Each year, the Virginia Bicycle Federation monitors and advocates for or against bills that might affect bicycling and walking in Virginia, bills that could make it safer and easier or more dangerous and difficult to bicycle and walk. RIDE Solutions reports on the bills that the Virginia Bicycle Federation is watching. This article is for informational purposes; RIDE Solutions neither endorses nor opposes proposed legislation. You can find more information and track bills at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/
With the hands-free ban, STOP for pedestrians in the crosswalk, pass bicycles on the double yellow, increased penalties for hitting a vulnerable road user, and a three-foot passing law, what more is there for a bike/ped advocate to do? Well, of course, there is still a lot, but progress from previous years is encouraging.
However, this is an unusually short session because of the emergency pandemic session held last summer. Legislators face stringent caps on the number of bills they can introduce.
The Virginia Bicycle Federation has a short watch-list this year. The Virginia Bicycle Federation actively worked with lawmakers, including Southwest Virginia elected officials, to introduce the Bicyclist Safety Act: SB1263 and HB2262. This is how fast things are moving this year – this has already passed the Senate Transportation Committee (11-4) and the House Transportation Motor Vehicle Subcommittee (8-2)!
The other bill they are watching is HB1903, which removes the requirement of a speed study before lowering speed limits in residential and business districts. This passed the full House Transportation Committee unanimously.