Legislative Action Alert 2-27-2014

We are one step closer to actually seeing SB 5141 (Traffic Signals) getting to the Governor’s desk.  Late last night the official language of the House Transportation Committee proposed amendment was released.

The proposed language, offered by Representative Luis Moscoso (Prime Sponsor of the House companion bill HB 1238), changes the requirement for the rider to wait “one full cycle” of a signaling device to a requirement for the rider to wait 90 seconds for the system to initiate a change.  This gives us coverage at the intersections that have no traffic to initiate a change in the signal, and is a good common sense approach to clarify the issue.  The only dissenting committee members were 5 freshmen, 2 of which come from law enforcement backgrounds.

Now is the time for riders to begin contacting their Representatives and Senators to urge their support of this good common sense approach to solving the traffic signal issue.  Emphasize the fact that the proposed proposed amendment has the support the large majority of Transportation Committee members, many who come from law enforcement, first responder, and city/county government backgrounds.

If you don’t know yet who your representatives are, follow this link.

Until next time,

Ride safely and legislate well,

“Texas” Larry

Government Relations

 

2 comments to Legislative Action Alert 2-27-2014

  • Bruce Scott

    Larry et al;
    Thank you for the hard work in getting the horrible 2009 law revised. My comments about the wording in the current bill(s)should in no way be taken as an assault to you or the fine work the WRRA does.

    While I appreciate the issue with the “wait one full cycle”, not only for controlled intersections with no traffic, but at intersections with “odd” sequencing, it can be difficult to determine what a full cycle is. The intersection at SR 512 and So. Tacoma Way, comes to mind.

    However, I have some concerns about the 90 second rule.
    1. When does the 90 seconds start? Does it start when my lane first turns to red? When I first come to a stop? If I move to try to trigger the light does my 90 seconds start again? Or does it start when the LEO decides it starts?
    2. Do I need to fine a countdown timer for the bike with buttons big enough for my gloved clumsy hands to start and reset it? Is Law Enforcement going to have countdown timers to catch motorcyclists who violate the law by waiting only 83 seconds? Or is the intent to stop, wait for what seems like an eternity or somewhere north of a minute, then go?
    3. When 91 seconds have elapsed, am I free to go regardless of the traffic flow at that time?

    My favorite left turn lanes are the ones that have the sign that allows anyone in that lane to proceed even when you don’t have the green arrow, by yielding to oncoming traffic when their light is green. In other words, proceed when it’s safe to do so. I wish all traffic intersections could be like that. But wouldn’t be great to have language in a law that was like that sign, yield to other traffic and go when it’s safe. I know it would never sell in Oly, but I can dream.

    Thanks for letting me bend your ear.
    Cheers, -BRU

  • Larry

    Bruce,

    There is no “perfect” solution, but the 90 second rule seems to be the most acceptable compromise. The wait one cycle approach was way too nebulous for many legislators to get their heads wrapped around and was totally unworkable for the intersections that had little or no other traffic.

    1.) The intent is that the 90 second clock starts upon the arrival of the motorcycle. If Officer Obie still sees fit to stop and cite the timing issue will be debated in the court, just like any other citation.

    2.) While a “big button” timer would enhance the aesthetics of any bike, may I suggest old school. 1,001….1,002….1,003….

    3.) “after exercising due care, proceed directly through the intersection or proceed to turn left, as appropriate”

    Don’t worry about bending my ear; I always value your input.