The always helpful Virginia Bicycling Federation reports that the proposed “3 feet to pass” bill, which provides that cars must give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing them, made it out of committee. Barely:
After being reported out of Sub Committee yesterday by a 5-2 vote, HB1048, 3 foot passing & following too close, was reported out of the full House Transportation Committee this morning by a very tight 11-10 vote. Since the vote was electronically tallied and then taken down rather quickly, I’m not sure exactly who voted each way, but it appeared that all the D’s voted for the bill, joined by two or three R’s (which I think included Oder & Rust).
As in Sub Committee, there was even more discussion of how difficult it would be with the additional foot to legally pass a bicycle without going over the double center line on a two lane road. The strongest anti-cycling sentiment was expressed by Del. Cosgrove of Chesapeake, Del. Knight of Virginia Beach, who clearly voted against the bill, along with Del. Villanueva of Va Beach, even though the representative of that City and Bruce Drees of the Tidewater Bicycling Assn. both spoke in favor of it.
Remember, the Virginia Senate has already passed this bill, and it is an unlikely veto target. So all that stands between this sensible idea becoming law is the Virginia House of Delegates. VBF asks:
Now its on to the Full House floor (either on Saturday or Monday), where Chairman Joe May of Loudon (who also appeared to vote against the bill) wished our patron, Kaye Kory, a good-natured “Good luck on the floor” after he announced the result of the voting.
Now, we need EVERYONE to contact their delegate. If you don’t know who it is, you can find out at the VA General Assembly’s Who’s My Legislator page…
Please take a few minutes to do this, even if you think you live in the district of someone who will certainly vote for it. It would be a shame to get so close to success, yet lose because of a bit of complacency.