Your Help with Legislation

26 Feb

The Virginia General Assembly session is not far from wrapping up, and there are a couple of bills still alive that have either good or some chance of passing.  The most pressing one in terms of potential action on your part is “Following too Close.”

“Following too Close” Still Alive

This involves a small change in current law that would make following too closely illegal regardless of what kind of vehicle is being followed.  Current law effectively makes it okay to tailgate a cyclist, or a person on a horse, for that matter.  The bill was tabled by the Senate Transportation Committee last week but they will reconsider it tomorrow.  Two senators from the Richmond area, Henry Marsh and John Watkins, originally voted to table the bill.  We need to convince them to change their minds on this.  The Virginia Bicycling Federation has a sample text that you can use in your message.  Click here to send a message if Marsh or Watkins is your senator.

3 Feet

The 3-foot passing bill, which would change the required space motorists should allow when passing from 2 to 3 feet (the standard adopted by most states with such laws), has made it through the relevant House subcommittee and will be heard by the main House Transportation Committee tomorrow.  If it makes it through that committee, it will go on to the full House for a vote (it has already passed the Senate).


HB542, the “mask” bill, has been passed by the House and seems likely to make it through the Senate.  If that happens, those of us who wear something over our faces when we ride in winter will not be vulnerable to being charged with a felony.

Dooring Dead for Now

Unfortunately the “dooring” bill is dead, apparently in part on the logic that it is not fair to hold someone responsible for paying attention to who or what might hit their door when they open it.


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