House Bill 1215 Comes Out of Sub-Committee Strong

House bill 1215 was put on today’s Courts of Justice Criminal Law Sub-Committee docket at the last minute.  This bill makes it reckless driving when a person kills or seriously injures another person during the commission of most right of way violations.  Under current law, a person who kills another or causes a serious injury faces a charge of failure to yield the right of way which carries only a fine.  HB 1215 not only gives the court the power to impose jail or suspend a license if appropriate, it forces the charged party to appear in court to answer for the charges rather than simply pre-pay the ticket.

With your emails paving the way, Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists (VCOM) members have been speaking to members of the sub-committee for the past few days and shoring up support.  When the bill was heard at 8:30 this evening there was no opposition.  The only public comments on the bill came from VCOM.  The bill passed out of sub-committee with seven yes votes and one abstention.  The bill now goes on to the full Courts of Justice Committee with a full head of steam.

You can continue to voice your support for this bill by emailing members of the Courts of Justice Committee.  When doing so, there are several important aspects of this bill that should be shared.

1. The bill does not carry a mandatory punishment but instead gives the court additional tools to fashion an appropriate punishment for someone who kills or seriously injures another on the highways.

2. The bill forces someone who kills or seriously injures another on the highway to appear in court to answer charges rather than simply pre-pay a fine.

3. The bill still allows the court to convict for the lesser included offense of improper driving when the court feels that the facts justify such a finding.

Email addresses for members of the House Courts of Justice Committee are listed below.  You can also link directly to the committee members at the following link:

Delegate Bell –
Delegate Albo (chairman of the full committee) –
Delegate Cline –
Delegate Gilbert –
Delegate Miller –
Delegate Villanueva –
Delegate Morris –
Delegate Adams –
Delegate Watts –
Delegate Herring –
Delegate Mason –
Delegate Kilgore –
Delegate Loupassi –
Delegate Habeeb –
Delegate Minchew –
Delegate Leftwich –
Delegate Chafin –
Delegate Campbell –
Delegate Toscano –
Delegate McClellan –
Delegate Hope –
Delegate Keam –

If you email Delegate Bell, please do not request that he support the bill as he is carrying the bill.  Simply thank him for carrying this bill for motorcyclists.  Thank you in advance for all of your help in passing this bill.

You can follow the progress of this bill at:

You can read the full text at:

Matt Danielson
McGrath & Danielson
The Motorcycle Law Group