Legislative Update #15, Feb. 21 2017 — HB2023, Maintenance Funding for Bike Lanes, Passes Senate

Final passage today on several bills that now will go to the Governor for his signature before this week is out —

After being Passed By for the Day Monday on the Senate floor for Patron Delegate Ron Villanueva & Sen. Bill DeSteph (both from VA Beach) to get some more information on what HB2023 the Maintenance Reimbursement bill does, and doesn’t, do… the bill was heard today and passed unanimously.

Similarly, HB 1514/Buddy Fowler’s bill that would exempt MD’s and other health practitioners from Civil Liability if they reported a patient to DMV who they felt had a condition that would make them an unsafe driver cleared the Senate today by a 37-3 vote.

An identical Senate bill, SB 1024, carried by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant had its second reading on the House floor today and probably will get final passage tomorrow. It’s noted as having been amended at a late stage, and I haven’t yet seen the amendmentt, but will eventually, to see if it has been appreciably changed. [click to continue…]

Legislative Update #11, Feb. 15, 2017

HB2023 Reports Unanimously

Bills in Senate Trans & House Courts Criminal Sub at the same time, so Champe stayed in Senate Trans while I went to House Courts.

House was running longer than Senate, so Senate Trans began with Committee present and no Patrons from the House, and since Courts was not convening I went back to Senate Trans. Chairman Carrico called a number of bills he must have considered non-controversial and had them voted on (all passed unanimously) without the patrons present (the first time I had ever seen this done). [click to continue…]

Support SB1339 Now, for Vulnerable Road Users

As we reported on Monday, SB1339, the vulnerable road user bill, has been referred to House Courts of Justice Committee, which meets again this Wednesday. If your delegate is on this committee, please contact them and ask them to support SB1339.

Why do we need to pass this bill? Without having committed another offense, such as running a red light or a stop sign, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drivers who are not paying attention and hit a cyclist are often not charged with anything, even when it results in serious injury or death. The Dan Hersh case in Virginia Beach is a good example:

“Hersh, an avid cyclist on his Sunday morning ride, was apparently following traffic laws by pedaling east in the right travel lane – not the turn lane – on Shore Drive near Starfish Road in the early light shortly before 6 a.m., when a Ford Explorer struck him from behind. He was wearing a helmet and a bright yellow windbreaker with reflective strips, Bryant said.

“In terms of his safety equipment, there certainly was no fault on his part,” he said.

The driver of the Explorer told police she never saw Hersh, and authorities found no evidence to support potential charges to allege that she hit him willfully or through negligent or reckless driving, Bryant said.”

SB1339 would make it a ticketable offense to drive in a careless or distracted manner that results in injury to a vulnerable road user, such as a cyclist or pedestrian.

If your delegate is on the House Courts of Justice Committee, please contact them now — before Wednesday’s meeting — and ask them to support SB1339.

Please forward this to your bike club mailing lists, and share it in social media.

Legislative Update #10, Feb. 13, 2017

First up on the Docket in House Transportation SubCommittee 1 at 7:02 this morning was Sen. Scott Surovell and his bills. SB 1338, to prevent Motor Vehicles from passing another Motor Vehicle while driving in a bike lane, received a full discussion before being voted down 4 -3 with Plum, Ward, & LeMunyon voting to report, while Rich Anderson surprisingly joined Garrett, Adams, and Pilion in voting against.

SB 1339, the Vulnerable Road User bill, was then heard. Even more discussion on this one, [click to continue…]

Legislative Update #8, Feb. 2, 2017

SB1339 Surovell’s bill making it a Traffic Infraction with a penalty of not more than a $250 fine “for a motor vehicle to travel in a bicycle lane to pass or attempt to pass another vehicle” cleared the Senate by a 22 – 18 vote (with Sturtevant voting against, but indicating later that his intent was to vote for, which would have made the vote 23 – 17). All the D’s were joined by R’s DeSteph, Reeves, & Vogel in supporting the bill, which now will cross over to the Senate next week. Note, if you want to print this bill it is 6 pages, with all the changes on Pg. 1 and right at the end on Pg.6

In the Richmond area, RABA members should note that Chase, Dunnavant, & McDougle continue to vote AGAINST the bicycle safety bills.

At yesterday morning’s House Agriculture Committee meeting, HB 2381 Fariss’ bill to amend the Dangerous Dog Registry section of the code passed unanimously [click to continue…]

Legislative Update #7, Jan. 31, 2017 — SB1339 Due Care

SB 1339, Surovell’s Due Care bill, passed the Senate today on a 21-19 vote, with all 19 Democrats voting for it, and two Republicans joining them (Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach, who is a cyclist and a solid supporter of our bills, and Dave Suetterlein of Roanoke who had voted for the bill in the Senate Transportation Committee, along with DeSteph) to put the bill over the top. HB 1633 Sullivan’s identical Due Care bill was tabled yesterday in the House Courts Criminal SubComm, as Del. Todd Gilbert stated that he thought Del. Anderson’s Distracted Driving bill would be sufficient to cover this situation.

Now we wait to see to which Committee this SB 1339 will be assigned as it crosses over to the House, [click to continue…]

Legislative Update #6, Thurs. Jan. 26, 2017

Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol

Good results on the full afternoon in Senate Transportation and then over to House Courts Criminal Subcommittee SB1207 DeSteph, Drones on Sidewalks was not heard until late, so I had left to go to House Courts Subcomm prior to its being called. I note that it was reported 12-0, but I still have not been able to find out from De Steph what company is requesting this, and what kind of deliveries they have in mind. Will report as soon as I do. [click to continue…]

Report from the General Assembly #4, Thurs. Jan. 19, 2017

The meeting of the House Transportation Committee at 8:30 this morning led off with a 40 minute, very thorough and well presented briefing by Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne on how the construction project selection process under the House Bill 2 rules has been working. The Committee members and spectators all were impressed by the way the Secretary handled the briefing, as well as the way things seem to be working, which most felt was a big improvement over the way the Commonwealth Transportation Board had operated previously.

The briefing concluded, Chairman Villanueva proceeded to address the bills on the Docket, [click to continue…]