SSB 5438 Update: “Dead Red” Bill Passes House Transportation Committee

Last night Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5438, which provides bicycle riders a safe and reasonable procedure to proceed through broken traffic signals that fail to detect bicycles, passed out of the House Transportation Committee.

Following a a strong 45-3 vote for Substitute Senate Bill 5438 in the Washington State Senate two weeks ago, the House Transportation Committee reacted positively to testimony on the legislation on Monday, March 16 and last night moved the bill on a very bipartisan vote to the House Rules Committee.

The legislation recently has received media attention in Oregon, which is also deliberating on similar legislation, here in Washington state, and in British Columbia, which is considering similar legislation.

Getting stuck at a red light that fails to detect you and doesn’t turn green is really frustrating. SSB 5438 provides a simple, common sense and reasonable procedure to proceed through broken traffic signals that fail to detect bicycles.

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.

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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