Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Following Too Closely" bill defeated in the House

SB1060, the bill to modify Virginia code to prevent motorists from following a bicyclist too closely, was defeated in the VA House by a vote of 42-55. The bill would have removed two words from the existing code text (46.2-816): "The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time."

An earlier version of the bill removed only the second occurrence of the word "motor" which would have allowed a bicyclist to draft another bicyclist. Even with the removal of the second occurrence of "motor", bicyclists supported the bill.

Thirty Democrats (all but one not voting) and 12 Republicans voted for the bill. A special thanks to delegates representing Fairfax who voted for the bill: Democrats: Keam, Plum, Bulova, Kory, Watts, Filler-Corn,  Sickles, Surovell, Brink, Lopez, and Scott. Republicans: Comstock and Rust. Voting against the bill: Republicans: Albo and LeMunyon. Delegate Hugo did not vote. If your delegate voted in support of the bill, consider sending them a thank you note.

Virginia remains the only states that do not have a following too closely law that applies to bicyclists. See more info about the vote at the Virginia Bicycling Federation site.

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Albo is a trial lawyer who makes money off people fighting tickets so this doesn't surprise me. LeMunyon, though, lived in the Oakton area so he knows how dangerous the roads are.

Still,that's only 2 more -- who else voted against it? From where else in the commonwealth?

You can see the tally of who voted for and against the bill at this link.

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