FRANKFORT, Ky. — Senate Bill (SB) 80, a bicycle safety bill, sponsored by Senator Robin Webb, D-Grayson, is gaining momentum in the Kentucky Legislature and attention across the state of Kentucky.
On Tuesday The Kentucky State Senate passed SB 80, a bill that has attracted interest from cyclists from the eastern to the western and the northern to the southern regions of Kentucky. Senator Webb said she is pleased with momentum of SB 80, and will see it through the entire process.
“We had an opportunity to move, so we moved it, and so it is in the house now, and we will be working from that angle,” Senator Webb said. “It goes to the House, and then will be assigned to a committee in its jurisdiction, which will probably be transportation. We will then have a committee hearing, and try to get it out of Committee, and if it gets out of Committee successfully it will go to the House floor.”
SB 80 relates to motorists passing cyclists on the roadway. This measure would require cyclists to travel on the right side of the highway and not be required to travel on the shoulder of the highway. It specifies that motorists should allow a distance of three feet when passing a cyclist on the left. It also allows motorists to cross the double yellow line when passing, if it is safe, to ensure the three feet.
“This is a clarification and codification of what people should already be doing,” said Webb. “It is what we learned from our driver’s manual. This simply codifies safe roadway behavior that motorists and cyclists should already be practicing.”
Cycling is an sector that is becoming increasingly popular mode of transportation in the urban and rural areas for recreation, health and necessity. Cycling is also a component of the Kentucky Trail Town (KTT) initiative and will benefit cities like Olive Hill, Morehead and others that are so designated.
The KTT initiative is designed to help connect communities to trail systems and assist in developing sites as tourist destinations. The goal is to create an environment compelling to travelers, entrepreneurs and economic development.
“Motorists need to be mindful that this sector is growing, not only for convenience and recreation, but also sometimes out of necessity,” Webb said.“When they travel through our communities, cyclists spend money. We want to do everything we can to attract them and make them safe when they are in our communities.”
SB 80, which has the support of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission, is now headed to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Senator Webb represents the 18th Senatorial District, which includes Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.