Daily Archives: April 1, 2011

Legislature sends ‘dead red light’ bill to governor

Motorcyclists who are used to sitting at red lights that won’t change may not be waiting much longer.

The House and Senate agreed today to send to Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that would allow them to proceed through red lights that do not detect their presence.

Many stoplights are triggered by weight sensors embedded in the road that do not detect motorcycles. Motorcyclists often find themselves waiting at red lights for a car to come along to trigger the sensor. Or they are forced to break the law by proceeding in spite of the red light.

The “dead red” bill states the rider must wait a reason-able period of time for the light to change, and must yield to any vehicle or pedestrian that has the right of way, as if there were a stop sign at the intersection.

The bill also contains a provision requiring vehicles that overtake bicyclists to pass on the left with no less than three feet of space in between.

–Todd Fertig

House votes to end funding for broadband access

A proposal to eliminate the Kan-ed initiative — which brought broadband access to hundreds of schools, hospitals and libraries — passed the House today.

Kan-ed was formed in 2001 to contract with communications providers to create an in-formation-sharing network.

Rep. Joe McLeland, R-Wichita, said broadband connectivity is now widely available throughout the state, and most entities are already relying on other providers because Kan-ed service is not sufficient. He said Kan-ed provides only a 1.5 megabit bandwidth.

“Kan-ed is too slow and it’s obsolete,” McLeland said. “Most places are buying extra bandwidth already.”

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Senate agrees to raise speed limit to 75 mph on some highways

A proposal to raise the speed limit on some Kansas highways to 75 mph cleared a big hurdle this morning in the Kansas Senate.

The Senate voted 23-14 to approve the speed limit increase, which would make Kansas one of 14 states with a 75 mph speed limit.

The bill still has to be approved by the House, which is highly probable since the chamber has already approved it twice this session.

The proposed change would affect separated multi-lane highways. The Kansas highway department would have discretion about where the speed limit would be raised.

The state has about 1,050 miles of highways that could be affected by the proposal, including the interstates.

The speed limit in Kansas has been 70 mph since 1996, although there have been unsuccessful attempts to raise it by the Legislature in the past.

–Brad Cooper