Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
April 26, 2006
Governor Signs Measure to Make Oklahoma’s Roads Safer
A Senate measure to help protect motorists and make Oklahoma’s
roads safer has been signed into law by Governor Brad Henry. Senate Bill
1929, authored by Senator David
Myers and Rep. Jim
Newport, creates the David Jaggers Law, named after a long-time motorcycling
enthusiast and active member in the Downed Bikers Association who was
killed by a negligent, reckless motorist while riding his motorcycle.
“This is a public safety issue that desperately needs to be addressed.
The number of motorcycle-related fatalities and injuries in our state
has steadily increased in recent years,” said Myers. “Last
year, more than 70 people were killed in motorcycle accidents and nearly
1,100 were injured. Unfortunately, many of these accidents weren’t
caused by the motorcyclists, but by other irresponsible, inattentive and
careless drivers. We’re hopeful that this bill will help protect
these vulnerable motorists.”
Under provisions of this bill, any person convicted of, or who pleads
guilty to, a traffic violation for failure to yield a right-of-way and
who causes a fatality or serious bodily injury will be assessed a fee
of up to $1,000.00 to be deposited in the Motorcycle Safety and Drunk
Driving Awareness Fund. This fee will be in addition to any other fine
or penalty charged against the violator.
Newport explained that the bill also creates a fund in the State Treasury
for the Department of Public Safety to be designated the Motorcycle Safety
and Drunk Driving Awareness Fund.
“The monies in this fund will be used to promote public awareness
of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or any
controlled substance as well as promoting motorcycle safety and defensive
driving for youth,” Newport said.
Finally, the measure amends the requirements to Oklahoma’s laws
regarding when any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked
lanes for traffic. It specifies that a two-way left-turn lane is a lane
near the center of the roadway set aside for use by vehicles making left
turns in both directions from or into the roadway. A vehicle cannot be
driven in a designated two-way left-turn lane except when preparing for
or making a left turn from or into a roadway. However, the bill allows
that vehicles turning left and crossing the roadway can now be driven
in the two-way left-turn lane a distance of 200 feet while preparing for
and making the turn. A vehicle also may use the two-way left-turn lane
as a staging area by stopping and waiting for traffic proceeding in the
same direction to clear before merging into the adjacent lanes of travel.
The new law will go into effect November 1, 2006.
For more information,
Senator Myer's Office: (405) 521-5628