Oregon House Bill 2228 would make it illegal to carry children under 6-years of age on a bicycle or in a bike trailer. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mitch Greenlick earlier this month. Greenlick introduced the bill because he is “not convinced that we are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of young children who join their parents bicycling on the streets and roads of Oregon.”
As you’d expect, the bill has created quite an uproar in the cycling community, with numerous advocates and bloggers strongly vocalizing their opposition to it. The main problem with this bill is that it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t appear to exist. At this time, there is no clear evidence that children under 6-years of age are at any greater risk on a bicycle than children riding in automobiles or even backpacks, for that matter.
Fortunately, Rep. Jules Bailey has been in contact with Rep. Greenlick and has convinced him that the bill should be amended to remove the violation portion and instead ask for a study on child safety on bicycles and how to best improve that safety. That sounds much more reasonable and productive than issuing citations with absolutely zero data to back up the law.