*Scroll down for update with comments from Rep. Davis.*
A member of the Oregon House has introduced a bill that would require all bicycle riders in Oregon to wear reflective clothing. Representative John Davis (R-District 26) introduced House Bill 3255 this morning.
According to the text of the bill, Davis wants anyone caught riding a bicycle, “on a highway or on premises open to the public” without wearing reflective clothing to be punished by a maximum fine of $250. The bill also dictates that the clothing is, “including but not limited to a reflective coat or reflective vest.” The new law would only apply to people riding bicycles at night (between sunset and sunrise).
The new offense, “Failure of a bicycle operator to wear reflective clothing,” would be a Class D traffic violation.
Similar bills have been introduced in California, Wyoming and South Dakota. In California, Senate Bill 192 mandates helmets for all ages and reflective clothing, but carries a maximum fine of just $25.
Rep. Davis, who serves as Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, is serving his second term as a House Rep after being re-elected in November 2014. He was endorsed by The Oregonian in part because they felt he was a, “skilled legislator with the combination of knowledge and common sense necessary to help forge solutions to difficult problems.”
Davis’s district stretches from south of Wilsonville all the way north to parts of Aloha.
We’ve reached out to Rep. Davis’ Salem office and have yet to hear back.
– H/t to BTA lobbyist Gerik Kransky for alerting us to this bill.
NOTE: This story was first published with “hi-viz clothing” in the headline. It has been changed to “reflective clothing.” We apologize for any confusion.
UPDATE, 3:04 pm: I had a phone call with Rep. Davis. Here’s what he shared about the bill:
- He works in downtown Portland and some of his co-workers ride bikes and have family members that are “avid cyclists.” Davis said many of them, “especially those who ride at dusk, are supportive of this.”
- Davis referenced a story we published in May 2013 about a study that found people are less visible at night than they think.
- Davis told me he thought his bill, “Would be an interesting starting point of a conversation,” and added, “I’m interested what cyclists think about this.”
- When I asked why he chose to focus his safety concerns on a bike-specific measure that doesn’t take into account driving behaviors, he said, “I think it’s a back-and-forth… We all use the road and we all need to be using it safely together.”
- Davis said he feels that a “significant amount of responsibility belongs with drivers” because of the larger capacity they have to do harm to other road users. “But what is the healthy balance to ensure maximum safety?” he wondered.
- When I told him I’m aware that many bicycle riders detest this concept and are already against the bill, he maintained that he’s had a “number of cyclists and a number of my constituents who support this idea.”
- Davis also said he hopes to plan a public hearing in Salem sometime in March where people will have the opportunity to “Come to the legislature and talk about the benefits of cycling.”
- When I asked Rep. Davis why, if he’s so concerned about safety, he voted against a bill (Senate Bill 9) that increased fines for texting and driving in 2013, he provided a non-answer. “We’re talking about this bill, so that’s what I’d like to talk about.”
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Good luck enforcing that ***portion of comment deleted by moderator — Please no name calling Christopher. Thanks -Jonathan***
Sorry Jonathan. It was my gut instinct. I will be more discerning next time.
I approve of both the moderation and the name calling in this instance.
In fact the moderation makes the insult more Hitchcock-ian; it leaves the actual content up the imagination of the reader making the insult much worse 🙂
I felt bad for what I said earlier, and you just redeemed my day. Thanks for the perspective!
Some merely screaming EXPLETIVE DELETED! is catharsis enough.
For the rest of the time pick up a Klingon dictionary; swearing in Klingon is very rewarding as even something as innocent as asking for directions to the bathroom sounds rude but indecipherable.
Ridiculous. I don’t see this bill going anywhere.
a bizarre proposed bill
Sure seems unnecessary if you have the lights which I believe are already required by law.
I was almost hit the other morning by a person driving across the street I was riding on (while she was eating her breakfast and after she failed to stop at her stop sign). When I expressed my frustration, she blamed me for not wearing enough reflective clothing. I’m not sure she understood that reflective clothing doesn’t produce light, only reflects it.
The state should probably require some sort of test to ensure that people are both mentally and physically capable of operating a vehicle on public roads before they are allowed to do so.
Was her car painted in bright yellow and covered with reflective strips?
Exactly. Many cyclists are struck and killed without ever seeing the car that hit them. Can we mandate cars to be brightly colored as well?
On the other side of the fence, metaphorically-speaking, I don’t see how this helps – it promotes blaming the victim. “Oh, he/she wasn’t wearing reflective clothing – I didn’t see them, it’s not my fault.”
Every vehicle operator is responsible at all times to operate their vehicle in a manner where they can stop before hitting something else. Houses don’t wear reflective orange, but occasionally trucks drive into them. Rockslides on 99E in Oregon City, or Hwy 43 north of Lake Oswego don’t wear vests – if a car hits them, is it the rockslide’s fault? Is it the state’s fault since they own the road and they didn’t go out a spray-paint the cliff side?
Usually, (overwhelmingly) if a car strikes a cyclist or a pedestrian at night, it’s due to the following:
– Motorist overdriving their headlights
– Motorist inattentiveness
– Motorist driving too fast for conditions
– Motorist has dirty windows/windshield
– One or both parties has visibility issues due to weather (again, this is usually operating too fast for conditions)
– Night blindness due to oncoming headlights
That’s more than half the causes, statistically. Other factors are cyclists and/or motorists disobeying traffic control devices, illegal lane change, right-hooks at intersections, and other factors.
How about larger fines for exceeding the speed limit? For distracted driving? For failure to yield to a bike in a bike lane? How about mandatory driver training to be more attentive to vulnerable road users? How about a test which includes questions on crosswalks, yielding, etc.?
There’s an easy answer to this – this bill is politically acceptable, and those things generally are not.
“Many cyclists are struck and killed without ever seeing the car that hit them.”
Is this true at night though? I tend to be pretty acutely aware of cars around me, which is a lot easier at night since they all have headlights.
No cyclist who’s ever been killed by a motorist has ever testified that he saw the car that hit him. Proof enough for me.
OK here’s one for you, I did not see the car that killed me in 2001, but that was probably because he was driving without headlights and approaching at 60 MPH after midnight. I did hear him swearing at me, if that is any help.
Sorry. R. I. P.
Or testified that they didn’t see the car either.
Works both ways.
Why am I suddenly flashing to the M.A.S.H. episode “you never hear the bullet”?
Before any law like this, how about a mandatory car headlights on at all times law. Headlights are soooooo much easier to pick out way back in a mirror.
“Was her car painted in bright yellow and covered with reflective strips?” Adam Herstein
Here’s a counterpoint question to yours: ‘Are bicycles as big as cars, and do they display the same number of lights of the same illumination level of those on cars?
Here’s the law.
Violation of bicycle equipment requirements
(1) A person commits the offense of violation of bicycle equipment requirements if the person does any of the following:
(a) Operates on any highway a bicycle in violation of the requirements of this section.
(b) Is the parent or guardian of a minor child or ward and authorizes or knowingly permits the child or ward to operate a bicycle on any highway in violation of the requirements of this section.
(2) A bicycle is operated in violation of the requirements of this section if any of the following requirements are violated:
(a) A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.
(b) A person shall not install or use any siren or whistle upon a bicycle. This paragraph does not apply to bicycles used by police officers.
(c) At the times described in the following, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment that meets the described requirements:
(A) The lighting equipment must be used during limited visibility conditions.
(B) The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.
(C) The lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any bicycle consistent with this section.
(4) This section does not apply to electric personal assistive mobility devices. Equipment requirements for electric personal assistive mobility devices are provided in ORS 815.284 (Violation of electric personal assistive mobility device equipment requirements).
(5) The offense described in this section, violation of bicycle equipment requirements, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §502; 1985 c.16 §260; 1985 c.69 §5; 2003 c.158 §15; 2003 c.341 §17; 2007 c.821 §1]
The cross traffic on neighbourhood greenways has definitely increased to an uncomfortable level in recent months.
As well as the people in cars that insist on passing me while I’m already doing 20 on a greenway and asserting the center of the lane.
That’s just the livability factor intensifying. All those people moving here for that great livability that Portland’s so known for, and just living the hell out of the greenways with their lovely automobiles. In fact, living the entire width of it– usually– as they swing around back and forth and attempt to thread the needle of cyclists in both directions coming and going.
Unfortunately lights (plural) aren’t required by law. You only have to have a headlight. On the rear, only a reflector is required, on the assumption that a cyclist who’s in danger of being hit will be in the car’s headlights. That seems like a big assumption, and it means a rider won’t be seen until the reflector picks up the headlights.
While I really don’t want to see any legislation which places the onus for not being hit on the victim, I could support stronger lighting requirements. Since the advent of LEDs, there’s no excuse not to have lights front and rear.
“…While I really don’t want to see any legislation which places the onus for not being hit on the victim, …” Ron G.
Could you explain what you mean? Who is it you’re thinking would be the ‘victim’? If it’s vulnerable road users injured in collisions with motor vehicles you’re thinking of, are you thinking that vulnerable road users should not bear some responsibility for avoiding collisions?
Only a front (white) light is required by law; for the rear a (red) reflector is legally adequate. I would support changing the law to require a rear red light. But your point is well taken, Jack; why not focus on adequate lighting requirements rather than institute a dress code for bicyclists, that may not have the all safety benefits that Rep. Davis thinks it may have? And, if Rep. Davis is really concerned about the safety of vulnerable road users, he may want to consider more stringent penalties for using a cell phone while driving…oh, wait, right, he doesn’t want to talk about that – sorry for mentioning that particular 500 lb. gorilla.
Jonathan you should have waited until Monday so you could easily hit the 200+ comment barrier with this one….
Hi viz or reflective?
The bill says reflective.
Does “Hi-viz” include both “reflective” and “day-glo”? Or does “hi-viz” only mean “day-glo” or “fluorescent”? This bill focuses on “reflective”, which is “hi-viz” only at night.
This seems to be the trend of the month! How many states this month have been proposing this now…? The question of hi-viz and/or reflective is a very good one, especially since recent research has shown that hi-viz clothing does NOT make drivers see us better. http://road.cc/content/news/99660-high-vis-clothing-doesnt-make-cars-pass-you-more-safely-says-new-study Other research I’ve read (…somewhere) says as well that only reflective gear is useful if it’s moving. The drivers need the movement to catch their eyes–which makes me think a vest, jacket, etc might not be that much more effective.
Even if it passes I have to imagine it would be enforced even less than the bike light laws.
From my Grand Jury experience, I can tell you that the bike light law is enforced. Enforced as a common pretext to stop and requests searches, especially East of 82nd.
We even saw a development related to the interpretation of this law. Early in the session we heard testimony that was explicit about whether or not there was a light present and active “on the bicycle”, and later this statement would have to include “on the bicycle OR its rider”. I mentioned this to the DA and asked if there had been an issue and he basically confirmed that evidence was thrown out due to this distinction.
I would just hope not as much as the turn signal laws…
I have been thinking of adding more side reflectors to my bike.
Not to me though.
Ahhh, the modern Republican party: Violently opposed to more government regulation, except when it can be used to harass groups we dislike.
Having pronounced yourself as a Republican, perhaps you could make an effort to direct your party’s effort in more constructive directions. As to what Rep John Davis’s comments in this bikeportland story suggest about his motivation for introducing this bill is, harassing people doesn’t appear to part of his motivation. He seems to be seeking a more consistent sharing of responsibility for safe use of the road by all road users, including people that use the road with bikes.
That framing seems to suggest that the current “sharing of responsibility” for the safety of road users is inordinately on operators of motor vehicles over vulnerable road users. Could you spend some time talking a little bit more about that and maybe justifying that position?
“That framing seems to suggest that the current “sharing of responsibility” for the safety of road users is inordinately on operators of motor vehicles over vulnerable road users. Could you spend some time talking a little bit more about that and maybe justifying that position?” Allison
Sure. The word ‘inordinately’, means ‘extreme’. To keep things relatively simple, if you don’t mind, I’ll disregard that word from you intro statement. What I think Davis, and many other people may be thinking with regards to vulnerable road users accepting their responsibility for their own safety in using the road, is that many vulnerable road users aren’t accepting that responsibility.
They instead, seek to, expect or allow, intentionally or otherwise, people that drive to bear an inequitable burden of responsibility for the safety of vulnerable road users that aren’t using simple, effective means of enhancing their visibility to other road users as a means of protecting their own safety.
People that drive should not have to be entirely responsible for the safety of people that are using the road as vulnerable road users. To expect this of people that drive, would be imposing an inequitable level of responsibility onto them.
I see Davis’s bill proposal as having been intended to spark some discussion about ways to possibly increase the consistency with which people as vulnerable road users use measures to enhance their visibility to other road users, particularly people that drive. Not to seriously move toward having this bill actually become a law.
Increasing numbers of people biking and riding, use hi-vis gear, including the retro-reflective material. Works great, if you know how to use it. Nobody really wants more laws, and I think that likely includes Davis. His friends and associates that bike, most likely don’t want to be legally required to wear retro-reflective gear, and I figure Davis knows that too. Part of the invitation from Davis, to people that bike, I’d say, was to conceive ideas for getting people as vulnerable road users, to on their own initiative rather than by law, more consistently enhance their visibility to other road users. I think it would be a good effort to try conceive some good ideas to accomplish exactly that.
Davis’ bill proposal was floated in the context of the most basic laws related to safety we have on the books going unenforced: speeding and driving without paying enough attention. These behaviors kill and maim people on our streets every day, every hour. To say, as you are fond of: “People that drive should not have to be entirely responsible for the safety of people that are using the road as vulnerable road users. To expect this of people that drive, would be imposing an inequitable level of responsibility onto them.” is needlessly hyperbolic. The problem we have is quite the opposite: People piloting automobiles right now are given a pass, not required to shoulder responsibilities that our laws suggest they do.
With this as backdrop perhaps you can appreciate that Davis’ proposed bill can appear as a slap in the face, a willful denial of the present imbalance we already experience in the realm of enforcement.
“…People piloting automobiles right now are given a pass, not required to shoulder responsibilities that our laws suggest they do. …” watts
You’re claim is entirely nonsense. If it weren’t, you would have shown us whatever it is you claim to be a “…pass…”.
There’s nothing hyperbolic about the statement of mine which you quoted in your comment. If there were, you would have pointed out the hyperbole.
You’re claim is entirely nonsense. If it weren’t, you would have shown us whatever it is you claim to be a “…pass…”.
Why are you playing dumb?
* talking on cell phones while piloting an automobile,
* driving X miles over the speed limit,
= both are done as a matter of course, and enforcement of the laws which sanction these behaviors is close to nonexistent relative to the frequency with which these occur, and everyone knows that this is just how things are.
“There’s nothing hyperbolic about the statement of mine which you quoted in your comment. If there were, you would have pointed out the hyperbole.”
But I quoted you: “People that drive should not have to be **entirely responsible**” Now I’ve given it some extra highlighting since you missed it earlier. This is hyperbolic because the statement is entirely fact free, invokes very nearly the opposite of the present circumstances in which people who drive are **almost entirely not held responsible for any** harms them may cause with their automobile to other not in a car, as noted in the linked Salon article from earlier today.
Can we require automobiles to feature painted reflective striping as well?
Well, they do have reflectors.
I would like to see amber turn signals return.
Reflective door handles would also be nice. Something in the middle of the car.
and perhaps audible alarms every time a door opens ?
I’d prefer visible.
A beep when the handle is pulled would be ok, but to make it loud enough to hear over traffic might make things too loud. Loud is one thing I don’t like. Truck back up beeps just make me want to cut the wires on all the trucks that have them.
We could, at minimum, require reflectors on the rear part of the door. Toss in a yellow LED for every car that has power windows or locks that is visible from the rear anytime the door opens and inch or so. Either where it locks or where the handle is.
This proposal brought to you by the party that wants less government in our lives.
There are many oddities in the political world with regards to science. Republicans who deny climate change, but believe in the science of vaccinations, and Democrats who believe in climate change but deny the efficacy of vaccinations.
Support for mandatory vaccination is non-partisan:
(Feb 2015 YouGov poll)
Yet we live in a heavily democratic city which has one of the lowest percentages of vaccinated children in the country.
Correlation doesn’t mean causation, but…….
I hope it passes. Mr. Davis will love it when I bike in front of him with a mirror on my back. This is why lawmakers should generally understand the subject matter for which they write bills, which, had that been the case here, he might have chosen to require retroreflective clothing instead.
Not bad, I actually run around with a huge white retroreflective front reflector just to pointedly (and passively) let MUP users know their flashing light is kind of annoying. It’s pretty funny to watch them as they realize that the horrible blinking light on my bike is actually just a reflection of their own light.
Genious! I am going to find a white reflector today. Seriously.
Should be a few available at your LBS from people who had to take the reflector off to have room for a headlight and a computer.
Laughable. I’m guessing it would be enforced about as much as the ban on texting while driving.
I wouldn’t assume that for a minute.
But the deer, what about the deer? Are they going to get fined as well, or just shot?
Well those deer should use the deer crossings only… Otherwise they should be fined up to $250.00
Big government Republican.
I believe we need a law that requires lawmakers wear t-shirts proclaiming that what they do could be hazardous to common sense…and they shouldn’t be allowed out after dark.
Great idea! Lets slam those who can’t afford specific clothing with a speedy fine so they can continue to struggle to put food on the table, clothes on their children, buy school supplies, etc. Are these things thought through whatsoever, or do they know the idea is so asinine that it isn’t going anywhere and they are doing it to garner a few bonus points for the next election?
“Spendy.” Not “speedy.”
I assume all cars will also be required to be painted in high vis colors or driven only during the day?
The intent to punish rather than increase safety is obvious in this bill in that:
* The fine ($250!!) is exorbitant
* No standards of reflectivity, e.g., surface area, visible distance, or directionality are defined.
* An incomplete or ambiguous definition of “clothing” is given.
Is my reflective arm or leg band considered “clothing”? Is my helmet (helment) considered “clothing”? It has some reflective elements (helements), but are they large enough? Would I be cited for only having reflective helements? Only if an officer had some desire to stop me and needed a pretext. The wording of this bill does not even specify that the reflective clothing must be visible. I could plaster the top of my helmet with reflective stickers, and hide an Illuminite(tm) t-shirt under my black jacket, and still be in compliance.
Those visibility requirements that are already law have very specific wording (from ORS 815.280):
Violation of current lighting requirements is a “Class D” traffic violation (presumptive fine amount: $110), but the suggested fine here is on par with a “Class B” traffic violation (presumptive fine amount: $260), an example of which is “failure to obey a traffic control device”. The implication here is that this lawmaker believes (by one measure, anyway) that a bicyclist complying with current lighting requirements, but failing to wear reflective clothing, is posing a danger to the public on par with the driver of a Cadillac Escalade running a red light.
Ambiguously or poorly-worded bills such as this one are an immediate giveaway that the author doesn’t have the safety of bicyclists in mind one bit. Bills such as this are intended for one purpose: giving drivers an additional excuse for running over vulnerable road users. They create yet one more reason to blame the victim of motorized violence, rather than the perpetrator.
This bill and the others like it that have cropped up around the country may be intended only as “discussion-starters”, but we will only be able to scoff for so long before the exhaust-fume-addled majority of some legislature somewhere passes one.
Comment of the Week!
Thank you so much for your insight!
best response right there!
bic…Something Rep Davis hasn’t done with his proposed bill, or his comments to bikeportland, is attempt to irrationally inflame beyond potential for constructive conversation as you have with your comment, legitimate discussion of an important road user safety issue.
Oregon’s current laws addressing visibility of vulnerable road users biking, provide for only a bare minimum requirement of visibility. A front headlight and a rear reflector, is it. I don’t know that I’d support a law requiring use of additional retro-reflective material on the bike or the person riding a bike on the road, but do think in many situations, using that gear is a good idea.
Impression I get from what’s been reported in bikeportland stories about this bill, is that Rep Davis doesn’t expect his bill to become law. His comments suggests he thinks a constructive conversation about the use of reflective material by people biking, is a good idea. And, if you read the update to this story, he says he’d like to know what cyclists think. That’s a bold statement, considering all the chaff he’s going to have to sift through in comments to this story, to find much constructive to think about.
When bikeportland publishes a story on a subject like this particular one with its unfortunate choice of editorializing headline word choice, it’s like a cue to some readers here to check their brains at the door, and pile on. Their typical response, is one of the reasons I think, that grass roots advocacy can be so difficult in terms of actually accomplishing anything.
If you don’t like the way Davis’s bill has been written, give us your version, that stipulates better, what the bill seeks to accomplish.
you’ve used the phrase constructive conversation a bunch in your posts to this discussion. Can you explain what about Davis’ approach strikes you as constructive? If you do respond I’d be curious for you to address some of the specific criticisms El Biciclero in particular offered, suggesting this bill is anything but constructive.
“…Can you explain what about Davis’ approach strikes you as constructive? …” watts
Sure. Instead of just ranting on and on about some idea, he put his idea into bill form so people could read and think about what the bill proposes. He announced in remarks to bikeportland, that “…“I’m interested what cyclists think about this.” …”. (Refer back to the top three bulleted points on this story’s update.). I think this part of his approach, for sure, is constructive.
If people reading here, don’t like some or all elements of his bill, or something about them, it sounds as though he’s receptive to alternative suggestions. If they don’t like his bill at all, they can say that too. I think he’s due to at least the respect he’s extended to others in opening a conversation.
Bic could do better in his comment to which you refer. He’s on attack, doesn’t like Davis’s bill, and tries to nail it, but comes up short on presenting any reasonable, well thought out alternatives to what Davis’s bill provides for. Not to mention the usual inflammatory rhetoric. Keep it simple, state the objections and suggestions plain and clear, without animosity.
“Something Rep Davis hasn’t done…is attempt to irrationally inflame beyond potential for constructive conversation”
He may not have attempted it intentionally, but I would be quite surprised if he thought the reaction represented here wouldn’t happen. If Rep. Davis really wanted to be “constructive”, his bill wouldn’t be worded in a way that is unmistakably “punitive”.
“Oregon’s current laws addressing visibility of vulnerable road users biking, provide for only a bare minimum requirement of visibility.”
That statement will always be true, regardless of how many additional laws may be passed. By definition, the existing legal requirements specify the “bare minimum” to be legal.
“Impression I get from what’s been reported in bikeportland stories about this bill, is that Rep Davis doesn’t expect his bill to become law.”
Then why present it as a bill, with pseudo-legal wording in the way that all other bills that are expected to become law are presented? That doesn’t sound respectful. It is comparable to a police officer stopping you for a minor violation and threatening to arrest you—even if he has no intention to—just to “get your attention”.
“His comments suggests he thinks a constructive conversation about the use of reflective material by people biking, is a good idea.”
Then host a Town Hall style meeting. Send letters. Post links to a survey. Conduct a telephone poll. Talk to constituents.
“And, if you read the update to this story, he says he’d like to know what cyclists think.”
Then host a Town Hall style meeting. Send letters. Email a survey. Conduct a telephone poll. Talk to constituents.
“…considering all the chaff he’s going to have to sift through in comments to this story, to find much constructive to think about.”
This maneuver of proposing laws that the sponsor knows will be received this way, “just to start a conversation” is at best tone deaf, and at worst legal bullying. If you want to have a constructive conversation, don’t hold a gun to someone’s head and say “let’s talk”.
“When bikeportland publishes a story on a subject like this…one…it’s like a cue to some readers here to check their brains at the door, and pile on.”
With poorly-constructed, non-researched bills like this proposed as “conversation starters”, it seems as though brains have already been checked at the door.
“If you don’t like the way Davis’s bill has been written, give us your version, that stipulates better, what the bill seeks to accomplish.”
I noted above several ways in which this bill’s wording is lacking any careful thought whatsoever. Further, I don’t like what this bill is trying to accomplish, which is giving drivers more excuses for running over people. If you cannot drive and pay enough attention to see bicycles that meet current visibility standards, you should not be driving.
bic…you continue to be in attack mode, as though that’s the only way you can think about and respond to the opinion of someone whose views you disagree with. You’re not offering suggestions to Davis, you’re attempting to bully him, just like a number of other people commenting to this story have tried to do.
Presented conversationally, someone could have asked him why he made the choice of crafting a bill for a law to start the conversation, rather than a town hall process. The question may have brought out some helpful answers. Jonathan Maus of bikeportland had him on the phone, and could have asked him why he chose this particular approach, rather than with a town hall.
I can’t claim to know a lot about how the legislative process works, but I know some. Part of which, is that a bill for a law introduced to the legislature can go through many changes, before, it has much of a chance of becoming law. What work was done on this bill, and how many people saw it and worked on it before it got put on the legislature agenda, would be helpful to learn.
This bill could have been a kind of first draft. That may be one of the reasons why Rep. Davis is interested in input from people that bike: to consider and devise various changes to the bill. From a reading of their comments, this doesn’t seem to something many bikeportland readers have thought about. Doesn’t sound as though bikeportland’s staff has thought about this.
“You’re not offering suggestions to Davis…”
Let’s imagine a member of the Taliban proposes a bill that declares that women may no longer cut their hair, or be seen in public without a male relative. The response I hear you suggesting would be to counterpropose that perhaps women should be allowed to cut their hair in medical emergencies, or perhaps that the accompanying male relative bit be relaxed on national holidays. I won’t speak for El Biciclero, but I reject what Davis is proposing out of hand, just like I reject the things the Taliban decree; I’m not the least bit interested in responding constructively to this punitive nonsense because, contrary to you, I don’t think it was done in good faith. I see no evidence that either Davis’ bill or the Taliban’s ideas were meant constructively.
wsbob. Rep. Davis is a lawmaker; he should at least have as much initiative and common sense as I do to look at existing laws before proposing a bill worded like this one. Does a bill this narrowly focused and low on word count really need a “rough draft”? And I hardly think I have any power with which to “bully” anyone with the ability to introduce bills to the Oregon Legislature and vote on them to become law.
You want constructive. OK.
Mr. Davis: You are proposing a new law. Is your proposed bill in response to a problem? I will assume so; what problem is it that you are trying to solve by passing a new law?
(A) Are too many people on bikes being hit and injured by cars?
(1) If so, has it been determined that such injurious collisions have been the fault of the bicyclist or the driver?
(a) If the fault of the bicyclist, and the collision took place at night, then either the bicyclist was not compliant with existing equipment (lighting) law, and a new law would not have helped, or the cause of the collision was due to behavior/positioning/movement on the road, which increased visibility would not have helped.
(b) If the fault of the driver, then it seems any new law, or perhaps more appropriately, enforcement augmentation, should target drivers, not bicyclists.
(B) Do you or your constituents or others you have spoken with complain that people on bicycles are “hard to see”?
(1) Stipulating that such evidence is not really data, but anecdote, when it is noted that a cyclist is “hard to see”, is the hard-to-see cyclist complying with current law?
(a) If not, then enforcement of current law would seem to solve the problem.
(b) If so, then what part of the cyclist’s compliant lights or reflectors was hard to see? Why was it hard to see?
(i) Was it hard to see because the cyclist was riding “as far right as practicable”, hidden by other vehicles in a dangerous road position prescribed by other laws? Perhaps those other laws need to be changed.
(ii) Was it “hard to see” because the complaining driver was looking in another direction? Perhaps hoping to make a right turn on a red light?
(iii) Was it “hard to see” because the driver’s vehicle had a dirty windshield or bad windshield wipers?
(iv) Was it “hard to see” because the driver was blinded by other car headlights that are out of compliance with legal auto lighting standards?
(2) Again, stipulating that such “evidence” is anecdotal, you can read a few accounts in these very comments from cyclists, myself included, who have been hit by cars while wearing high-visibility clothing, and running fairly bright lights, even in the daytime. Does this support the idea that cyclists aren’t visible enough, or that drivers aren’t looking enough?
(C) Regarding the wording of this bill, is there any reason why the fine for violating additional visibility standards should suddenly rise to the level of a moving violation, more than doubling from the current presumptive fine amount for existing lighting violations? Is there a reason that the wording is not even as carefully wrought regarding conspicuity and distance of visibility for retro-reflective clothing as that in existing laws which may be easily looked up and could have been used as a model?
(D) With the exception of helmets, is there any other common mode of travel for which specialty apparel is prescribed by law for “safety”? Why single out cyclists for legally dictating the clothes they must wear?
“…Does a bill this narrowly focused and low on word count really need a “rough draft”? …” bic
I’d say, ‘why not?’. Got to start with something, an idea, and a rough draft logically follows. Subject to revision. If the idea behind it really was to make the long trek along the process required for it to become law.
Well, wsbob, when one has achieved the position of lawmaker, I, myself would expect such a person to keep a rough draft this embarrassing out of public view until such a time as it had undergone sufficient revision to at least be consistent with itself and current, related laws. I’m sure it’s naive, but I would expect from members of the Oregon Legislature a degree of professionalism that would treat the introduction of anything other than an “emergency” bill with the same level of attention as would be given a formal business proposal. Bills introduced into the Legislature and business proposals submitted to clients are both potential legal arrangements that will affect people’s lives and influence the perception and reputation of the government or business.
The time for drafts this rough is when one is sitting at the restaurant writing on a napkin. The time for consulting with one’s colleagues or constituents about how the wording of a draft bill sounds, or whether the language is even consistent is before submission to the Legislature for consideration as a law. When something this sloppy is tossed out as a “conversation starter”, it reflects poorly on the person throwing it out there and shows that the author took little or no care in considering the lives of the people it would affect should it become law. He loses 95% of all respect for not even doing the five minutes of basic research that would have been required to at least come up with sound wording. Why? Because the level of haste and laziness displayed in writing this bill shows complete disrespect for those the law would affect and makes this “conversation starter” appear as nothing more than a winking jab to stick it to those arrogant scofflaw cyclists. If Rep. Davis does not want subsequent bike-related bills to have this appearance, he should put forth enough time and effort to write something that is at least consistent with the wording of related laws and shows some concern for actual safety, not just piling legal obstacles onto those who use a bike for transportation. The level of care taken in authoring a bill directly reflects the level of care the author really has for the affected citizens.
I wonder what “discussion starter” really means. In this case, I think the bill’s author thinks people might “start discussing my name”.
I would happily back this bill and wear reflcto-dork vests IF they include in this bill, some pork.
Lets juicy it up a bit… say… any motorist that has a collision with said bicycle reflecto-dork riders and causes any damage to said rider in any way will be charged with a felony, vehicular attempted manslaughter.
And just for the heck of it all fines from this bill goes towards a pizza party for all bicycle riders wearing reflecto-dork clothing each month at chucky cheese!
You know, as I, er, reflect upon this, I may’ve been too hasty. I find riding my bike to be an excellent time for personal reflection. Thus, my attire is, by extension, reflective, no?
Timely commentary from Copenhagenize, just replace pedestrians with cyclists…:
One of the many bills that will never go anywhere! It’s not scheduled for any hearings, hasn’t been reviewed by anyone, and it will never go past the House speaker’s desk. (when learning to track bills, one discovers this is the fate of most of them)
It’s not worth getting outraged about. Rep. Davis is just looking to chum the waters, and here he succeeded in ticking folks off.
Also, this has been introduced late enough in the session it’ll probably never get to the front of the queue for hearings. The amount of bills introduced is insane, and most of them are introduced shortly before the session opens.
People on bicycles would be easier to see if drivers weren’t looking at their phones.
Need to design a phone app that sends an alert to your screen when there is an ‘obstacle’ in your car’s way. /s
Cars would be easier for people on foot and bike to see if they were all neon orange.
What is going on with these proposed bills and bike/ped backlash in the Oregon legislature this year?
The wording “including but not limited to” seems totally open-ended…
Remind me to make a generous campaign contribution to the sensible candidate that runs against this ‘representative’ in 2016 (I don’t care from which party).
If only we could get Stephen Colbert’s Superpac to take on this cause!
I found an another image of the politician…
More requiring of chastity belts to prevent rape.
I’m all for reflectivity … Case in point, my avatar… But I’m not for mandating that across the board.
My delicate hand washables are reflective, high viz and illuminated!
now you’ll be forced to wear them on the World Naked Bike Ride…
BTW, according to Project Vote Smart, in 2013 Rep. Davis voted against increasing fines for talking or texting while driving. Clearly, safety really is his number one priority. Oh wait . . . .
Cui Bono (Who Benefits)??
Davis must be motivated by something other than sheer malignancy towards cyclists. What political capital will he be gaining by introducing this legislation? Was there some unfortunate event in his district related to a cyclist being struck by a car? There must be something to explain his actions beyond a simple desire to annoy cyclists.
My theory: attempted pandering. He thinks he’s giving the people what they want, even if it’s misguided.
Hmm, what could i do with that many unpaid traffic tickets….maybe make a collage as an ode to dumb laws.
I’ve got an idea… Let’s improve motorists ability to see us… Let’s cut the tops off all the cars… A nice open cockpit so they don’t have anything interfering with being able to see what’s going on around you.
Yeah, I bet the removal of A pillars would be more effective than this.
Jonathan, maybe you could reach out to Rep. John Davis and invite him to accompany you, and select others, on a bicycle commute through the city? Finish your ride with a stop at a coffee shop to discuss the challenges that humans riding bicycles face every day while attempting to get around on two wheels.
I actually went to High School with John and we were friends for quite a long time. If you do plan this Jonathan I’d love to be a part of it. I was already debating send him a message myself about this bill to express my concern. Though as other have pointed out it’s unlikely to pass.
Just got off the phone with Rep. Davis and updated the story with this:
Did you point out to Davis that there are already provisions in the law for making the bicycle itself visible – with front lights and rear reflectors. If he’s actually concerned about this, really, he should concentrate on strengthening that alone or the enforcement of it. Full stop.
Jonathan, all joking aside… He was blowing so much smoke up your _ _ s The FDA is going to make you tattoo a Surgeon General warning on your
_ _ s!
This guy is a dirty politician that is driving a bill based on lobbyist and even worse his constituents putting pressure on him to put up “road blocks” to slow down meaningful and relevant legislation for bicycles!
Please tell me you don’t believe his BS?
I beg everyone here to write a quick, simple and to the point email to this windbag telling him he is wrong and voters will Not stand for it!
Straight from the Newt Gingrich Conservative playbook: say something so venomously far FAR right wing so that the ½ way point in the ensuing discussion skews towards your side that you win no matter who argues what.
When you could be a social progressive and a fiscal conservative?
When compromise was how governing worked?
When science was respected as real?
When willful violent ignorance wasn’t considered as valid a way of life as a religion?
That all ended in the Pyrrhic winner-take-all strategy ushered in by Gingrich and his devotees.
Rep Davis has simply drunk the kool-aid; it isn’t his fault… much.
That strategy is used by both parties. Back in the early 90’s I did a lot of work with Earth First! especially after the Salvage Rider was ruled upon (I went straight from the Judge Hogans courthouse in Eugene to the woods).
Not so much because I was totally behind their agenda I knew that it was never going to be a popular group or that their policies would ever see the light of day. I did so because our presence made the Sierra Club and Audubon Society and other environmental groups more palatable to the public and the politicians. Most the smart (granted it wasn’t all of them) ones involved with EF! at the time did so for the same reasons.
Any of the representatives who voted against increasing the fines for texting and driving clearly have zero interest in making our roads safer, and if they try to tell you otherwise, they must be lying to your face. John Davis, you don’t belong in Oregon.
“…When I asked Rep. Davis why, if he’s so concerned about safety, he voted against a bill (Senate Bill 9) that increased fines for texting and driving in 2013, he provided a non-answer. “We’re talking about this bill, so that’s what I’d like to talk about.” maus/bikeportland
You were trying to sidetrack him from discussion about the bill he is introducing and was willing to discuss, with you. I don’t blame him for not wanting to discuss his vote on a different bill having to do with safety considerations. If you’re truly interested in his reasons for voting against Senate Bill 9, you may get a different response if you call him to ask about that bill specifically.
“I don’t blame him for not wanting to discuss his vote on a different bill having to do with safety considerations.”
Don’t be silly, wsbob. Both bills (ostensibly) have to do with traffic safety, and a vote against something that is demonstrably unsafe for everyone (see distraction.gov if you have doubts) and then turning around and proposing a cockamaimy bill that is absurd on its face begs for someone to ask the question Jonathan asked. Davis’s dissembling speaks volumes. Not sure why you’re defending him. Or are you one of the avid cyclists he invoked as in favor of this?
Maus was just trying to sidetrack Davis. If he wanted answer’s to Davis’s bill, he should have confined his questions to that bill. I don’t know Davis, never met him, never talked to him, and have no idea how he’s done a legislator.
I do think though, that despite the possibly questionable means Davis has taken to do it with this bill, when someone makes an effort to respectfully encourage discussion about an important issue of general concern, people ought to at least extend the courtesy of making an effort to respond constructively, to the subject, without throwing in a bunch of basically unrelated partisan garbage accusations.
“when someone makes an effort to respectfully encourage discussion about an important issue of general concern”
Anyone we know?
wsbob: It’s interesting that when commenters on BP question Davis’ motivation, you have no hesitation in defending Davis claiming his motives are to improve safety and start a discussion.
On the other hand, when Maus asks Davis about his vote on a previous bill that is also clearly about transportation system safety, you criticize Maus for attempting to sidetrack Davis. Come on, wsbob, it’s just a conversation.
Challenging Davis to explain what appears to be an opposite approach to transportation safety on two bills strikes me as an entirely reasonable way to have a conversation and to try to determine whether there is something I don’t understand about transportation safety or either of the two bills.
“…Come on, wsbob, it’s just a conversation. …” J_R
A conversation that Maus tried to take off topic, which was the bill Davis presented, and turn the conversation to a means by which Maus could try to attack Davis. Davis deflected the effort, as he should. If Maus wants to talk about Davis’s vote on the cell phone bill, he should call up and ask. Davis may agree to talk, though considering the way people many commenting to this story have responded, I wouldn’t be surprised if the didn’t agree.
Notice that Jonathan did not explain the cell phone bill he hoped Davis would offer some explanation as to his vote on that bill. Maus permitted to happen, something that’s not uncommon in reporting, which is to allow, intentionally or otherwise, readers to assume that somebody thinks something they may actually not.
Why didn’t Davis vote ‘yes’ on that bill? ( I don’t know whether he did or didn’t except from what’s been reported in this story.). Was it because he doesn’t care about the safety of vulnerable road users, as reporting in this story would have readers presume, regardless of the what the true situation is? Let’s find out what Davis’s reasons for not voting on that bill really were, before deciding.
In Boston, this company makes retro reflective UV stable coating (not laminate), could you pump up the grass root efforts to the State Senator you spoke to about this article and the Bill introduced and to the bicycle manufacturer in Portland Oregon area to carry the retroreflective coating option as bicycle safety purpose, and I hope it would be available as spray can or professional powder coating shop to carry this for after-market bicycle paint service.
Rep. Davis: “an interesting starting point of a conversation…”
Where have we heard this before?!%&
Plus it’s just bad logic, we aren’t having a conversation if you are already attempting to pass a bill. The time for a conversation about this would have been before hand.
So……….we should dress brightly enough to break into the diminished thought processes and attention span of a motoring primate who is texting, yes?
The bill is least common denominator thinking. It is the same thing as helmet laws. Even if we assume that mandating reflective clothing results in improved safety for those who would otherwise not wear it, then it does nothing to improve the safety of people who already wear such clothes nor does it do anything to improve the safety of other road users, thos driving and riding in cars included. Americans have something like a 1 in 84 lifetime chance of dying in a car crash. Its the number one killer of children. Everyone should find these statistics alarming no matter how they get around or how many “avid cyclist” friends they have. The Danes have some of the safest roads in the world for ALL road users. They didn’t accomplish that by legislating reflective clothes! We should be copying what people who have had success have done. Not what California and Wyoming are doing.
So, if a cyclist, wearing approved dress is hit by car. Will the fines and penatlies be increased?
Based on the update, it sounds like Rep. Davis is trying to dodge the questions and repeat the same anti-biking mantras of “I have friends who are avid cyclists” and “we’re all responsible for safety”.
Guess it is time to put a permanent “anti-bike” flag on his future political aspirations.
People driving cars cause all the harm. The only “healthy” balance is to eliminate the agent causing the harm or severely reduce it’s capacity to cause harm. Come back to me when you advocate for stricter yearly driving tests (including mental health tests), harsher punishments for all traffic violations (including minor speeding tickets), automatic lifelong suspensions and possible jail time for people driving who injure or kill people walking or riding bikes, citywide 20 MPH speed limits, and heavy fees for people who choose to drive into the city center. It’s time someone address the “bull in the china shop” instead of repeating the same “helments and reflector” mantra.
“People driving cars cause all the harm.”
This is unfair and false. You can’t absolve all cyclists all the time, regardless of whether they’re breaking the law (running stop signs/lights or don’t have lights).
There have been plenty of instances when cars were doing everything correct (and legal) and a cyclist was 100% at fault for their crash.
A belligerent stance like this is just as bad as the politician pushing this law.
Whether or not the person driving was doing everything 100% legal is irrelevant. My point was that cars are inherently dangerous and they need to be regulated as such.
It’s not irrelevant at all.
We all don’t have to be anti-car to be pro-bike.
Cars aren’t inherently dangerous, they’re not weapons. Their main purpose is not to kill or injure. Hundreds of millions of people ride in cars every day in this country without injury/death to them or others.
You wan to increase driver’s license testing? Fine, I can get behind that. But please stop jumping the shark with hyperbole about how cyclists are never at fault in any crash with a car.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, car accidents happen every minute of the day. Motor vehicle accidents occur in any part of the world every 60 seconds. And if it’s all summed up in a yearly basis,there are 5.25 million driving accidents that take place per year. Statistics show that each year,43,000 or more of the United States’ population die due to vehicular accidents and around 2.9 million people end up suffering light or severe injuries. In a certain five year period, there had been recorded a 25% of the driving population who encountered or were involved in car accidents.” National Highway Traffic Commission!
And this one really puts it in perspective!
“It is also affirmed that car accidents kill a child every 3 minutes.Statistics on the number of car accidents taking place in every state or country is normally based on medical or insurance records filed.”
National Highway Traffic Commission!
Davemess I ask you, Cars aren’t inherently dangerous? really?
The number of people in the US that “die by car” out numbers people who die by plane accidents, gun violence and accidental death put together!
When that is divided by the actual numbers of drivers and miles driven daily: no.
I agree those numbers are high and unacceptable. But to argue that all drivers and cars are out there crashing and killing people is just wrong. Taking an extremist militant stance isn’t likely to go anywhere or help.
If It Saves Even One Life! Then I’ll stand in front of traffic, I’ll protest by sitting in the middle of the street, I’ll ride in every critical mass if it will save one life!
An extremist militant view is what makes changes in America! or have you forgotten how our country was founded? Or how Women got equal rights, or how slavery was abolished, or what Martin Luther King died for?!!
Your narrow view is what is holding back peoples safety and human rights!
” “People driving cars cause all the harm.”
This is unfair and false. …” davemess
For sure. Recognizing this fundamental reality of road use is an important step towards achieving safer conditions on the road for all road users. Increasingly, I see first hand, people traveling by bike and using a range of visibility gear beyond the minimum required by law.
Many still do not use the gear, or outright deny a responsibility to enhance their visibility to other road users where conditions call for it. This poses a big obstacle to support from road users that drive, when requests go out for support and funding of road infrastructure that seeks to improve conditions for biking.
“fundamental reality of road use”
The only fundamental reality of road use I know is that once we introduced the automobile carnage ensued. In fact you don’t even need any other modes mixing it up to have carnage. Just cars is quite enough. Skateboarders, or people on roller skates, or people biking, walking, skipping = no carnage. I don’t see where the great mystery is, wsbob.
pretty sure there would be carnage if we had 2 million people riding around on the Portland metro on skateboards.
Amusing, but I’m not sure about that. How about you explain your thinking behind the skateboard-on-skateboard carnage?
Poor braking unless you really know what you’re doing. Small wheels encourage crashing on pavement irregularities.
Much easier to squeeze a bikes brakes to go down a hill.
This about sums it up.
Not to mention a varied population of skill and ages using a means of travel that is slower, requires more balance and arguably more work than cycling.
Let’s avoid discussing *harm* and switch the topic to motorist’s perception of “safety” (in the real world bike “scofflawery” has litle impact on safety).
Its amusing how you switched from discussing harm to crashes mid post.
Cars obviously have the potential to do great harm given their large mass and ability to go very fast but couldn’t a cyclists behavior contribute to a car vs cyclist crash? To say it is always the cars fault is B.S.
“Fault” and “harm” are two different things. If I run as fast as I can into a wall, it’s my fault, but the wall caused the harm.
When you write about laws to improve cyclist safety, that put responsibility on drivers, do you use the word “punish” in those headlines?
Seems this headline ranks up there with those in the Oregonian use to incite the anti bike crowd.
Richard doesn’t pretend to be unbiased:
This is not a law to improve cyclist safety. It is a law to give more excuses to drivers. If cyclist safety were the goal, the text of the bill would have been more explicit about the “reflective clothing” actually being visible, and would have specified a potential fine at the same level as for violating existing laws for lighting requirements. As-is, this law puts arbitrary requirements on cyclists and fines them for violations at the same level as for failure to obey a traffic control device. If the Honorable Mr. Davis really cared about safety, he would have cared about how his proposal compared with existing law, and would have cared about the implications of the wording of this ambiguous and arbitrary bill. I mean, really—he had existing examples to cut and paste from (ORS 815.280). If he really cared about carefully crafting a bill that really was aimed at safety, he could have at least familiarized himself with the wording of existing law. The depth of laziness displayed here in an attempt to further control and restrict non-motorized road users shows borderline incompetence as a maker of laws. No, I take that back—not “borderline”, actual incompetence.
A bike hater saying “I have friends who are cyclists” is like a censor saying “I support free speech but…”
I’m still waiting to see a Dutch style law that places implied liability on the operator of motorized vehicle who hits a bicycle or pedestrian.
Of course if we want to be ridiculous, how about mandating GPS linked speed governors on cars so that they can’t exceed posted speed limits, or bring back the British “red flag law”.
California’s SB 192 has a base fine of $25. The actual fine, with penalties, court maintenance fees, processing fees, etc. is closer to $200. It is not an administrative citation like a parking ticket.
I’ve only been hit by a car once, and it was pre-dawn, and I had 360° of lights and 360° of retro-reflective material on me…
this law would not have kept me from getting hit by a car…
I’ve never been hit, but of the two close calls I’ve had, one was at sunset riding home on Murray in Beaverton with lights on the front and back. As the blue Ford Ranger turned right without signaling onto Allen I shouted as I nose-wheelied to a stop. The driver yelled back at me and cut back through the parking lot there so I rode in to meet him in front of that McMen’s where I knew we’d have witnesses. He got out of the truck to threaten me, was clearly a bit drunk (and smelled it) and a couple in a Jeep Cherokee who were watching yelled to him that they were calling the police so he left. Ironically I ended up moving into that neighborhood for a year and asked my roommate (the condo owner and HOA President) about the truck owner. He told me George was a bus driver for the school district who seemed to have drinking and anger issues.
The other close call (in broad daylight) was an Indian woman in a Honda Pilot who was talking on her cell phone and forced me to test my bike-handling skills by turning into the parking lot with her. Oh, and then there was the guy in the white BMW on Foothill who turned right at the sign saying no right turn after seeing on his phone that he missed his exit… sorry, three.
But yeah, good thing this lawmaker’s looking out for his “cyclist friends.”
Yet another draconian effort to erase personal freedom by turning the victim into the criminal. Why not a similar bill requiring all pedestrians to wear reflective clothing too?
I for one never leave home without my Pedestrian Safety Helment™
Ped lighting is incredibly important too!
I recommend shoes with integrated magnetic dynamos and german StVO helment lights. I don’t even notice the wires running up my legs and I never have to worry about batteries!
I agree that riders sometimes don’t understand how visible they are. Sometimes I see the tiny little blinkies with the low batteries and I can’t tell they are even on until I’m 15 feet away. I would like to see the light regulations strengthened. But, the reflective clothing requirement is what Ireland has made this their go-to solution for safety. It winds up being way to say “see we did something for bike safety” without doing anything. By puting the onas on riders, it takes the pressure off puting safe infastructure in place.
“…I see the tiny little blinkies with the low batteries and I can’t tell they are even on until I’m 15 feet away. I would like to see the light regulations strengthened.”
The law states that rear reflectors or lights must be visible to 600 ft. in the light of “lawful low beams” of automotive headlights. Front lights must be white and visible for 500 ft.
That sounds strong enough to me.
The problem is that some people let their bike light’s batteries drain down to the point that the illumination produced is a small fraction of what lights designed and manufactured to meet legal requirements, are capable of producing. Today, some of the most economically priced lights that meet the legal requirements, and that can be charged by plugging into a computer usb port, are like, thirty bucks. I realize some people are strapped for cash, but c’mon. Save up a few bucks, get a decent bike light, and it may help avoid a collision.
Yes, that’s a problem, but strengthening lighting laws won’t make cheap lights brighter. We don’t need more laws, we need to help people get affordable lights, or for rear-facing application, red reflectors, which can be had for almost nothing. I’ve got several sitting around in my garage—I’d bet any bike shop would just about give them away.
We have lots of joggers in the early morning in my neighborhood who are barely visible. It has the effect of making me proceed very cautiously.
For about the last five years, I’ve worn a construction worker’s vest while commuting even during the day. It’s hard to know for sure, but I think it MAY have SLIGHTLY reduced the close calls I’ve had.
It did not, however, help the Portland Water Bureau truck driver obey the law when he practiced the time-honored RIGHT TURN ON RED AFTER SLOWING DOWN and nearly struck me in the intersection. I had a nice conversation with his supervisor, by the way. Portland Water Bureau gets a big thumbs up from me for taking this seriously.
I can tell you one of my co-workers, a surveyor, was struck and killed on a sidewalk by a motorist while wearing his vest.
Personally, I’m waiting for the vest with the force field and photon torpedoes. I’ll be glad to wear that one!
I had flashing lights and a bright orange shirt on the day I got hit (in mid-morning daylight) by a driver doing the same thing: looking left while making a right on red just as I was passing in front of him in a crosswalk. He at least pretended to stop, which is what fooled me into thinking he saw me in the first place. I couldn’t see through his windshield to establish eye contact due to raindrops and reflections.
(Before anyone gives me a crosswalk speech, it was at Sylvan, where eastbound cyclists must use the crosswalk to cross over Skyline/Scholls Ferry from the MUP along the North side of US 26. Also, I had diligently waited for my signal and had approached the crosswalk at a speed no greater than an ordinary walk).
The Bill is clearly dead on arrival in this state, but I worry about passage in some of the others. Where is this guy’s District? Any chance this fiasco could hurt his chances of re-election? And what group is pushing all of these Bills in the state legislatures? ALEC?
Lake Oswego / West Linn…
Perhaps *****–moderated–** lawmakers should propose all buildings be cited unless wearing reflective paint at night. ?? Clearly we have a problem with building and vehicle accidents…Out of Control: Cars Crashing Into Homes and Buil…: http://youtu.be/5-jDtZAk9TY
The point of that video seems to be that we need more barriers to prevent that. Yeah, that’s the ticket.