Weekend Update 1-26-13

Well, good people, there are a few things to report.

As has already been reported, there are a lot of bills getting hearings this coming week.  Unfortunately, HB 1238 (Malfunctioning Traffic Signals) has been pulled off of the January 29th agenda for House Transportation.  I would not read too much into this, as the Senate version, SB 5141 (Malfunctioning Traffic Signals), is being heard in this Thursday.  It may be simply that the House is waiting to see what the Senate does, which happens all the time.  I have a meeting with the Chair, Judy Clibborn (D-41) on Tuesday morning, so perhaps I can get to the bottom of things.

There are more motorcycle related bills in play.

  • HB 1334 (Concerning Conversion Kits on Motorcycles) is a bill brought by Representative Shea (R-4) to acknowledge the various motorcycle outrigger kits available on the market without making an additional class of vehicle.  So far, there is no word on if and when the bill will get a hearing.
  • HB 1379 and SB 5272 (Concerning Private Motorcycle Skills Education Programs) requires DOL to authorize private training companies to teach the same (or equivalent) program at full price, without bidding for and receiving subsidy money.  That is the same program that is taught by the existing contractors who are teaching the subsidized courses.  This is intended to open the door for Harley Davidson to teach their “Rider’s Edge” curricula, and issue license waivers, without being required to provide low cost (subsidized) training.  The House bill will be heard on the 31st, and the Senate bill will be heard on the 29th.
  • SB 5263 (Concerning Motorcycles Overtaking and Passing Pedestrians and Bicycles) aka the “Sharrow Lanes” bill has been introduced by Don Benton (R-17) to address how motorcycles are allowed to pass bicycles that are traveling in the lane when there is not a passing lane.  The bill is scheduled to be heard on the 31st.

Finally, I received a call from Senate Transportation Committee staff on Friday asking that we have our act together for the Thursday hearings, pick our panel members, and be prepared to present our message expeditiously, without backtracking our repeating our points ad nausuem.  Donnie “Mr. Breeze” Landsman from ABATE of WA will be coordinating the testimony for the helmet bill and the “Sharrow Lanes” bill, and I will be taking the lead on the Senate version of the traffic signal bill and the Commute Trip Reduction bill.  Part of the presentation will be the Google Map that I put together  for data capture.  Feel free to let me know of any intersections that still do not detect motorcycles and I will incorporate them before the hearing.

Until next time,

Ride safely and legislate well,

“Texas” Larry

Government Relations and Junior Blogger

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