Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 6th, 2009 at 10:45 am
is one of the bill’s sponsors.
Four members of Oregon’s House of Representatives have put forward a new bill that would require all bicycles in Oregon to be registered.
House Bill 3008 would establish a “bicycle registration and licensing system.” The bill would also create new offenses for altering bicycle serial numbers or licenses and for failure to register your bicycle.
In addition, the bill states that, “bicycle ownership information” would be made available to law enforcement agencies and that registration, renewal and other fees would go into a Bicycle Transportation Improvement Fund that would then be used to fund “bicycle related transportation improvement projects”.
The fee proposed in the bill for bike registration would be $54 and it would have to be renewed every two years for another $54.
Here’s the language that deals with the new offenses for tampering with a serial number:
“A person commits the offense of altering a bicycle serial number or license if the person willfully removes, destroys, mutilates or otherwise alters the serial number or license of any bicycle.”
The offense would be a Class D Traffic Violation and would come with a maximum fine of $90.
Here’s the section that describes the mandatory requirement to register a bicycle:
“A person 18 years of age or older commits the offense of failure to register a bicycle if the person owns a bicycle in this state and the person does not register the bicycle or renew the registration of the bicycle.”
The proposed bill also says that the following information “must” be included in order to be assigned a “license number”:
(a) Name of the owner of the bicycle;
(b) Owner’s address and telephone number;
(c) Owner’s date of birth;
(d) Make of the bicycle or name of the bicycle manufacturer;
(e) Model of the bicycle;
(f) Wheel and frame size of the bicycle;
(g) Serial number of the bicycle; and
(h) Any other information the Department of Transportation considers necessary.
ODOT will maintain a database of this information.
In addition to the $54 fee for registration and the $54 fee for renewal, other fees include; $1 for transferring a license between bikes owned by the same person, $2 if you want a duplicate license, and $5 to transfer the license from one person to another.
In another section, the bill proposes that whenever a bicycle is sold, the owner must report the sale to ODOT within 15 days and if the owner’s address changes, ODOT must also be notified within 15 days. Failure to do either of these things is punishable by a maximum fine of $25.
Who will carry out the registrations? The bill says ODOT can contract with “any private person or entity or other unit of government”. The “agent” that issues the registration would keep one-third of the money and the other two-thirds would go back to ODOT.
The money would got toward a new Bicycle Transportation Improvement Fund to be established in the State Treasury and would be “continuously appropriated…to pay for development and maintenance of bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and other bicycle related transportation improvement projects.”
Failure to register your bike would carry a maximum fine of $25. Exceptions to the registration requirement include: “Bicycles held by bicycle dealers for sale or trade” and “bicycles not operated on the highways of this state.” (“highways” in this context mean any publicly accessible roadway).
The four legislators listed as sponsors of this proposal are; Rep. Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach), Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford), Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls), and Rep. Michael Schaufler (D-Happy Valley).
A quick search of the BikePortland archives pulls up a bit more about Rep. Krieger. A former State Police Officer, he was one of two people who voted against the Vulnerable Roadway Users bill when it passed (5-4) a committee back in 2007. He felt the bill unfairly singled out motor vehicle operators and said during testimony that bike operators should hold more responsibility (Krieger is from the coastal town of Gold Beach and his main experience with bikes is people touring on Highway 101/1).
Here’s a quote from him I reported back in 2007 that might give you more context for his views about bikes in general:
“On the way to work this morning, coming to an intersection, I stopped, and here comes a bicycle right next to me, right through the intersection…and that is a daily thing…and until we get a handle on that and hold them accountable….they’re creating a hazard out there. They’re on a public highway that’s designed for motor vehicles, not for those other uses…and to put everybody who’s driving a vehicle into a situation like this…I think it’s not right.”
I’ll be following this bill closely and will keep you updated on its progress. I have already spoken with Karl Rohde of the BTA and have calls into two of the bill’s sponsors. I am also looking into whether or not this bill has a fiscal impact statement (saying how much it will cost ODOT to run) and will share that once I find out.
1) Karl Rohde is in Salem today and heard Krieger mention the bill to him during a recent meeeting. Rohde has not seen the full text of the bill, but told me this a few minutes ago:
“The BTA is always opposed to something that discourages people from bicycling… historically we have been opposed measures like this.”
Rohde said he must let the BTA’s legislative committee review the bill and get back to him before he can take any official position on this bill. (It might be worth noting that a few months ago, the BTA said they would support — in concept — an idea of a bicycle excise tax at the point of sale, but that’s a lot different that what’s being proposed here.)
[Hat tip to Evan Manvel for bringing this bill to my attention.]