of-way in bike lanes
- For purposes of this section, ‘bicycle lane’ means a portion of the roadway or a paved lane separated from the roadway that has been designated by striping, pavement markings, and signage for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.
- Whenever a bicycle lane has been provided adjacent to a roadway, operators of:
- motor vehicles may not block the bicycle lane to oncoming bicycle traffic and shall yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane before entering or crossing the lane; and
- bicycles are required to ride in the bicycle lane except when necessary to pass another person riding a bicycle or to avoid an obstruction in the bicycle lane. However, bicyclists may ride on the roadway when there is only an adjacent recreational bicycle path available instead of a bicycle lane.
Imposition of more severe penalties for motor vehicles that violate provisions pertaining to bicycles:
- Except as otherwise provided, in the absence of another violation being cited, a violation of this article by the driver of a motor vehicle is subject to a civil fine of up to one hundred dollars unless a bicyclist is injured as a result of the violation.
- In the absence of another violation being cited, a person driving a motor vehicle who violates a provision of this article and the violation is the proximate cause of a:
- minor injury to a bicyclist, must be assessed a civil fine of up to five hundred dollars; or
- great bodily injury, to a bicyclist, must be assessed a civil fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Definition of a bicycle: A bicycle is a device propelled solely by pedals, operated by one or more persons, and having two or more wheels, except childrens’ tricycles.” (This revision ensures that adult bicycles using more than two-wheels are covered by the statutes.)
Any comments or suggestions?
Feel free to share your thoughts here, or contact Alan via his LCI page.
Post tags: 3-Foot Passing