American Motorcyclist March 2018
The state Senate will consider two bills that would make lane splitting legal for motorcyclists. S.B. 1007 was introduced by state Sen. David Farnsworth (R-Mesa). This bill strikes the current language that prohibits lane splitting. S.B. 1015, introduced by state Sen. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), adds language permitting lane splitting and includes a requirement that motorcycle riders and passengers wear helmets.
H.B. 1283 would create a hit-and-run alert system using dynamic message signs, in the style of the Amber Alert system, to help law enforcement agencies find hit-and-run drivers. The bill was introduced by state Rep. John Cortes (D-Kissimmee).
H.B. 142 would provide enhanced penalties for drivers who collide with “vulnerable road users” while distracted. The bill includes motorcycles in the list of vulnerable road users.
A person convicted of a violation would face 30 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The court also would be empowered to order participation in a motor vehicle safety course and up to 200 hours of community service. The bill was introduced by Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty (D-Baltimore County).
The state has officially recognized electric bicycles as legal for use on streets and some trails. The bikes use an electric motor to assist the rider. A law signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder creates three classes of e-bikes:
Class 1—Bikes with an electric motor that assists the rider only when the rider is pedaling. The motor provides no boost if the bike is going faster than 20 mph.
Class 2—Bikes with an electric motor that can power the bike without the rider pedaling. Class 2 e-bikes may go no faster than 20 mph.
Class 3—Bikes with electric motors that assist pedaling up to 28 mph.
No one younger than 14 may ride a Class 3 bike. Class 3 riders between 14 and 18 are required to wear helmets. The law does not classify the bikes as motor vehicles.
A 670 would create a pilot program for a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax. States are studying the VMT tax as a way to fund road maintenance and improvements. As electric vehicles gain market share and traditional internal-combustion cars become more efficient, gasoline tax revenue declines, sending state governments in search of replacement funding.
One concern for motorcyclists is that a tax based on miles traveled does not consider the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. This bill was introduced by Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez (D-New York).