Oregon Governor Vetoes Bipartisan Lane-Sharing Law

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After the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Oregon Senate Bill 574 by a healthy margin, Oregon Governor Kate Brown dashed the hopes of motorcyclists in the Beaver State by vetoing the bill.

Citing her concern over safety and enforcement for non-compliance with the law’s provisions, Brown sent the law back to the legislative branch unsigned and denied.

“I have several concerns with the bill as currently drafted, particularly related to public safety and noncompliance,” Brown wrote to Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek.

The news is a huge blow to the ongoing effort to legalize some basic provisions for lane-sharing in Oregon, as SB 574 would allow the practice on roads with speed limits 50 mph and higher, and when traffic was flowing at 10mph or less.

These provisions of SB 574 meant that lane-sharing in Oregon would only have been legal on certain stretches of interstate, and only during heavy congestion, primarily during rush hour commutes.

There is the possibility that the Oregon legislature could override the veto of Gov. Brown, as SB 574 had enough supporters in the House to meet the two-thirds vote requirement, though the bill failed to reach the same threshold in Senate – however, it is worth noting that six senators were absent for the initial vote, and could represent the votes necessary for a veto override.

Even with this math, a veto override is likely to be difficult as it will create politically-motivated movements around the previously bipartisan bill.

Source: OPB