Two separate bills would reduce stop sign violation fine for bicycles

Lawmakers might elect to lower stop sign
violation fines for bicycles.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A bill introduced in Salem yesterday would reduce the maximum fine for bicycle operators who fail to stop at a stop sign. Senate Bill 660 “Decreases penalty for failure to stop for stop sign to maximum fine of $40 for person operating bicycle.”

The bill would amend ORS 811.265 “Failure to obey a traffic control device” — a violation that comes with a base fine of $242 whether you’re on a bike or in a motor vehicle. We’re still tracking down official comment from legislators, but at this point all we know is that the bill is sponsored by the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection. Senator Chip Shields, Chair of that committee, has not yet returned our call for comment.

This isn’t the only bill being considered this session that would reduce the fine amount for this violation. House Bill 2332 would establish different fines for different types of vehicles for this and a host of other traffic violations. HB 2332, which currently sits in the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee, would make failure to stop at a stop sign punishable by a maximum fine of $180 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 1,000 or less (bicycles), $360 for vehicles that weigh between 1,000 and 6,000 pounds, and $540 for those over 6,000 pounds.

While neither bill has specific legislators listed as sponsors, it’s likely that HB 2332 is the work of House Representative Jules Bailey (D-Portland).

In the 2009 legislative session, Rep. Bailey proposed a weight-based traffic fine bill, but due to a process glitch, was unable to move it forward.

Stay tuned for more information on both of these bills.

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