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Kentucky becomes 30th state to require 3 feet or more to pass a bicyclist!

Last week, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed HB 33 – An Act Relating to the Overtaking of Bicycles on a Roadway. This law will require motorists overtaking a bicycle to: Change lanes to pass if on a multi-lane road and able to safely do so, and provide no less than 3 feet when passing on a single lane road. The law also allows drivers to cross double yellow lines in order to comply with the 3 foot minimum distance under certain circumstances.

This law reflects a lot of recent legislative trends in safe passing laws, including features found in the League’s model safe passing law:

  • Kentucky joins Delaware and Nevada in requiring drivers to change lanes to pass on multi-lane roads, which is consistent with our model law; and
  • Kentucky’s double yellow line exception is similar to the exceptions found in Oregon and Rhode Island, which were used in our model law.

You can find more about safe passing laws, and other bike-related laws, on our Bike Law University page – including a newly updated chart of state safe passing laws.

This success owes a lot to the tireless work of Dixie Moore. I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with Dixie since 2015, when she first contacted me as “a cyclist in Kentucky interested in trying to move Kentucky toward having a ‘3 ft. law.’” Since that time, she has organized other cyclists and lobbied her legislators to get it done. It has been great to be a part of that journey, whether sending her a shipment of bike pins or writing a letter to a legislator who wanted more information about an aspect of the 3 foot passing law. She has been the driving force for this legislation — organizing bicyclists in Kentucky through a google group and Facebook page, and providing detailed updates at every step in the legislative process. Congratulations to Dixie and all of the bicyclists in Kentucky on the passage of this law!


Click below to see the laws for your state!

Safe Passing Laws