ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
Should that bill ever re-emerge that would ban kids younger than 6 from riding on a bike or in a bike trailer, may I suggest we do what any cunning lobbyist or craven legislator might do: Let the law pass, but riddle it with loopholes that accomplish two important goals: (1) effectively render said law meaningless, and (2) pander to one’s pet constituencies, such as chambers of commerce, farmers, trial lawyers, lumber barons, etc.
We can take our inspiration from the Oregon law that bans the use of cell phones while driving — which of course does no such thing, as it carried along with it no fewer than 11 exceptions.
Here was the proposed kids-on-bikes legislation, remember?
(1) A person commits the offense of unlawful passengers on a bicycle if the person operates a bicycle and carries … (b) A child under six years of age on the bicycle or in a bicycle trailer.
So, to this bill we simply tack an amendment, which might read thusly:
(2) This section does NOT apply:
(a) To a person who is in need of medical or emergency help, including, but not limited to, a bicycle operator seeking redress for tantrums, diaper blowouts, low blood sugar-induced meltdowns, imminent naps and lost toys, shoes, socks, mittens, hats or apples.
(b) To a person involved in farming or agricultural operations, including, but not limited to, trips to the farmers’ market, CSA box pickup or any activity related to the acquisition, care or observation of urban chickens.
(c) To a person operating a pedal-powered ambulance or other medical bicycle, including midwives and/or doulas who are on their way to attend a birth, including a water birth.
(d) To a person who is using a hands-free accessory, such as, but not limited to, a Baby Bjorn, Ergo, Moby Wrap or Kangaroo Korner sling.
(e) To a police officer, EMT, midwife or doula who is engaged in birthing a child, as well as a woman who actually gives birth while riding a bicycle and has no other expedient way of getting the newborn back home. This section may also be construed as allowing the officer, midwife, doula or brand-new mama to ride on the sidewalk even in areas where it is otherwise expressly forbidden.
(f) To any person whose child and/or children were adopted, delivered in a homebirth, or were found in a curbside “free pile.”
(g) To a person operating a bicycle in the scope of the person’s employment — including a person employed as a stay-at-home-mom, stay-at-home-dad, grandparent, baby-sitter, nanny, midwife, doula or kidnapper — if the operation of the bicycle is necessary for the person’s day-to-day child-schlepping activities.
(h) To a person who is attempting to get a toddler to go to sleep, or to wake up.
(i) To a person who does not hold a valid Oregon motor vehicle driver’s license, or such license from any other state, nation or other government authorized to issue such licenses, or to a person who does not own a motor vehicle of any kind or who refuses to ride in one on principle.
(j) To a person who is transporting a child or children in a milk crate.
That should do it.