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Report from the General Assembly, Friday, January 13, 2017

Relatively few visitors at the GA on a Friday, so Champe Burnley and I were able to talk to a number of Legislators and Aides in a more leisurely fashion as we were making the rounds to ask them to consider signing on as Co-Patrons to Del. Villanueva’s Maintenance Reimbursement bill; Sen. Surovell’s Due Care bill, & Del. Sullivan’s similar Due Care bill.

It appears that most of the bills have now been filed, and assigned numbers, as Legislative Services is catching up to the crush of last minute filings, so that the list of the ones we are interested in looks like —-

Del. Villanueva HB 2023 Maintenance Reimbursement (We’ll see next week how many of our contacts have signed on as co-patrons — the deadline is next Friday — but I expect the list will be lengthy; I don’t get the impression that Del. Villanueva is a fan of attending sub committee meetings so wouldn’t be surprised if he, as Chairman, assigns this one directly to House Transportation Committee. We’ll see, when the Dockets are posted, over the weekend)

HB 2016 Relating to Electric Personal Delivery Devices (I warn anyone printing a copy of this one, that it is 10 pages long, with all of the definitions taking up the first 7 pages.) This bill, which addresses unoccupied, 3 wheeled, battery powered, personal delivery vehicles traveling on sidewalks and shared use paths at not more that 10 miles per hour, will certainly generate a lot of discussion, reminding me of the hearings where the Segways were being introduced a number of years ago. This time, it sounds like someone is envisioning Pizza, package, or some other kind of deliveries via these unmanned drone vehicles operating on sidewalks and trails. This one I definitely want to be there for.

Sen. Surovell SB 1339 The Vulnerable User or Due Care bill

SB 1338 Prohibiting a Motor Vehicle from Passing in a Bike Lane

SB 860 Prohibiting the Use of Hand Held Personal Communication Devices while Driving

Del. Anderson HB 1834 A similar bill to Surovell’s SB 860, but this adds a new infraction called “Distracted Driving”, which is less severe than “Reckless Driving”, to the Code.

Del. Sullivan HB 1633 a similar bill to Surovell’s SB 1339 Vulnerable User bill (This bill, which was heard in House Transportation Sub Committee 1 last year, has been assigned to a Courts of Justice subcommittee this year, so we will not see it at 7 a.m. on a Monday, but rather in the early afternoon on a Monday or Wednesday, in front of a completely different group consisting mostly of attorneys.

And we learned today that the two House bills aimed at getting drivers with poor vision off the road, have now been joined by two identical bills on the Senate side, so that we have…

Del. Fowler HB 1504 and Sen. Dunnavant SB 1229 Both increasing the required vision of new applicants for Driver’s Licenses. We learned today that there are a total of 634 machines throughout the statewide DMV offices that are used to test applicant’s horizontal field of vision, and that they would cost approx. $2.2 million to replace, which will be a serious obstacle for this proposal to overcome.

Del. Fowler HB 1514 and Sen. Dunnavant SB 1024 both of which would exempt Medical personnel from civil liability when they report persons who should not be driving to DMV. It should be noted that such reporting is voluntary, and not required, but some medical personnel do make such reports, and the feeling is that more might do so if this immunity were provided.

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  • Thanks for the report. Can’t thank you and Champe enough!

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