Pedestrian bill needs a hand

Scott Bricker of the BTA
demonstrates the proposed
pedestrian hand signal.
File photo

A bill that would give pedestrians a way to signal their intentions to cross a street without having to step out into traffic is stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 573 (text) will likely not move out for a full House vote unless advocates rally and encourage committee members to vote in favor of the proposal.

The bill passed a full Senate vote last month, but it must be pass out of committee and get a favorable House vote before being signed into law.

Noted lawyer Ray Thomas has worked closely with the BTAs on this bill. Here’s what he says

“This bill is critical for pedestrian safety because it provides a visible signal to drivers that the citizen is exercising their right of way in crosswalks. We must have our staff, clients and friends who live in the districts of House Judiciary members contact their legislators to let them know how important this bill is for Oregon neighborhoods and kids.”

The bill is slated for a work session next Wednesday (5/30) but Thomas says he and BTA lobbyist Scott Bricker have “rolled up our sleeves” to make sure it has the needed support.

Thomas worries that some lawmakers have a false perception that the bill would enhance the legal right-of-way for pedestrians and increase penalties to motorists for not stopping. Thomas says,

“This bill doesn’t change the stop law at all…We simply want pedestrians to not have to go into the traffic lane to signal their intentions…it’s crazy out there right now.”

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, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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16 years ago

What House Committee is it in? Which reps need convincing?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)

it will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on 5/30. Ray Thomas says these are the reps that need convincing:

Jeff Barker- D Aloha, #28
Gene Whisnant- Sisters
Suzanne Bonamici D Wa Co #34
Kevin Cameron R #19 Salem
Linda Flores R Clackama #51
Betty Komp D Woodburn #22
Wayne Krieger R Gold Beach #1
Tobias Read D #27 Wa Co.

16 years ago

When I saw this article in the Oregonian the other week, I thought
this was the greatest law for cyclists-Ever !
All ya gotta do is get off your
bike at the corner, put your hand out,
and the cars MUST STOP. HALLELUJAH !
I could do this all day. Car stop, car
stop, etc, repeat.

16 years ago

so wait a second here, if this law passes a person whos jaywalking can just hold out thier hand and do it legaly? does this sound rediculous to anyone else?