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HomeSafer Passing Law 2018

FACT SHEET: Three-foot bicycle passing - HB 33

 (Same as bills in 2016 and 2017  plus an accommodation for narrow roads)  by Rep. Jerry Miller, Louisville


Increase Safety for Motorist and Bicyclist

  • 79 people riding a bicycle killed on KY roads 1/2004 -9/2016, 8 in 2016, 7 in 2017. 1a,b,c
  • 4,625 people riding a bicycle reported injured in vehicle collisions 1/2004-9/2016. 1a,1dEstimated 591,111 people who ride bicycles in KY, 1/8 of population by Strava. 2a,b,c
  • This Bill provides, in part that:
  • Passing vehicle use the adjacent lane if available. 3a
  • Passing vehicle pass to the left at a distance not less than 3 ft. if space available.3a,b,c,
  • Passing vehicle may drive to left of a no passing yellow line if safe with unobstructed view and no on-coming traffic. 3a,d
  • This bill provides a strong education platform for driver and people riding bicycles4a,b,c,d,e
  • This bill is not a substitute for bicycle lanes.5a,b
  • Other KRS and KAR statutes remain unchanged. 6a,b,c,dBicycles still stay as close as practicable to the right.6d
  • Wide range of supporters.7e       

Economic benefits – Safety Brings Cyclists 8a,b

  • Cycling tours & events – bring in dollars. “Wallets on Wheels.” 9a-k
    • Ironman Louisville. 3,000 competitors.A third of the event is biking 112 miles in Jefferson, Oldham and Henry Co., generates $5.6M. 9a
    • Horsey 100, 2,685 visitors, $623,000 economic impact for Scott Co. 9b
    • Redbud Ride, London. 1402 cyclists; $163,000 - $299,000 est. economic impact. 9c
  • 15 trail towns, 13 in Eastern KY, want to attract tourists including cyclists. 10
  • Touring riders spend an average of $100 or greater per day
  • KY is crossed by 4 US Bike Routes (USBR). Low estimate2000 cyclists/year 11
  • Low cost safe transportation alternative 12 a-h


Health benefits

  • In 2010 25-29% of Kentuckians were obese, up from 15-19% in 1990.13a
  • A more active population has fewer medical costs, is healthier and more productive. 13b,c

For more information see the FB page “A Safer Passing Law for Bicycles in KY". Contact Dixie Moore,,  858-227-6165 or Phil Hanrahan, , (859) 338-5700, Citizen Advocates for a Safer Passing Law. Jan 2018.


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Footnotes to the Fact Sheet on Three-Foot Bicycle Passing Law 

1a. Summary statistics for reported collisions in Kentucky 1/1/2004 - 9/12/2016. Collisions: 6,196, Hit and Run: 16% with 980 cases, Injuries: 75% with 4,625 injuries, Fatalities: 1.3% with 79 fatalities, Data from Kentucky Crash Analysis Wizard:, Daily Fatality Summary, KY Office of Highway Safety.


1b.  Bicycle fatalities represent two percent of all traffic fatalities and 7 % of all traffic injuries, and yet bicycle trips account for only one percent of all trips in the United States, p. 37, Alliance for Biking & Walking, 2016 Benchmarking Report.


1c.  Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclist deaths were up 13, 10 and 9% from 2014 to 2015 …Americans drive more miles when economy improves.  94% percent of crashes tied to human choice and error. Halsey and Lewis, Traffic Deaths up Sharply in 2015, Washington Post, July 1, 2016.


1d.  According to the2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, nearly a third of all injuries are caused when bicyclists are struck by cars.


2a. There are 15,960 confirmed Strava users (Strava is a mobile app which tracks cyclists’ rides). Strava estimates there are 591,111 cyclists in KY; 1/8 of the population. Kentucky, Statewide Cycling and Ped Data, 10/27/16


2b. Approximately 8000 cyclists buy “Share the Road” specialty license plate” each year which brings in approximately $80,000 per year in fees which is used for the Paula Nye grants for bicycle and pedestrian safety.


2c.  18+ bicycle clubs in KY: Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts, Bicycle Owensboro (Daviess County ,500),  Bicycles of the Barrens (Glasgow), Bluegrass Cycling club (in 2017 Central KY,850 members, rode 388458 club miles, average 20 rides per week), Central Kentucky Cyclists (Campbellsville), Central Kentucky Wheelmen (Elizabethtown), Chain Reaction Cycling  Club (Paducah), Cumberland Valley Cycling Club (London), Laurel County Kentucky Cycling Club(London), Letcher County Cycling Club,  Limestone Cycling League,  Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia), Little River Cycling Club (Hopkinsville), Louisville Bicycle Club, Louisville's Relaxed Recumbent Riders, Murray State University a "club sport",  Pennyrile Area Cyclists (Hopkins county,(Madisonville), Walk/ Bike Frankfort , West KY Cyclists


3a. Based on League of Am. Bicyclists model law.  Current law on passing is KRS189.300, Section 2. (1)…. an overtaking vehicle shall not again drive to the right until reasonably clear.


3b.   At least three feet of space when passing bicyclists and the passing vehicles should move back into the right lane only when well clear of the bicyclist is already recommended by KY. KY’s Driver’s Manual, 2016, p. 45., KY’s Bike Law Brochure


3c. 34 states have safe passing laws to use adjacent lane or give 3 ft. or more.


3d. Thirteen states including Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia allow crossing the center line to pass a bicycle.  Safer because of smaller size of person on a bicycle, greater visibility.


4a. Law would allow for “sharrows” i.e.   “Shared arrows” markings that signal bicycles may be in lane; in towns and cities where riding too close to the curb would be a hazard due to narrow lanes, on street parking, grates, etc.  (Lexington, Louisville, Paris, Corbin, Morehead, Georgetown, Hendersonville)


4b. Increase safety through education and possible future enforcement. Advocates in states that have passed a 3 Foot Law believe that safer interactions and a growing sense of legitimacy for the cycling community are occurring. They point to anecdotal evidence of a general sense that motorists are giving more space to cyclist as they pass to support their argument. Rutgers U., New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center, 4/6/2013.


4c. Concerns about safety consistently rank as the top deterrent to bicycling.   Kay Teschke, December 8, 2014, Momentum Mag, “Is Cycling Safe?”


4d. A public policy response to the most common reason for the death of a person on a bicycle. An assist for punishing unsafe driver behavior that results in injury or fatality.


4e. May have to wait for an opportunity to pass, just as you do now with slower moving cars or trucks.  Many traffic laws take into account vulnerable road users when setting special speed limits and passing rules when approaching schools, crosswalks, school buses, emergency vehicles and road crews


5a. Protected bike lanes are safer than riding in mixed traffic on busy streets.  Kay Teschke, December 8, 2014, Momentum Mag, Is Cycling Safe?


5b. Bicycle lanes not practical for narrow and one lane roads in suburban and rural areas.


6a. The operator of any vehicle upon a highway shall operate the vehicle in a careful manner, with regard for the safety & convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway. KRS 189.290 (1)


6b. A bicyclist still is to give “assistance….to the other (operator) as the circumstances reasonably demand, in order to obtain clearance and avoid accidents.” KRS 189.350 (2)


6c. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. 601 KAR 14.020, Section 7 (2).


6d. The operator of any vehicle moving slowly upon a highway shall keep his vehicle as closely as practicable to the right-hand boundary of the highway, allowing more swiftly moving vehicles reasonably free passage to the left. KRS 189.300 (2)


7e. List of  supporters in 2017 and 2018: Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee of Lexington, Bicycle Owensboro, Bicycling For Louisville, BikeWorld (Paducah), Bluegrass Cycling Club, Bowling Green League of Bicyclists, Mayor Brian Traugott (Versailles), Cave County Trails, Cave Run – Red River Gorge Mt. Bike Alliance, Central KY Cyclists, Chain Reaction Cycle Club (Paducah), Christian Co. Health Dept.,  Cumberland Valley Cycling Club (London) , Dawson Springs (Trail Town, Mayor Sewell) Frankfort Walk/Bike, Friends of Boone Trace, Friends of the Dawkins Line,  Henderson Co. YMCA, Hopkins Co. YMCA, Joe Bowen (Rugged Red), the KY State Alliance of YMCA’s, KY Bicycle & Bikeway Commission, KY Conservation Committee (Advocacy group for conservationists),  Letcher Co. Cycling Club, Letcher Co. Tourism, Lexington’s Bicycle Ped Advisory Committee, Little River Cycling Club (Hopkinsville), London, KY, Mayor Troy Rudder (Trail Town), London – Laurel Co. Tourism, Louisville Bicycle Club, Mays Lick Amish Community, Mercer Co. Health Dept., Morehead Tourism (Trail Town),  Paris-Bourbon Co. YMCA, Pennyrile Area Cyclists, Pike Co. Tourism (Elkhorn City, Trail town), Pikeville YMCA,  Prestonsburg, Mayor Les Stapleton, Queen City Bikes (5 Northern KY Co.), Royalton (Trail Town),Scheller’s Cycling (bicycle stores in Lexington and Louisville) , Southwest KYMBA, Stearns (trailtown)/McCreary Co. Tourism, Tri-Cities Trail Town  (Benham, Cumberland and Lynch), YMCA of Central KY.


8a. To have an enjoyable and safe experience, cyclists need courteous and educated drivers. Respondents         advocated for bicycle friendly signs, increased driver education on cycling safety and consideration, particularly about how to pass and the three foot rule.  Analysis of Touring Cyclists: Impacts, Needs and Opportunities for Montana" (2014).


8b. KY ranked 43ndh as “bicycle friendly” by the League of Am. Bicyclists in 2017. In 2009 KY was 27th.  3 of the 7 recommendations from the League of American Bicyclists to make KY more bicycle friendly are adoption of a safe passing law with a minimum distance of 3 ft. to address bicyclist safety, adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy and public outreach & law enforcement training so that all understand safe bicycling practices. .


9a.   Strong economic benefit in Louisville from cycling events. 1.) Ironman Louisville presented by Norton Sports Health. 3,000 competitors from 48 states and 20 foreign countries. Swim 2.4 miles Ohio river. Bike 112 miles Jefferson, Oldham and Henry Counties Ky. Run 26.2 in Louisville. Generates $5.6M to local economy. Hosted since 2007. Now in third year of five-year agreement. 2.) Championships presented by Papa John's. 1,100 cyclists from 44 states. Time Trials - Taylorsville; Road - Cherokee Park; Criterium - Shawnee Park. Generates $1M to local economy. (Also will host the 2017 Criterium Pro Championships at same time; course will be moved to downtown.) 3.)Derby City Nationals BMX presented by Texas Roadhouse. 1,200 cyclists from 34 state and eight foreign countries. Held Labor Day Weekend for 32 years. Generates $2.4M annually to local economy. Recently signed 10-year agreement with USA BMX to keep event in Louisville through 2026. Sports Commission raised $950,000 for improvements to the facility, completed in September 2016. 4.) Derby City Cup Cyclocross. 1,100 cyclists from 36 states. Held first weekend in November. Annually generates $1M to local economy. Held at Eva Bandman Park, site of 2012 and 2013 UCI Masters World Championships and 2013 UCI Elite World Championships. Information compiled by John Roth Eisinger, Bicycle & Ped Coordinator,Louisville Metro Department of Public Works and Assets


9b. 2016 Economic Impact Analysis, Dr. Jason R. Swanson, U. of Kentucky. 11/2016


9c. The 4th annual Redbud Ride in 2014 had 1205 participants, 1133 from out of town. In 2015 it was raining and total participants were 997; in 2016 total number was 1400.  The out of town visitors in 2014   were estimated to spend between $299,033 and $163,109 not including the $25 to $60 registration fee.  The high figures is based on including lodging; the low figure is without lodging. The average daily spending figures by visitors by region was obtained from the Tourism Department (email, Laura R. Negron,, 10/26/16).


9d.  Bike Morehead 2016, 6/18/16,  had 255 participants, its third year and first with KY Century Challenge.   50 to 100 of the participants spent the night, a few stayed at campgrounds.  Food vouchers were given to restaurants for dining during the event.  Post event survey noted “significant increase in attendance from prior year, overwhelming positive comments, many said they would be back, good local economic stimulus, food, gas, hotel shopping.”  Using average daily spending by visitors for the Northern Eastern Highlands in 2015 the economic stimulus is estimated at $20,000 to $22,000.


9e. Tours range from one to two days, 25 to several hundred riders to a few well established tours that pull in 1000 to 2000 participants.  Appalachian Bike Tour (Yatesville Lake ,Sept), Bike Morehead (June), Bike the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bourbon and Bluegrass Century(Owensboro, Aug), Black Mt. (Letcher County, Sept), Gravel Ride (London September),  Hub Century (Hopkinsville, Sept), Horsey Hundred (Georgetown, May, 2000+), Kentucky Bicycle Rally Series (Jenny Wiley Cycling Rally,(Prestonsburg, Oct.) , Pine Mt. Summit (Whitesburg, Aug), and Tour de Knott, (Hindman, Sept.), Kentucky Century Challenge (4 rotating tours every year), Lake Cumberland 360 (June),  Misaligned Minds (Paducah, Sept), M.S Ride (L’ville, Frankfort, different parts of state,  one per yr., two days),  My Old KY Home (Louisville-Bardstown, Sept) , Red Bud Ride (London, April, 1000+), Red River Rally (Red River Gorge, Oct.), Ride4Hope (Cincinnati – Whitesburg, Sept.), Royalton Rail Trail Festival (June), Savory Cycle (Fayette/Woodford Co., Sept.), Summer Motion Bicycle Tour (Ashland, July) , Thriller Ride (London, Oct.), Tour de Lou (Louisville, April), Trail of Tears Century (Grand Rivers, Oct.)


9f. Internet Sites that advertised paid multi-day tours in Kentucky, Easy Rider Cycling (KY firm), cycling holidays vary in price from $1400 - $2000;, $2290,, $1950,, $1600.


9g.   Bicycle tourists referred to as “wallets on wheels.” Because they stay longer in a state and spend more per day than other tourists. The Pew Charitable Trusts, “Bicycling Tourists are older, wealthier, and in demand,” Stateline, 11-30-2015.


9h. Bicycling contributing $133 billion to the total outdoor recreation economy of $730 billion in the U.S., in 2006. The Outdoor Industry Foundation.


9i. The tourism and travel industry contributed over $13.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2015. Direct expenditures by tourists accounted for over $8.7 billion of this total —an increase of 5% since 2014.  Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Economic Impact of KY’s Travel and Tourism Industry – 2015


9j.   Aspirational participants in Recreational Survey reported camping and bicycling in their top three most appealing activities. Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline report 2016, .


9k. Cyclists touring in Montana spend on average $75.75/person/day.  Touring cyclists have a median age of 53 years old. 56% of cyclists have a median household income of $75,000 - $150,000, with 10% earning over $200,000.  Analysis of Touring Cyclists: Impacts, Needs and Opportunities for Montana" (2014).


10. Berea (Madison Co.) Columbia (Adair Co.,) Cumberland, Benham & Lynch (Harlan Co.) Dawson Springs (Hopkins/Caldwell Co.), Elkhorn City (Pike Co.) Jamestown (Russell Co.) , Livingston (Rockcastle Co.), London (Laurel Co.) , Manchester (Clay Co.) , McKee (Jackson Co.) , Morehead (Rowan Co.) , Olive Hill (Carter Co.) , Royalton (Magoffin Co.), Stearns (McCreary Co.).  Prestonsburg, Paintsville and Slade are applying.


11.  USBR 76 Trans Am ( Crittenden County to Elkhorn City, 491 miles), USBR 21 Bluegrass Tour (Jellico to Maysville), USBR 25 Underground Rail Road (Grand Rivers to Owensboro, follows the Ohio River)  and USBR 35 Ramblin River corridor follows the Ohio River.

Minimum yearly estimated number of riders on the Trans AM  crossing KY is 600, based on Adventure Cycling selling 600+ map sets each year for the TransAm route. USBR76 is the oldest route established 1976. The Underground RR Route map sales are 100 to 150 map sets.  Email correspondence with Adventure Cycling, 10/2016.


12a. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Transportation adopted a policy of doubling the percentage of trips made by bicycling & walking while simultaneously reducing by 10 percent the number of bicyclists & pedestrians injured in traffic crashes.


12b. USDOT’s “Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets” in 2015 encourage local governments across the country to pursue bicycle and pedestrian efforts that would benefit the health, safety, transportation, and quality of life of community members. At Louisville was a winner in the “Educate and Enforce” Category.


12c. The 2016 KY Driver’s Manual encourages cycling. P. 62 “Your vehicle is really safest and most economical when it is parked. Consider carpooling, taking the bus, using a bicycle, or walking.”


12d. 124% increase in commuting cycling from 2005 to 2014 in KY. The average bicycling trip is 4 miles or less. 2014 American Community Survey data.


12e. Towns and cities are putting in bike lane and shared lanes. Before 2011, only 78 protected bike lanes existed nationwide. By summer 2016, 292 protected lanes were on the ground.


12f. Louisville has 76 miles of bike lanes and 59 miles of shared lanes.  Their 2010 updated Bike Master Plan is to have 550 miles of bike lanes. Lexington in 1995 had no bike lanes. In 2016 Lexington has 56 miles of bike lanes, 30.5 miles of shared use trails and 6.5 miles of sharrows.


12g. Community bike shops and bike clubs in Lexington and Louisville give bikes for basic transportation. Approximately 350 bicycles in 2015. (Brokespoke 122 bikes; FCCB 150 bikes, BBC 50 bikes)


12h. In KY bicycle sales up: best-selling bike is hybrid/commuter. Phone and email survey in 2015 and 2016


13a. Kentucky now has the fifth highest adult obesity rate in the nation at 34.6 percent, up from 21.7 percent in from 12.7 percent in 1990.The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier Americareleased September 2016. Obesity is linked to many chronic diseases: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.


13b. More active population is a healthier population. Studies show a positive association between physical activity and public health, including improved physical health, mental health, and social stability., p.30.

13c. Cities whose residents ride, run, walk, and participate in other activities have increased economic growth and productivity compared to areas with more sedentary citizens. These bike-friendly communities also have higher levels of mental health and wellbeing. Building Bike-Friendly Communities Is Good for Economies, Danielle Mueller, 6/17/2015, compiled by Dixie Moore, Citizen Advocate, 859-227-6165,