The Lonesome Death of SB5838

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You have to wonder what it takes to get anything done legislatively any more, anywhere…in Congress, at the state level, in the city.

The widely supported, much publicized “Vulnerable Users” bill has died a lonesome death in the Washington State senate, despite the efforts of Cascade Bicycle Club. Bright side: The bill made it out of committee — something that could not be said for its antecedent last year. Dark side: It was a more general, more “politic” form of legislation that emphasized rehabilitation and education rather than punishment — and still couldn’t make it to a vote. Far side: The bizarre, unfair situation will still exist that cyclists can be killed with only a “failure to yield” ticket being issued — if a ticket is issued at all. As David Hiller, Cascade’s advocacy director, put it, people are always startled to discover that “the penalty for not stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk is the same penalty as not stopping for a pedestrian and killing them.”

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