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189.010 Definitions for chapter.

(3) “Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge,
viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential
roads and parking lots covered by an agreement under KRS 61.362, off-street
parking facilities offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned,

except for-hire parking facilities listed in KRS 189.700.

(9) “Right-of-way” means the right of one (1) vehicle or pedestrian to proceed in a
lawful manner in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian approaching
under such circumstances of direction, speed, and proximity as to give rise to
danger of collision unless one grants precedence to the other.

(10) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily
used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. If a highway
includes two (2) or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” as used
herein shall refer to any roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

(19) (a) “Vehicle” includes:
1. All agencies for the transportation of persons or property over or
upon the public highways of the Commonwealth; and
2. All vehicles passing over or upon the highways.

(b) “Motor vehicle” includes all vehicles, as defined in paragraph (a) of this
subsection except:

1. Road rollers;
2. Road graders;
3. Farm tractors;
4. Vehicles on which power shovels are mounted;
5. Construction equipment customarily used only on the site of
construction and which is not practical for the transportation of
persons or property upon the highways;
6. Vehicles that travel exclusively upon rails;
7. Vehicles propelled by electric power obtained from overhead wires
while being operated within any municipality or where the vehicles
do not travel more than five (5) miles beyond the city limits of any
municipality; and
8. Vehicles propelled by muscular power.

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189.020 Equipment of vehicle not to be nuisance or menace.
Every vehicle when on a highway shall be so equipped as to make a minimum of
noise, smoke or other nuisance, to protect the rights of other traffic, and to promote
the public safety.

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

(2) No person shall willfully operate any vehicle on any highway in such a manner
as to injure the highway.

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189.330 Turning and right-of-way at intersections.
(6) The operator of a vehicle intending to turn shall do so as follows:
(a) Right turns – both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be
made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the
roadway;

(b) Left turns – the operator of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach
the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in
the direction of travel of such vehicle. Whenever practicable, the left turn
shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and so as to
leave the intersection or other location in the extreme right-hand lane
lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as such vehicle
on the roadway being entered.

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189.340 Overtaking vehicles — Traffic lanes — Following vehicles.

(1) Vehicles overtaking other vehicles proceeding in the same direction shall pass
to the left of them and shall not again drive to the right until reasonably clear of
those vehicles. Vehicles overtaking streetcars may pass either to the right or
left when so directed by a police officer, when on a one (1) way street or where
the location of the tracks prevents compliance with this section, with regard for
other traffic.

(3) The operator of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the
right only under conditions permitting such movements in safety. Such
movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway
unless passing vehicle
comes to a complete stop and such movement may be made safely.

189.350 Assistance in passing or overtaking.
(1) The operator of a vehicle about to be overtaken and passed shall give way to
the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle if the overtaking vehicle is a motor
vehicle.

(2) In all cases of meeting, passing, or overtaking of vehicles such assistance shall
be given by the operator and occupants of each vehicle, respectively, to the
other as the circumstances reasonably demand, in order to obtain clearance
and avoid accidents.

On any marked roadway you still have to change lanes to pass. 

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Assistance in overtaking does not mean driving off the road.

It simply means to not take up any more of the roadway than necessary.

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189.340 Overtaking vehicles — Traffic lanes — Following vehicles.
(6) Whenever any roadway has been divided into three (3) clearly marked lanes
for travel, the following additional rules shall apply:

(a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as may be practical entirely within a
single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first
ascertained that the movement can be made with safety;

(b) A vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking
and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and the
center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for a
left turn or where a center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic
moving in the direction in which the vehicle is proceeding and is
signposted to give notice of the allocation;

(8) (a) The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more
closely than is reasonable and prudent, having regard for the speed of the
vehicle and the traffic upon and condition of the highway.

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189.310 Vehicles meeting other vehicles and animals.
(1) Two (2) vehicles passing or about to pass each other in opposite directions
shall have the right-of-way, and no other vehicle to the rear of those two (2)
vehicles shall pass or attempt to pass either of those vehicles.
(2) Vehicles proceeding from opposite directions shall pass each other from the
right, each giving to the other one-half (1/2) of the highway as nearly as
possible.

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189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right
side of the highway whenever possible,
and unless the left side of the highway
is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to
permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without
interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite
direction or any vehicle being overtaken.
The overtaking vehicle shall return to
the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters
the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any
approaching vehicle.

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(2) 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.

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Vehicles moving slowly. They are as far right as is practicable to the right edge boundary without driving off the roadway.

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189.345 Prohibitions against driving on left side of roadway.
(1) No vehicle shall be driven on the left side of the roadway under the following
conditions:
(a) When approaching or upon the crest of a grade or a curve in the highway
where the operator’s view is obstructed within such distance as to create
a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite
direction;
(b) When approaching within one hundred (100) feet of or traversing any
intersection or railroad grade crossing;
(c) When the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred (100)
feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel.

(2) The foregoing limitations shall not apply upon a one (1) way roadway, nor
when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center
of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all
vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the
highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard, nor to the
operator of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road or driveway.

189.420 Driving on mountain highways.
The operator of a motor vehicle traveling through defiles or on mountain highways
shall hold his motor vehicle under control and keep as near the right-hand edge of
the highway as reasonably possible.
Upon approaching any curve where the view is
obstructed within a distance of two hundred feet (200′) along the highway, he shall
give audible warning with the horn of his motor vehicle.

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189.287 Bicycle safety regulations and standards.
The Transportation Cabinet shall promulgate administrative regulations pursuant to
KRS Chapter 13A to set forth standards for bicycle equipment and the safe
operation of a bicycle. The regulations shall include requirements for lights,
reflectors, and audible warning devices. Bicycles and riders which comply with the
regulations promulgated under this section are exempt from municipal and other
local government regulations concerning safety equipment but not method of
operation. In promulgating the administrative regulations, the Transportation Cabinet
shall permit use of lightweight modern technological substitutes for lights, reflectors,
and bells. The purpose of this section is to encourage bicycling and bicycle touring in
this state by enabling bicycle riders to make use of modern technology to make their
presence known to other users of the road.
The Transportation Cabinet may consult
with organizations of bicycle riders to aid it in the search for bicycle safety equipment
and rules convenient for long distance bicycle riders.

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189.520 Operating vehicle not a motor vehicle while under influence of
intoxicants or substance which may impair driving ability prohibited —
Presumptions concerning intoxication.

(1) No person under the influence of intoxicating beverages or any substance
which may impair one’s driving ability shall operate a vehicle that is not a motor
vehicle anywhere in this state.

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189.570 Pedestrians.

(5) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked
crosswalk at an intersection, to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the
operator of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and
pass the stopped vehicle.
(6) (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point other than within a
marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(7) No vehicle shall at any time be driven through or within a safety zone.
(8) The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a
sidewalk.

(11) Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of
crosswalks.
(12) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
(13) Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a
highway shall walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of
the roadway.
(14) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking
on or along a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of
the roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway shall walk only on the left side of
the roadway.
(15) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway
shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(24) This section shall not relieve the operator of an emergency vehicle from the
duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway nor
from the duty to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.

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189.810 Definitions.
(1) “Slow-moving vehicle” includes farm machinery, including animal-drawn
vehicles, highway construction and maintenance vehicles, and any other type
of vehicle except bicycles, capable of a rate of speed no greater than
twenty-five (25) miles per hour.
(2) “Slow-moving vehicle emblem” consists of a fluorescent yellow-orange triangle
with a dark red reflective border, as specified in American Society of
Agricultural Engineers R276 or Society of Automotive Engineers J943
standards, or consisting of reasonably similar reflective qualities as specified in
said standards.

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189.830 Use of emblem or reflective tape restricted — Exemption from
requirement.

(1) The slow-moving vehicle emblem shall be restricted to the uses specified
herein and the use on any other type of vehicle or on other objects is
prohibited.
(5) The slow-moving vehicle emblem shall not be used on a bicycle.

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To sum up:

A bicycle is a vehicle with all the rights and responsibilities.

Kentucky roadways are first come first served.

A bicycle shall be driven as nearly as may be practical entirely within a
single lane.

If there are no marked lanes, then the bicycle shall be operated on the right half of the roadway.

When traveling on an unmarked highway or a highway dividing into a left side and right side lane. You are required to drive in the right half of the road and should motor traffic approach from the rear, you are only required to move over when it is safe to do so. Over taking traffic is still lawfully required to pass with due care.

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Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission has proposed a set of regulations to assist with the understanding of the safe movement of bicycles on the highway/roadway as well as other regulations regarding the needs of cyclists.


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7 thoughts on “Know your State Laws OR Why Bicycling is better in Kentucky

  1. Thanks for posting this.
    I was looking for the highway definition, as I had noticed how broad it was a couple of years ago. When I saw the latest proposed set of definitions it concerned me that they seem to be moving away from the use of the term “Highway” in favor of “Roadway”. Being suspicious I worry that the result could someday be that bicycles would not have access to highways. The implication is that bicycles could be prohibited from some Highways, as they are now prohibited on Expressways. I have yet to see a Kentucky definition of “Roadway” but would like to believe it is the area between shoulders or edge lines of all Highways, and/or areas where vehicular traffic is permitted.

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      1. I worry about misunderstandings with legal definitions. The definition of a highway above refers to a road not a roadway. It gets difficult to understand a legal definition’s power. Progress should be defined as the opposite of Congress. Adding a prefix or suffix to a word can alter it’s meaning, and legal interpretation, in ways I don’t always understand. I assume that a roadway is the driving surface of a road, so a highway would be the driving surface of a High? I am still curious what the consequence of referring to a roadway instead of highway may someday be. In the meantime should I ride as far to the right of the parking lot as practicable? 🙂 I am not so sure it is as clear as we may think it should be.

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      2. 189.010 Definitions for chapter.

        (3) “Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge,
        viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential
        roads and parking lots covered by an agreement under KRS 61.362, off-street
        parking facilities offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned,
        except for-hire parking facilities listed in KRS 189.700.

        (10) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily
        used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. If a highway
        includes two (2) or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” as used
        herein shall refer to any roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks! That Definition looks good and works well for the use. it really defines the right of bikes to be in the “ordinarily used” portion of the road, instead of the gutter. I like it, but I am logged in for Comments with Facebook and WordPress wants me to log in with WordPress to like it in their system.

        Like

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