Driver Accountability Bill Passes and is Now Law

Governor Kate Brown formally signs this important legislation into law.  Much thanks to all that made this happen.  We had legislators like Representative Andy Olson who has been a long-time friend of motorcyclists.  He recently announced his retirement from politics after 7 consecutive terms representing constituents in the Albany area.  He will be sorely missed by bikers and riders in Oregon.  We wish him well.  Much thanks to BikePac of Oregon for their tireless work of reaching out to all Representatives and Senators – that is a huge task.  Much thanks to the Oregon Confederation of Clubs for their support.  Great thanks to attorney Christopher Slater who took a brilliantly simple idea and seeing that concept to its very end and conclusion.  And lastly, all those riders who lost loved ones or were injured who had testified at the hearings.  You are all very special people – your stories touched the legislature deeply.  The Oregon Legislature came to understand the need for this legislation and overwhelmingly agreed with riders something needed to be done.

Now there is some relief for riders who are victims of reckless drivers.  HB 2598 makes it a crime for a driver who recklessly injures a motorcyclist.  This law also covers the passenger on a motorcycle.  If convicted, the reckless driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will have a Class A Misdemeanor on their record.  The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison with a maximum fine up to $6,250.

Again, much thanks to Christopher Slater, Attorney at Law.  This will be a powerful tool to punish those who violate a biker’s or motorcyclist’s right of way or otherwise injures a rider due to a driver’s recklessness. Too often drivers have crashed into a motorcyclist getting away without even a ticket.  With this law, there will finally be some teeth in ensuring that reckless drivers who injure riders or their passengers will be convicted of a crime.