VCOM began in 1992 shortly after Tom McGrath succeeded in getting the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes opened to motorcycles.
During the struggle to open these lanes Tom realized that without a united front motorcyclists were going to continue to be overlooked and ignored unless they had a strong lobby at the General Assembly. Tom didn’t want the law discriminating against motorcyclists. Motorcyclists needed one voice to speak for the many motorcycle associations, clubs, organizations and solo riders in Virginia. This was when Tom decided to dedicate his law practice and himself to motorcycling. He founded VCOM, a political action committee, dedicated to maintaining and obtaining rights and respect for motorcycling. VCOM is not a club but an association of motorcyclists with a common interest – motorcycling. There are no dues or fees, however, if a person is interested in protecting their right to ride VCOM does accept money from individuals and companies. Monies received by VCOM are used for political purposes, the overhead is paid for by the Law Offices of McGrath & Danielson. Each year, in August or September, VCOM conducts a round table discussion with various groups of motorcyclists to consider a legislative agenda for the coming General Assembly. Once an agenda is formulated, VCOM Director Matt Danielson and Rob Griffin begin to talk to legislators about the agenda. In January, after the Legislative Session begins, VCOM holds its annual Motorcycle Lobby Day. In preparation for Motorcycle Lobby Day VCOM holds a training session the day before. The session is a half day seminar on our issues and how to lobby for our agenda. Motorcycle Lobby Day takes place on the third Monday in January.
Things you need to know about what we, motorcyclists, have accomplished since 1992:
- The right for motorcyclists to use communication devices on motorcycles.
- The right to park two motorcycles in a single metered parking space.
- The right to travel on toll roads or toll bridges without having to pay extra to pull a trailer or having a side car.
- The right to be warned about steel plates in the road by special signs and markings on the plates
- The right to equal access to all roads and parking facilities where taxpayer money was or is used to build or maintain the road or facility.
- The right to use modulating headlights and flashing brake lights.
- The right to handicap plates for motorcycles.
- The right to treat a stop light as a stop sign after two cycles of red in opposing direction or two minutes.
- Abolished the harsh two abreast reckless driving law that prohibited motorcyclist riding two abreast in a single lane or stopping at a light next to each other.
- Banned the use of Motorcycle Only Check Points in the Commonwealth.
- Defeated a bill which would have prohibited anyone under 8 years old from being a passenger on a motorcycle.
- Defeated a bill which would have required multiple lights on the rear of motorcycles.
- Ensured that money charged by DMV for the M endorsement goes into a special fund which can only be used for motorcycle training classes.
- Made mandatory the inclusion of Motorcycle Awareness as a component of all Drivers Ed curriculums in the Commonwealth.