Just got back from a trip down to Olympia today, where Governor Christine Gregoire has signed SB 5326, the Vulnerable User Bill into law. This is the culmination of three years of advocacy work by the Cascade Bicycle Club and others. Having attended three Judiciary Committee hearings, and testified at two – I’m pleased to see this come to fruition. SB 5326 was among the final bills signed from this legislative year.
pictures snapped from tvw.org’s video feed
Shortly before four this afternoon, I got to shake the governor’s hand, and to tell her that my family and I appreciate this new law. It will go into effect on July 1, 2012, four years to the day after my accident.
If you are interested, you can view the video of the bill signing here (the Vulnerable User Law signing occurs at time 33:25) :
This experience was valuable for me in a number of ways. First – it’s an education to see the legislative process in action. Definitely not always pretty, but definitely good to understand. Watching the Advocacy folks with Cascade work with the bill sponsors to help navigate the process was interesting. Speaking with my legislators, as well as others about why it’s good to build awareness and accountability into our driving laws, was incredible. Obviously, the opportunity to participate in positive change following my own brush with an inattentive driver was powerful too – good things from bad, and all that.
The person I really have to thank for this is my wife Kris. During my recovery back in late 2008, she and I were talking about the motorist vs. cyclist dynamic – how each seems to incite the other endlessly concerning road safety. Kris pointed out that rather than complaining, it’s a far better use of energy to work to change the laws. Naturally when the opportunity to participate arose a couple of months later, I couldn’t pass it up.
All in all, a good day.