Bills Of Interest

Senate

Regulation of Attire

Bill Number: SB667

Introduced by Senator Deeds

Authorizes a locality to pass an ordinance to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the wearing of any combination of attire or weaponry commonly associated with military combat, paramilitary operations, or warfare that gives the impression that the wearer is an on-duty member of the United States Armed Forces, an official law-enforcement agency, or the militia during any permitted assembly of persons or movement of persons or vehicles if such attire constitutes a threat to the public safety or welfare.

VCOM opposes this bill and sees First Amendment Implications. Given the wording of this bill, VCOM fears that it could unintentionally negatively impact the many military veteran motorcycle clubs in Virginia, as well as groups such as the Blue Knights. VCOM respects the intentions of the bill, but we are extremely uncomfortable with the actual language of the bill.

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Motor Vehicle Insurance Limits

Bill Number: SB364

Introduced by Senator Newman

Increases the minimum liability coverage amount from $20,000 to $50,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

VCOM wants to make Virginia Motorcyclists aware of this bill so that they can contact their legislators should they wish. VCOM takes no position on this bill.

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Motor Vehicle Insurance Limits

Bill Number: SB611

Introduced by Senator Surovell

Increases the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage amounts from $25,000 to $100,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of one person, from $50,000 to $200,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of more than one person in any one accident, and from $20,000 to $40,000 for property damage coverage.

VCOM wants to make Virginia Motorcyclists aware of this bill so that they can contact their legislators should they wish. VCOM takes no position on this bill.

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Distracted Driving

Bill Number: SB275

Introduced by Senator Stuart

This bill is one of several bills that would attempt to strengthen laws against texting and driving, as well as otherwise allowing hand held devices to distract drivers from the task at hand – which of course is driving.

While VCOM recognizes that such laws are very difficult to enforce, we generally support efforts to curtail distracted driving.

Read more about this bill.

House of Representatives

Photo Identification to Register a Motor Vehicle

Bill Number: HB432

Introduced by Delegate Marshall

Requires any person applying to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a vehicle registration card or certificate of title to present a valid photo identification issued by the Department or, if registering online or by mail, a black and white photocopy thereof.

VCOM opposes this bill. We do not see the necessity in this and believe that it causes an unnecessary complication in the registration process. One spouse or partner would no longer be able to register a motor vehicle for the other. Additionally, when registering or titling a motor vehicle in the name of both, both spouses would have to appear at the DMV if they did not wish to put photo copies of their identification in the mail. This bill runs counter to DMV efforts to streamline most DMV functions and decrease the physical traffic at DMV outlets.

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Increase in Cap on Motor Vehicle Inspection Fees

Bill Number: HB582

Introduced by Delegate Bloxom

Increases from $12 to $15 the maximum amount any safety inspection station can charge for an inspection of any motorcycle and increases from $16 to $25 the maximum amount any safety inspection station can charge for an inspection of any vehicle other than a tractor truck, truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more, or motor vehicle that is used to transport passengers and has a seating capacity of more than 15 passengers, including the driver, motorcycle, or autocycle.

VCOM recognizes that the cap on fees has been in place for some time now and that it will almost certainly be raised. The last time inspection fees for motorcycles were raised, VCOM was able to get a portion of that increase to be directed to the Virginia Rider Safety Training Fund. VCOM will work to do the same thing with this increase should it pass and become law.

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Prohibition Against Leaving Unattended Vehicles Running

Bill Number: HB605

Introduced by Delegate Carr

Authorizes any locality to adopt an ordinance prohibiting any person from leaving a motor vehicle unattended while the motor vehicle is running, including a vehicle that remains stationary in the parked or neutral position. Such ordinance shall not apply to any commercial, law-enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services vehicle.

VCOM opposes this bill. Many Virginia motorcyclists ride year round and use their motorcycles as their primary vehicle to go to and from work. On cold mornings, many of those riders who do not have garages allow their motorcycles to warm up outside. This bill would allow localities to prohibit that practice unless the motorcyclist was standing outside with the motorcycle. VCOM believes that is an unnecessary burden. VCOM is also uncomfortable with allowing such a prohibition on one’s property.

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Auxiliary Lighting for Motorcycles

Bill Number: HB1464

Introduced by Delegate Robinson by Request of VCOM

The bill provides that motorcycles and autocycles may be equipped with red or amber standard bulb running lights or light-emitting diode (LED) pods or strips as auxiliary lighting. The bill requires such lights to (i) be directed at the ground, (ii) not emit a beam of light greater than 25 candlepower per bulb, (iii) not be attached to wheels, and (iv) not be blinking, flashing, oscillating, or rotating. Such lighting is not subject to approval by the Superintendent of State Police.

The purpose of the bill is to allow motorcyclists to utilize LED type auxiliary lights to increases visibility of motorcycles, especially at night. Auxiliary side lighting lessens the chance of a collision caused by an automobile or truck changing lanes into a motorcycle. Several states neighboring Virginia (Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee & West Virginia) do not prohibit such lighting, or have adopted similar legislation in order to increase visibility to motorcycles. There have not been any reported problems associated with such legislation. This bill adopts language recently approved by Illinois. Virginia Code and federal regulation require side lighting for automobiles and trucks but not motorcycles. There is currently no “approved” lighting on the market which is appropriate for most motorcycles.

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Careless Driving

Bill Number: HB426

Introduced by Delegate Levine

Provides that a person who operates a motor vehicle in a careless or distracted manner and causes of serious bodily injury to a pedestrian or person riding a bicycle, electric wheelchair, electric bicycle, wheel chair, skateboard, skates, foot-scooter, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

VCOM believes that enhancing punishment on those who, due to careless driving, cause serious bodily injury or death is appropriate. However the enhancement should not be restricted to protect only certain types of road users. We believe that the bill is too narrow and we will work to expand the protection to all road users to include motorcyclists

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