HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

March 28, 2005   Hearing Room C

1:00 P.M. Tapes  32 - 33

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. George Gilman, Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer, Vice-Chair

Rep. Deborah Boone

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Kim Thatcher

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:             Rep. Chuck Burley, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  John Houser, Committee Administrator

Mike Reiley, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

HB 2377 – Public Hearing

                                                HB 2502 – 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 32, A

003

Chair Gilman

Calls the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m. Opens a public hearing on

HB 2377.

HB 2377 – PUBLIC HEARING

006

John Houser

Committee Administrator. Introduces HB 2377.

016

Rep. Donna Nelson

House District 24. Submits and summarizes prepared testimony in support of HB 2377 (EXHIBIT A). Describes the congestion along Highway 99W between McMinnville and Newberg. Notes that Hewlett-Packard has left due to traffic problems. Explains previous legislation addressing the issue. Reads a letter from Yamhill County Commissioner Leslie Lewis in support of HB 2377 (EXHIBIT B).

115

Rep. Boone

Concurs with Rep. Nelson’s testimony regarding congestion.

126

Rep. Thatcher

Concurs with Rep. Nelson’s testimony regarding congestion.

131

Rep. Nelson

States that it would be impossible to take emergency action such as evacuating the Portland area if necessary.

144

Rep. Hunt

Comments on the use of potential unused Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA) funds for projects of statewide significance including the Newburg/Dundee bypass.

165

Merilyn Reeves

President, Friends of Yamhill County. Submits and reads prepared testimony in support of HB 2377 (EXHIBIT C).

The following material is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Frances and Michael O’Brien

McMinnville. Submit prepared testimony in support of HB 2377 (EXHIBIT D).

222

Chair Gilman

Closes the public hearing on HB 2377. Opens a public hearing on

HB 2502.

HB 2502 – PUBLIC HEARING

250

John Houser

Committee Administrator. Introduces HB 2502.

260

Rep. Donna Nelson

House District 24. Submits and summarizes prepared testimony and information in support of HB 2502 (EXHIBIT E).

TAPE 33, A

055

Rep. Boone

Explains her work as a volunteer firefighter and emergency drills involving school bus accidents.

076

Rep. Bruun

Asks how much would be saved in insurance costs by requiring seat belts in buses.

080

Rep. Nelson

Answers that she does not have information. Explains the costs of transporting students on school buses.

096

Chair Gilman

Asks how seat belts would save lives of pedestrians.

098

Rep. Nelson

Explains that hitting a pedestrian would involve swerving driving.

105

Rep. Hunt

Asks if requiring new buses to apply seat belts would be acceptable.

112

Rep. Nelson

Explains the compartmentalization of buses built since 1977. Argues that all pre-1977 buses should be retired.

150

Deborah Lincoln

Director, Pupil Transportation, Oregon Department of Education. Submits and summarizes prepared information in opposition to HB 2502. Offers a PowerPoint presentation on bus safety.

255

Lincoln

Shows video of school bus crashes and the effect of compartmentalization and lap and shoulder belts.

360

Lincoln

Argues for safe bus drivers and safe components. Explains the criteria for assessing a bus accident.

TAPE 32, B

025

Lincoln

Cites examples of bus accidents and safety. Argues for safety measures.

065

Lincoln

Highlights an informational flyer with information about children and school buses (EXHIBIT F).

077

Rep. Thatcher

Asks if any states mandate seat belts in school buses.

080

Lincoln

Answers that New York and New Jersey require lap belts.

085

Rep. Thatcher

Clarifies that no shoulder belts are required.

088

Lincoln

Answers no and explains that there are no standards for it.

091

Rep. Thatcher

Asks about testing and possible considerations for shoulder belt.

095

Lincoln

Answers that it is difficult to develop a belt that will work for students of various sizes and ages.

102

Rep. Thatcher

Asks about the effect of cargo carried by students such as backpacks in a crash.

105

Lincoln

Argues that luggage compartments are necessary in school buses.

117

Rep. Boone

Asks if commercial buses require seat belts.

119

Lincoln

Answers that she does not believe that they do.

122

Craig Pruitt

Consultant. Explains his experience driving various types of buses and the effect of different types of crashes.

134

Rep. Boone

Argues that the lap/shoulder combination is the safest and disagrees that compartmentalization is the safest method.

148

Lincoln

Explains that school buses sit above the “crash zone” and engineering standards.

166

Rep. Beyer

States that the information provided has been helpful. Notes the considerations of various seat belts and their effect on crashes.

189

Rep. Bruun

Asks if accidents are predominantly side-impact or head-on.

203

Lincoln

Answers that the most predominant accident is hitting a stationary object. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most are head on.

221

Rep. Bruun

Asks if shoulder/lap belts or compartmentalization is safer, regardless of cost.

229

Lincoln

Answers that shoulder/lap belts would be safest if they were worn all the time. Explains a school bus accident in Sweet Home and the actions taken by the school bus driver to lessen the impact of the crash.

251

Rep. Hunt

Asks how many pre-1977 buses are in use.

258

Lincoln

Answers that in 1977, NHTSA set safety standards and there are 23 pre-1977 buses in use in Oregon.

268

Rep. Hunt

Notes that there seems to be a consensus on eliminating pre-1977 buses. Asks if there is an effort to eliminate them immediately.

282

Lincoln

Answers no. Points out that there have been efforts in previous legislative sessions, but it poses a hardship to rural districts to eliminate them.

285

Rep. Hunt

Asks what the replacement costs would be.

290

Steven Huillet

Consultant. Submits prepared information, “Definition of Reportable Accident” (EXHIBIT G). Answers that the price of a new school bus would be $85,000-$88,000 each.

295

Gilman

Asks how may school buses are operating in Oregon.

298

Lincoln

Answers that there are 6000 buses including activity buses and other type vehicles.

304

Rep .Boone

Notes the adjustments in passenger vehicles for seat belts.

308

Rep. Beyer

Asks about the market value for used replacement buses.

318

Lincoln

Explains that buying a new bus would have to meet 2005 safety standards. Commends Rep. Nelson for her work on safety.

355

Rep. Boone

Asks how to rationalize teaching children to put on seat belts in a car, but not in a school bus.

365

Lincoln

Answers that she explains safety to children in both cars and buses.

377

Chair Gilman

Closes the public hearing on HB 2502. Adjourns the meeting at 2:23 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. HB 2377, prepared testimony, Rep. Donna Nelson, 1 p
  2. HB 2377, prepared letter from Leslie Lewis, Rep. Donna Nelson, 1 p
  3. HB 2377, prepared testimony, Merilyn Reeves, 1 p
  4. HB 2377, prepared testimony, Frances and Michael O’Brien, 1 p
  5. HB 2502, prepared testimony and information, Rep. Donna Nelson, 6 pp
  6. HB 2502, prepared information, Deborah Lincoln, 1 p
  7. HB 2502, prepared information, Steven Huillet, 1 p