Just a few days after Oregon Senate Bill 574 passed, legalizing motorcycle lane sharing in the state under certain circumstances, the state’s governor has shut the bill down.
According to OPB News (we spotted it via Asphalt & Rubber), Brown refused to sign the bill, sending a letter to Oregons House of Representatives and Senate saying “I have several concerns with the bill as currently drafted, particularly related to public safety and noncompliance.”
SB574 passed through the House earlier this May with almost a two-thirds majority, receiving bipartisan support. It’s the latest in a series of attempts to legalize lanesplitting or lane sharing in Oregon. Despite that constant support, there have been opponents to the bill from police and public safety bodies. OPB News reports officials from Portland were concerned about the practice in their city, and the Oregon Transportation Safety Committee said it would put motorcyclists in danger by putting them in cars’ blind spots. Supposedly, authorities were concerned riders would expand their lanesharing beyond SB574’s limited scope (basically, state highways during rush hour).
“Many stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and members of the public remain concerned that lane filtering is unsafe for both the motorcyclists and the drivers sharing the road, due to the serious injuries and death that commonly result from motorcycle-involved accidents,” Brown said in explanation of her veto. “Based on these concerns, I am returning SB 574 unsigned and disapproved.”
If the Senate and House wish to, they can override Brown’s veto with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
For a full look at SB574, see our previous coverage here, and the video from BikePAC of Oregon below.
What’s next, you ask? Given the persistent push for lanesharing in Oregon, no doubt there will be another attempt at this in 2022, if the current bill dies with the governor’s veto.