Our Auxiliary light bill, HB 939, met with strong opposition from Chairman Carrico yesterday. He has adopted the position of the Virginia State Police and spoke strongly against the bill. However, before a vote could be called, the committee room was evacuated due to a tornado warning. The bill has been pushed to the next meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee on March 2, 2016.
We have a week to shore up our support for this bill. It is important that we keep the emails flowing to the members of the committee. It is even more important that we have bodies at the capitol on March 2nd. The committee needs to know that this is an issue important to motorcyclists.
We are asking motorcyclists to come to the General Assembly building on the morning of March 2nd to lobby and express support for HB 939. VCOM will host a reception in the 7th Floor West Conference Room from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. That afternoon, after session when the Transportation Committee convenes, we would like to have a show of solidarity for this legislation.
If you can be there please email me and let me know. 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.
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.
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