Memorial sign bill passes committee

UPDATE (4/12, 9:50am): According to a commenter, this bill did not pass committee yesterday. It was only considered and was not voted on yet. I picked up the story from an OPB story that ran with the headline, “House Committee Approves Cyclist Memorial Signs Bill.” I regret the error and will keep you posted on developments (*see latest update below).


OPB reports that House Bill 3020, which generated some surprising feedback on this site last week, passed the House Transportation Committe in Salem yesterday.

The bill comes after the tragic death of Eric Kautzky, who was killed by a motorized vehicle in 2005. Eric’s wife Lorna Kautzky testified before the committee. OPB has this quote,

“If people can see that perhaps unfortunately one of ours lost their life, they’ll pay closer attention to what’s happening on the road.”

Surprisingly, not all cyclists think memorial signs like these are a good idea. Some think they make cycling seem too dangerous and that they do more harm than good. Here are excerpts from two comments left on my coverage of this bill last week:

“Money and legislative energy would be better spent on appropriately punishing negligent drivers involved in cycle related accidents…I think highly publicized and tough punishment of dangerous drivers will leave a greater and more long lasting impression than a road sign.”

“I strongly believe that this law would help whip up the FALSE perception that cycling is more dangerous than driving.”

If this bill becomes law, it would allow families to request (at their own expense) that ODOT installs a memorial sign at the location of the crash.

The proposal also says this will only apply to “accidents on a state highway” and when the “driver is convicted of an offense related to the accident.”


UPDATE: This bill has now passed committee and is headed to Ways and Means. It passed unanimously on Friday 4/27.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Kat Iverson
17 years ago

The bill did not pass the committee. The committee did not even vote on it yet. Whoever wrote the OPB headline jumped the gun. He couldn’t properly have read Fogarty’s story, since Fogarty doesn’t say the bill passed–only that it was considered. Here is the audio file of the hearing
http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn/archive/archive.2007s/HTRANS-200704111455.ram
For information on several select transportation bills, see
http://www.geocities.com/vcadvocate/bills.html

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
17 years ago

Thanks for that information Kat. I regret any mistaken reporting on this and I will update the story as necessary.

Keep me posted.