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BTA urges action on Vulnerable Roadway Users bill

Posted by on June 4th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

It has come down to the final stretch for one of the BTA’s last remaining pieces of legislation. They have worked hard to craft a sensible proposal and move it through the system. Now, H.B. 3314 awaits just one final vote on the Senate floor before becoming law.

Last night, the BTA issued an email action alert to its members urging them to take action. Here’s an excerpt from that alert:

“The BTA’s Vulnerable Roadway Users bill will help protect bicyclists and pedestrians on roads by increasing penalties for drivers who cause their death – but only if it passes the Oregon Senate!

The bill would require drivers who seriously injure or kill cyclists or other vulnerable users of the roadway to pay $12,500 and have their license suspended for one year, or to complete 100 to 200 hours of community service and pass a special driver education course.

Please contact your State Senator (contact info here)! Tell her or him: “As your constituent, I’m asking you to support House Bill 3314 to increase protection for vulnerable users of our Oregon roadways!””

To learn more about this bill, read my previous coverage:

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  • Fred June 4, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    I can’t believe the BTA is working towards a bill that doesn’t involve jail time for the offenders! The BTA is definitely part of the problem here, they’re more than willing to let drivers get away with murder with what amount to a little more than a slap on the wrist.

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  • David Dean June 4, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Dear Senator Carter,

    I am writing to urge you to vote in favor of the Vulnerable Roadway Users bill. I ride my bike to work about twice a week and use it extensively for errands. Cycling is a very enjoyable, healthy, affordable, and sustainable way to travel around town. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to cycling is safety. When a bicycle and a car collide, the bicyclist inherently has a considerably higher stake in the accident than the motorist. Cars are getting bigger, speed limits are going up, and people are scared to ride bicycles because of the increasing risks. The law needs to compensate for this trend and discourage the cavalier attitude motorists often have towards the safety of the most vulnerable users of the road. I hope you feel the same way I do and will vote in favor of the Vulnerable Roadway Users bill.

    Thank you,

    David Dean

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  • Jason S. June 4, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    I called Avel Gordley’s office today to urge her support for the bill. Her aide had not discussed it with her, but was confident she would support it.

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  • Martha R June 4, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Given the Oregon legislature’s fear of doing anything that would put more responsibility on the shoulders of drivers, it’s likely that a bill that came with bigger penalties would never have gotten this far. The comments I read about the bill that required safe passing distances, and the lawmakers’ comments that I’ve read about this bill all include a tremendous amount of fear about requiring drivers to pay closer attention to their driving. Why? Most of the legislators’ constituents are drivers, and people who drive a lot (aka most Americans) tend not to take it all that seriously and multi-task while behind the wheel.

    So this is a great first step towards recognizing the tremendous responsibility that comes with driving a car (by providing a penalty that’s more than a slap on the wrist). Sure, I wish that there were even harsher penalties for being a jerk behind a windshield, but until we as a society shift our way of thinking about driving, we can hardly expect our legislators to pass such a bill. Call this the first step. Yay, BTA!

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  • true June 4, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Sweet. My life is worth $12,500. And Mama said I’d never amount to anything…

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  • Nick M June 15, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Yeah, I agree. My life is worth $12,500, or 200 hours of service time to the person who killed me.
    It is crazy to think that you can kill someone so easily and get away with it.
    In Tim O\’donnell\’s situation, I think the lady should be charged with homicide, she was driving on a suspended license, which to me shows intent. She was restricted, make that forbidden, from driving and she still went out there and one man\’s life is gone, and his familly is left picking up the peices. The driver gets a few tickets and will not see any jail time!!!
    I hope Tim\’s familly can take her to civil court and make her pay there!!!! I don\’t care if she has to pay half of her earnings for the rest of her life. It is only a SMALL reminder of what she has done. No matter how much money, or apologies, she can never bring Tim back and his familly will have to live and pay for her mistake.

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