January 17th, 2011 5:33 pm | by REBECCA JACOBSON News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP

Another Bill Angering Cyclists: A Proposed Ban on Wearing Headphones

BikePortland.org's recent coverage of new bike legislation sparked fiery reaction among commenters toward a bill by state Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) that would ban carrying children younger than six years old on a bicycle or in a bicycle trailer.

But Greenlick's proposal isn't the only piece of legislation BikePortland reported on that could change the way Oregonians ride. House Bill 2602, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) would prohibit cyclists from wearing devices “capable of receiving telephonic communication, radio broadcasts or recorded sounds.”

This afternoon, Schaufler said the timing of his bill and Greenlick's measure is a coincidence, and that they hadn't discussed the legislation with each other. He voiced frustration with the online opposition from cyclists.

“They (cyclists) are the ones that are complaining about it,” Schaufler said. “People on bicycles ask for a whole lot and then they say, ‘don't regulate us!'”

Schaufler said his bill is a common-sense measure designed to protect cyclists.

“I think it makes sense not to have sound pumped into your ears while you're riding a bicycle,” he said. “You should have all your wits about you. Do you ride a bicycle with blinders on your eyes? You have to be conscious and ride defensively. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that when you're on a bicycle you're far more vulnerable than if you're in a car or truck.”
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