Oregon Legislative News (current)

The 2017 Legislative Session is here!  We are running the following two bills and are also monitoring or contributing to several others.  Check this page often for current status.


House Bill 2598 – expands current Oregon vehicular assault law to include motorcyclists and/or their passenger
(FULL TEXT as Introduced by BikePac)

STATUS as of June 12: (PASSED IN HOUSE AND SENATE – Need Governor to sign now!)

Summary:  adds motorcyclists (and/or their passengers) to a current Oregon law that provides those who operate another vehicle recklessly resulting in contact with and injury to a motorcyclist and/or their passenger to be possibly charged with the crime of “vehicular assault” and its associated penalties.

Senate Bill 385 – allows for motorcycle lane-sharing (splitting, filtering) during specific conditions.
(FULL TEXT as Introduced by BikePac
Video testimony – first Senate Hearing has been held 
Summary:  allows motorcycles to filter through lanes of traffic when that traffic is doing 10 mph or LESS (i.e. jammed) and the motorcyclist can do a max of 20 mph.  Can only be done on roads with at least two lanes in the same direction and with a rated speed limit of 50 MPH or higher normally.  Does not apply to the “shoulders” of the road.    (LINK to the 2015 Berkely study on lane sharing)
STATUS as of April 20:  this bill has again been blocked in committee by ODOT, the Oregon GAC on Motorcycle Safety, AAA, Law Enforcement entities, and the Oregon Trucking Association.  All opposition arguments essentially revolve around their theory that more of you will be injured related to lane sharing than if we did not have this ability.  If you want to see how such a block happens and the parties involved, all you need to do is watch the VIDEO HERE on the SB 385 Senate committee hearing.


Additional 2017 Bills (not introduced at the request of BikePac) that involve motorcyclists.  We will be actively monitoring, with the option to participate as applicable during the session.


House Bill 2665 – allows motorcyclists to use the shoulders of a road during heavy traffic conditions
Summary:  allows motorcyclists to use the shoulders of a road when traffic is slowed to 25 mph (or less) and the motorcyclist can do no more than 30 mph.

Senate Bill 680 – allows motorcycles and mopeds to pass in between lanes of traffic  during slowdowns.
Summary:  allows motorcycles and mopeds to pass in between lanes of traffic or rows of traffic when that traffic has slowed to a speed of less than 15 mph and the motorcycle or moped can do a max of 25 mph.

Senate Bill 36 – allows D.O.T. to waive the skills test for 3-wheel motorcyclists
Summary:  allows the DOT (DMV) to waive the normal motorcycle skills demonstration for those seeking a 3-wheel endorsement which is currently required for all motorcycles.  Only applies to a special endorsement for 3-wheel operators.

House Bill 2599 – allows head-gear choice for those 21 years and older
Summary:  allows freedom of choice for those 21 years and older in terms of wearing a motorcycle helmet

House Bill 2877 – creates a $1000 tax on vehicle older than 20 years
(FULL TEXT) – BikePac Note! – we heard that this bill has been scrapped already.
Summary:  Pay $1000 every 5 years for vehicles that you own that are over 20 years old

House Bill 2440 – eliminates the occupancy requirement to use HOV (high occupancy) lanes
Summary:  no longer requires high occupancy to use HOV lanes

House Bill 2509 – allows electric vehicles to use HOV lanes regardless of passengers
Summary:  allows electric vehicles to use HOV lanes even with only one person in them

House Bill 2290 – adjusts many DMV registration, testing, and licensing fees, including motorcycles
Summary:  adjusts or adds new fees for various testing, registration, and/or endorsements

Senate Bill 125 – requires all vehicles to operate with headlights on when windshield wipers are on
Summary:  may impact motorcycle safety because all vehicles would have headlights on?

Senate Bill 19 – relates to ethanol
Summary:  TBD

(prior years – pre 2016 – archive link)

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