FRANKFORT, Ky. – Senate Bill (SB) 80, sponsored by Senator Robin Webb, D-Grayson, Ky. passed through the Senate Transportation Committee by a unanimous vote on Wednesday in Frankfort, Ky. SB 80 clarifies roadway travel involving bicyclists. The Bill is now headed to the Senate floor for further consideration.
Senator Webb, D-Grayson, though SB 80 successfully progressed through the Senate, there is still more work to be done concerning it.
“It passed the Committee but it has miles to go,” Webb said. “Basically, it is to quantify, and clarify what is in the bicyclists manual, and to raise awareness. The Cyclists clubs brought it to me, and we made some changes to the original Bill in accordance to the Commission’s guidelines. The Transportation Committee is in agreement with it, they appeared with me.”
As cycling becomes increasingly popular, Webb said ensuring their safety on roadways is paramount.
“Cycling is just a growing, and sacred transportation system, and a lot of people are doing it,” she said. “We’ve had a few tragedies in Kentucky lately involving cyclists, so I just thought it was timely for legislation. With the markings on the roads, people are aware of those, and know how to deal with them and also how to deal with the cyclists, which is extremely important.”
Senate Bill 80 would require operators of bicycles to travel on the right side of the highway and not be required to travel on the shoulder of the highway. It specifies that vehicular drivers should allow a distance of three feet when passing a cyclist on the left. It also allows vehicular drivers to cross the double yellow line when passing, if it is safe, to ensure the three feet.
“Basically, this is a clarification of what people should already be doing,” she said. “It is what we learned from our driver’s manual.”
This measure simply codifies safe roadway behavior that drivers of vehicles and bicycles should already be practicing, she said. Cycling is a growing sector of transportation in the urban and rural areas for recreation, health and necessity.
Cycling is also a component of the Trail Town initiative and will benefit cities like Olive Hill, Morehead and others that are so designated.
Among those who appeared with Webb in committee, were Asa Swan, chief of staff, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC); Troy Hearn, bicycle pedestrian coordinator, KYTC; Doug Brent, commissioner, Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission (KBBC) and advocacy vice president for the Louisville Bicycle Club.
Webb said SB 80 must next receive approval from the full Senate, it will go to the House of Representatives further consideration.
Senator Webb represents the 18th senatorial district that includes Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.
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