Public Comments for 01/26/2022 Transportation - Subcommittee # 3 Highway Safety and Policy
HB699 - Glass replacement in vehicles; Sup. of State Police to promulgate regulations regarding replacement.
Testimony of Ms. Debra Levy of North Stafford, VA, outgoing President of Auto Glass Safety Council, in support of HB 699, auto glass safety legislation.
Good day, The attached is a Letter of Testimony for HB 699. It is a testimony from our experience in the auto glass industry as auto glass replacement business owners. Regards, David Scott Owner, Novus Glass
HB867 - Private towing; one-hour limitation.
VATRO would like to go on record showing they oppose this bill for the following reason. This bill will place an increased burden on towers and property owners making them have to keep a timestamp on said vehicle before it can be removed. If a vehicle is parked in a place where it does not have permission to park why should that become even more of a burden to the property owner taking up their valuable real-estate and possibly costing them money in revenue.
HB920 - Careless driving; vulnerable road users.
Good afternoon and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share our story. My 16 year old granddaughter Aajah Rosemond was tragically killed while walking to the store on a Sunny Sunday. 10-18-2020. Aajah was hit when vehicle number two spiraled out after being hit by Robert Macklin; who failed to yield. Although Mr. Macklin was found guilty , he received NO jail time. Mr. Macklin received the “minimum” monetary fine. Mr Macklin’s drivers license was suspended maybe six months. Although we recognize there is nothing that can return our precious Aajah to us. We strive to change the culture of how motorists operate around our state. Including pedestrians to this bill is nice. However, it is NOT enough. I am of the persuasion that if a motorist Causes the death of a person there should be some sort of mandatory toxicology conducted. Without it we have no way of determining if the driver was impaired in any capacity. The thought that a motorist can drive away from a fatality is unnerving. That drivers license should be suspended pending The outcome of the investigation should not be able to just drive. There should be more than one specially trained Officer working the case. To help eliminate oversights. We would like to see something that reflects the sentiment of families who have lost someone to motor vehicle negligence. We would like to see the minimum revocation of the drivers license be changed from a maximum of 6 months to a minimum of a year. The inconvenience of having to make arrangements to get around outside of the restrictions is a small price considering some one will NEVER be able to drive, walk, do anything ever should be included in this bill DWI drivers have stiffer consequences and longer restrictions minus the loss of life. It is highly disturbing that a motorist can run someone down, and just be given a traffic ticket and be allowed to drive home; walk away even - while someone is laying dead in the street and they not have to respond to that loss for months. They go to “traffic court” and plead not guilty to the horrible truth that their negligence took a life , that on the books in VA there is little consequences for reckless driving. It feels to me as if there is more regard for property than ensuring motorists know they cannot drive through our streets recklessly without consequences. Thank you for your time and I Speak not only for my Grandchild Aajah Rosemond, but for all those who are victims to reckless motorists. Thank you
HB958 - Towing; applies existing fee limitations.
VATRO would like to take this time to show it's opposition toward this bill. We would like to let the committee know that there is a vast difference in Private Property Towing and Accident Recovery. Some vehicle recoveries can take hours to complete and sometimes extra equipment and man power. The equipment used for vehicle recovery or accident towing can be much more complex and expensive to buy and operate compared to private property towing equipment. Personal training requirements for public safety towing are much more stringent compared to the none required requirements of private property towing in Virginia. We are afraid that with the passing of this bill the commonwealth will lose a great number of public safety towers due to not being able to charge a fair price for the service they provide. This making it harder for public officials to find qualified towers to effectively clean our roadways. The second part of this bill would require companies to notify owners within one day of the charges they have occurred from having their vehicle recovered. This section would be almost impossible for the towers to accomplish without having to bring in additional office personal on weekends to try and run vehicle information and notify owners. Which some information takes days to receive after applied for. Our organizations sees this bill as detrimental to the public safety towing industry in Virginia and the end of safe quick clearance of incidents on our roadways.
HB1183 - Motor vehicles; operating with accumulated snow or ice, penalty.
While I understand the need for motorists to clean their vehicles of snow, and the dangers that can result from not doing so, I am concerned that the wording is subjective. Particularly the following: "where, were the snow or ice to become dislodged from such vehicle, such accumulated snow or ice could interfere with the operation of another motor vehicle or cause injury to persons or property." This wording leaves it up to police officers to make a judgment call on the ability of accumulated snow or ice to cause an issue. It could be applied inconsistently between officers as well as unfairly (used to target minorities). The bill needs, at the very least, to have an actual amount included to avoid such subjectivity.
Can public safety messages could address this issue?
On numerous occasions, I have driven on Virginia roads behind vehicles that had accumulated snow that the driver had not bothered to clean off before getting behind the wheel. On each occasion, the snow blew off onto my windshield, causing brief panic as I was not able to see the road or vehicle in front of me. We owe it to our fellow Virginians to create safer driving conditions by requiring drivers to clean accumulated snow off their vehicles before driving. I urge the subcommittee to see the merit of this bill and pass it.
HB637 - Drivers of vehicles approaching stationary vehicles displaying certain warning lights; penalty.
VATRO would like to show their support for this bill if the speed limit restriction could be changed to 20 MPH below the posted speed limit. We believe that if the code is changed to where drivers would be required to drop their speed to 10 mph or below it would produce a higher likelihood for more incidents to occur. Examples would be other vehicles rear ending vehicles going 10 mph or vehicles swerving into other lanes or on the should to try and avoid vehicles going 10 mph or slower. We appreciate the thought of having vehicles slow to such a speed, but as stated before we are afraid that such a drastic change in speed would cause more incidents to occur. We do take note to other states that have placed similar laws into affect, and have not noted a drastic incline in incidents from vehicles slowing 20 to 25 mph below the posted speed limit when unable to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle.