The Beaver State is set to consider a law on lane sharing in 2021, as Oregon Senate Bill 574 aims to legalize the practice, with a number of caveats coming from the proposed law.
As before, the proposed law would legalize lane sharing for motorcycles in Oregon when they are riding on a highway with a speed limit of 50 mph or higher; the flow of traffic is 10 mph or slower; and so long as the motorcyclist does not go faster than 10 mph than the traffic around them.
There are also a number of situations when lane sharing wouldn’t be allowed, like next to bicycles, in school zones, and through cross walks.
If all of this sounds familiar, it should. Oregon tried to pass an identical law two years ago, and despite an overwhelming amount of bi-partisan support, that piece of legislation (House Bill 2314) got stuck in committee and never had a chance to be voted on by the full legislature.
Despite how divided politics were at the time, HB2314 had 21 sponsors, with a nearly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, from both chambers of the Oregon State Legislature, and from a mix of rural, urban, and suburban districts.
Of note, California has been practicing safe and legal motorcycle lane sharing for decades now, and the Golden State recently codified the practice. Still, the uptake of lane sharing in other jurisdictions in the United States has been literally zero.
This is despite strong research that the practice increases safety, helps reduce traffic load, and is better for the environment. Hopefully in 2021, the State of Oregon will pass SB 574 and set a precedent for other states to follow.
Source: Lane Share Oregon