Bikers and The Commonwealth’s General Assembly

Active & Adventurous - Motorcycle Mania

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HB97 and HB187 are on the 2012 General Assembly agenda. Founded by attorney Tom McGrath, the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists in collaboration with motorcycle riders throughout the state are lobbying in support of these two bills. HB97 addresses a misdemeanor conviction currently on the books in two states, Virginia and Vermont; “Riders are ticketed for pulling away from stoplights next to each other. This is a reckless driving charge punishable with up to 6 months driving suspension, a misdemeanor charge, $1,000.00 fine, 12 months jail time.” House Bill 97 allows riders to choose for themselves the option to ride two abreast. McGrath’s law firm argues the following, riding two abreast: Gives other motorists a larger sight picture of motorcycles Allows better communication between riders There has never been a study, or statistics kept to show this is a dangerous practice This would not require this type of riding only allow it It is allowed in 48 states HB187 targets motorcycle only checkpoints. Motorcyclists do not condemn checkpoints or stopping vehicles for inspection, your average rider supports law enforcement officers in their effort to keep us all safe. That being said, bikers take issue with checkpoints created solely for motorcyclist. The Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists supports HB 187 by stating, “This bill would ban police from establishing checkpoints targeted at motorcyclist only and that there are no pressing public safety issues to justify motorcycle only checkpoints.”

Interested in learning more about these and other laws affecting riders? Visit the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists at vcomonline.org or email attorney Matt Danielson at matt@vcomonline.org.

Marie Cammock-Payne is the co-founder of Just Rydin Magazine, a publication for and about riders. You can reach her at mjcammo@yahoo.com.

 
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