Our Auxiliary light bill, HB 939, is going to be heard this Wednesday (February 24th) before the Senate Transportation Committee. This bill would allow motorcyclists to utilize auxiliary lighting, such as LED accent lighting, in order to be more visible at night. Current Virginia law requires that all lighting be approved by the superintendent of the Virginia State Police. That means that all lighting must go through an approval process. The vast majority of smaller lights appropriate for motorcycles have never undergone such a process, and due to the size of the manufacturers making such lighting, most likely never will.
You can view HB 939 at the following link:
Even though VCOM has successfully guided this bill through the House of Delegates, the Virginia State Police continues to oppose the bill and is looking to defeat it in the Senate. VCOM encourages all motorcyclists to email the members of the committee and express support for this bill. While we are getting positive feedback from most committee members, some, including Chairman Carrico, continue to have reservations about this bill.
When emailing members of the Senate Transportation Committee, remember to point out the following:
The bill increases visibility of motorcycles, especially at night;
Unlike automobiles which are required to have side marker lights or wrap around headlights / tail lights which are visible from the side, motorcycle lights are often only visible from the front and rear and do not have the same illumination as automobiles;
NHTSA published a report on the effectiveness of side marker lights on motor vehicles. The report concluded that side marker lights are a cost effective safety device which reduce the number of nighttime angular collisions that occur in the United States;
Several surrounding states, including Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, have passed similar legislation and motorcyclists from those states are currently riding on Virginia roads with similar lighting. It makes sense to give Virginia motorcyclists the same safety tools that out of state riders already use on Virginia roads.
Please support this sensible bill which makes motorcycles more visible at night. The list of committee members is below. When you send emails it is best to send an email to each Senator individually. It is also helpful to include your address if you are a constituent.
If you are able to attend the meeting, that would be helpful as well. Having a committee room packed with motorcyclists has been a powerful tool in the past. The committee will meet in Senate Room A at the General Assembly Building on the afternoon of February 24th, 45 minutes after the Senate adjourns session. If you were to arrive around 1:30 pm you should be safe. The General Assembly Building is located at 201 N. 9th St., Richmond, Virginia. There is parking on Grace St. between 6th & 7th Streets, as well as on 7th St. between Broad and Marshall and at the corner of 8th and Marshall.
Senator Carrico (Chairman) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Cosgrove (Vice Chairman) – email@example.com
Senator Newman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Deeds – email@example.com
Senator Marsden – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Favola – email@example.com
Senator Alexander – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Edwards – email@example.com
Senator Wexton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Garrett – email@example.com
Senator DeSteph – firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Chase – email@example.com
Senator Suetterlein – firstname.lastname@example.org
McGrath, Danielson, Sorrell & Fuller
The Motorcycle Law Group