Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Governor’s desk is next stop for Vulnerable Roadway User bill

Posted by on June 20th, 2007 at 11:56 am

My day in Salem

Scott Bricker of the BTA at
the State Capitol in Salem.
(Photo © J. Maus)


BTA lobbyist Scott Bricker — who worked tirelessly in Salem to garner support for this bill — shares the news that the Vulnerable Roadway User bill (HB 3314) got through its final hurdle this morning by passing a House concurrence vote 40-9.

Now, when someone operates a vehicle in a careless manner and seriously injures or kills a vulnerable roadway user, they’ll be subject to:

  • Completing a traffic safety course
  • Performing between 100 and 200 hours of community service
  • Paying a fine of up to $12,500
  • Having their license suspended

This is a big improvement over just mailing in a small fine and never even showing up to court.

Well done Scott!

Thanks is also due to the BTA legislative team, the lawmakers and media who supported the bill, and of course to cyclists (like you!) who contacted their representatives in support of this bill.

Now let’s hope we never have to see it be put to use.

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  • Matt Picio June 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Good job everyone! Thanks for all your hard work and support of this.

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  • Hawthorne Rider June 20, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    That\’s a great photo of Scott – I love the halo glow above his head – our BTA angel in Salem 😀

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  • Hawthorne Rider June 20, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, and good job, too!

    Jonathan, do you know how long (or the maximum length anyhow) the license would be suspended for?

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  • Scout June 20, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Oh, thank Jeebus! And thanks to Scott and everyone else who helped this bill along the way.

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  • Martha S. June 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    It is about time. I\’m so glad to see this pass. ^_^

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  • rixtir June 20, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    You know, it\’s a good start, and thanks to Scott Bricker and the BTA for pushing this.

    That said, as I understand the bill, anybody can kill a cyclist and avoid the penalties by doing community service and taking a driver\’s safety course. It\’s a good start, but we need more teeth in the law than that. There\’s still work to do on this issue…

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  • Matt G June 20, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I have to say I am mixed about this one. On the one hand, it\’s great news to have *any* measure approved which will help to protect riders. On the other hand, it\’s a fairly tepid measure without much real meat (easy to weasel out of the fines, which are the real deterrent in this measure).

    More disturbing to me is the idea that, now that this measure has passed, there will be greater resistance towards a \”real\” negligence law that would actually have the teeth to protect vulnerable riders. I\’m very pessimistic that future bills will be met in the Legislature with \”we\’ve done that already\” reactions.

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  • David Hougland June 21, 2007 at 10:14 am

    I read about this bill in this morning\’s Oregonian. What I\’m curious about is when bicyclists are going to back legislation to protect pedestrians from bicyclists. As a Portland resident, I witness dozens of incidents every day of bicyclists riding the wrong way on one-way streets, running stop signs and stop lights, riding on sidewalks while yelling at pedestrians to get out of the way and generally just making up their own rules as they go along and expecting everyone else to abide by the rules they make up. It\’s pretty hard to generate any sympathy for bicyclists when one of them almost ran me down on a sidewalk yesterday, and then acted like I did something wrong for walking on a sidewalk. It\’s laughable to me to hear bicyclists complain about other people not sharing the road when they themselves aren\’t even willing to share a sidewalk they\’re not supposed to be on in the first place.

    I believe it would be appropriate, given this current legislation, to make operating a bicycle in an unsafe manner that endangers other people punishable by loss of biking privileges for a year and a $12,000 fine. What do you think? The way things are now, the only option a pedestrian has is to kick the crap out of the bicyclist so he can begin to comprehend that if you don\’t want me pissing on your shoes, then don\’t piss on mine.

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  • Logan 5 June 21, 2007 at 11:13 am

    David in 8. This bill does not only protect cyclists, it protects all vulnerable users of the roads, including pedestrians (from cyclists if needed).

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  • Jason June 21, 2007 at 11:37 am

    In response to post #8 above, your suggestion \”to make operating a bicycle in an unsafe manner that endangers other people punishable by loss of biking privileges for a year and a $12,000 fine\” is even more strict than the legistlation referenced in this article. It is unfortunate that you had a near-miss experience as a pedestrian with a bicyclist, but please keep in mind that the point of legistlation like the vulnerable roadway users bill is to not completely remove all threat of danger in society but to, at a minimum, hold motorists more accountable for there actions on the road.

    Not everyone is interested in transporting themselves around in their metal box safe-havens. So keep you eyes peeled and drive responsibly or you will actually have some consequence in seriously injuring / killing another user of the road. This is the intent.

    As for the jerk cyclsits that blast around downtown on sidewalks, putting pedestrians (and themselves at risk), there are laws already in place.

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