2015 Virginia Legislative Recap Re Bicycle Issues

It was a busy year for bicycle legislation in Virginia.  Some victories, some defeats but a great year for bicycling in Virginia.

2015 Legislative Recap from the Virginia Bicycling Federation.

Good news these all passed and if signed by the Governor become law on July1:

SB1220 & HB1342 the identical bills stating that ‘The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer more closely than is reasonable and prudent’ both passed all the way through. The Senate bill unanimously clearing both Senate Transportation and the Senate floor, while the House bill came through Transportation Sub2 6-1, Transportation 20-2, and the House floor 75-22

SB 781 including two other identical Senate bills, 1027 & 1228 that were rolled into it, which provided that ‘A motorist may cross the double yellow (or solid and broken) line in order to pass a bicycle or pedestrian provided such movement can be made safely’ also passed all the way through, clearing Senate Transportation 13-2, Senate floor 37-1, House Trans Sub2 6-1, House Trans 21-1, and House floor 87-9

HB 1402 into which several other bills were either rolled or dropped, provided for ‘VDOT to reimburse Cities and Towns for maintenance of travel lanes, even if lanes were converted to bike lanes’ This bill became controversial and got amended several times, becoming strictly for the City of Richmond (instead of statewide), for one year only, but to be studied by the Secretary of Transportation’s office prior to being brought back next year, before it was finally passed, getting through the House by 84-12, and the Senate unanimously.”

Good news.  These were all opposed by the Virginia Bicycling Federation and failed:

HB 1746 which would require ‘Bicyclists to be on a bicycle path or trail, provided one was available, rather than on the highway’

HB 2353 ‘Prohibiting operation of mopeds on highways where the posted speed limit is greater than 45 miles per hour’

SB 1175 ‘Permitting localities to impose a tax on bicycle rentals'”

Thanks to all those who give their time in Richmond to advocate for people who ride bicycles across the state.  It is a tough job.

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