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Vulnerable User bill pace far ahead of last year

Testimony from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Jan 21

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Vulnerable User bill (SB 5326) 7-1 Monday. Next the bill moves to the Rules Committee, which is expected to place it on the floor calendar. There are still many ways for the bill to be stopped, but it is making a good pace.

“We’re a couple weeks ahead of last year,” said David Hiller, Advocacy Director for Cascade Bicycle Club. Cascade and the Bicycle Alliance have named the bill one of their biggest legislative priorities this year. The 7-1 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is also a much larger majority than the 4-3 vote a similar bill received last year.

A nearly identical bill, HB 1339, is also making its way through the house. As soon as the bills get out of committee, it will be time to contact your senators and representatives to voice your support. So get ready (I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to do that now, either).

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Testimony in favor of the bill has been incredible and emotional. It is a no-brainer of a bill that simply asks for those who kill or injure people due to their negligence are forced to face what they have done. Mailing in a ticket is clearly not enough, considering the extent to which their actions altered the lives of so many others. The bill will establish a $5,000 fine (can be reduced to $1,000) and the driver could lose driving privileges for 90 days.

If you have not already, I urge you to watch this video (it’s cued up to the right spot). The testimony creates an absolutely vivid image explaining the importance of this bill, and the human toll the current gap in law takes on those affected by the actions of negligent people behind the wheel. Thanks, again, to all those who testified.

If you want to show your support for this and other important transportation bills, Transportation Choices Coalition is organizing Transportation Advocacy Day Thursday (Feb 10). They are arranging shuttles from Seattle, so sign up if you can take the day to go down to Olympia to meet with legislators:

WHEN: February 10, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHERE: United Churches, 110 11th Avenue SE, Olympia

We’re heading down to Olympia to advocate for funding and protect transit, walking and biking projects from budget cuts.

  • Learn more about transportation issues with special policy breakouts,
  • Meet with legislators,
  • Attend hearings,
  • Be a professional lobbyist for a day!

Carpools from Seattle and shuttles from the Lacey Amtrak station available.  Lunch provided

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