Here is the weekly wrap up from Olympia, followed by coming events.
HB 1527 (Representative Asay) the malfunctioning traffic signal bill is tentatively showing signs of life. I say “tentatively” because although I have been getting good feedback in support of a hearing in House Transportation, I have yet to see official results. When I left on Friday, Representative Clibborn and Representative Liias were in a meeting discussing future committee agendas. Our request for a hearing or executive action had been submitted, so I must assume that it was under discussion. There is still no harm in calling your representative a asking them to apply some pressure.
HB 1833 (Representative Finn) is still in the rules committee. 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 next meeting of the House Rules Committee, scheduled for 13:00 on January 19th.
SB 6062 (Senator Fain) has been introduced, and has been scheduled for a hearing at 15:30 on January 19th in Senate Transportation. 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.
There are mixed emotions about this measure. Many people are seriously opposed to these kits, and are therefore definitely opposed to changing the RCW to facilitate them. As an organization, until shown otherwise, we are following the guidance of the Washington State Patrol, which has signed off on the language.
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. The bill should be on the introduction sheets, as I am going to be in Olympia Monday doing the final preparatory legwork before I put the bill in the hopper, but it is not too early to start talking the issue up with your representatives and senators.
Paul Arnold (ABATE of WA) has been doing a splendid job of working on the helmet reform legislation. Although the chance of getting any action on this issue is minimal, it does not mean the conversation should not happen. Even if you are someone who absolutely believes that a rider should never choose to leave the driveway without a helmet, it should always be that: a choice. The idea of “safe crashing” over crash prevention is a bad basis for public policy.
And now, for the coming attractions:
Actually, there is only one real coming attraction, and that is
January 19th is the day set aside for riders to meet with their legislators. The north diagonal has been reserved by ABATE, and there is going to be a ride in from Hawks Prairie that will pull out at 10:00.
It doesn’t matter what your flagship issues are, this is your chance to address them. Whether it is rider education, road access, or helmets, get the vacation day scheduled now, call your representatives and senator offices to make an appointment, and get to Olympia.
Ride safely and legislate well,
Government Relations and Junior Blogger