Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Following too closely bill moves to full House

HB 82, the bill that makes it illegal for a motorist to tailgate a bicyclist, was voted out of the VA House Transportation Committee today by a vote of 17-1. Thanks to those who contacted committee members to ask them to support the bill. Now the bill will be voted on by the full House so it wouldn't hurt to contact your delegate to let them know that you support this bill.

Here is a summary from Bud Vye of Virginia Bicycling Federation:
HB82/Don’t follow too closely sailed right out of House Transportation this morning, 17 – 1, with Delegate Barbara Comstock carrying it, and with very little discussion. It now goes on to the House Floor, where EVERYONE in the state can contact their Delegates, giving them a heads up that the bill is on its way, and urging them to support it.

As mentioned previously, Del. Scott Garrett, who is the House Trans Sub 2 Chair, kept his record intact of never* having supported a bill that would help bicyclists or pedestrians, as he cast the lone dissenting vote.
A vote on HB 320, the bill to require motorists to stop at a crosswalk if another motorist is stopped, was delayed so that the language could be discussed further:
The other bill on the docket that we are supporting did not have such smooth sailing, as Del. Kory’s HB320 which will penalize drivers who pass other drivers that are stopped at a RR Xing or Crosswalk with a Pedestrian in it, was Passed By for the Day, after some questions were raised by Dels. Hugo & Habeeb regarding the severity of the penalty. Although this bill was supported by the representative of the State Police about as strongly as he ever supports a bill, and is not really adding that much to the existing code, Chairman Rust gave the impression that the language needed some further discussion with the State Police.

Although being Passed By in this fashion is usually only a brief delay, I wasn’t clear if the motion meant until Thursday, or a full week until next Tuesday’s meeting.

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