Bills affecting cyclists
This legislative session is now over; each bill’s disposition is noted below…
SB1170 bicycle equipment (helmet requirement for < 18 y.o.)
Bill Status: Assigned to Trans and PS (Public Safety) but not on agenda to be heard. [Final status: never heard]
azbikelaw says: mandatory helmet use laws tend to have the unintended consequence of reducing cycling. The safety benefits of bicyclist helmet use tend to overstated.
HB2677 theft; bicycle; increased penalty
Bill Status: Assigned to Judiciary but not on agenda. [Final status: never heard]
HB2545 bicyclists; public ways
Bill Status: on agenda 2/13 house trans committee; at the hearing, without any notice, the bill was not heard w/o explanation (last few seconds of the hearing). [Final status: Held/never heard]
Mods to 28-735, the 3 foot rule… removes the bad clause, subsection C. azbikelaw says: that’s good but i would also like to see subsection B removed also, and simply have 28-735 be added to the list of enabling statutes to 28-672, et al. These piddling civil fines of $500/1000 are silly.
Adds language that allows drivers of vehicles overtaking a bicyclist may cross the center line, where safe, while overtaking. azbikelaw says: other states (e.g. FL) deal with this issue by adding an ‘obstruction’ exception to the “driving on the right side” law 28-721, which is also in UVC. Anyhow the law that refers to no-passing signs and markings is 28-727.
Modifies 28-815 (bicyclists keep right rule) in several places to add the word ‘shoulder’. azbikelaw says: it is a little-known fact that Tucson/Pima DOT’s claim, but only if asked, they have virtually no bike lanes; but rather they have “bike routes with striped shoulders”… I’m not quite sure what to make of this part of the bill…. In any event, one of them, the addition to 28-815D regarding parking would outlaw all parking/stopping/standing on shoulders — is that what was intended?
Adds that any driver causing right-hook, or overtaking collision is prima facie at fault.
Adds language to 28-898 that attempts ensure that crash debris gets removed from any shoulder or bike lane… azbikelaw says: I’m not at all sure this is worded as intended. I’m struggling to understand what the problem with the existing 898 is, the term highway is very broad, so the law already requires removal of debris from any bike lane or shoulder (because highway includes them and more).
SB1277 (Enables local authorities to) Change normal right-of-way rules such that Buses emerging from a bus-pullout have the right-of-way.
Bill Status: passed (DP) Senate Trans 2/11/2014 6-0 SB1277 passed senate trans comittee yesterday with virtually no discussion 6-0. I watched the hearing online — apparently from the way she described it, this was wholly Judy Burges’ brainstorm (she’s the chairperson). she said, (i’m paraphrasing) “whenever anybody including me sees a bus about to pull out, they speed up to get by it and that’s dangerous”. [Final Status: although bill passed Senate committee process; was never scheduled for a COW (Committe of the Whole; i.e. the full senate) vote. So, it’s dead]
azbikelaw says: bad. Jiggering the normal right-of-way rules is always bad. by the way, this points out that bus pullouts are in general a bad idea; and are only appropriate in places where a bus is going to dwell, and not simply regular passenger pickup/dropoff. Secondarily the part about allowing cities to enact/enable this is also bad because it creates inconsistency across Arizona (and elsewhere). Traffic rules should be UNIFORM and not vary from city-to-city.
HB2027 — golf carts must yield to right-hooking traffic.
Bill Status: moving fast, already passed 6-0 out of Trans committee 1/23… On Consent Calendar 2/10 (a Consent Calendar allows bills “to bypass Committee of the Whole and move unamended bills to Third Reading”); and Caucus Calendar 2/11/2014. On Senate Tran committee to be heard 2/25. [Final Status; passed unanimously in both houses. Signed by Gov Brewer 4/15/2014. Chapter 23]
There is some seriously weird stuff in here. Here is much more background. As introduced only would apply “IN AN AGE RESTRICTED COMMUNITY THAT IS LOCATED IN AN UNINCORPORATED AREA OF A COUNTY WITH A POPULATION OF MORE THAN THREE MILLION PERSONS… ” — i.e. population/county bit simply means Maricopa county only (really, why can’t the legislation just say that?), the next most populous county in Arizona is Pima with fewer than 1 million.
azbikelaw says: I think this is bad simply because the logic could spill-over/slippery-slope to bicyclists. This bill also is interesting in that it calls attention to the fact that it’s not clear in Arizona law if any “driver of a vehicle” (which includes both motorists and bicycle riders) is permitted to operate on the shoulder?? Most people assume that motorists may not, and that bicyclists should — but there’s no statute that says that. For more, see shoulder-use, and see important definitions here. In any event, note that this bill does not require an NEV/cart to use the shoulder, it only makes clear it is allowed. I also noticed that the phrase ” driving on shoulder;” was added to the statute title of 28-721 and just now realized that title changes do not show up as additions in bill markups (ie. not in all caps). hmm.
HB2165 — Increases state minimum for automobile liability
Status: Not assigned to any committee [Final status: never heard]
azbikelaw says: long overdue (see 42yearsistoolong.com ). Doesn’t really raise limits enough.
HB2622 — vulnerable users of public ways
Status: assigned to Judiciary but not on agenda. [Final status: Never heard]
azbikelaw says: I am not really a fan of the concept; I say toughen up penalties for anyone who hurts/kills anyone.
SB1147 — text messaging while driving; prohibition
Status: Assigned to Trans, PS (public safety) and GE (Gov’t and Environment) but not on agenda of any (The dreaded “triple assignment”! This is a recurring theme bill and has been introduced for many years in a row) [Final Status: Never heard]
HB2359 — teenage drivers; communication devices prohibited
Status: Passed Tran committee 6-0 2/20/2014 [Final status: passed House 41-17; Never heard in Senate]
Bans all electronic comm device use by novice drivers for 6 month. (Similar or identical to bill introduces last year by John McComish)
Other Bills of Some Interest: e.g. effecting Title 28
SB1201 — Autocycle (this is a “striker” bill; and later added definitions for a “Motorized Quadricycle) [Final status: VETOED]
Adds a definition of autocycle, effectively a three-wheeled enclosed motorcycle, and provides a class M driver license exemption for autocycle riders. Then in mid-March, in the house, an amendment was added to include new definition and regulations for a motorized quadricycle. A.k.a. party bikes.
The key people tend to be those involved with the respective transportation committee,
Senate Transportation Committee for 51R2 , Notably Sen. Steve Farley (D-Tucson) is now a member; Sen Farley has (repeatedly and unsuccessfully) tried to get various bans on cell phones while driving.
Also besides the legislators themselves, staff can be very helpful: Liisa Laikko, Transportation Committee Analyst (602)926-3171; there are a bunch of others including analyst interns, a Repub policy advisor, a Dem policy advisor, etc.
House Transportation Committee for 51R2. Can’t find out if they have a non-partisan analyst, as is done on the senate tran committee? The list two analysts: Republican Analyst: Justin Riches, and Democratic Analyst: Mark Bogart
Both houses of Arizona’s legislature is controlled, by a heavy margin and for a long time, by Republicans. Rep Ethan Orr (R-Tucson) has introduced several “bicycle” bills and they don’t go anywhere — this is likely to persist as he will be punished for his recalcitrance. Orr is not a “team player”…
azcentral.com: …Private-prison lobbyists succeeded in getting state lawmakers to include nearly $1 million in extra funding in the state budget even though the Arizona Department of Corrections says the money isn’t needed. The eleventh-hour funding was placed into the budget by House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who said GEO Group Inc. lobbyists informed him the company wasn’t making enough money from the emergency beds it provides Arizona at prisons in Phoenix and Florence…. (Dem) Campbell said Kavanagh is responsible for pushing the proposal through the House with support from all but one Republican: Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson.