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February 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM

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Vulnerable User Bill vulnerable to confusion

Posted by Lillian Tucker

After a bit of confusion over language and other details the "Vulnerable User Bill" passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday with all but one member voting in favor of it.

State Sen. James Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, raised concerns about the legislation, which would create a tougher infraction for drivers whose violation of traffic laws results in the death or substantial bodily injury of a pedestrian, bicyclist or any other "vulnerable" roadway user. Hargove wanted to know if the actions of the skateboarder or bicyclist would be taken into account. Moments later, he voted against the bill.

"We certainly would like to work to improve Senator Hargrove's understanding," said David Hiller, advocacy director for Cascade Bicycle Club.

Senate Bill 5838 dictates that the police officer issuing the infraction shall state on the notice that the driver's traffic offense was the proximate cause of death or injury.

Hiller said he remains confident the bill will pass the Senate. "We are a step closer to providing some measure of justice for these families who have lost some one."

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

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Kyung Song
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Bob Young
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