Virginia Motorcycle Lobby Day & This Year’s Legislation Affecting Motorcyclists

This year’s Virginia Motorcycle Lobby Day was another success. We had over 100 motorcyclists attend the Sunday informational session where we discussed this year’s legislation that affects Virginia motorcyclists. The next day we drove to the capitol and spoke to the delegates and senators about the legislation.

As Jim and I continue to make our rounds at the General Assembly Building, House and Senate staffers are telling us how much they enjoyed seeing the motorcyclists again. 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 those which directly affect motorcycles and motorcyclists. Below is an overview of this year’s legislation. You can view all of the legislation at

House Bills

HB10 – This bill concerns the number of headlights allowed on the front of a motorcycle. The bill was introduced by request of a constituent of Delegate Cole and is identical to SB25 which was introduced by Senator Reeves by request. The bill would allow motorcyclists to burn five lights rather than four for general illumination to the front of the motorcycle. The purpose of this bill is to improve visibility of motorcycles from the front in order to help prevent left turns in front of motorcycles. The bill may require a change to Section 46.2-1012 which prohibits motor vehicles from having more than two auxiliary headlights.

While VCOM supports additional illumination for motorcycles, attendees of the Virginia Motorcycle Round table wanted to ensure that this bill remained separate and apart from HB 939 which is our auxiliary light bill.

You may follow the progress of this bill and read the text at the following link:

You may follow the progress of its companion, SB25, and read its text at the following link:

HB870 – This bill concerns unfair claim settlement practices and was introduced by Delegate Hugo. It is identical to SB193 which was introduced by Senator Stuart.

Under current law, insurance companies and repair facilities are prohibited from making an appraisal of a damaged automobile without making a personal inspection. This bill would also allow appraisals to be done using photographs. This code section also requires that any estimate of an automobile that is prepared based upon the use of parts not made by the original manufacturer must conspicuously state that to be the fact. We would like to see motorcycle estimates receive the same protection. We are working with the patrons of these bills to have the code amended to include all motor vehicles and not just automobiles.

You may follow the progress of this bill and read the text at the following link:

You may follow the progress of its companion, SB193, and read its text at the following link:

HB939 – This bill was introduced by Delegate Wilt at the request of VCOM. It would allow motorcyclists to utilize LED type auxiliary lights to increase visibility of motorcycles. Auxiliary side lighting lessens the chance of a collision caused by an automobile or truck changing lanes into a motorcycle.

The problem is that most of this type of lighting is not approved by either DOT or SAE and is therefore illegal under Virginia law. This bill would allow certain unapproved lighting on motorcycles in order to make this type of lighting available to all motorcyclists.

Several states neighboring Virginia have adopted similar legislation in order to increase the visibility of motorcycles. There have not been any reported problems associated with such legislation. Virginia Code and federal regulation require side lighting for automobiles and trucks but not motorcycles. We want motorcycles (and more importantly motorcyclists) to be able to have the same protection.

You may follow the progress of this bill and read the text at the following link:

HB1043/1185 – Both of these bills concern reckless driving by speed. HB1043 was introduced by Delegate Rasoul, and HB1185 was introduced by Delegate Sickles.

Under current law it is per-se reckless driving to drive at a speed of 20 mph over the speed limit or at any speed in excess of 80 mph regardless of the speed limit. Both of these bills would make the threshold for reckless driving 85 mph when in a 70 mph zone.

Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. These bills are directed at speed traps such as the Million Dollar Mile on 295 in Hopewell where people doing 81 mph in a 70 mph zone are receiving reckless driving tickets.

You may follow the progress of these bills and read the text at the following links:

HB1276 – This bill was introduced by Delegate Robinson at the request of VCOM. It defines the term Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Course in a manner so as to apply the numerous statutory requirements, including the requirement that courses be approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles, only to those courses which may be taken for the purposes of obtaining a waiver for (i) both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, (ii) two-wheeled motorcycles, or (iii) three-wheeled motorcycles.

Currently the term applies to any course which teaches the operation of a motorcycle. There are many excellent courses taught in the Commonwealth which, while defined as a Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program, do not meet all the requirements set forth in Virginia Code. This bill corrects that problem so that training centers may continue to offer ongoing training and education to Virginia riders.

You may follow the progress of this bill and read the text at the following link:

Senate Bills Not Yet Discussed

SB35 – This bill, introduced by Senator Carrico, incrementally adds fees to yearly motor vehicle registrations in order to provide additional funds to the Virginia State Police. By July 1, 2025 that additional fee would be $12.50 per motor vehicle per year. This means that a household with two cars and two motorcycles would pay $50 per year in additional fees.

To give a better idea of the impact of this bill, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2014 there were 7,898,197 registered motor vehicles in Virginia. $12.50 per vehicle per year comes to $98,727,462 per year (That is almost ninety-nine million dollars per year)

VCOM opposes this bill. We believe that this would have a disproportional effect on our community since we tend to own more motor vehicles than the average household.

You may follow the progress of this bill and read the text at the following link:

We will continue to update you on all of the legislation throughout this year’s session. If anyone has any questions concerning a particular piece of legislation, please do not hesitate to contact VCOM.

Finally, let me say 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.