Bills Of Interest

Senate

Motor Fuels

Bill Number: SB1600

Introduced by Senator Dance

Requires every dispensing device used in the retail sale of motor fuel to identify the motor fuel and be labeled in accordance with a publication of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The measure authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to amend or reject such identification or labeling requirements. Existing provisions regarding the labeling of motor fuel dispensing devices are removed.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM is in discussions with Senator Dance to learn what this bill would mean at the fuel pump. VCOM wants to ensure that the octane and ethanol levels of fuel will remain conspicuously labeled at fuel pumps in Virginia.

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Salvage Vehicles

Bill Number: SB1364

Introduced by Senator Cosgrove

Removes the requirement that a vehicle be late model in order to meet the definition of salvage vehicle due to having been (i) acquired by an insurance company as part of the claims process or (ii) damaged to the extent that its estimated cost of repair would exceed its value before the damage minus the salvage value. The bill expands corresponding reporting requirements to require application for a salvage certificate for certain early model vehicles. The bill also removes the requirement that a vehicle be late model in order to meet the definition of rebuilt vehicle..

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM has concerns with this bill as it could have adverse effects on the ability to rebuild a totaled motorcycle and put it back on the road with a clean title. Many times older motorcycles are totaled due to cosmetic damage only. This is because of the lower value of many motorcycles as opposed to cars. Under this bill those motorcycles would now be salvage vehicles and would have to carry a branded title. VCOM is working to amend the bill to rectify this potential problem.

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Hands Free Devices

Bill Number: SB1341

Introduced by Senator Stuart

Expands the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all uses unless the device is specifically designed to allow hands-free and voice operation and the device is being used in that manner. Current law prohibits only the reading of any email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating. The bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are used (i) for navigation or generating audio transmissions when the device is physically mounted to the vehicle; (ii) as an amateur radio or a citizens band radio; (iii) to activate, deactivate, or initiate a factory-installed feature or function on the vehicle; or (iv) for official Department of Transportation or traffic incident management services.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM generally supports legislation aimed at reducing distracted driving.

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House of Delegates

New Vehicle Inspections

Bill Number: HB2209

Introduced by Delegate Brewer

Extends from 12 months to 24 months the validity period of the first motor vehicle safety inspection of a new motor vehicle.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM supports this bill. A new motor vehicle should be safe for the highway for at least two years. Requiring a safety inspection after a year should not be warranted.

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Maiming While Intoxicated

Bill Number: HB1941

Introduced by Delegate Rob Bell

Increases from a Class 6 felony to a Class 4 felony the punishment for a person who, as a result of driving while intoxicated or operating a watercraft or motorboat while intoxicated in a manner so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show reckless disregard for human life, unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment. Creates a Class 6 felony for such driving or operation that unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another person.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM strongly supports this bill. Too many of our members have had their lives forever changed due to the actions of a drunk driver.

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Motorcyclists who are Organ Donors Riding without a Helmet

Bill Number: HB1872

Introduced by Delegates Webert and Hope

Exempts any operator of and passenger on a motorcycle or autocycle who is 21 years of age or older and a registered organ donor from the requirement to wear a protective helmet when on a motorcycle or autocycle. The bill reduces operating or riding on a motorcycle or autocycle without a protective helmet from a primary offense to a secondary offense, which can be charged only when the offender is stopped for another, separate offense.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: This bill was introduced at the request of ABATE of Virginia. While VCOM generally supports freedom of choice, it has grave concerns over the organ donor requirement and will not support this bill due to such language which VCOM finds disturbing, and quite possibly illegal. Out of respect to the members of ABATE of Virginia, VCOM has agreed not to actively oppose the bill, but has made all legislators aware that this bill was not introduced at the request of VCOM, which many had mistakenly assumed.

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Elimination of DMV Service Charge

Bill Number: HB1846

Introduced by Delegate Brewer

Eliminates the service charge imposed and collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for any registration, driver’s license, or identification card renewal in a DMV service center.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM supports this bill which essentially eliminates a punitive fee on those who do not have internet access. There are many motorcyclists in the most rural areas of Virginia who have no choice but to appear in person to conduct their transactions with the DMV.

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Hands Free Devices

Bill Number: HB1811

Introduced by Delegate Collins

Expands the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all uses unless the device is specifically designed to allow hands-free and voice operation and the device is being used in that manner. Current law prohibits only the reading of any email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating. This bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are used (i) for navigation or generating audio transmissions when the device is physically mounted to the vehicle; (ii) as an amateur radio or a citizens band radio; (iii) to activate, deactivate, or initiate a factory-installed feature or function on the vehicle; or (iv) for official Department of Transportation or traffic incident management services.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM generally supports legislation aimed at reducing distracted driving.

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Increase in Vehicle Inspection Fees

Bill Number: 1781

Introduced by Delegate Bloxom

Increases from $12 to $15 the maximum amount a safety inspection station can charge for an inspection of a motorcycle and increases from $16 to $25 the maximum amount a safety inspection station can charge for an inspection of a vehicle other than a motorcycle, autocycle, or tractor truck.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: While VCOM has doubts about the viability of a bill that increases fees during an election year, we are working with the patron of the bill to divert a portion of the increase in motorcycle inspection fees to the Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program Fund.

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Salvage Vehicles

Bill Number: HB1780

Introduced by Delegate Bloxom

Removes the requirement that a vehicle be late model in order to meet the definition of salvage vehicle due to having been (i) acquired by an insurance company as part of the claims process or (ii) damaged to the extent that its estimated cost of repair would exceed its value before the damage minus the salvage value. The bill expands corresponding reporting requirements to require application for a salvage certificate for certain early model vehicles. The bill also removes the requirement that a vehicle be late model in order to meet the definition of rebuilt vehicle.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: VCOM has concerns with this bill as it could have adverse effects on the ability to rebuild a totaled motorcycle and put it back on the road with a clean title. Often times older motorcycles are totaled due to only cosmetic damage. This is because of the lower value of many motorcycles as opposed to cars. Those motorcycles would now be salvage vehicles and would have to carry a branded title. VCOM is working to amend the bill to rectify this potential problem.

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Motorcycles Riding on the Shoulder in Limited Situations

Bill Number: HB2446

Introduced by Delegate Wilt

Allows motorcycles to drive on the right shoulder of limited access highways when (i) traffic on such highway is stopped or traveling at a speed of not more than 10 miles per hour, (ii) the driver of such motorcycle travels at a speed of not more than 15 miles per hour, and (iii) the driver of such motorcycle uses the first available exit to leave the highway.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: Delegate Wilt, a motorcycle rider himself, introduced this bill at the request of VCOM. This is an important issue to motorcyclists, especially in areas such as Tidewater and Northern Virginia where it is not uncommon for air cooled motorcycles to overheat in congested traffic.

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Depositing Grass on the Highway

Bill Number: HB2193

Introduced by Delegate Robinson

Adds grass to the list of substances a person shall not throw or deposit or cause to be deposited upon any highway so as to create a hazard to the traveling public.

VCOM’s Position on this Bill: Delegate Robinson introduced this bill at the request of VCOM. Grass on the roadway can be a hazard to motorists, especially motorcyclists, and particularly in curves when the grass becomes wet.

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