Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bike-related Bills Update 22 February

Below is an update based on the latest Virginia Bicycling Federation's reports on bills that could affect bicyclists in the 2017 Va legislative session. Bills that have failed indicated by strikethrough.

SB 860 Use of handheld personal communications devices while driving; penalty. Would prohibit usage of handheld personal communication devices while driving. Filed by Sen. Surovell. Update 19 Jan - Failed by a vote of 7-6 along party lines, with Republicans all voting against.

SB 1207 Electric personal delivery devices. Allows for the operation of electric personal delivery devices on the sidewalks and shared-use paths and across roadways on crosswalks in the Commonwealth unless otherwise prohibited by a locality. The bill directs that such devices shall not be considered vehicles and are exempt from the motor carrier provisions of Title 46.2 (Motor Vehicles). Filed by Sen. DeSteph. Update 26 Jan - Passed Senate Transportation Subcommittee 12-0. Update 22 Feb - Passed both Home and Senate. Awaiting signature by Governor who made a suggested change that was sent back to the Senate.

SB 1223 Riding bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, etc., while intoxicated; penalty, making it a Class 2 Misdemeanor to ride a bicycle, SegWay, moped, or electric power assisted bicycle on a highway while intoxicated. Filed by Sen. Baker. Update 19 Jan - An additional bill being watched by VBF. Update 25 Jan - Failed by a vote of 7-6 along party lines, with Republicans all voting against.

SB 1338 Bicycle lane; penalty for driver to pass another vehicle using lane. Filed by Sen. Surovell. Bill number added. Update 25 Jan - Amended bill passes Senate Transportation Subcommittee 8-5. Update 22 Feb - Passed by full Senate 22-18. Failed to pass House Transportation Subcommittee 3-4.

SB 1339 Careless driving; cause of injury to vulnerable road user. Filed by Sen. Surovell. Update 25 Jan - Heavily amended (reduced penalties) bill passes Senate Transportation Subcommittee 9-4. Update 22 Feb - Passed Senate 21-19. Failed to pass House Criminal Law Subcommittee by voice vote.

HB 1504 Issuance of a driver's license or learner's permit; minimum standards for vision tests; and HB 1514 Health care practitioners; reporting disabilities of drivers. Two bills attempting to get drivers with poor vision off the road that was filed at the request of Dr. Ed Wortham, an ophthalmologist and the father of Carrie Wortham, who was killed in September 2015 by a driver with poor vision who drove into her as she was cycling on Rt. 33. Filed by Del. Fowler. Update 25 Jan - HB 1504 Amended bill passes House Transportation  Committee 6-0. HB 1514
Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (9-Y 1-N). Update 22 Feb - HB 1504 Passed Senate 40-0, signed by Governor. HB 1514 Passed House 95-0, passed Senate 37-3.

HB1633 Careless driving; cause of injury to vulnerable road user. which creates a lower criminality threshold and higher penalties for drivers who injure pedestrians and cyclists. Filed by Del. Rip Sullivan and co-sponsored by Del. Jim LeMunyon. Update 22 Feb - Failed to pass House Criminal Law Subcommittee by voice vote.

HB 1834 Distracted driving; penalty. Adds a “Distracted Driving” offense to the section of the Code that prohibits Reckless Driving (46.2-868).  This will add a lesser infraction to the code for infractions that are not as severe as to warrant “Reckless Driving” which has traditionally been considered a very severe charge in this state. Filed by Del. Anderson. Update 25 Jan - Being re-written. Update 22 Feb - Passed Criminal Law Subcommittee 11-0, Failed to pass Courts of Justice Committee 9-10 (apparently someone switched their vote from Y to N when the bill moved from the subcommittee to the committee).

HB 2016 Electric personal delivery devices; operation on sidewalks and shared-use paths. This bill anticipates having wheeled drones delivering merchandise in the future. Filed by Del. Villanueva. Update 22 Feb - Passed House 97-0, passed Senate 40-0. Amended in Senate.

HB 2023 Highway maintenance payments; bicycle lanes. The bill to not reduce highway maintenance payments to municipalities that have implemented road diets. Filed by Del. Villanueva. Update 19 Jan - Reported out of Transportation Committee 22-0. Update 22 Feb - Passed House 97-0, passed Senate 40-0.



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