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Legislative Update 2/3/10

A bummer for Bruce Drees, who got up at 4 and drove up from VA Beach for this morning’s House Trans SubComm 2 meeting, only to have HB1048/Following Too Closely and 3 foot passing carried over until next week, same time, same place. Our patron, Del. Kory , had another meeting at the same time and was not able to come into this meeting until just before 8:30 adjournment time, so there was not sufficient time to hear the bill.

The committee did hear HB 1083, which would ban mopeds from any highway with a speed limit of 45 mph or greater. Del. Crockett-Stark from Wytheville apparently has a section of heavily traveled highway in her district that goes up a steep mountain and any slow moving vehicle tends to back traffic up behind it, irritating some of her constituents. Mopeds seem to have been singled out as the prime culprits, hence her bill which would ban mopeds from all such highways statewide. The Motorcycle Dealers Assn. representative spoke against the bill as being far too broad, as did I, and some of the committee members, including Chairman Carrico, who travels that section of highway regularly. After discussion, the bill was TABLED, so we can remove that bill from the list we are concerned with.

HB 163, Del Orrock, the Spotsylvania county bill having to do with vehicles passing vehicles on two lane highways not being charged with reckless driving if they are legitimately passing in a passing zone, was briefly heard and then REPORTED. Only Chairman Carrico voted in opposition, although other members of the committee indicated that they still didn’t understand what the problem was, since no one else in the state seemed to be having any such problem. In any event, the bill does not seem to be about, or to have any adverse effects on, bicycling, so I am going to take it off the list and cease being concerned about it.

We now have only HB 1048 to be concerned about during this week and next. I will remind everyone on Monday to again contact the 7 members of House Trans. Sub Comm 2 (as many have done prior to today’s meeting) and ask them to support the bill in SubComm, next Wednesday, 2/10.

Once it is reported on Wed. (as I believe it will be), it almost certainly will be heard in House Transportation on Thursday morning, 2/11. I will put out a request on Wed. morning 2/10, once 1048 is reported from Sub Comm, to contact the 21 members of House Trans to support the bill. We have already been contacting these 7 Sub Comm members, so the other 14 will be the additional delegates we need to prepare to contact:

  • from Northern VA — May, Hugo, Comstock, Ebbin, Brink
  • f

  • rom Tidewater — Cosgrove, Gear, Tata, Knight, Villanueva, BaCote
  • from Culpeper — E.T. Scott
  • from Charlottesville — Toscano
  • from Richmond — McQuinn

Once this bill gets passed, it will Cross Over to the Senate Trans during the week of Feb. 15 and during the same week SB 546/Landowner Liability & SB 566/ 3 foot Passing (which may by then be combined with HB 1048) will Cross Over to the House .

So, we have a bit of a break here, but be ready to contact your House Trans Sub 2 Delegates again, and then your full House Trans members NEXT WEEK, when you get my message on Monday.

Thanks to your support, we are making progress. Let’s take these bills all the way!

Please see our talking points for 3 feet passing, and be ready to contact your legislators again next week.

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