Last week a bicycle safety organization unveiled plans that would hopefully mean safer roads for cyclists. The plan is for a bill that would give law enforcement the authority to charge drivers involved in crashes with cyclists. The current Kentucky law does not allow police officers to cite individuals for violations such as striking a cyclist unless they witness the accident. There are exceptions to this prohibition. They include suspicion of impaired driving or leaving the scene of the accident. Otherwise no citation can be issued. The new crime the group has suggested is “Vehicular Assault of a Bicyclist or Pedestrian.”
Rep. Jim Wayne plans to sponsor the bill and is looking for another to co-sponsor the bill. At the meeting were two other representatives who have concerns. Ron Crimm supports the intent of the group but “is wary of giving sweeping powers to police if they don’t witness a crash.” Rep. Scott Brickman pointed out that “vehicular homicide laws apply and that cyclists injured in crashes can seek civil penalties.” The bill would also give more responsibility to cyclists as well. The bill would define a bicycle as a “pedal-propelled vehicle” which would mean under the new law a cyclist could be held liable if they recklessly struck another cyclist or pedestrian.