We’ve been told a number of times that Oregon legislators know what’s best for us. They seem to have a motto of just ‘trust us,’ now go out there and have some crazy fun. But govern that fun because there are a lot of well intentioned legislative bills that treat citizens like children incapable of making a good decision — called “nanny” bills — which in my view try to mandate common sense and are simply telling people how to live their life.
For 2011, they don’t want you to smoke. Anything anywhere. Don’t even think about driving with a pet in your lap or riding a bike with headphones. And when your windshield wipers are on (happens a lot in the northwest) they want it mandatory to use your headlights too. Yeah, legislators want to lower the boom on all these so-called questionable habits and are as busy as ever protecting us from ourselves. In fact, 2,837 measures have been introduced since January. Some read like duplicates and some contradict other bills. Yep, it’s “March Madness” from Salem!
One of the more prolific sponsors is Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D) who after reading a bike safety study by OHSU decided to authored a bill that would make it illegal to carry a child under the age of 6 years old in a bike trailer (HB 2228). I’m curious if he collaborated with Eugene-based Burley Design, who have employees engaged in the making of trailers for more than 30 years and if they see this as a job killer? Not even slightly distracted about jobs, Mr. Greenlick also wants to require a prescription to smoke cigars or cigarettes and wants to add a special tax on soda to discourage its consumption (HB 3223).
The Legislative Counsel’s office says it costs $980, on average to draft and circulate a bill. That suggests there is a $2.7M cost for the drafting and routing of the 2,837 measures for 2011! While we can debate the actual costs and if a House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) is less cost, what isn’t debatable is the loss of productivity of the people put there to serve us and the wasting of the states time and money on non-sense bills versus working to grow the economy and create jobs. Some examples of those all-important issues (and there are many, believe me) that legislators think face our state:
- HCR 14 – adopts Code of West as model of conduct in State of Oregon.
- SCR 3 – designates Border collie as official state dog.
- HB 2010 – requires public schools to offer students instruction in Mandarin Chinese if school offers student instruction in two or more second languages.
- SB 160 – creates offense of driver operation with obstructing animal (makes it illegal to drive with a pet on your lap).
- SB 805 creates offense of unlawfully confining egg-laying hen.
So, by now you’re asking how does this relate to motorcycles and/or transportation measures? I didn’t read all 2,837 measures, but I quickly scanned them and below are the measures motorcyclists might be interested in keeping an eye on:
SB 948 Declares that data used to diagnose, maintain or repair motor vehicles that is created, collected or contained in motor vehicle is exclusively owned by motor vehicle owner.
SB 945 Prohibits manufacturers from selling or offering for sale, and other specified persons from knowingly selling or offering for sale, brake friction material or motor vehicles or trailers with brake friction material containing specific amounts of certain fibers or elements that are hazardous when released into state waterways.
HB 3579 Prohibits advertising that seller will value property being offered as payment toward purchase or lease of motor vehicle at certain amounts.
SJR 36 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow revenue from taxes on motor vehicle fuel and ownership, operation or use of motor vehicles to be used by state police for policing highways.
SB 873 Requires persons 75 years of age or older to renew driver licenses every two years and to take driving test prior to renewal.
SB 845 Requires Department of Transportation to issue driver license or driver permit to applicant who has complied with all requirements for license or permit but does not provide proof of legal presence in United States.
SB 846 Directs Department of Transportation to adopt standards for bicycle trailers designed for human passengers.
HB 3504 Authorizes civil forfeiture of motor vehicle if person is convicted of offense relating to driving while suspended or revoked.
HB 3377 Authorizes photo radar in City of Salem.
HB 3513 Creates Ignition Interlock Device Program Fund and continuously appropriates moneys in fund to Department of Transportation to pay for installation and maintenance of ignition interlock devices for use by persons who are indigent.
HB 3483 Requires use of headlights when windshield wipers are on.
SB 767 Creates offense of unlawfully idling motor vehicle engine.
HB 3259 Directs Department of Transportation to provide photograph on driver license, driver permit or identification card to licensed private investigator.
HB 3250 Directs Department of Transportation to issue Keep Kids Safe registration plates.
SB 647 Increases penalty for driving while suspended or revoked.
HB 3149 Establishes standards for personal vehicle sharing programs.
HB 3141 Requires only persons under 21 years of age to wear motorcycle helmet while riding on or operating motorcycle. I blogged on this previously HERE.
HB 3072 Requires use of headlights at all times.
HB 3039 Directs Department of Transportation to erect and maintain roadside memorial sign under certain circumstances for police officer killed in line of duty.
HB 2738 Directs Department of Transportation to consult with Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute when designing Gray Whale registration plate.
HB 2768 Adds driving while fatigued to offense of reckless driving.
HB 2749 Creates offense of driving while drowsy.
HB 2545 Establishes tax on motor vehicle rentals.
HB 2333 Prohibits use of studded tires.
HB 2507 Permits person to use mobile communication device while operating motor vehicle in frontier counties.
HB 2042 Permits person to provide Department of Transportation with odometer disclosure form for vehicle 10 years old or older.
SB 160 Creates offense of driver operation with obstructing animal.
SB 180 Prohibits Department of Transportation from administering examination for driver license in language other than English.
And sticking with that ‘cowboy’ code theme and applying it to the 2011 legislature… I’m thinking “big mouth, no cows” might be more appropriate.
Photo courtesy of Flickr