Krummel renews push for memorial sign bill

Posted by on December 3rd, 2007 at 9:24 am

Rep. Krummel at a press event
for the bill last summer.
(Photos courtesy Krummel’s office.)

Wilsonville Republican Jerry Krummel wants to give “Eric’s Law” another try.

The measure (House Bill 3020, named after cyclist Eric Kautzky who was killed by a sleepy driver in 2005) would allow relatives of cyclists or pedestrians killed on Oregon’s roadways to request that ODOT install special memorial signs in their honor.

On Friday, Krummel announced that “Eric’s Law” has been approved for consideration during the upcoming special legislative session to kick off in February 2008.

Krummel tried to push the measure into law last session but it did not muster necessary support.

Back in June, after the bill failed to get out of committee, Krummel issued a press release blaming Democrats for its demise.

In a press release sent out by his office last Friday Krummel said, “It was heartbreaking to work so hard on this bill only to see it rejected on party lines at the end of Session.”

Eric’s widow, Lorna Kautzky said she’s “pleased to see this issue finally getting the attention it deserves” and she blamed the bill’s initial failure on “political football”.

Krummel calls his bill “common sense legislation” and says in the press release that, “Perhaps all the recent news accounts of bike fatalities have helped generate renewed interest.”

But many cyclists differ with Krummel and have expressed concerns about the bill. In a comment on this site, Sellwood resident Dan Kaufman said,

“I challenge Rep. Krummel to write a bill for next session that will actually get more folks (of all ages and exerpience) on bicycles and does so because they are in an environment that is truly safer.”

Another reader named Phil Hanson wrote that, “HB 3020 was more of a “feel good” bill than it was a bike safety bill, and legislators were right to nix it.”

Supporters of the bill last session included the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition.

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Stephanie MillerZachPhil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)woogieBjorn Recent comment authors
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a.O
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a.O

If we make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, we won\’t need these signs.

I like the Bill, but it should be a much lower priority than a bill that actually improves roadway safety.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I noticed the signs when riding out that way.. so nice to be remembered..

It\’s wild I feel will anyone remember me
if i get ran into on a road,, sure my family and friends will, but will they
remember someone was killed while riding.
*It touches me since i have lost friends
to cars*

be safe/ride on!!
Joe

Paul Tay
Guest

Nice idea. How \’bout the same treatment for motorists too? Naaaaaaaaah. There probably wouldn\’t be enough public right o\’ways for 42,000 memorials EVERY year.

Carl
Guest
Carl

I say this as someone who put up three ghost bikes this year*:

Why just bicyclists and pedestrians? If the state is going to clutter our roads with more well-meaning but distracting signs, let\’s not just key out the few cyclists and pedestrians who get caught in the motor vehicle cross fire…let\’s make a big, cluttered, ugly tribute to ALL the thousands who have died on our roads. Let\’s acknowledge the mode that\’s really killing people: motor vehicles.

I\’m not calling for total equality on the roads, here. I DO think that more vulnerable users should be given legal advantages on the roadway but these signs just make biking and walking look dangerous without addressing the obvious cause of that danger.

If we\’re going to have signs that memorialize traffic deaths, I want them to make parents think twice about putting their kids behind the wheel, not putting their kids on a bike.

*(Ghost bikes help cyclists mourn in a personal way and they make a powerful statement for a while…but they\’re ephemeral, they don\’t cost taxpayers a thing, and even if they clutter sidewalks, they don\’t add to signage clutter.)

Sorry Rep. Krummel, but this isn\’t a bike safety bill. I appreciate your good intentions and I hope that you will continue to prioritize safer roads for all.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Paul, very good point.. more likey to
get killed in a car over a bike..

wow 42,000 a year and people think cycling is unsafe.. maybe we need to start putting this in all the unsafe car adds we see everyday..

take care
Joe

Bicycledave
Guest

Yeah Joe, like a surgeon general\’s warning for cigaretts except for automobiles.

Warning the Surgeon General has determined that commuting by automobile carrys a significant chance of death or serious injury to you or those around you.

It should be on every auto ad in print, ban auto ads on tv and print a big warning right above the door handles and on the dashboards of cars.

Bueno
Guest
Bueno

@ Carl,

I\’d never thought of it that way, signs just cluttering up streets but more importantly making bicycling look more dangerous. I think I\’d rather a bill that made these signs less neccesary, one that makes us safer.

I\’m not in Portland, but I think I\’ll take up the Ghostbiking in Eugene, the next time it\’s neccesary. Hopefully I won\’t have to take that job any time soon.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Sorry for the \” cross posting \” but this is just crazy.. some people that drive..
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=668847

Paul Tay
Guest

Joe, #8, well, BAN bikes! Problem SOLVED.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

My understanding is that during the special session that legislators are going to be very limited in what they can sponsor, it may be as low as one bill each. I certainly can think of some more important legislation, like the vehicular homicide bill, or even the pedestrian hand signal law. I think it would be a waste if this were the only bill that representative Krummel sponsored during the special session.

Bjorn

woogie
Guest
woogie

When driving in Ireland last year I saw that they posted signs in dangerous areas with the number of deaths on the road.

Just a general warning to everyone to take greater care on the road.

Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)
Guest

It\’s always nice to be remembered (big grin), but preferably NOT posthumously. Yeah, sort of like Woody Allen wanting to achieve immortality by not dying.

As for any legislation that actually improves or promotes safety for cyclists and pedestrians, I\’m on board with it.

Zach
Guest
Zach

I swear that the responses on here would be completely opposite if a Democrat was pushing this bill… just sayin\’.

These signs will remind drivers in exurban/rural areas (which will NEVER have the volume of riders or the safety infrastructure that cities d) of the possible consequences of their behavior. It\’s cheap, and it\’s a good idea…

Stephanie Miller
Guest
Stephanie Miller

As a mother who\’s son was just killed while ridding his bike home from school by a bus, I want a sign put up and I am in the process of finding out how to do that. I don\’t think about who should be responsible party to pay for that I just want to have the right to do it. I don\’t see it as clutter how ever, if everyone who ever lost a loved one wanted to erect a sign in that spot it would be seen as just that. I don\’t think everyone would choose to do that so for those of us who do, I think it\’s the right thing for the right reason.