Topeka A proposal sought by bicyclists as a safety measure was successfully put into a bill on Thursday and teed up for possible approval by a Senate committee.
The provision would require that motorists maintain a 3-foot distance when passing bicyclists. Current law requires a “safe distance.”
In testimony to the Senate Transportation Committee, bicycle riders said that including a numeric distance would better communicate to the public that motorists need to pass a cyclist safely, at a minimum of 3 feet.
“This benefits police officers by providing a simple standard they can explain,” said Alan Apel, treasurer of the Kaw Valley Bike Club.
The 3-foot provision was placed by the Transportation Committee in House Bill 2192, which allows motorcyclists and bicyclists to pass through a red light with caution if their vehicle is unable to trigger the light to change to green after a reasonable amount of time. The final bill will be considered later by the committee.
During debate on the bill in the House, an attempt was made to include the 3-foot provision but it failed on a 55-59 vote.