Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed House Bill 2192, making 3-foot passing of bicycles and “dead red” state law, effective July 1st.
The 3-foot provision requires motorists to maintain a minimum 3-foot distance when passing a bicyclist, and the “dead red” provision allows bicycles and motorcycles to proceed with caution through red lights that they are unable to trigger.
Here is the relevant portion of the bill related to 3-foot passing:
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 three 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.
With passage of the law, Kansas joins 16 other states that also require a safe-passing distance of at least 3 feet (including our neighbors in Arkansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma).
Here is the relevant portion of the bill related to “dead red”:
K.S.A. 8-1508 is hereby amended to read as follows:
(4) The driver of a motorcycle or a person riding a bicycle facing any steady red signal, which fails to change to a green light within a reasonable period of time because of a signal malfunction or because the signal has failed to detect the arrival of the motorcycle or bicycle because of its size or weight, shall have the right to proceed subject to the rules stated herein. After stopping, the driver or rider shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in or near the intersection or approaching on a roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver or rider is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. Such motorcycle or bicycle traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
At least nine other states have already adopted dead red bills (though some of them apply only to motorcycles, not bicycles).
You can read the full text of the bill, as signed by the Governor on Wednesday, 13 April 2011, here.
Congratulations to all who worked so long and hard to make this happen, especially Alan Apel and Bill Lucero of the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club.
And thanks to you, the cyclists of Kansas, for contacting your legislators and urging them to pass this bill.
Together, we can do amazing things!