Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 21st, 2011 at 1:40 pm
"Car sharing families drive demonstrably less than car-owning families, less driving means less congestion and less pollution."
— Sen. Jackie Dingfelder
House Bill 3149, which would make it easier for Oregonians to share their cars with others, passed the House today by a vote of 47-10. The bill would allow a car owner to rent out their car to friends or neighbors through a car-sharing service without fear of increased insurance rates or loss of policy.
The bill's chief sponsors are Representative Ben Cannon (D-Portland) and Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). In a prepared statement following today's vote, Rep. Cannon said,
“Vehicles sit idle 92% of the time. Peer-to-peer car sharing is a free-market concept that allows car owners to recoup costs of car ownership, while those without cars are able to rent a vehicle in their own neighborhood.”
The upside for active transportation advocates is that when more people share cars instead of owning their own, the result is fewer car trips. According to Sen. Dingfelder, "Car sharing families drive demonstrably less than car-owning families, less driving means less congestion and less pollution."
If the bill passes (it must now go to the Senate), San Franciso-based car-sharing service Getaround has said they would begin operating in Oregon.
In other news from Salem...
Senate Bill 846, which seeks to improve the safety of bicycle trailers designed for human passengers, will get a public hearing and possible vote in the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee on March 31st (3:00 pm, Hearing Room B). This bill was proposed by Eugene Democrat Floyd Prozanski. Get more background on this bill in our story from March 3rd.
Senate Bill 424, which would amend Oregon's crosswalk law to clarify when someone trying to cross a street has the "intent to proceed," will get a public hearing and possible vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We covered this bill back in February and have been told it has been significantly amended from its current form. We'll update this story when we receive the new language.