Despite last week’s defeat of Kansas House Bill 2174, ‘Duty of motorists to maintain 3 foot distance when passing bicyclists’, by a 55-59 vote, the measure may still be alive.
The following note is from Bill Lucero, the lobbyist for the Kaw Valley Bike Club, explaining the situation:
Despite a narrow loss in the House of Representatives last week, Kaw Valley Bike Club lobbyists are guardedly optimistic about resurrecting a 3 foot statute in the Kansas Senate. Efforts are under way to amend a Uniform Seat Belt proposal (HB 2192 currently before the Senate Transportation Committee) to incorporate language from House Bill 2174 that would require motorists to yield three feet when passing a bicyclist.
Already incorporated into the seat belt bill are provisions from HB 2058 (so called “dead red” bill) which would allow motorcycles and bicycles to proceed through a steady red signal when no traffic is present and the signal’s vehicle detector is unable to ascertain the presence of the light weight cycle.
Brief testimony from one proponent for the three feet amendment will be allowed when the Senate Transportation Committee reviews HB 2192 next Thursday, March 10th. Cyclists are encouraged to attend the hearing in room 152 at 8:30 a.m. Meanwhile e-mails and letters of support for a three foot law should be sent to Committee Chair Senator Dwayne Umbarger of Thayer; Senator Bob Marshall of Fort Scott; Senator Kelly Kultala of Kansas City; Senator Roger Reitz of Manhattan; Senators Anthony Hensley and Vicki Schmidt of Topeka; Senators Les Donovan and Mike Petersen of Wichita; and Senator Terrie Huntington of Fairway. If the Bill is successfully amended in the Committee, further communications will be forwarded regarding the next needed step to support enactment.
Heath Glenn, president of the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club, has this to say:
The 3′ passing legislation still has life in it. We need for you to contact the Senators to show your support for the 3′ legislation. Also if you are in the Topeka area we encourage you to attend the hearing March 10th, 8:30 AM, in room 152 in the Kansas State House.
This is the time we have been waiting for so let our voices be heard, don’t delay. There is strength in numbers.
Here is the sample letter provided:
Feel free to use the sample letter (filling in the blanks as appropriate, of course), or personalize it, but please, be focused, concise, and respectful in your comments.
Here are the Senator’s email addresses:
- Senator Dwayne Umbarger: Dwayne.Umbarger@senate.ks.gov (Thayer)
- Senator Bob Marshall: Bob.Marshall@senate.ks.gov(Fort Scott)
- Senator Kelly Kultala: Kelly.Kultala@senate.ks.gov (Kansas City)
- Senator Roger Reitz: Roger.Reitz@senate.ks.gov (Manhattan)
- Senator Anthony Hensley: Anthony.Hensley@senate.ks.gov (Topeka)
- Senator Vicki Schmidt: Vicki.Schmidt@senate.ks.gov (Topeka)
- Senator Les Donovan: Les.Donovan@senate.ks.gov (Wichita)
- Senator Mike Petersen: Mike.Petersen@senate.ks.gov (Wichita)
- Senator Terrie Huntington: Terrie.Huntington@senate.ks.gov (Fairway)
SPEAK UP! Now’s the time.