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Traffic (and Driving) Tips from Washington State and Oregon Traffic Legislation Round-up

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Driving canines, flip-flopping on the gas peddle, beating a breathalyzer (with a penny?), and much more —at Seattle911, a police blog.

As little as we know about our own (Oregon) city or state’s traffic laws, we know even less about our destination city’s laws.

So, if you’re heading to Seattle (or anywhere in Washington State, for that matter), here is some wonderful Q & A to read before venturing out in your car, on your bicycle, or even at all: KCLL Klues blogs about Seattle traffic law Question & Answer websites: Conveyance Quandry? Consult a Traffic Blog!

In Oregon, we do have the Oregonian’s Road Report, but it’s not quite the same thing, is it? And then there is the DMV website, the OLR blog, the Oregon State Police and, well, who doesn’t keep everyone informed about traffic law enforcement (including the people who want you to hire them to beat your ticket)?

You could also try a subject search at the Oregonlive legislation website, but you won’t easily find out which bills became law. You’ll need to check each bill’s number with the Legislature’s or Governor’s website to find out whether or not the bill became law. Laws about traffic, including motor vehicles, bicycles, drivers, pedestrians, law enforcement, etc. can go through the legislature’s transportation committee, judiciary Committee, and possibly others.

The Oregon Legislative Liaisons are an excellent source of assistance if you are looking for any legislative-related information. Their phone number is 503-988-1000 (in Salem). (Research tip: I always start with the Liaisons, but sometimes need to move on the Legislative Library or the State Archives, where you will also find very helpful research specialists.)

Oregon Traffic Legislation Round-up (to date):

And my special thanks to committee administrator, Patrick Brennan for the following round-up to date of traffic legislation out of the Transportation Committee this 2009 Legislative Session. (Note: this does not include traffic-related bills and laws from other Committees, e.g. Judiciary – and the list won’t be final until all has been signed and digested, so to speak.)

· House Bill 2001 – Jobs & Transportation Act (Gov signed 7/29, Chapter # pending)

· House Bill 2040 – Expands “move over” law to roadside assistance vehicles & clarifies law (Chapter 198, Effective 1/1/10)

· House Bill 2234 – adoption of rules regulating rest stop behavior (Chapter 99, Effective 1/1/10)

· House Bill 2235 – removal of trees threatening state highways (Chapter 130, Effective 1/1/10)

· House Bill 2236 – alternate fuel corridors (did not pass)

· House Bill 2377 – prohibits cell phones while driving unless hands free device used (Gov signed 7/28, Chapter # pending)

· House Bill 2385 – no smoking with children in car (did not pass)

· House Bill 2562 – increases maximum allowable length of school buses (Chapter 31, Effective 3/26/09)

· House Bill 2690 – “Idaho Stop” for bicyclists (did not pass)

· House Bill 2884 – pursuit authority for motor carrier enforcement officers (did not pass)

· House Bill 2902 – creates nonmotorized transportation fund (did not pass)

· House Bill 2971 – increases share of highway fund for bike/ped from 1% to 2% (did not pass)

· House Bill 3379 – allows extension/amendment to local transportation plan (Chapter 589, Effective 6/25/09)

· Senate Bill 34 – increases payroll tax allowance for TriMet (Chapter 253, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 36 – provides explicit authority to Multnomah County to toll bridges under its jurisdiction (Chapter 385, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 124 – increases penalty for operating motorcycle w/o endorsement, allows for diversion (Chapter 482, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 170 – expands airport “through the fence” program (Chapter 398, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 536 – prohibits compliance with Real ID Act unless feds provide money and security for program (Chapter 432, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 546 – expands requirement for motorcycle education course to all riders (Chapter 810, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 579 – requires children to use safety belts/harnesses on applicable ATVs (Chapter 498, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 583 – requires motorcycle helmets for Class II ATV riders under 18(Chapter 452, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 689 – revises Oregon billboard regulations (Chapter 463, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 937 – requires renewal applications for disabled parking placards to be accompanied by doctor note (Chapter 238, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 944 – requires Lane County to create an Area Commission on Transportation (Chapter 509, Effective 1/1/10)

· Senate Bill 961 – creates a “Pacific Wonderland” license plate (Chapter 823, Effective 1/1/10)