This year’s Virginia Motorcycle Lobby Day was another success. We had an unofficial count of 110 motorcyclists who came to the Sunday informational session where we discussed this year’s legislation that affects Virginia motorcyclists. The next day we spoke to our legislators at the General Assembly Building about the legislation. I have already received feedback from legislators and their staff saying that the motorcyclists who came by their offices presented themselves well and were very well prepared to discuss the issues. Thank you to each and every one of you who participated in this year’s Virginia Motorcycle Lobby Day. Your efforts and sacrifices make a difference for Virginia motorcyclists.
While we discussed numerous bills, I would like to call attention to two in particular which directly affect motorcycles and motorcyclists. These are HB 1700 and SB 836. VCOM is working closely with each of the sponsors in order to ensure passage of both. You can view all of the legislation on which VCOM takes a position at vcomonline.org
HB 1700 is sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt of Harrisonburg at the request of VCOM. This bill would allow auxiliary lighting on motorcycles in order to increase motorcycle visibility. The bill also eliminates the five second limit on the amount of time that a motorcycle brake light may modulate. You may follow the bill throughout the session at the following link:
You may read the entire bill at the following link:
The bill has been referred to the House Transportation Committee. When it is referred to a sub-committee I will send an email listing the names of the sub-committee members along with their email addresses so that you may voice your support for this bill.
The other bill of particular interest to Virginia motorcyclists is SB 836. This bill was sponsored by Senator Janet Howell of Fairfax, Virginia. It concerns riding on motorcycles generally and makes it clear that there are times when it is appropriate to ride while standing on the footrests. Current law states that the operator of a motorcycle “shall ride only upon the permanent seat attached to the motorcycle . . .” This is contrary to what is taught in the Basic Rider Course, which identifies several instances when a rider would want to ride while standing on the footrests, such as when crossing obstacles. You may follow this bill at the following link:
You may read the entire bill at the following link. However, this is not what the final version will look like:
VCOM has worked with Senator Howell to re-write the legislation in order to make it less restrictive given the fact that riders stand on the footrests for comfort as well as for safety. A substitute will be offered which simply adds the following language to the statute:
Every person operating a motorcycle, as defined in § 46.2-100 excluding three-wheeled vehicles, shall ride only upon the permanent seat attached to the motorcycle, or while standing on both footrests unless done in a manner so as to endanger life, limb, or property of any person.
There is no sense emailing legislators in support of this bill until the substitute has been filed. With their hectic schedule during this year’s short session they are not going to consider something that has not been filed and assigned a committee. However, when it is filed, I will post the names of the members of the Senate Transportation Committee and their email addresses so that you may voice your support for this bill.
Thank you again to all of you who have ever taken your time to support Virginia motorcyclists. By working together we make Virginia a better place for all riders.
McGrath & Danielson
Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group