Olympia Update: SSB 5438 – Faulty Traffic Signals Bill – Moves Forward

Today Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5438 was pulled in the Senate Rules Committee. Next this legislation that provides bicycle riders a safe and reasonable procedure to proceed through broken traffic signals that fail to detect bicycles moves to the Senate floor.

Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima) is prime sponsor of Washington Bikes' priority legislation.

Senator Curtis King (R-Yakima) is prime sponsor of Washington Bikes’ priority legislation.

Today in the Senate Rules Committee Senator Curtis King pulled SSB 5438. The bill will now proceed to potential debate and dialogue on the Senate floor.

SSB 5438 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. For the first time ever, Washington Bikes sought to include electric-assisted bicycles in legislation, noting the increase in popularity of these bicycles.

In the Senate Transportation Committee, the bill was amended to make some improvements, including accounting for carbon fiber bikes that are even more challenging for many traffic signals to detect than standard metal frames.

Washington Bikes thanks Senator King for his sponsorship of SSB 5438 and continuing support of legislation that improves predictability and gives bicycle riders a clear protocol for dealing with faulty transportation infrastructure that doesn’t detect their bikes.

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