HB1950 ‘Following Too Closely’ Was Reported Out…

…of House Transportation SubCommittee 2 unanimously this morning, but only after it had been amended to correspond with the language in Delegate Keam’s HB 2124, which reads:

The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another 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.

I spoke in favor of the original language which inserted “motor” in front of the first vehicle. Del. Cox and several members of the committee favored the removal of “motor,” feeling that it treated ALL vehicles the same, and did not favor the bicyclists at the expense of the motorists.

Seems like a minor difference, but my concern was that this language might be used by law enforcement to ticket riders drafting in a peloton for following too closely.

Tom Bowden, who was with me, (along with Sheryl Finucane, Brantley Tyndall from the VBF Board, and Patty Kruszewski), convinced me that this was not a problem, since riders drafting in a peloton could defend against such a charge by stating that they were doing so by mutual consent, and NOT more closely than is reasonable and prudent when bicycling. I then noted my agreement with the amended language.

Riders who ride in pelotons (particularly in Hanover county) please familiarize yourself with this language (which I now think will sail right through, with Delegate Cox’s support) and this reasoning, in the event you should ever get stopped by law enforcement for following too closely.

Also note that riding more than two abreast is NEVER permitted under the code.

A long afternoon in store, with 38 bills in the Senate Transportation Committee (the Dooring bill being of the most interest to us, but also four bills restricting texting and hand held phone usage while driving, and the bill requiring cyclists on trails which cross streets at grade to stop at stop signs.

Following this committee, at 5 p.m., a House AG committee will hear four bills that will permit Sunday Hunting.

Please contact your senator before this afternoon’s meetings, which start around 1:30 PM.

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  • Note the below language from revised 46.2-924 referenced in the article above; where does the legislature define “complete stop?” Officier’s discretion, time, both feet on the ground? I can stop and track stand waiting for a opening in traffic, but as stated below, I might still be ticketed. How is the legislature addressing this lack of clarity or definition? Would seem prudent to do so now rather than let the courts define it.

    D. Where a shared-use path crosses a highway with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour or more at a clearly marked crosswalk and there are no traffic control devices at such crossing, the local governing body may by ordinance require pedestrians, cyclists, and any other users of such shared-used path to come to a complete stop prior to entering such crosswalk. Such local ordinance may provide for a fine not to exceed $250 for violations. Any locality adopting such an ordinance shall install and maintain stop signs, consistent with standards developed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, at such crosswalks, and no user of such shared-use path shall enter the crosswalk in disregard of approaching traffic.

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