This afternoon, the House Judicary Committee was considering H5074. Dick and I stopped by the State House to show some support from the cycling community. Unfortunately, the bill being considered by the committee isn’t available online anywhere, so I can’t provide a pointer for everyone. We did manage to get our hands on a copy for long enough to read over the proposed legislation, not an easy task! The bill being considered can best be described as a generalized version of the original 3-foot legislation. It no longer mentions a required passing distance, nor does it have any mention of speeds at which motorists should pass cyclists.
From an enforcement point of view, it still leaves a lot of room for interpretation which likely means it could be challenged in court. It also makes it more difficult for police to enforce; another law on the books that just won’t be enforced? The fine for breaking this law? A laughable $85 dollar fine.
This is certainly not the more aggressive bill we were pressing for, based off the Oregon Vulnerable Roadway User law. However, it is some legislation that will continue to emphasize cyclist’s rights to the road. If it does move onto the full House and, ultimately, the Senate for consideration, and passes, we should make an effort to engage the local police and make sure they are aware of the new law.
I’ll post another update when we have more news.