Bike commuters wearing hi-vis vests. (File photo via Thinkstock)

Three-foot safe-passing law headed to Kentucky Senate for final approval

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Bluegrass State is one step closer to a safe-passing law for the Commonwealth's roads.

Members of a Kentucky Senate panel approved Wednesday House Bill 33, which would require motorists leave at least three feet of clearance when overtaking a cyclist or other slow-moving vehicle. The bill will head to the full Senate's consideration upon the panel's approval.

The Senate has until mid-April to pass the bill before this year's legislative session ends.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recommends giving three feet, but that is not written anywhere into law. The full Senate's approval would change that.

COLUMN: 3 things Greater Cincinnati cyclists need beyond 3 feet

As WCPO has previously reported, HB 33 is not Kentucky cyclists' first attempt to get a three-foot law passed. In 2016, lawmakers tried to pass Senate Bill 80, but that legislation died in the House Transportation committee.

The current bill's author, State Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, told WCPO that he's confident his efforts will pay off this time around.

"I think the the KYTC realizes that we're one of eight states not having established a safe distance," he said. "It's not something we should have to do, but this would specifically state what is a reasonable, safe distance."

Ohio passed its own three-foot law in late 2016, and it went into effect roughly a year ago.

Pat LaFleur reports on transportation and mobility for WCPO. Connect with him on Twitter (@pat_laFleur) and on Facebook.

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