Location: Kansas

3-Foot Passing Bill Moves Forward in Kansas

From Heath Glenn, Vice President of the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club:

GREAT NEWS. We continue to make progress on the 3-foot passing legislation. This week we were assigned a House Bill number. HB2174. We are hopeful within the next couple weeks there will be hearings on this Bill in which the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club has requested to make a statement to the committee. Once this Bill makes it through committee and to the House floor we will be asking you to contact your respective Representatives.

Please pass this information along to anyone you know who rides a bicycle or even those who have kids or grandkids who ride. Remember it will take the support of all of us to make this a reality. Stay tuned for more information.

The bill was introduced on February 7th, and was referred to the Committee on Transportation on February 8th. The Kansas Legislature web site has additional information on HB2174, “Duty of motorists to maintain 3 foot distance when passing bicyclists”. Here is the full text of the bill:

By Committee on Transportation

AN ACT regulating traffic; concerning overtaking and passing; bicycles;
amending K.S.A. 8-1516 and repealing the existing section.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

Section 1. K.S.A. 8-1516 is hereby amended to read as follows: 8-
1516. The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of
vehicles and bicycles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those
limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:

(a) 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.

(b) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted,
the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of
the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed
of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(c) (1) The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the
same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a distance of not less than
3 feet and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until
safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.

(2) The driver of a vehicle may pass a bicycle proceeding in the
same direction in a no-passing zone with the duty to execute the pass only
when it is safe to do so.

Sec. 2. K.S.A. 8-1516 is hereby repealed.
Sec. 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.

Section C-1 and C-2 is the new language that would be added to the existing 8-1516 statute.

3 Feet To Pass (Colorado)According to BikingBis, there are currently 16 states that require a safe-passing distance of 3 feet (including out neighbors in Arkansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma), and more bills are moving forward around the country, including Missouri.

Additional resources can be found at 3feet2pass.com, 3feetplease.com, and give3feet.org.

Image courtesy of Bicycle Colorado.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

3 responses to “3-Foot Passing Bill Moves Forward in Kansas”

  1. Bryan says:

    Keep up the good work. I am in favor of this bill as an avid cyclist who rides thousands of miles a year. However I also am worried that this will be like many other laws that are never enforced.

    I compare it to adding more laws against drunk drivers. None of us want drunk drivers on the road. Yet the laws already in place are not enforced and we continue to have them. A few years ago citizens in Wichita were up in arms when a mother and her 5 year old daughter was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street to take the daughter to kindergarten. He was speeding down a residential street at an estimated 100 mph.

    It turned out that the driver had already had 9 convictions of DUI’s and was on parole and had a drivers license. The laws are in place that by 9 DUI convictions in Kansas that one should be in prison. And now that he has killed two innocent people he has been sentenced to prison and will be in his 90’s before he is eligible for parole. But why does it have to come to that first? He should have been in prison about 8 DUI’s ago in my opinion.

    Cases of bicyclists hit by cars are handled the same way. The elderly man that pulled out in front of me last summer did not even receive a traffic ticket. I was on a major 4 lane street and he crossed the road from a mobile home park to the parking lot of a laundromat. Then he left the scene of the accident in spite of me running behind his car and getting his tag number. In my opinion he would have had to hit a whole pack of bicycle riders and killed several of them in order for any action to be taken regardless of any laws that already exist.

  2. Greg Pottorff says:

    House Bill 2058 proposing to allow motorcycles to proceed through red lights after a reasonable period of time if the signal fails to detect the presence of the motorcycle has been amended to include bicycles. The bill is also pending before the transportation committee.

  3. Randy Rasa says:

    Thanks for the info, Greg. That’s great news!