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SB 264, Don’t Follow too Closely, Fails

…by a 4-3 vote in House Transportation Sub Comm 2 early this morning.

Although Sen. Ebbin did a solid job of presenting the bill, and Champe got up early to join me in speaking for it, along with Del. Betsy Carr of Richmond and Del. Randall Minchew of Loudoun, the continued opposition of Chairman Cox and Del. Garrett of Lynchburg to anything faintly resembling support of bicyclists was too much to overcome.

On a motion to Pass By by Garrett, and a very quiet second which almost sounded like it came from the Chair, Cox and Garrett were quietly joined by Comstock and Anderson to prevent SB 264 from going on to the Full Transportation Committee. Some in attendance wondered if Comstock or Anderson even voted, but Chairman Cox declared the motion passed, so that was that, as Dels. Carr, Ward, & Minchew opposed the measure.

It was informative to see the State Police representative rebut Chairman Cox’s assertion that following closer than is reasonable and prudent is “too subjective and unenforceable” by stating that it definitely was enforceable and is used all the time when one vehicle strikes another from behind, as the trooper has only two charges they can use, “Following Too Closely” or “Reckless Driving” and he left the impression that was the case when a motor vehicle hit a bicyclist from behind, whether this bill passed or not.

Again, not surprising to see the continued steadfast leadership of the opposition from Dels. Cox & Garrett, but Comstock (delbcomstock@house.virginia.gov) and Anderson (delranderson@house.virginia.gov) appeared to simply be going along with them, and any of their constituents might want to express their disappointment to them.

Richmond area cyclists might want to express disappointment to Del. Cox (deljcox@house.virginia.gov) for again opposing us, and to Del Carr (delegate.carr@betsycarr.org) for her support.

Also, to Del. Minchew of Leesburg (delrminchew@house.virginia.gov) for his support once again, as well as to Del. Ward of Newport News (deljward@house.virginia.gov) for hers.

Bud Vye, RABA & VBF Advocacy Directors

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