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Reflective clothing mandate, other bike bills up for hearing in Oregon house – UPDATED

Posted by on March 25th, 2015 at 9:24 am

People on bikes-34

One bill would ban nighttime biking
without reflective clothing.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE: Davis’ office says the reflective clothing idea will not move forward. See our update here.

Oregon’s biggest legislative session for bike-related issues in years will come to its first peak on Monday, but many biking advocates have a prior engagement.

Awkwardly, five separate bills that could make big differences for biking will get hearings in Salem on the same day that dozens of Oregon biking leaders and professionals are scheduled to gather in Portland for the annual Oregon Active Transportation Summit.

The bills to be tackled include HB 3255, which would ban nighttime bike use for people not wearing reflective clothing; SB 533 A, which would permit someone on a bike or motorcycle to proceed through an unresponsive red light after a full cycle; HB 2621, which would let Portland issue speeding tickets on its high-crash corridors using unmanned photo radar; HB 3035, which allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets; and SJR 16, which would refer a bill to the voters in 2016 that would allow car-related taxes and fees to be spent on off-road transportation projects.

The first four bills will be considered by the state House’s Committee On Transportation and Economic Development at 3 p.m. Monday in Room HR E of the Oregon State Capitol. The fifth will be held by the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation in Room HR B at 1 p.m.

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Agenda

The agendas were announced Monday morning. Today, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance plans to circulate an action alert to its members urging them to travel to Salem and/or contact legislators in opposition to HB 3255, the mandatory reflective clothing bill.

Kransky said he heard about the schedule after getting a “rare invitation” from ODOT official Mac Lynde to field the transportation committee’s questions about reflective clothing for 20 minutes.

“Mac assured me that he tried to persuade the committee that he and his staff and the people they want to testify will be at the AT [Active Transportation] Summit in Portland, to no avail,” said Kransky, who nonetheless accepted the invitation and will be skipping the summit that he spends much of his year planning. “I’m pretty sure the legislators doing this know it is bad timing.”

Until 2013, the Active Transportation Summit was actually held in Salem and combined with a legislative lobby day. Last year, the event moved to Portland.

UPDATE, 11:09 am: This committee has just added and “Informational Meeting regarding the Status Report on Bicycles” to the 3/30 hearing (that will pull even more advocates/staff away from Portland conference):
hearingbikeupdate

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Lance P.
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Lance P.

Please don’t forget about the changes to Passenger Rail funding from Portland to Eugene. It is about to be cut in a way that will end this service. Please call your rep today: http://www.aortarail.org/index.php/action_alerts/

Rick
Guest
Rick

Should pedestrians be required to wave bright objects at night?

Joe
Guest
Joe

when will the I didn’t see them message stop?

oliver
Guest
oliver

” allows school-zone warning lights to flash all day, rather than just at the start and end, for schools whose campuses straddle 45 mph+ streets”

We went through this a decade or so back, having 20mph flashing signals at 3:00am on a Tuesday morning on a rural highway because there is a school nearby is the height of idiocy.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Oh if only the same concern was there to stop motorists from using cellphones. Sigh.

Jim Labbe
Guest
Jim Labbe

Thanks for this informative legislative update.

I suspect many will view a requirement that cyclists wear reflective clothing as a false-solution that shifts responsibility away from drivers in a way that really doesn’t make our streets safer for everyone. And I would probably agree. This proposal basically allows drivers to be even more clueless at the wheel by counting cyclists to be decorated like Christmas trees. And I have also heard the jury is out on reflective clothing.

But I do think that it is reasonable that cyclists be required to have functioning bike lights at night. It is the law were I lived briefly in the Netherlands and it seemed to work well for everyone.

I admit I am ignorant about the rules on bike lights here in Portland? Are bike lights required? Can a cyclist be ticketed for not having one? I have encountered some cyclists without bike lights at night who were an obvious hazard to themselves and others.

Jim

Mike
Guest
Mike

Reflective clothing is a Band-Aid. The real problem is that people cannot see past the blue glow of their phone’s screen. IMHO.

RM
Guest
RM

I certainly hope that anyone who considers themselves an “Oregon biking leader and professional” would go to Salem rather than the conference.

spencer
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spencer

how about we require people to NOT SMASH INTO THINGS with their cars???

bjorn
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bjorn

Seemed like a matake to move the conference from Salem and keep it during the legislative session. Hopefully this move by anti bike reps will cause it to return to Salem next year.

davemess
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davemess

I’m really curious how the reflective clothing bill fits in with the current requirement for lights/reflectors.
Wouldn’t it just make more sense to expand the light/reflector law, say to add side reflectors?

Joe
Guest
Joe

I didn’t see them aka distracted driving!

Dwaine Dibbly
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Dwaine Dibbly

How about a mandatory “hit a bicyclist, go to jail” law?

drew
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drew

Although I like wearing reflective material much of the time, mandatory reflective clothing for night riding will discourage bicycling. If there is a $250 fine for being out of uniform, someone who shouldn’t be driving a car will probably just fire up the old Buick for that half mile beer run.

Reflectivising everything in the public right of way is pointless when a motorist faces little consequence to pay much attention to what is in front of them anyways. “I didn’t see him” or “he came out of nowhere” is still perfectly acceptable explanation for a crash.

mh
Guest
mh

I’ve got solid front and rear lights, because Germany forbids strobes and my headlight is German. I also run flashing lights front and rear, because those say “bicycle!” to most American drivers. I find it almost unbelievable that a reflector is all that is required on the rear. A taillight is much better insurance, because you’re probably going to see the driver coming at you head-on even if they’re blind drunk and haven’t switched their lights on, but I want to give them a really good chance to see me from behind, because it will take me longer to notice them. Sometimes I’m even attentive enough to switch on my spoke light.

Lynne
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Lynne

the only time I was struck by a car (left hook), I was wearing a hi-viz vest. “I didn’t see you”. So much for that. I am really in favor of enforcing existing laws before we add new ones, and retesting for license renewals. The reflectivity that WORKS is ankle/pedal/crankarm reflectivity, because the up and down motion attracts attention. It is a cycling specific reflection pattern. Reflective tape on crankarms doesn’t get forgotten, because it is always on the bike.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I live in Washington, so don’t have a dog directly in this fight but I’d like to ask two things about the reflective clothing bill: 1. Will there be an understandable, unambiguous definition of reflective clothing which defines articles of clothing that actually exist, that a person can actually go to a store or online and purchase and
2. If a cyclist who has jumped through all the hoops to light up and dress reflectively as the law will require is hit by a motor vehicle, will the MV operator then be automatically guilty with no possibility of appeal and thereby have their drivers’ license permanently suspended and car immediately forfeited?
Just wanting to, as they say, start a conversation…………………..

SW
Guest
SW

drew
“I didn’t see him” or “he came out of nowhere” is still perfectly acceptable explanation for a crash.
Recommended 2

What an RAF pilot can teach us about being safe on the road

http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/raf-pilot-teach-cyclists/

Dave Cary
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Dave Cary

No mention is made about the two almost identical bills submitted by Brian Boquist of Dallas (to the tune of over $600 each paid for by us taxpayers) requiring bicycle licenses for a bike and its rider plus forbidding any use of vehicle license fees and gas taxes for bike infrastructure. Are they not yet up for discussion or possibly don’t have the chance of a Ted Cruz for President?

Dave
Guest
Dave

maddy
Good point about defining reflectivity. I have a black cycling jacket with an off-white reflective collar that shines brightly in car headlights. Would that qualify as reflective clothing under this bill?
Recommended 0

Yeah–a lot of garments that don’t look reflective in daylight are equipped to do the job when headlights beam on them in the dark.

Randall S.
Guest
Randall S.

I, for one, look forward to the reflective clothing mandate. Too long have we let pedestrians walk around the streets without reflective clothing, lights, or helmets.

onegearsnear
Guest
onegearsnear

I sent out the BTAs emails to all the Reps listed and got the response below from Rep Davis’ office that stated the bill will not be moving forward with the reflective clothing requirement and just require a rear light instead.

Response:
Thank you for taking the time to contact Representative Davis and for sharing your views regarding HB3255 relating to bicycles. Rep. Davis appreciates hearing about issues that matter to you and you can be confident that he reads each email personally.

HB3255 bill will not be moving forward in its original form, and will have nothing to do with reflective clothing. The bill will be amended to fully delete its original language, and only require a red light to be visible from the rear of the bicycle at night. This is an amendment to the existing law for bicycle equipment requirements, ORS 815.280 (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/815.280). Current law already requires a rear reflector at night.

Attached are the amendments that will be considered at Monday’s hearing. Again, the original bill and its requirements will not be moving forward and will not be considered.

Again, thank you for reaching out to our office.

Michelle
———————-
Michelle Felton
Legislative Director
Office of State Representative John Davis
House District 26
(Wilsonville, Sherwood, King City, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Aloha, Tigard, Bull Mountain)

900 Court Street NE, H-483
Salem, OR 97301
Office: 503-986-1426
Email: rep.johndavis@state.or.us
Web: http://www.leg.state.or.us/davis/

Bill Walters
Guest
Bill Walters

Maybe it’s really *Baghdad* Bob. Would explain a lot.

http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/