Friday, September 21, 2012

Bicycle bills in upcoming VA legislative session

Delegate Alfonso Lopez (49th District) plans to reintroduce the "Exercise due care" and "Following too closely" bills again in the 2013 session. Both bills would help educate motorists about the rights of bicyclists and the need for motorists to drive carefully around them. Below is are the bill numbers and text of the bills from last year's session:

  • HB 784 Exercise due care; Drivers to exercise due care. Requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or the operator of a human-powered vehicle.
  • HB 785 Following too closely; Includes bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds among vehicles that the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow more closely than is reasonable.
It's hard to argue against these bills, especially the bill that requires drivers to be careful around pedestrians and bicyclists. Unfortunately Northern Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock (34th District) thought otherwise and cast deciding votes in defeating those bills last year. 

Both delegates represent Fairfax County residents. Thanks to Delegate Lopez for his support. During the legislative session we'll be sending out information about how you can support these bills. We'll also be asking cyclists to contact Delegate Comstock to ask her to support Fairfax bicyclists. We're trying to schedule a meeting with her to discuss her objections to the bills last year. 

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