2020 Virginia Legislative Update

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/

The legislative session is over and everything that has passed both the House and the Senate is going to the Governor to be signed. Because the same party controlled both the House and the Senate, more bills made it through than usual. Since the Governor is of that same party, more bills will probably get signed into law than usual. However, it’s interesting to me how many bills still fail even under these conditions. Although this can be frustrating, it’s not necessarily bad. We’d have some crazy laws on the books if it was easy for a bill to become a law!

Passed both the House and the Senate

  • HB1442, Permits photo speed monitoring.
  • HB543 and SB871 add a definition for electric bikes (ebikes). Signed by the Governor
  • HB874 and SB160, Hands Free bill that prohibits driving while holding a mobile device. Signed by the Governor
  • HB886 reauthorizes the State Trails Advisory Committee. Signed by the Governor
  • HB1705 changes “yield” to “stop” for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, which is much easier to communicate and to enforce.
  • SB437, Increases penalties of traffic infractions that result in harm to a vulnerable road user, such as a bicyclist, pedestrian, wheelchair user, etc.

Passed the House but not the Senate

  • HB1439. Transportation safety initiatives including photo speed enforcement in school zones.
  • HB1644 prohibits a vehicle from passing another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk, also known as “multiple threat” to a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Passed the Senate but not the House

  • SB687, Requires the Virginia Department of Transportation to post Share the Road signs where pedestrian or bicycle traffic is high.
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