Following too closely; includes bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, mopeds, etc. (SB264)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Following too closely.  Includes bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds among vehicles that the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow more closely than is reasonable. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12
01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12103455D
01/10/2012Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/18/2012Reported from Transportation (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/20/2012Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2012Read second time and engrossed
01/24/2012Read third time and passed Senate (28-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2012Placed on Calendar
02/13/2012Read first time
02/13/2012Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/17/2012Assigned Transportation sub: #2
02/22/2012Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
03/10/2012Left in Transportation

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB785.


Wayne Wilcox writes:

Kudos! Equally protect all users of the public rights-of-way.

Kim Whitley writes:

This seems to be a reasonable safety piece. Thank you for that.

Does this have any teeth with it? I am assuming it does but am not totally sure.

I am thinking that if a driver hits one of these vehicles from behind, then the driver was following too closely.

Richard Distlerath writes:

Bicycles follow other bicycles closely to save personal energy. This common practice is called drafting.
I certainly would not want legislation make this practice unlawful.

Ryan Post writes:

I would expect for bicycles this has no merit, except to cite cyclists who end up crashing. Get a nice double whammy then. Potential liability during any bike race.

dwayne writes:

I hope that the law was poorly crafted and will be repaired, rather than an ignorant attempt to ensure making bicycling safer. This representative is clearly ignorant about cycling. Does this representative have a history of attacking bicyclists?

Kim Whitley writes:

This legislation is clearly crafted to protect cyclists. Read carefullky that it says Motor vehicles must not follow other vehicles too closely. It does not say cyclists may not follow closely.
Cyclists "draft" each other to conserve energy. (This practice also typically keeps cyclists in a straight line, except when we echelon due to a side wind.)

dwayne writes:

Kim, please read the proposed changes and correct your comment.

Jakob Helmboldt writes:

This would not apply to bicyclists (as a penalty) as it stipulates that it applies to motor vehicles only. It would apply to bicyclists in terms of protection, because it strikes "motor" from the class of vehicles which are being followed too closely.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm pretty sure that Kim is right here. The bill says that "motor vehicles" cannot follow "vehicles" too closely. Section 46.2-100 of the state code provides the definitions that apply to the whole of Title 46.2, and it defines "motor vehicle" as:

"Motor vehicle" means every vehicle as defined in this section that is self-propelled or designed for self-propulsion except as otherwise provided in this title. [...] For the purposes of this title, any device herein defined as a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped shall be deemed not to be a motor vehicle.

And it defines "vehicle" as:

"Vehicle" means every device in, on or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks. For the purposes of Chapter 8 (§ 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopeds shall be vehicles while operated on a highway.

Since this bill proposes to update chapter 8, "vehicle" refers to a bicycle. So I think that the effect of this is to prohibit cars from tailgating bicycles, but not bicycles from tailgating other vehicles.

dwayne writes:

I reread and am correcting my comment. I agree with Kim and those that defended her comment.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I reread and am correcting my comment. I agree with Kim and those that defended her comment.

There's a lot of that with legislation. :) It has the unfortunate combination of being based on arcane and confusing language while also evoking strong emotions because it affects things that are important to us.