Report from the hill 1-11-12

Here is the most current news from Olympia.

HB 1527 (Representative Asay) The malfunctioning traffic signal will revisit the issue of traffic signals not detecting motorcycles.  It allows for motorcycles, after waiting for one full cycle of the lighting system without being detected, to proceed through the intersection, but only after exercising the same level of caution as would be used at a stop sign.

I have been getting good feedback in support of a hearing in House Transportation, and I continue to meet with the remaining committee members.  The only real push back I have seen so far is from WSP, indicating that they will never sign off on allowing any motorist “running a red light.” Their position is more based on fear without any real data to back it up, and a bit off base, as there is already a precedent. Can anyone say “right turn on red?”  Also, there is no compelling data or developing trends against the practice in any of the states that have passed similar legislation.

The best thing we can do is continue to contact our representatives and ask them to support giving this bill a hearing, moving it on through the house, and sending it to the senate.

HB 1833 (Representative Finn).  This makes it a requirement that the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board meet quarterly.  Currently the criteria is open to interpretation, and with all of the attempts to cut expenditures across the board the schedule got dropped back to 5 meetings during a two year period.

Requests to move it to the floor of the house for action have been made, but we are awaiting the first meeting of the House Rules Committee.

SB 6062 (Senator Fain) has been introduced.  It changes the language from two wheeled and three wheeled motorcycle to “single track” and “multi track” motorcycle.  This is being done to allow people who want to install the “Voyager” kit, effectively adding outriggers, to their motorcycles.

Senator Rolfes is sponsoring a bill to add the recommendation of preferential parking for motorcycles to the commute trip reduction act and clarifying the rules that allow motorcycles into the HOV lanes, even when they are converted to HOT lanes.  Currently there is no real firm requirement or guidance on keeping us in the HOV lanes, merely past practice.  When the bill has a number I will get that news out, but it is not too early to start talking the issue up with your representatives and senators.

Finally, don’t forget that Black Thursday is coming up next week.  (Jan 19)  Get the vacation day scheduled now, call your representatives and senator to make an appointment, and get to Olympia.

Until next time,

Ride safely and legislate well,

“Texas” Larry

Government Relations and Junior Blogger

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