Moving Forward and Amending – SB 5438 Update on Faulty Traffic Signals Bill

Washington Bikes’ priority legislation, SSB 5438, has moved out of the Senate Transportation Committee. The legislation provides bicycle riders a safe and reasonable procedure to proceed through broken traffic signals that fail to detect bicycles.

Late last month we reported on Senate Bill (SB) 5438, sponsored by Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima), that builds on legislation passed in 2014 allowing for motorcycles to stop and proceed or make left-hand turns through traffic control signals that do not detect motorcycles under certain very limited conditions with a specific protocol that is clear and understood by law enforcement.

This year’s original bill sought to include bicycles and electric-assisted bicycles to the 2014 legislation. By the time of SB 5438’s hearing on February 2, additional feedback came forward to address two additional policy improvements: (1) to incorporate concerns that the composition (such as carbon fiber bikes that are even more difficult to detect) of bikes can sometimes be problematic and should be recognized in this bill; and (2) that a final vehicle – mopeds – should be included in the bill to make this section of state law inclusive of more vehicles (motorcycles, bicycles, and mopeds) that regularly experience troubles with traffic signal detection on Washington state roads and streets.

Dialogue at February 2’s Senate Transportation Committee public hearing clarified these additions to the legislation and led to agreement on next steps related to the bill.

The following day, executive action was taken on Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5438 and the Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill to the Senate Rules Committee. We now await action in the Rules Committee before it goes to the Senate floor for discussion and a vote.

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  1. By Cyclelicious » Baaaa! and bike stuff for you. on February 19, 2015 at 6:36 am

    […] State is working on a Dead Red law to allow those riding motorcycles, bicycles and mopeds to legally run red lights under certain […]