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Two separate bills would reduce stop sign violation fine for bicycles

Posted by on February 9th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Lawmakers might elect to lower stop sign
violation fines for bicycles.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A bill introduced in Salem yesterday would reduce the maximum fine for bicycle operators who fail to stop at a stop sign. Senate Bill 660 “Decreases penalty for failure to stop for stop sign to maximum fine of $40 for person operating bicycle.”

The bill would amend ORS 811.265 “Failure to obey a traffic control device” — a violation that comes with a base fine of $242 whether you’re on a bike or in a motor vehicle. We’re still tracking down official comment from legislators, but at this point all we know is that the bill is sponsored by the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection. Senator Chip Shields, Chair of that committee, has not yet returned our call for comment.

This isn’t the only bill being considered this session that would reduce the fine amount for this violation. House Bill 2332 would establish different fines for different types of vehicles for this and a host of other traffic violations. HB 2332, which currently sits in the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee, would make failure to stop at a stop sign punishable by a maximum fine of $180 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 or less (bicycles), $360 for vehicles that weigh between 1,000 and 6,000 pounds, and $540 for those over 6,000 pounds.

While neither bill has specific legislators listed as sponsors, it’s likely that HB 2332 is the work of House Representative Jules Bailey (D-Portland).

In the 2009 legislative session, Rep. Bailey proposed a weight-based traffic fine bill, but due to a process glitch, was unable to move it forward.

Stay tuned for more information on both of these bills.

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Comments
  • Nick V February 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This proposal seems much more logical to me than that Idaho “rolling stop” business. The more dangerous the vehicle is, the greater the fine……

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    • spare_wheel February 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      The Idaho stop law has been in effect for a long time without apparent consequences. I’m wondering why you think its not “logical”.

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      • Nick V February 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

        We could go back and forth on this, but I think that “stop” should mean “stop” whether you’ve got a car, bike, skates, or whatever. It’s safer for everybody and may ease some of the tension between everyone on the road.

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        • spare_wheel February 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

          So you are more concerned about what other people think that safety. IMO, that has more to do with sentiment than “logic”.

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          • Nick V February 10, 2011 at 6:21 am

            Nice effort, but wrong. If you’ll re-read what I wrote, you’ll find that safety is my main concern. I went on to state that a pleasant side effect could possibly be less animosity when drivers see that we cyclists follow the same rule that they are required to follow

            I’ve seen cyclists who would undoubtedly use the rolling stop law as an excuse to cut off drivers and pedestrians with NO regard for safety. I know this because they already do it even with no such law in place.

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          • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

            Idaho demonstrates that this is not a “safety” issue.

            “I’ve seen cyclists who would undoubtedly use the rolling stop law as an excuse to cut off drivers and pedestrians .”

            This did not happen in Idaho. Are Oregonians ruder?

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          • matt picio February 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

            “This did not happen in Idaho. Are Oregonians ruder?”

            Not generally, but lots of things happen in Idaho that happen nowhere else in the US. And saying “it works in Idaho” doesn’t mean it’ll work here. The Idaho stop law has been on the books for 29 years. I would argue that motorists (defined for this post only as those who use a car and do not bike), who represent the majority of voters, are less patient, more aggressive and less tolerant than they were in 1982. The question is, would Idaho voters approve such a law NOW had it not already been in effect for 30 years? (even if another state had such a law already) I don’t think it’s a given that the answer would be yes.

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        • davemess February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          And you are just lumping all transportation modes together, not recognizing that they are in fact unique from each other. Idaho Stop utilizes the fact that it is almost impossible for a cyclist to injur a person in an automobile. Now we all know the score the other way around. Idaho stop is recognizing that cars and bicycles are different, and should not just be mindlessly lumped together and treated the same.

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          • cyclist February 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

            Cyclists can injure pedestrians and other cyclists though.

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          • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

            An event so rare that its basically irrelevant.

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    • Pete February 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      Looking around while riding in Oregon, California, Washington, I see cyclists everywhere riding as the “Idaho Stop” law describes. It’s behavior that seems sensible to me (legal or not), and clearly many other cyclists. Public perception and politics keep it from passing, not logic.

      This, on the other hand, is logical but just as hard to enforce given that many non-cyclists have no idea what a ‘stopped’ bicycle looks like. “You didn’t put your foot down!”… “Bicyclists run stop signs!”… etc, etc.

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      • wsbob February 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

        “…Public perception and politics keep it from passing, not logic. …” Pete

        I’d venture to guess it’s logic and reality that keep the Idaho stop law from becoming part of Oregon law. Some cyclists see not having to stop at stop signs to be logical for their mode of transportation. Bikes though, aren’t the only mode of transportation on the road.

        Motor vehicles, some of them very heavy, also are on the road, and their operators bear the burden of having to be prepared to avoid colliding with bikes ridden by people that ‘think they can make it’, and roll or blow through stop signs. Does anyone reading here seriously think those operators…(and anywhere in the state, they far, far, outnumber people riding bikes) … that are voting residents, would ever approve of an Idaho Stop law for Oregon?

        How Idaho legislators ever brought about that state’s unique exception to the stop law allowing bikes and no other mode of transportation to roll through stop signs, is a continuing source of curiosity to me. Nobody seems to know exactly how it happened. Maybe Idahoans don’t particularly pay attention to or care, relative to bikes, what their legislators do over there in Boise.

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        • are February 10, 2011 at 10:08 am

          the idaho stop law does not permit a cyclist to roll through where there is an immediate threat from cross traffic. leave this kind of illogic to the cagers, excuse me, motorists, on oregonlive, please.

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          • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

            “…the idaho stop law does not permit a cyclist to roll through where there is an immediate threat from cross traffic.” are

            That’s why the point I’m making is that Idaho Stop opens the door to more questionable discretion by the ‘think they can make it’ type of road user.

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  • dan February 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Having paid $242 for running a stop light on a bike, I have to say that $40 sounds much more attractive. Not sure it’s good policy though — it makes stop signs totally toothless.

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  • El Biciclero February 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I got a chuckle out of this from ORS 811.125:

    (f) A race. For purposes of this paragraph, racing is the use
    of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance or
    prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given
    destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles
    or to test the
    physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long distance
    driving routes.

    That describes most of the drivers I encounter every day. Sometimes including me.

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  • wsbob February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Haven’t read the bill’s text yet, but bikeportland’s brief description of HB 2332 and its graded fine based on vehicle weight makes sense to me. $140 for bikes rolling stop signs would probably still let a citation for that type violation have ‘tooth’, as Dan, commenting above alludes to.

    I’ll be surprised though if the amount of the proposed higher than present fines for heavier vehicles doesn’t make this bill difficult to pass without some changes. A jump from $242 to $360 for cars blowing stop signs might squeak by, but a jump from $242 to $540 for trucks seems like it would be a tough sell.

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    • Suburban February 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      Yes, if by “blowing stop signs” you mean disregarding them.

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  • A.K. February 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    The main thing that stops me from rolling through stop signs more often (I do when no one is around, but I stop when cars or pedestrians are around) is that I don’t want a fine for my cycling to be attached to my drivers license. It seems like this bill would remove that, unless I am reading things incorrectly.

    I know that can be used as a carrot to achieve higher stop sign compliance, but it seems silly that a fine I receive while cycling should have anything to do with my drivers license (and potentially impact my insurance rate), when I don’t need a drivers license to ride a bike in the first place.

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    • wsbob February 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      “…but it seems silly that a fine I receive while cycling should have anything to do with my drivers license (and potentially impact my insurance rate), when I don’t need a drivers license to ride a bike in the first place.” A.K.

      Well, yes, to the extent that fines for violations relate only to operation of motor vehicles. They don’t though. Fines for violations relate to use of public roads and streets. People failing to stop at stop signs are violating the law, thus disregarding lawful use of the road whether they’re riding a bike or driving a motor vehicle.

      Maybe a legislative bill should be considered that would modify the name and scope of driver’s licenses to cover general road use and operation of all types of vehicles on them. That’s a bill proposal that would be almost guaranteed not to be popular.

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      • are February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

        somewhere hidden in here is the following syllogism: fines for cyclists are appropriate because they exist under current law, therefore a change in the law would be inappropriate.

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        • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

          “Syllogism: Deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises” WordWeb

          Hidden? Okay. Where?

          Fines for cyclists having committed traffic violations are appropriate; not simply because fines for use of bikes on public roads have somehow been arbitrarily entered into Oregon law, but because when cyclists are riding their bikes on public roads, they are road users, generally subject to most of the basic road use limitations and according fines for violations, that all road users are subject to.

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          • are February 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

            try this: motorists making a right turn on red are violating the [former] law, thus disregarding lawful use of the road, etc. therefore what?

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          • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

            are
            try this: motorists making a right turn on red are violating the [former] law, thus disregarding lawful use of the road, etc. therefore what?

            “are February 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

            try this: motorists making a right turn on red are violating the [former] law, thus disregarding lawful use of the road, etc. therefore what?

            What are you thinking is ‘former’, about making a right turn on red? Are you referring to a time when simply turning on red may have been an illegal road use? Or are you referring to turning right on red without stopping, which continues to be illegal unless indicated otherwise by sign or signal?

            Turning right without stopping at stop signs and red lights is illegal and carries a fine. Beaverton, as you may have read in the news recently, has begun using red light cameras at certain intersections, as a means of managing irresponsible type right turns on red. I don’t know many of the details about the situation other than the city is doing this.

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      • are February 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

        this is my last try, bob.

        it used to be the law that a motorist could not turn right on a red signal, even after coming to a full stop. anyone who did was disregarding the law. is now the law that the motorist may turn right on a red signal after coming to a full stop. the argument that because x was the law, the law should never be otherwise apparently did not hold in that case. are you with me so far?

        it is now permitted to make a right turn on red after stop, but only if cross traffic does not present an immediate threat. there is an analogy here somewhere to the idaho stop, if we will look for it.

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        • wsbob February 11, 2011 at 12:45 am

          are…hang in there.

          Contrasting rolling stops with right turns on red is a fair analogy. Are they the same type traffic maneuver? If not, what differentiates the two? One obvious difference, is that with a right turn on red, the road user is not crossing from one side of the road to the other; they’re only entering into the roadway on the lane closest to them, and with this, there is inherently less risk…exposure to approaching side traffic…than crossing the entire road from side to side.

          I think this fact would likely have a lot to do with people in general, feeling much more receptive to right turns on red than they would rolling stops. Might be worthwhile though, to try and find some history behind why right turns on red were once illegal. Might have had something to do with the early era of the automobile, when people were still driving horse and wagon rigs.

          I doubt very much though, that the anachronistic ‘no right turn on red’ was kept around simply because it had become law at some point. It was likely kept around until such time as people could determine that the danger of such a maneuver had declined due to changes in vehicles, different character of road use, etc., making the need to prohibit right turns on red no longer valid.

          In general, does Oregon’s public feel the Idaho Stop for bike traffic falls into the same category? If and when they do, Oregon could have the Idaho Stop…easy.

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          • El Biciclero February 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

            are and bob– I think you guys are missing each other’s points somewhat. Bob’s original remark about disregarding current traffic law was not meant to imply that the law shouldn’t be changed, but to wonder aloud whether violations of laws pertaining to the road should count against road users in a more general, mode-independent way, i.e., should cycling infractions, being roadway infractions, count against a driver’s license, being something of a roadway use license (in a very loose sense).

            And bob, are is not (as far as I can tell) trying to equate the danger of turning right on red with the danger of crossing an intersection without stopping, as if the two actions were somehow equivalent. If I am understanding correctly, he is illustrating that laws have been changed in the past to allow individuals more freedom of judgment to decide whether a maneuver that is contrary to a traffic control device is safe or not–irrespective of what the device says. Why can’t we do this again? Are only drivers responsible enough to make these kinds of decisions? If I get out of my car and onto my bike do I suddenly go stupid?

            Interestingly enough, are, the RTOR case illustrates the very point that some people are making about cyclists perceiving an Idaho stop law as a license to “blow” stops: the original RTOR law stated that a driver may make a right turn on red after stopping, as long as the way was clear and the turn could be made safely. What do we have today? Cameras being installed to catch drivers because they continually and flagrantly break this law by cruising around corners on red lights without even slowing down much, let alone stopping. The analogous fear with any Idaho stop law is that cyclists will start attempting to “shoot the gap” at stop signs because they think they can squeak through before that next car gets there–not quite the intent of “slowing and yielding”. Yes, there is a provision for a hefty fine if caught doing this….just like there is for making right turns on red without stopping.

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          • Bjorn February 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

            More people were injured in Oregon last year by right turn on red crashes than were hurt in Idaho due to the Idaho Style stop sign law.

            (btw no one was injured due to the Idaho Style stop sign law, studies show that the injury rate is unchanged)

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          • wsbob February 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

            “…And bob, are is not (as far as I can tell) trying to equate the danger of turning right on red with the danger of crossing an intersection without stopping, as if the two actions were somehow equivalent. …” El Biciclero February 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm

            I think it’s probably correct that are, in his comment, is not equating the danger of RTOR with that of the Idaho Stop, even though the Idaho Stop is inherently more dangerous because the latter law allows road users, that is…cyclists to cross the entire road without stopping at the stop sign or stop light.

            Yet are and others that see the situation similarly, seem to maintain that because the public has found the inherent risks of RTOR to be acceptable for various benefits gained in exchange for assuming those risks, the public should also find the inherent risks of the Idaho Stop acceptable towards allowing bike traffic the convenience of not having to stop at stop signs and stop lights…and also, towards gaining whatever other possible benefits the Idaho Stop for Oregon would conceivably have to offer the public.

            Idaho Stop for Oregon: What are the benefits of an Idaho Stop in Oregon for members of the Oregon public, besides those that ride bikes? Whatever benefits there may or may not be, is there enough of them, or are they strong enough to get Oregon voters to support an Idaho Stop law for Oregon?

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        • Allan Folz February 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

          Excatly. The thing Idaho-haters don’t appreciate is the rules are changed all the time to reflect how the majority of motorists behave.

          Another case in point speed limits are often set at the speed 85% of the traffic flows.

          So why must cyclists put up with onerous rules while things that motorists would never conscience (ie. 15mph neighborhood speed limits!) are off the table? It’s a double-standard and safety has nothing to do with it.

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        • are February 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm

          actually, the idaho stop law does not permit a cyclist to proceed through a red light without stopping. it does permit a cyclist to roll a stop sign, but with the signal what it permits is proceeding through the red after making a full stop. and like the right on red for motorists, the idaho stop law forbids the maneuver in a situation in which cross traffic presents an immediate hazard.

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  • pat h February 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    The 1000 lbs limit would be good to motorcyclist who share a similar feeling about stop signs with bicyclists.

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  • DC February 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    We all need to follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists shouldn’t be exempt from stop signs, it’s just asking for a major accident to happen.

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    • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 9:01 am

      No one is saying cyclists should be exempt from stop signs. In Idaho the law states that stop signs can be treated as yields by cyclists. The evidence in Idaho also suggests that there is no increase in major accidents.

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  • Charley February 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    SUPPORT!!! $240 is ridiculous, considering the consequences of such an infraction.

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    • middle of the road guy February 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Most of the time there are no consequences whether it be a car or a bike.

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  • middle of the road guy February 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Lower the fee but increase enforcement!

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  • BURR February 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    makes sense to me. traffic fines for cyclists in portland are among the highest in the nation, most other US cities have significantly reduced fines for cyclists.

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  • Bill February 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I know it is tough to gauge intent when not fully stopping, but car or bike, this law seems like an easy and expensive target for overcriminalizing transit.

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  • jim February 10, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I doubt that they would pass a bill that would bring in Less revenue. They want More money, they have lots of pet projects that all need Money.Money is what they are all about

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    • JAT in Seattle February 10, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Are you sure you’re commenting on the right forum? this sounds more like something in the Oregonian or Seattle P-I… “They” are our elected representatives; if “they” want anything, it’s to get re-elected. “They’ need money to do our business, but “they” aren’t some all-consuming revenue eating machine, it’s just government. Sure it doesn’t work perfectly, but neither do oft-repeated tea-party-like memes about “Then” and their rapacious desire for our money.

      I think a weight-based graduated fine makes a lot of sense. And for all you social justice types; socio-economic truths being what they are, for many people relying primarily on their bikes for transport, $180 or even $40 is going to put a dent in your wallet worth avoiding.

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    • are February 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

      if you make the fine low enough, the incentive for enforcement disappears. i say that as an argument in favor, not against.

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  • Paul Tay February 10, 2011 at 4:26 am

    When was the last time anyone heard the horrible story of one lone drunken, out of control cyclist running a red light or stop sign, colliding with a motor vehicle, killing everyone inside?

    The law also says if the cop didn’t see it, you didn’t do anything wrong. Run ‘em, Danno!

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    • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 10:42 am

      The feeling I get, is that stop sign use concepts like the Idaho Stop, enable irresponsible cyclist road users to further expand their existing inclination to risk close calls in order to cut down their energy expended, or overall trip time.

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    • rigormrtis February 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Maybe we can make firing guns in random directions legal, because what are the odds of a bullet actually striking someone?

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      • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

        Hmmmm…let consider that likelihood of someone dying from a bicycle riding in a random direction versus a bullet flying in a random direction.

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    • cyclist February 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Cyclists can hit other cyclists or pedestrians.

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  • Mike February 10, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I’m guessing the new law will not apply to Police. A couple of weeks ago I was walking past the 4-way stop at 49th and Belmont and, every single car going through failed to come to a complete stop. Including a police car.

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  • Ely February 10, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I like the 2nd one. Less weight, less damage, less $$.

    I like the Idaho stop idea, I’d love to know how they pulled it off, and I kinda think Oregonians are way too emotional & dramatic for it to work. Rolling stop signs on a bike hurts drivers’ feeeeelings…

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    • Oliver February 10, 2011 at 8:08 am

      They pulled it off because motorcyclists were the ones pushing it. Check the demographic for new Harley Davidsons.

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  • Jack February 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Weight based fines make perfect sense. The greater the potential risk of the violation, the greater the fine. Much like how assault differs from assault with a dealy weapon.

    Even better would be also taking into account the width and length of the vehicle, as they too are significant factors in risk.

    You could probably get 8 bicycles through a 4 way intersection simultaneously (2 from each direction) without collision. Try the same with just 3 Ford Expeditions and you’re looking at many thousands of dollars in damages.

    …and you’d probably get a good shouting contest out of it too.

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  • Matt February 10, 2011 at 8:09 am

    House Bill 2332 sounds like a much better idea if the law has to change. If they do decrease the max fine to 40 bucks then they better crack down on enforcement. Along with that bill, someone should tack on a bicycle registration, licensing requirement, and mandatory safety/competency course. Too many ignorant and incompetent cyclists on the road these days.

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    • JAT in Seattle February 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

      would there be graduated competency courses for children of various ages? Would Oregonians need to register each bicycle they own, or would it be a badge you pin to your messenger bag? Would the Oregon State Patrol set up sting operations on the OR side of the Lewis and Clark Bridge on STP weekend?

      I just want to make sure you’ve thought this through.

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    • Jack February 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

      I’d be interested in hearing any information you have about estimated costs (financial, social, health, accidents, injuries, etc.) that are resulting from the current state of bicyclists not being registered, licensed or put through safety courses.

      We cannot make laws based on one person’s knee-jerk, subjective reaction to what they see through their small window into our existence.

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    • Wayne February 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Matt,
      As a owner and driver of a fully insured car who already pays the same fees and licenses as every other motorist, as well as Being an avid cyclist who owns 9 different road bikes I ride regularly, explain to me: 1) Why do I need another license?, 2) which bike do I pay to register, all of them?, 3) If I choose to ride a bike, rather than drive a car, thereby creating less congestion, pollution, and road wear and tear, why would I be expected to pay MORE than any other mortorist?

      It’s easy to label/stereotype an entire group based on the observed behaviors of a few. I don’t agree with any cyclist that doesn’t follow the traffic laws. Moreover, I feel I’m a much more conscientious as a driver since I am also a cyclist. Truthfully, I see far more drivers speeding, following too close, talking on their cell phones, and making stupid moves every single day I commute to and from work than I do irresponsible cyclists, but then, that’s just my environment in terms of exposure. The big difference here is, cars can, and frequently do, kill people. Throwing more restrictions and fees at cyclists won’t change that one bit.

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      • Matt February 10, 2011 at 9:57 am

        I’m in the same boat as you, 4 road bikes 4 mtn. bikes, 1motorcycle, an extremely avid cyclist and motorist. The comment isn’t about restriction and fees, it’s meant to force individuals, through certain requirments, to think twice about picking up some craigslist junker and throwing themselves out into traffic unprepared and ignorant of laws and rules of the road. A majority of us who read this website are conscientious cyclists, unfortunately I don’t feel we represent a majority of cyclists. Example: the other day I saw a mid-aged mom on a Townie riding up NW Glisan near 10th or so with a 9 year old on another bike behind her, barely strong enough to pedal the thing at 4pm on a Friday. Unsafe, unsmart… Or the cyclists who leave the street, ride up onto the sidewalk and blow straight through the intersection through the crosswalk. Unsafe, unsmart… Just a couple examples…

        I see these sorts of things daily on my walk or ride to work. Cycling isn’t just about “riding” a bike, it’s learning how to operate the bike, how it functions, how it interacts with its environment. Too many people just focus on being on a bike and don’t consider any of the other forces that impact a cyclist or how a cyclist impacts its surroundings. There needs to be more accountability in cycling, unfortunately, accountability is a forced outcome.

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        • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

          From one of my earlier comments:

          “… Maybe a legislative bill should be considered that would modify the name and scope of driver’s licenses to cover general road use and operation of all types of vehicles on them. …” wsbob February 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

          Maybe this is actually a feasible way to proceed as a means of encouraging amongst cyclist road users, more thorough familiarity and compliance with road use laws. Instead of ‘Driver’s License’, perhaps call it ‘Road Users License’. Anyone wishing to operate a vehicle of any kind on a public road, would be obliged to study a road users manual, and take tests at a DRU (Dept of Road Users).

          The age of people wishing to ride bikes on public roads that would be obliged to get the license would be…say…same as it is for anyone currently, that wishes to get a learners permit to drive a motor vehicle (I seem to recall 14 is the earliest age someone wishing to drive a car can get a learner’s permit.).

          Permission to operate vehicles other than bikes on the road, would be granted with the road users license, by additional testing and an endorsement notice on the Road Users License, same as the Driver’s License currently does with permission to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Or…it could be a separate license, like a CDL.

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          • are February 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

            what a great idea. forbidding anyone under age 14 to ride a bike in the street. not. could we please try to keep in mind that the hazard we are trying to protect someone from is a motor vehicle, operated by someone who is not paying sufficient attention? focus, people.

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          • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

            “…what a great idea. forbidding anyone under age 14 to ride a bike in the street. not. …” are February 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

            Forbidding anyone under the age of riding a bike in the street would not be part of the idea I suggested: Let me elaborate:

            People 14 yrs and under would be allowed to ride a bike anywhere they’re allowed to now. Once they’re 14 ( I picked that age somewhat arbitrarily.) and beginning to exercise independence, sense of responsibility, etc. etc., and may be inclined to venture further from home on a bike into more complicated traffic situations, they’d be obliged to get a Road Users License.

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        • Wayne February 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

          Matt. I definitely agree with you, I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t see idiotic behavior on bicycles as well, even when I do organized day and week-long rides. How do we legislate common sense without infringing on the sense of freedom and independence that riding a bicycle, or motorcycle for that matter, can provide? I don’t know. I just bristle at the idea that I would have to pay more than I already do, so if I seemed a little reactionary to your comments, my apologies.

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      • rigormrtis February 10, 2011 at 11:39 am

        Wayne, regarding #3……one should also factor IN the cost of bicycle infrastructure.

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        • El Biciclero February 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

          One should also keep in mind that so-called “bicycle infrastructure” tends to benefit motorists more than cyclists due to the prime directive of infrastructure designers: keep bikes “out of the way” at all costs–even if you have to force them into dangerous positions.

          Addition of “infrastructure” for bikes generally comes along with significant detours and other artificial impediments because keeping bikes out of the way of motorists takes precedence over making cycling safer and more efficient.

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    • resopmok February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

      1) Increased enforcement with a lower max fine will not happen. Why would a cop waste their time writing a $40 ticket?

      2) rotten apples fall on both sides of the fence as I’m sure you’re aware. We need to have stricter vehicle licensing, more frequent driving tests (as in, more than once in your life), and someone should tack on a bill that requires mental health checks before driver’s licenses are issued and renewed. There are too many aggressive, dangerous and ignorant drivers on the road.

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    • are February 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

      too many ignorant and incompetent motorists on the roads, but i don’t see anybody trying to weed them out.

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      • cyclist February 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

        In order to get a drivers license you must pass a road (driving) test. In order to renew the license you must pass a written test. That is what the state of Oregon does to weed out incompetent and ignorant motorists.

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        • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

          Somehow I doubt the oregon written test is an effective weeding tool.

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        • A.K. February 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

          For what it’s worth, I renewed my drives license a few years back and didn’t have to take any sort of test. I paid my money, had a new picture taken, and was on my way…

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      • wsbob February 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

        There is some official weeding out of bad drivers, but there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive system in place to determine people’s competence to drive. Probably for a number of reasons; it’s a complicated thing to evaluate the adequacy of each person’s perceptual ability and reliability of self control for the vast range of driving and traffic situations they may find themselves in.

        I had an acquaintance…not an older person… that had their driver’s license challenged by a police officer, because the acquaintance made some erratic maneuver’s with the car upon seeing the patrol car behind him. It’s a long story, but the short of it is the acquaintance could have taken the tests to possibly sustain the license’s validity, but didn’t, considering their likelihood of being able to pass not good.

        Another scenario where people lacking adequate ability to drive, lose their licenses: family, friends, unrelated observers make a request that such and such a person’s ability to drive competently be reviewed. I know of someone that fits this scenario. The person was still driving well enough, even though they were 88 years old. Anyone seeing the person walk though, would have great concern about them being able to hit the brakes in an emergency. The family requested this person no longer drive, although they may still have a valid driver’s license.

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  • Jason February 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Weight-based fees are the way to go! I am glad to see this happening in Salem.

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  • Corey February 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    The Idaho Stop is a neat idea, but I think we need to always be mindful of our European counterparts when it comes to traffic regulation. I’m aware of no European cities with high modal share that don’t enforce stopping at intersections for bicycles. Instead, we should save the Idaho Stop for a later time and focus on the real issues, like very reduced speed limits and more serious enforcement for motorists. This bill is at least a useful start.

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    • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      In the Netherlands the driver is always at fault in a collision with bicycle unless the cyclist was trying to be hit.

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    • Bjorn February 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

      The reason why europe doesn’t have idaho style is that they do not use stop signs for traffic calming. You don’t see 4 way stops in Europe for example.

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  • Alex Reed (formerly Malex) February 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I support both bills. I think the first one is more proportional to actual harm, but probably has to wait until riding bikes is a more mainstream activity. However, the second one seems more likely to pass.

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  • are February 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Nick V
    I’ve seen cyclists who would undoubtedly use the rolling stop law as an excuse to cut off drivers and pedestrians with NO regard for safety. I know this because they already do it even with no such law in place.

    the idaho stop does not permit this. not sure why you would say a cyclist who does this would cite the idaho stop law as an “excuse.”

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    • matt picio February 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Perhaps because they would. It wouldn’t be a valid excuse, but that wouldn’t stop people from using it. There is enough vagueness in the law for a decent attorney to argue that the intersection was “safe” at the time.

      Of course, if the fee were lowered to $40 from $242, there would be no incentive for a decent attorney to work the case. For many attorneys $40 wouldn’t cover the bill rate for reading the plaintiff’s email. ;-)

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      • matt picio February 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

        should say “defendant’s email”, not plaintiff.

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      • are February 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        not aware that there is any vagueness in this bill that is not also in the right turn on red legislation.

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    • naess February 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      same way that pedestrians like to use the “every intersection is a crosswalk” law to walk right out in front of traffic, irregardless of any “safe stopping distance.”

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    • Bjorn February 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      In fact when the law passed previously in the legislature it had a higher fine for rolling through a stop sign when you violated someone elses right of way. This comment is typical of the red herring nonsense that gets bandied about when people try to discuss the facts around idaho style stop sign laws.

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  • Jeff February 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    cyclist
    Cyclists can injure pedestrians and other cyclists though.

    I almost got taken out last night by some jackhole blowing a stop sign.

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    • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      YAAMC (yet another anecdotal misbehaving cyclist)

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      • naess February 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        which seems to ba about as common of an occurance as the other YAAMC (yet another anecdotal misbehaving cager.)

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  • velvetackbar February 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    cyclist
    Cyclists can injure pedestrians and other cyclists though.

    and yet, they don’t. At least not as often as cars do.

    Lots of things *can* injure pedestrians and other cyclists: ice, road construction, overgrown vegetation, shoelaces, droopy pants.

    Just because something *can* happen, doesn’t meant there ought to be a law prohibiting it.

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    • cyclist February 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      I have never been hit by a car running a stop sign, I have been hit by a cyclist running a stop sign. Don’t pretend the issue doesn’t exist because it’s never happened to you.

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      • A.K. February 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

        And just because it has happened to you doesn’t make it a common occurrence. You were statistically unlucky.

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      • spare_wheel February 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

        sorry but there is no crisis of pedestrian/cyclist injuries caused by law-violating cyclists. the other way around on the other hand…

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        • cyclist February 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

          How many bicyclists died on Portland’s streets last year?

          When people talk about how blowing a stop sign isn’t a problem because you can’t hurt a car it really gets my blood boiling. The jackass who blew the stop sign coming down Tenino and hit me as I was (legally) proceeding messed me up for a couple of weeks. Everyone here is espousing a car vs. bike narrative that is out-of-date.

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          • Jack February 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

            Who talks about not being able to hurt a car?

            When people say that a cyclist running a stop sign is less of a threat than when a car/truck does it, they are talking about physics.

            “Blowing” a stop sign is a problem. No proposed law allows anyone to “blow” a stop sign and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that we should let cyclists “blow” stop signs.

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          • spare_wheel February 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

            Once again we are not discussing a blown stop. I have chased down cyclists who blow signals and had words with them. Slowing down, looking both ways, and then proceeding cautiously is what we are discussing.

            I suspect that many of the anti-Idaho stop commenters here are being hypocritical. Very few people have enough track standing skills or OCD to come to a COMPLETE stop at a stop sign every time.

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          • wsbob February 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

            “…No proposed law allows anyone to “blow” a stop sign and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that we should let cyclists “blow” stop signs. …” Jack February 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

            That’s right…rolling stop signs is what the Idaho Stop addresses. Once deciding to implement such a law, the question rises as to how to articulate vocally and in writing, a distinction between rolling a stop and blowing a stop, whether the need to stop is indicated by sign or a light.

            Not doing introduces an additional element of individual subjectivity into traffic functionality.

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      • El Biciclero February 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm

        I’ve never been hit by a cyclist running a stop sign; I HAVE been hit (as a pedestrian) by a motorist ignoring the sidewalk…

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  • Dan M February 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Great dialog so far, but one thing that I think is still missing is the punitive portion of the existing laws. For example the BTA sited that there are 45,000 convictions annually for driving on a suspend license. Wouldn’t getting those numbers down help make our streets a bit safer?

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    • El Biciclero February 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      45,000. So much for getting bad drivers off the streets. Apparently the penalty for this conviction isn’t much of a deterrent.

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    • are February 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      many of the suspensions are for missed child support payments, etc., not moving violations. we gotta clean this up first, and then get the suspended drivers off the road.

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  • cyclists February 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Jack
    Who talks about not being able to hurt a car?
    When people say that a cyclist running a stop sign is less of a threat than when a car/truck does it, they are talking about physics.
    “Blowing” a stop sign is a problem. No proposed law allows anyone to “blow” a stop sign and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that we should let cyclists “blow” stop signs.

    At 4:26 am Paul Tay said:

    “When was the last time anyone heard the horrible story of one lone drunken, out of control cyclist running a red light or stop sign, colliding with a motor vehicle, killing everyone inside?”

    There’s an example of someone saying that cyclists can’t hurt a car. That’s who I originally replied to. You’ll see my reply below his post.

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  • jim February 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Channel 2 just did a survey to see if bikes should pay the same fine as cars, It was like 87% yes

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  • tony February 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I drive through Portland every day for work. I see at least 5 bicyclists a day “blow through” stop signs.Lowering fines for bicycles is ridiculous! They are harder to see than cars,so potentially just as great of a hazard! And if a car hits them for “blowing through” a stop, it’s the car driver’s fault.The driver of the car then suffers ( fines, loss of their license,possibly jail time..etc..)because of the bicyclists lack of consideration for the rules & other drivers.I also ride a motorcycle. I have to jump through hoops to ride in Oregon,why not the same for bicyclists? Helmets,driving classes,insurance,registration…etc..!SHARE THE ROAD,SHARE THE BILL!!!!!!!

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    • wsbob February 13, 2011 at 3:04 am

      “…I drive through Portland every day for work. I see at least 5 bicyclists a day “blow through” stop signs. …” tony

      Five? Tony, that’s a pretty big number. A question: Five cyclists blowing stop signs, out of how may total cyclists you see, each day you drive through Portland? Now…I’ve got this funny feeling you’re going to say you only see about five cyclists each day you drive through Portland on your way to work.

      Because you know, I think the vast majority of cyclists do more or less stop at stop signs, same as motor vehicles do. I might venture to say there may be localized phenomena of certain types of cyclists blowing stop signs, which could have something to do with what you’re seeing daily.

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  • flywater February 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Want to be treated as grownups and not spoiled brats? Then start acting like grownups.
    Why do the “activist pedalers” who control your agenda feel that bikes should get special treatment? I don’t mind sharing the road I pay for with my registration fees and gas taxes, why can’t you respect the most basic rules the way the I do?
    You’re all like the tea party. Special, special, special. Rabid, crazed and anti-social.

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    • tacoma February 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      And I don’t mind sharing with you the road I pay for with my property tax. Registration fees and gas taxes pay for only a portion of the road.

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    • wsbob February 13, 2011 at 3:38 am

      flywater…you mentioned somebody’s “…agenda…”; I don’t guess I’ve heard what that agenda is, or what agenda you’re referring to. Since you seem to know, I wondered if you might be able and willing to elaborate on that a little bit. Oh…and name who the “…”activist pedalers” …” are too.

      One more thing: What is the “…special treatment…”, you’ve heard the “…”activist pedalers”…” claim bikes should be getting? Because, whatever that is, I might be interested in getting some in exchange for freeing up space on the road, which happens when I get an opportunity to ride the bike where I need to go, instead of driving.

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  • are February 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    yeah, and cut your hair and get a job

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