Notable Bills Proposed by Arlington’s Representatives

by ARLnow.com January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm 2,711 22 Comments

In addition to providing prenatal care for the children of recent legal immigrants and studying the tax implications of the theoretical legalization of marijuana, Arlington’s delegation to the Virginia General Assembly has proposed a number of other interesting pieces of legislation.

Among them:

  • SB264: Sen. Adam Ebbin’s bill would include bicycles, electronic wheelchairs and mopeds in the statute that prohibits drivers from following another vehicle too closely. Currently, the law only requires drivers to maintain a safe distance from other motor vehicles on the road. This bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, and is identical to a bill proposed by Del. Alfonso Lopez.
  • HB784: This bill from Del. Lopez would have required drivers to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or the operator of a human-powered vehicle” (such as a bicycle). A House of Delegates subcommittee recommended killing the bill yesterday.
  • HB1026: This bill, proposed by Del. David Englin, would allow restaurants to advertise their happy hour specials on the internet. Currently, advertising happy hour prices or other specifics is prohibited by law. Del. Dave Albo (R) of Springfield has proposed an identical bill.
  • HJ231: Del. Bob Brink has introduced an amendment to the state Constitution that would allow Virginia governors to run for a second term, starting in 2017. A House Republican has proposed the same amendment.

  • Is Brink hoping for 8 years of Cooch?

  • Grandstander

    Democrat or Republican, I think we can all get behind doing away with the silly law that bars and restaurants can’t advertise happy hour specials online.

    • Jus’ saying

      I agree. Knowing when Happy Hour is over will give the rest of us time to avoid the nearby streets and sidewailks when the drunks pour out of the bars.

      • D

        Yeah I mean right at 7pm they just POUR out into the streets, all the raging drunks! You can’t even walk anywhere without them falling on you. What will we ever do?

    • Stitch_Jones

      Are Democrat and Republican the only choices available? I wouldn’t want anyone to mislabel me. This way, ad hominem attacks can supplant argument…

  • hi

    What about enforcing the current law to ticket bikers that constantly blow through stop signs and red lights? How about that?

    • b0rk

      Many to most bikers around here only follow the rules of the road when its convenient. Something about having cake and eating it…

      • hmm

        what about peds that cross when the light is red then….never done that I suppose?

        • flattened

          since the driving behavior

          • flattened

            whoops, misfired

            Since the behavior the bills are trying to regulate is performed by operators of 2-ton vehicles over which the cyclist has no control, and which can kill the cyclist, the importance of the legislation isn’t diminished by the fact that some cyclists risk their own lives by running lights.

            That said, there are some states that only require cyclists to perform what amounts to a “yield” at a stop sign rather than come to a full stop. The yield makes sense because the cyclist has nearly 100% visibility, so there’s no need to come to a full-on stop. And iIf you’ve ever watched inexperienced cyclists come to a full stop and start, you know that’s a move that can be shaky.

            I wonder whether the bill requiring cars to come no closer than 4 feet to a bike when passing has been re-introduced. It seems more on target than regulating following distance (how many cars follow bikes or wheelchairs) or vague language on “exercising due care.” Lots of drivers buzz ridiciulously close when passsing. Some vindictative cyclist-hater in the legislature keeps killing that bill.

          • Citizen Sane

            There are many roads in Virginia, even in Arlington, where it would be impossible to allow 4 feet between a bicyclist on the side of the road and a car driving on that road, especially with parked cars on the side of the road, as well. Of course, the speed on those roads is minimal, but an overreaching law like that would be difficult to obey. On wider streets, maybe OK.

          • yeah

            Unless of course they were to actually slow down until it was safe to pass…..

    • Hypocritical

      And maybe they should also enforce the laws more vigorously against speeding, texting while driving, changing lanes or turning without signaling, cheating the HOV restrictions, etc. Yes, bikers should learn to follow the rules, but so should drivers.

  • varmint

    **This bill from Del. Lopez would have required driers to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or the operator of a human-powered vehicle”** I chuckled wishing that “driers” were spelled “dryers”

  • Stitch_Jones

    Yea on HB1026. Nay on the rest, which are wastes of time.

    As for HB1026 – it should never be illegal to advertise anything that is legal to sell.

  • TG3oA

    Seems like a lot of our representatives introduce bills like this to make it seem like they are actually doing some work.

  • Chinny McChipster

    Bring on the legal ganja -all our other woes will become insignificant mon.

  • Arlwhenver

    Still waiting for a story that matches the headline.

  • Two wheeler

    There are circumstances where one bike closely following (by inches) another is a team riding technique. The trailing riders rest in the slip stream created by the leader. They trade off periodically. I wonder if they can get a ticket when doing this?

    • Arlwhenver

      Same technique is used by NASCAR. As Richard Petty how that turned out. I’ve seen multiple bicycle riders airlifted to Washington Hospital Center after being maimed in the pileup that ensures when one of the lead riders falters using this so-called team riding technique.

  • SB264 and HB784 are both a waste of time. We don’t need laws to tell us not to hit other people with our cars/bikes/mopeds. We already have existing mechanisms in place to encourage us not to: auto insurance, conscience, jail, lawsuits, etc.

    HB1026 (happy hour specials) is a no-brainer. As someone said earlier, it should never be illegal to advertise something that is legal to sell.

  • Zach

    I think it’s funny Del. David Albo is pushing a bill for restaurants to advertise happy hour prices given he is a DUI/DWI lawyer…


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