Oregon cycling advocates have been working in support of a bill that would allow cyclists to legally roll through stop signs without coming to a complete stop according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The bill was heard by the state legislature on Wednesday.
Cyclists would have to yield in the presence of cross traffic. Idaho is the only other US state with a similar rule on the books.
"This bill does not decriminalize bad behavior, it decriminalizes good behavior, bad behavior would still be illegal and we will continue to work in collaboration with law enforcement to address the truly unsafe behavior that this law would not protect," testified chief lobbyist Karl Rohde in the hearing before the committee.
"Most cyclists have a high degree of self-preservation and are not going to engage in unnecessarily dangerous behavior. By the very nature of the vehicle cyclists travel on, they have a higher degree of awareness of their surroundings. They sit up higher, they have no blind spots and they are not in an enclosed environment so their hearing is not affected," he said, explaining the viewpoint of some supporters of the bill.
At the conclusion of Wednesday's hearing, Chair and Representative Terry Byer expressed concern about what the public would think of such a bill according to BikePortland.org. The future of the bill remains uncertain as Beyer declined to ask the committee for a vote or to schedule a further work session. Those in support of bill are expected to continue to lobby for both a work session and a vote.
A similar measure made it through the Oregon House in 2003, but was not approved by the Senate.