HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

February 19, 2003   Hearing Room 357

8:30 a.m. Tapes  25 - 27

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Alan Brown, Chair

Rep. Elizabeth Beyer, Vice-Chair

Rep. John Mabrey Vice-Chair

Rep. Jackie Dingfelder

Rep. George Gilman

Rep. Mitch Greenlick

Rep. Cliff Zauner

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Janet Adkins, Administrator

Ryan Sherlock, Assistant

 

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HB 2398 – Public Hearing

                                                HB 2419 – PUBLIC HEARING

                                                HB 2432 – PUBLIC HEARING

                                                HB 2579 – PUBLIC HEARING

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

Tape 25, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls meeting to order at 8:37 a.m., and opens a public hearing on HB 2398.

HB 2398 – PUBLIC HEARING

005

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator. Offers description of HB 2398.

035

Bob Merritt

Corvallis, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2398, with reference to presented pictures (EXHIBIT A).

075

Ken Ray

BikePac of Oregon. Announces his organization’s support of HB 2398.

080

Rep. Mabrey

Ask whether either witness knows why there currently is a restriction on three headlights for motorbikes.

085

Merritt

Illustrates his belief that the current law possibly had reason in the past, but has no reason currently.

095

Rep. Zauner

Asks whether other states allow three lights.

100

Ray

Indicates that he does not have the figures, but knows that some states allow both three lights and the blue insert into taillights.

105

Merritt

Observes that the laws vary by state.

110

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that there is nothing in the bill restricting what type of lights can be used.

115

Merritt

Explains that he is under the impression that there are no type limits currently in the bill.

120

Rep. Zauner

Asks whether motorcycles have lights which can be switched between high-beam and low-beam.

125

Merritt

Explains that he does not think most bikes have dual lights.

135

Rep. Beyer

Clarifies that the insert being asked about if primarily aesthetic in nature.

137

Merritt

Concurs.

145

Jim Leshuk

Salem, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2398.

165

Sen. Bill Fisher

Senate District 1. Offers testimony in support of HB 2398.

175

Chair Brown

Asks whether the three light configuration applies primarily to older motorcycles.

180

Sen. Fisher

Explains that some models of both old and new motorbikes come with the three headlight configuration, and kits can be purchased to install the three-light configuration on other bikes.

185

Chair Brown

Provides past personal experience having blue-light inserts on cars.

190

Sen. Fisher

Recalls that he never saw any problem with the inserts in the past when they were legal.

195

Rep. Beyer

Asks whether the three headlights are independent of each other.

200

Sen. Fisher

Explains that his motorcycle has a switch that controls the two outside lights, and another that controls the third light.

210

Chair Brown

Ask whether these lights function like driving lights on cars.

225

Sen. Fisher

Details the function of motorcycle lights.

255

Rep. Mabrey

Describes past personal experience regarding the benefit of motorcycle headlights and the possible danger of blue insert lights. Asks if Sen. Fisher has any comments.

275

Sen. Fisher

Explains that he cannot recall any problems with blue-light inserts.

280

Rep. Zauner

Asks why HB 2398 excludes mopeds.

285

Sen. Fisher

Admits that he is unsure why mopeds are excluded, and defers to Rep. Close.

290

Sergeant Curt Curtis

Department of State Police. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT B) regarding HB 2398, indicating the State Police are in support of the provision allowing three headlights, but have issues with the inclusion of blue-light inserts.

380

Rep. Greenlick

Asks whether there are specific statutes which describe headlights and specific candlepower restrictions.

385

Stan Porter

Oregon Department of Transportation, Transportation Safety Division. Discusses the Federal standards for headlight power and brightness, which Oregon follows for lack of relevant state statute. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT C) in opposition to HB 2398.

395

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that these statutes address headlights and not auxiliary lights.

397

Porter

Concurs.

400

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that the lights in questions are headlights and not turning lights.

405

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that the bill as written does not apply to some of the lights in question.

 

 

 

410

Porter

Details which lights are affected by the bill and which are not, indicating the measure would need to be amended to address those other lights.

TAPE 26, A

030

Chair Brown

Asks Sergeant Lorimor if he has any testimony to present.

035

Scott Lorimor

Department of State Police, Patrol Division. Explains that he is there to answer any questions the committee might have.

040

Chair Brown

Asks whether motorcyclists are being cited currently for having these lights.

041

Lorimor

Explains he observes violations, but does not enforce often.

045

Chair Brown

Clarifies Sgt. Curtis earlier testimony on which lights are not problems. 

050

Curtis

Agrees and observes that the State Police were unsure which form of lights the proponents of the bill were attempting to get exempt.

052

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that the lights in question are not exempt through HB 2398.

053

Curtis

Agrees.

055

Chair Brown

Clarifies the Turing lights are not auxiliary lights.

057

Curtis

Details the operation and classification of Turing lights.

060

Rep. Zauner

Clarifies that motorcycles made before 1959 are currently exempt from the laws limiting blue-light inserts, and asks why if these bikes are allowed the lights, why there is a problem with newer bikes having these lights.

063

Curtis

Explains that most of those bikes manufactured before 1959 are show bikes and seldom on the road, so therefore not a problem.

070

Rep. Zauner

Asks if it is easy to tell the year with motorcycles.

075

Curtis

Defers to Sergeant Lorimor.

080

Lorimor

Indicates that he is able to tell the difference between bike models and years.

085

Rep. Greenlick

Asks whether state patrol vehicles have more than one light.

090

Lorimor

Explains that the state patrol bikes have only one light.

095

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if HB 2398 passed, would the department switch their bikes to three-lights.

097

Lorimor

Remarks that given the funding and ability, he would recommend that change.

100

Chair Brown

Asks Mr. Merritt and Mr. Porter if they would be willing to work on the bill to make it accomplish better each side’s goals.

105

Rep. Greenlick

Explains that he would be happy to work on a compromise, but asks Mr. Merritt if he were under the impression that the bill as currently written would allow his three light configuration.

110

Merritt

Explains that he was under the impression that the bill would affect his motorbike, and states his perception of the bill.

115

Porter

Indicates his willingness to work on a compromise.

120

Merritt

Discusses the legal limits as to the wattage allowed for lights.

125

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2398, and opens a public hearing on HB 2419.

HB 2419 – PUBLIC HEARING

150

Janet Adkins

Offers a description of HB 2419.

170

Sen. Fisher

Senate District 1. Offers testimony in support of HB 2419.

210

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies and questions the language of the bill as currently written.

225

Sen. Fisher

Expresses his assumption that the limited lights were only those which blinked.

230

Rep. Greenlick

Identifies those blinking lights as being the legal definition of headlights. Indicates the need for Legislative Councel verification.

235

Chair Brown

Points out his perception of the language.

240

Adkins

Explains that the modulating headlight is one which blinks between two brightness’s.

245

Sen. Fisher

Offers his perception of the wording of the bill.

255

Adkins

Explains how the lights pulse.

265

Randy Phipps

BikePac of Oregon. Offers an explanation of differing headlights.

290

Rep. Zauner

Expresses concern for the blinking lights in fog.

295

Rep. Mabrey

Asks how HB 2419 is consistent with the arguments for HB 2398.

305

Phipps

Discusses the language of HB 2419.

330

Rep. Mabrey

Indicates his perception that motorcycle visibility is supported by having multiple headlights as well the requirement to have lights on during the day.

350

Phipps

Explains his problem with the penalties which are repealed by HB 2419.

365

Sen. Fisher

Indicates his concern that motorcyclists be held to the same standards as other motorists.

370

Rep. Greenlick

Discusses the intent of the statute, and the confusion regarding the wording.

380

Melvin Yeager

BikePac of Oregon. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT D) in support of HB 2419.

TAPE 25, B

035

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if a requirement that all motorists have headlights on at all times would satisfy Mr. Yeager’s fairness concerns, and whether Mr. Yeager’s concerns with the penalty would be alleviated if the penalty were repealed keeping the law intact.

040

Yeager

Discusses his group’s perception that only a repeal of the entire law would adequately address their concerns.

050

Rep. Greenlick

Details Mr. Yeager’s groups two primary concerns, and again asks why a complete repeal of the law is the only answer to these concerns.

065

Yeager

Explains his concerns with requiring all vehicles to have headlights on at all times.

080

Rep. Mabrey

Points out the importance of visibility, and discusses his view that the arguments presented by Mr. Yeager lack validity.

110

Rep. Beyer

Points out that each witness in favor of HB 2419 expresses their devotion to using headlights during the day, while simultaneously expressing their distaste for requirement of using headlights.

125

Yeager

Offers an explanation of how his organization feels that headlights are important, but they do not want to be required to use them.

140

Phipps

Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT E) in support of HB 2419, addressing the mechanical concerns with running headlights at all times.

185

Rep. Zauner

Expresses his concern with keeping the law intact while removing the fine.

195

Ken Ray

BikePac of Oregon, Executive Director. Offers testimony in support of HB 2419.

210

Jim Leshuk

Salem, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2419.

260

Rep. Greenlick

Points out his past work with BikePac of Oregon, but expresses his concern with these issues being clouded. Asking for delineation between technical concerns of the motorcycle community, and the concerns with lack of freedom.

295

Ray

Explains that those issues are for the most part intertwined, and that it would be difficult to separate the two.

315

Stan Porter

Oregon Department of Transportation, Transportation Safety Division. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT F) regarding HB 2419 with reference to (EXHIBIT G).

380

Adkins

Enters into the record written testimony (EXHIBIT H) from Sergeant Curtis of the Oregon State Police regarding HB 2419 and HB 2432.

385

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2419, and stands the meeting at ease.

Meeting Recessed

386

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting back to order and opens a public hearing on HB 2432.

HB 2432 – PUBLIC HEARING

390

Rep. Jeff Kropf

Offers testimony in support of HB 2432, with reference to his personal experience when riding motorcycles, and when operating as a volunteer firefighter. 

TAPE 26, B

001

Rep. Kropf

Continues with testimony in support of HB 2432.

050

Sen. Fisher

Offers testimony in support of HB 2432.

075

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if  either Sen. Fisher or Rep. Kropf support assisted suicide, and if there were convincing evidence to increased mortality due to the passage of HB 2432 would that change their stance on the issue.

085

Sen. Fisher

Discusses his experience in regards to the requirement of wearing a helmet, and his view that helmets should not be required.

120

Rep. Kropf

Expresses his opposition to assisted suicide, and points out that such data would not affect his support for HB 2432.

135

Chair Brown

Points out that the motorcycle helmet laws were passed by the people of Oregon in 1988, and that 27 other states have similar such laws.

160

Bob Avery

BikePac of Oregon. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT I) in support of HB 2432.

220

Ken Ray

BikePac of Oregon. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT J) in support of HB 2432 with reference to (EXHIBIT K).

305

Rep. Greenlick

Refers to the Oregon Heath Policy Institute (OHPI) study aforementioned by Mr. Ray, which he directed, and points out aspects of that study.

335

Ray

Suggests that different studies point to different “facts.”

340

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies Mr. Ray’s point that motorcycle ridership drops with mandatory helmet laws, and asks if Oregon’s riding population has decreased since the passage of such laws.

345

Ray

Explains that the ridership in Oregon has increased in recent years, but that there was a drop off in new vehicle registration, and indicates that he does not have the numbers involving vehicle-miles traveled.

355

Rep. Greenlick

Asks whether the witness, in lieu of compelling data that repealing mandatory helmet laws means more deaths would occur, would change his stance on HB 2432.

370

Avery

Responds indicating that he believes the compelling freedom issue is the most important, so therefore he would not change his support of HB 2432. Points out that he has seen data which indicates mandatory helmet laws do not increase safety, and might even cause more accidents.

380

Rep. Greenlick

Expresses his concerns in passing a bill which would indirectly cause six to seven more deaths each year.

405

Avery

Restates that the freedom issue is the primary concern as he sees it, and clarifies his earlier statement regarding the OHPI study.

TAPE 27, A

020

Ray

Addresses his views that additional deaths would most likely go up due to increased ridership, and those who choose to ride motorcycles inherently take the risk.

065

Lisa Millet

Oregon Department of Human Services. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT L) in opposition to HB 2432.

125

Tim Duerfeltt

McMinnville, Oregon. Offers testimony in support of HB 2432.

155

Troy Costales

Oregon Department of Transportation, Transportation Safety Division. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT M) in opposition to HB 2432.

190

Rep. Greenlick

Clarifies that the helmeted rider fatalities have remained relatively constant.

195

Costales

Concurs and continues with testimony.

225

Beyer

Asks what the requirements are in Oregon for personal injury insurance for motorcycles.

230

Costales

Indicates that he does not know, but can get the information for the committee.

235

Duerfeltt

Explains that it is the same as for an automobile.

240

Adkins

Explains that motorcycle policies are not required to have personal injury protection, while vehicles are required.

260

Rep. Mabrey

Asks whether there are any statistics on how the use of helmets lessens the amount of injury.

270

Costales

Refers to an article done by the Motorcycle Rider Foundation (EXHIBIT N), which contains a study addressing this issue.

280

Zauner

Asks whether Hawaii and its use of mopeds would skew the national statistics at all.

285

Costales

Discusses the article and what it addresses.

290

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2432, and opens a public hearing on HB 2579.

HB 2579 – PUBLIC HEARING

300

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator. Offers a description of HB 2579.

310

Keith Underdahl

Albany, Oregon. Offers written testimony (EXHIBIT O) in support of HB 2579.

380

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2579, and adjourns the meeting at 10:54 a.m.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony.

 

Staff

Submits current statute(EXHIBIT P) regarding HB 2419.

 

Staff

Submits proposed amendments to HB 2579 (EXHIBIT Q).

 

 

Submits Motorcycle Helmet Use Requirements (EXHIBIT R) regarding HB 2432.

 

Jim Leshuk

Submits State Motorcycle Equipment Requirements (EXHIBIT S) regarding HB 2419.

 

Vincent Adams

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT T) regarding HB 2432.

 

Mitch Putman

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT U) regarding HB 2432.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2398, illustrative photos, Bob Merritt, 3 pp.

B – HB 2398, written testimony, Curt Curtis, 2 pp.

C – HB 2398, written testimony, Troy Costales, 1 p.

D – HB 2419, written testimony, Melvin Yeager, 1 p.

E – HB 2419, written testimony, R.M. Phipps, 3 pp.

F – HB 2419, written testimony, Troy Costales, 1 p.

G – HB 2419, Motorcycle Laws of the United States, Troy Costales, 2 pp.

H – HB 2419/2432, written testimony, Curt Curtis, 2 pp.

I – HB 2432, written testimony, Bob Avery, 3 pp.

J – HB 2432, written testimony, Ken Ray, 4 pp.

K – HB 2432, AMA Position in Support of Voluntary Helmet Use, Ken Ray, 4 pp.

L – HB 2432, written testimony, Lisa Millet, 4 pp.

M – HB 2432, written testimony, Troy Costales, 6 pp.

N – HB 2432, Safe Cycling 1998 Helmet Guide, Troy Costales, 26 pp.

O – HB 2579, written testimony, Keith Underdahl, 2 pp.

 

EXHIBITS PRESENTED AFTER MEETING

 

P – HB 2419, Current Statute, Staff, 1 p.

Q – HB 2579, Proposed Amendment, Staff, 1 p.

R – HB 2432, Motorcycle Helmet Use Requirements, Staff, 1 p.

S – HB 2419, State Motorcycle Equipment Requirements, Jim Leshuk, 1 p.

T – HB 2432, written testimony, Vincent Adams, 1 p.

U – HB 2432, written testimony, Mitch Putman, 1 p.