Next week at the Capitol Building in Salem, the Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees will hold a joint hearing. Part of the informational meeting will include “invited testimony” on the concept of Vehicular Homicide.
Invited to be at the hearing are Bicycle Transportation Alliance board member Doug Parrow will be there, as will Portland lawyer Ray Thomas. Thomas tells us he plans to bring several of his former clients who have lost loved ones in traffic crashes to testify.
The Oregon Legislature meets for full sessions only every other year, with the off years (of which 2010 is one) only for emergency or high-priority actions. While the meeting is meant as an informational session, Thomas says he’s hopeful that something more substantial will come out of it.
The City of Portland and BTA have worked for years to pass a strong vehicular homicide law but Oregon has yet to pass one. As far back as 2006, traffic safety staffers at PBOT have considered potential options for such a law. In the 2007 legislative session, in the wake of a crash that killed Tim O’Donnell while he rode on a rural road in Washington County, the BTA introduced a vehicular homicide bill.