Tag Archives: legislation

What do sawed off shotguns have to do with photo enforcement?

bear with me here…

Senate OKs bill to allow sawed-off shotguns, silencers

Arizona’s Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would end the state’s ban on sawed-off shotguns and silencers on weapons… The proposal, contained in a surprise amendment to Senate Bill 1460, passed with Republican support and Democratic opposition… The amendment, introduced by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, was tacked onto her bill to restore gun rights to those with felony convictions after certain waiting periods or after the convictions are legally set aside. Ward said her amendment was “constituent driven” and about “making certain things legal that are illegal,” a vague description that drew hushed snickers from some in the Senate.

“My own view,” Ward said during a break in the session, “is we have the right to keep and bear arms, and really, that right shouldn’t be infringed. The government putting any kind of regulations on that is wrong.” — azcentral.com

Meanwhile, the full senate voted down Rep. Ward’s bill to end all photo-enforcement anywhere in Arizona:

Senate slams brakes on photo-enforcement ban

The gov’t is watching you Kelli Ward’s privacy nightmare?

Mind your speed: Photo enforcement will continue to be a tool local governments can use to control traffic, as the state Senate on Monday rejected a bill that would have banned red-light cameras and other technologies.

The issue drew bipartisan opposition, despite the argument from Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, that photo enforcement is unconstitutional and infringes on individual privacy… Safety, and an acknowledgment that local government is better able to gauge its traffic needs, prevailed as four GOP senators joined with the Democrats to kill Senate Bill 1167. Cities and towns lobbied against Ward’s bill, pointing to statistics that they say show the cameras, especially when used for red-light enforcement, cut accidents. … Ward, however, disputed many of the statistics and said the greater issue is what she perceives as the unconstitutionality of photo enforcement in the first place. Such devices, she said, collect information without the consent of the driver that can be stored by private companies and governments for later use, and they infringe on privacy rights. “You have no right to face your accuser,” when photo enforcement is used, she said. — azcentral.com


Continue reading What do sawed off shotguns have to do with photo enforcement?

Arizona Legislature considers defining motorized quadricycles

The tourdetavern.com has been operating in Scottsdale since 2012.

[UPDATE — this bill was passed, i believe in exactly the same form as was vetoed last year, we have a new governor.  HB2211 in 52 1st regular session, 2015. The bill also included autocycles ]

[VETO — gov. Brewer vetoed this bill… “Brewer in her veto said the bill could pose a public-safety risk, primarily if passengers are drinking alcohol.” ]

Somewhere out of the blue; House trans committee chairperson Rep Karen Fann introduced an amendment that makes definitions and regulations for commercial multiple-person, pedaled, motor-assisted quadricycles. Often offered as a “party bus” where the riders drink and pedal around (presumably the driver remains sober). This is an amendment to SB1201 a striker bill that defined Autocycle as essentially an enclosed 3-wheeled motorcycle.  Continue reading Arizona Legislature considers defining motorized quadricycles

More about shoulders; this time golf carts.

Sample “excessively wide” road in Sun City, AZ. This is Boswell Blvd, somewhere south of Bell Rd. You can clearly see the golf cart “tracks” in the shoulder.

There is an interesting bill floating around in the state legislature, HB2027 (see
bill-tracker to follow this and other bills of interest)

Direct link to HB2027 — golf carts allowed to use shoulder. For much more about shoulder usage, see shoulder-use.

The first odd thing is the bill is written so it only applies to age restricted communities in unincorporated areas of counties less than 3 million population.(phew! Translation: Sun City, Sun City West, etc). Continue reading More about shoulders; this time golf carts.

51st Leg, 2nd regular session bill tracker (spring 2014)

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.

Who’s Who

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

Partisan Politics

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.





2013: Bill would ban cell phone use by novice teen drivers

[Update as of 2/23/2013, The McComish novice cell ban, SB1241, is moving forward. The Farley full text ban SB1218 is dead. See below ]
[Update as of 4/4/2013 McComish bill appears stalled, it is being prevented from coming to a vote in full senate. In other news, Farley tried again, via amendment, to get a texting ban; see notes below on SB2378]

It’s the start of a new legislative season in Arizona, the 51st Regular session, for those keeping track.  (find other bills of interest with the legislation tag)

A cell phone ban has been introduced, SB1241. The same (or similar?) bill was introduced last year, bill-would-ban-cell-phone-use-by-teen-drivers-with-learners-permits. The bill applies only to “novice” drivers, that is those who are 16-18 years old, and the ban only lasts for 6 months. On the brighter side, it is a total ban, which I prefer to, say, a handsfree exception. For background, see NTSB has called for a total ban.

Arizona presently has no laws* restricting use of “electronic communication devices”, though there are some local bans, e.g. the City of Phoenix banned texting in 2007, and in 2012 the City of Tucson did something (i don’t have that handy; i’m thinking it was a handheld cell ban w/ handsfree loophole). Many other states have moved to try and limit cell use while driving; here is a good chart from ghsa.org. The main federal site is at distraction.gov.

* oops, that’s not exactly true; in Arizona, there’s a ban on all cell use by school bus drivers.

Here’s another bill sponsored by Steve Farley (D-Tucson) SB1268 class G licensees; communication devices. This bill seems nearly identical to SB1241(?); and as of 2/23 it is not assigned to any committee which I imagine means it is dead.

In any event, SB1241 is moving forward: it was heard and  got a DO PASS by Public Safety on 2/13. It was then (supposed to be) heard by Transportation 2/19 (minutes not yet available.

Full Texting Ban Proposed

This year, being no different than other years, Sen Steve Farley (D-Tucson) has introduced a general purpose (not age-restricted) bill that would ban texting; SB1218. According to an azcentral.com news story, this is one of only five senate bills to be “triple assigned”; meaning it must pass through THREE committees, any one of which can kill it.

Moving on, a news story 2/23 Scrap heap of dead bills piling up at Arizona Legislature, specifically mentions SB1218 as being “dead”. “Dead” means leadership didn’t assign the bill to (any) committee — i.e. it didn’t really get triple-assigned. Dead is not absolute but generally, dead means dead.

Farley tries to slip in texting ban

Sen Steve Farley attempted to slip in a texting ban via a floor amendment to an (arguably) unrelated bill, HB2312;  see Senate rejects texting-while-driving amendment 4/2/2013, here are some gems: “But (Farley’s) attempt to amend House Bill 2312 failed on a 16-12 party-line vote, with Republicans opposed and Democrats in support. Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, led the charge against Farley’s amendment. He said the books on state traffic laws are already thick with regulations that could enforce penalties against drivers whose on-road behavior is reckless”

Some History

Various legislators (Mr. Farley and Al Melvin come to mind) have in the past, repeatedly for several years running, introduced various more general restrictions on cell communications that never were enacted; stalling in various committees — see e.g. the 2010 go-round where a bill that year “sailed” through the Senate but stalled in the House.

handsfreeinfo.com/arizona-cell-phone-laws-legislation has a really good session-by-session history of Arizona cell legislation attempts which describes activity back as far as at least 2007.

Arizona Update — July 2013

News item about Farley’s ongoing multi-year efforts, Driver-texting ban still elusive in Arizona, begins “Almost every state has responded to rising smartphone use with a law banning drivers from texting, many in the past few years. Arizona is one of nine states that have yet to make that leap…”. Though I still haven’t seen compelling empirical data showing bans are having the desired effect. My list of studies is here. This begs the question; If cell phone use is so distracting (and it certainly is, there is mountain of off-road evidence that it impairs driving ability) what are the bans really doing? Are there unintended consequences?

Bills modify the 3 foot passing law

[Update as of 2/23/2013, neither bill mentioned below has been assigned to any committee which I imagine means it is dead]

It’s the start of a new legislative season in Arizona, the 51st Regular session, for those keeping track. (find other bills of interest with the legislation tag)

There are two bills that would modify §28-735, Arizona’s 3-foot passing rule. The first is only a technical correction, however the second seeks to modify the onerous “section C”. By far the best and most simple correction would be to simply eliminate section C altogether. In any event, the present proposal seeks add specific reasons (excuses?) why a bicyclist might not be in an otherwise passable bike lane; e.g. preparing to turn, passing another cyclist…

HB2452 technical correction; overtaking bicycles
SB1300 passing bicycles; civil penalty

Section C was added by Senator Bee as a “floor amendment” (ie. last minute) and is widely viewed as anti-cyclist. More background on the law here, called HB2625 from the year 2000. Although I don’t know of any time section C has ever actually kicked in; it has caused confusion causing some to either mendaciously or ignorantly claim that 3-foot passing minimum does not apply to overtaking bicyclists traveling in a bike lane (including more than one Flagstaff police officer).

Some background on 3-foot laws:

Deep background on AZ’s law: azbikelaw.org/articles/ThreeFoot.html

Compendium of US states with similar laws:  azbikelaw.org/three-foot-passing-laws

about the “confusion” regarding applicability of AZ law to roads with bike lanes: azbikelaw.org/the-city-of-flagstaff-hates-bicyclists/


Bill makes harassing a ped or cyclist illegal

[Update as of 2/23/2012, HB2528 it is not assigned to any committee which I imagine means it is dead]

It’s the start of a new legislative season in Arizona, the 51st Regular session, for those keeping track. (find other bills of interest with the legislation tag)

HB2528 makes it explicitly illegal to harass a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Numerous people have pointed out that the language of the bill is odd in that to be in violation of it, the victim must fall. I’m not sure why it was written that way.

Three Foot Passing Laws

[Updating this is cumbersome and I am probably missing some… This page at ncsl.org says it’s updated to the end of 2015]

As of the 2015 legislative season, by my count, 22 US states have added three-or-more-foot passing provisions (not counting NY, Missouri or SC, which both relatively recently added “safe passing” laws without specifying a distance):

2015 South Dakota HB 1030 minimum 3/6 foot.
2013 California AB 1371
2012 Pennsylvania HB 170 3303(3) FOUR foot passing
2011 Kansas HB2192 K.S.A. 8-1516
2011 Georgia
2011 Nevada SB248 NRS 484B.270; 3-feet AND must change lanes on multi-lane
2010 New York* A10697 S 1122-A (right section, wrong bill?)
2010 Mississippi info
2010 Maryland SB51. code 21-1209. has bad features
2009 Louisiana
2009 Colorado  info
2008 South Carolina *
2008 Connecticut
2008 New Hampshire
2007 Tennessee info
2007 Maine info
2007 Illinois info
2007 Arkansas info
2006 Florida
2006 Oklahoma
2005 Utah
2005 Missouri *
2004 Minnesota
2000 Arizona HB2625 44th/1st Regular. ARS 28-735
1973 Wisconsin

*NY, SC and MO: requires “safe operating” — not specific distance. I also need to look up NC; i seem to remember they have a 2-foot specification for passing.

For background, history and commentary on Three-foot “safe passing laws” see original page on azbikelaw.org

Since completing the roundup last year, I mainly hear of these through word-of-mouth, so please contact me if you have any more info.

  • IL, Illinois passed SB0080 Aug 16, 2007, which became Public Act 095-0231.
  • AR, Arkansas Act 681, passed Mar 29, 2007.
  • ME, Maine LD 1808, becomes Public Law Chapter 400, passed Jun 22, 2007
  • TN, Tennesee passes HB0235 — the “Jeff Roth Bicycle and Pedalcyclists Protection Act of 2007”, May 3, 2007. It is filed as Chapter 81 of 105th Legislture
  • WA, Washington. The CBCEF has a campaign at give3feet.org, which is sponsored by it includes some nifty graphics of three feet.
  • OR, Oregon had a bill that died, SB0299 (search for 299 in current/2007 measures), and passed as SB0108. Addresses passing , but not specific distance. I.e. no 3 feet.
  • CA, California AB 60 (search for 60 in assembly bills 2007/2008), withdrawn Apr 16, 2007.
  • CT, Public Act 08-01 enacted a new law in Connecticut, effective October 1, 2008, which requires motorists to allow at least three feet of separation
  • NH, HB-1203. Requires not only 3 feet, but also “one additional foot of clearance required for every 10 miles per hour above 30 miles per hour”. It has a few other provisions. An extra reflective strip must now be worn in the dark — good idea but seems to me to be an unnecessary legal burden on an otherwise well-lit cyclist.
  • FL, Florida State Statute 316.083, 316.085
  • SC, HB3006 passed in 2008, 5 foot distance was dropped from the bill but requires a “safe operating distance”, Section 56-5-3435. The law includes criminal penalties if the infraction results in serious injury or death, Section 56-5-3500. It even makes harassment a crime. There are other good new provisions, in addition to deleting the mandatory sidepath rule, new language in their ride-right rule makes clear “A bicyclist may, but is not required to, ride on the shoulder of the road”, Section 56-5-3430.
  • CO, Senate Bill 148 governor signed May 12, 2009. also includes something about 2 abreast, and other things. Details at Bicycle Colorado.
  • LA (Louisiana), general info: louisiana3feet.com (2009)
  • MS (Mississippi),  “The John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act”, SB3014, becomes law July 1, 2010. Some other stuff in there, not all good “Mississippi also joins the 41 states with discriminatory ‘Far to the Right’ laws on the books”, according to Richard Masoner. General info page: mississippi3feet.org
  • MD (Maryland), SB51 in 2010. Modifies transportation section 21-1209 (MD code currently here). Some intricate/odd features, such as if the road is not wide enough to allow 3 feet, drivers don’t have to… strange.
  • GA. HB101.  From 3footrule.com:  “May 11th – HB 101 Signed into Law – 3 Foot Safe Passing Rule was approved! Gov Deal signed HB 101 into law. April 14th, 2011 – HB 101 was approved by the House 150-9 with a 3 Foot Safe Passing amendment from the Senate. (Effective July 1, 2011)” Though if you read the bill/law it sounds weak motorist must allow at least three feet “when feasible”, so if it’s not feasible, anything goes. hmmm …
  • CA SB910 gets vetoed Oct 2011 (with a really stupid explanation by governor) — but in any event, I found 3 other states that i HAD MISSED entirely, so added them to the list: KS, NV, NY (all either in 2011 or 2010). this makes 20 by my count.
  • PA: HB 170 signed by governor Feb 2, 2012 — 4-foot passing distance. see e.g. bike-pgh.org. It has some other goodies too, but I’m afraid bicyle advocates got more than they bargained for, and not in a good way: the law also contains this abusable new section 3364(2): “A pedalcycle may be operated at a safe and reasonable speed appropriate for the pedalcycle. A pedalcycle operator shall use reasonable efforts so as not to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.” (only applies to two-lane roads, though, so I guess that’s not terribly bad).
  • TX: although a bill was vetoed by Gov Perry in 2009,  with Houston’s passing an ordinance in 2013, many of Texas’ cities, and all large Texas cities, now have some form of safe passing law; For more on the Houston action see here and here.
  • CA: after several tries, including at least one veto, a 3-foot passing law made it in 2013:  AB1371
  • SD HB 1030 provides for minimum 3 feet if speed limit is 35mph or less, and 6 feet if  limit is higher; allows overtaking vehicles to cross center line if safe. Also adds/changes provisions for bicyclists’ requirement to signal, can be intermittent if the hand is necessary to control bicycle.
  • NV / Nevada / 2011. SB248 (passing law) and , found this at NV’s DMV: “Motorists passing a bicycle must move into an adjacent lane to the left, if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the bicycle. (NRS 484B.270) Motorists may be charged with reckless driving if they are at-fault in any collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Penalties include a driver license suspension. (NRS 484B.280)” (i can’t find the legislation for the VUL; not sure about the year). (in retrospect, i don’t see where that latter section, 483B.280 includes bicyclists, it only says pedestrians).

A perennial problem with any such law is lack of enforcement (or perhaps enforceability, depending on who you ask), e.g.  In the city of Tucson over an 18-month period there were a total of 3 citations according to tucsonbikelawyer.com; zero-citations-so-far-for-three-foot-passing-rule-in-tucson-this-year.

Here’s another roundup, current as of later part of 2008

Another one that is less recent according to the date, but is notable because it includes passing laws for all fifty states.

The ncsl.org has a nationwide chart/map as of Aug 2014.