Proposed Oregon law would ban children passengers on bikes

  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
  • Comment on this story

A politician in Oregon has enraged the biking community in Portland, with the introduction of a law in the state’s legislature that would make it illegal to ride with a child on a bike or in a bike trailer.

A former director of health at Oregon Health & Science University, Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland), introduced legislation claiming an OHSU study showed that 20 percent of bike commuters had experienced an injury each year, and 5 percent had one serious enough to warrant medical attention.

Although he admitted that there were no studies or data on accidents involving young children on bikes, he said, “It really got me thinking about what happens if there’s a 4-year-old on the back of that bike when a biker goes down.”

Jonathon Maus, editor of the bikeportland.org blog said, “The bill itself is just ridiculous.” He said it was misguided and added, “I think it is a terrible miscalculation to start a debate with something so one-sided that prohibits the use of a transportation option by a large segment of the population.”

Maus and his wife have two daughters, one 8 and the other 5, and have been putting them in a bike trailer since they were 3 months. He said that he’s never had a problem, and said that drivers are more careful around him when they see the presence of children.

After receiving hundreds of emails protesting the bill, Greenlick urged the biking community to calm down. He said, “This is how the process starts. We have hearings. People start testifying. You start getting the information to find out whether there is a problem or not.”

The Oregonian

  • expose this
  • Share
  • Bookmark to Delicious
  • Bookmark to StumbleUpon
Comment on this Article:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.