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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AB 51 is coming to vote April 6 in the Assembly Transportation Committee

Some of you on the ABATE Discussion will have received this already.  The bill passed through the Trans Committee, BUT there will be work done on the language.  Please read the summary below.  Also note that the Chair of the Committee is a rider, thinks there should be bill, and thinks the it needs work to be acceptable.

The bill goes through appropriations next … we’ll keep you posted and let you know what action is needed next.


From: []
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 3:16 PM
To: A abate diss
Subject: [ABATE] AB 51 is coming to vote April 6 in the Assembly Transportation Committee

AB 51 - Update.

Today AB 51 was heard in the transportation committee of the State Assembly. This bill was introduced by Bill Quirk and Co-Authored by Tom Lackey. They stated that the intent of AB 51 was to codify the activity of lane splitting. Lane splitting in California has been neither legal nor illegal. In fact, the law is silent on lane splitting in  California. However, with the recent actions of the CHP commissioner setting guidelines on their website and 2014, this activity has been brought to the forefront of discussions amongst many Californians.

Although, we as motorcyclists generally support the activity of lane splitting, today we found ourselves in a precarious situation where we needed to oppose the current bill AB 51.

Prior to the hearing, Jim Lombardo, the ABATE lobbyist, and myself walked the hollow halls of the State Assembly to meet with as many Assemblyman staffers as would take our meetings. We discussed the safety concerns of this bill as written.  We also explained, that although we oppose the bill formally, we support the lane splitting activity. We want to protect the legality of lane splitting. And we welcome the opportunity to continue the discussion to find a better speed definition in this bill.

In the transportation committee meeting, Quirk and Lackey eloquently presented their bill and the reasoning for their current restrictions. Support testimony came from the insurance lobbyists. Opposition was stated by Jim Lombardo and Nick Harris Jr. After the opposition testimony, Nearly 40 fellow bikers stood and spoke to give their opposition position.  After both positions stated their case, the transportation committee chair explained that he once owned a Harley and agreed that the bill needs to be pushed forward however that the language was in fact to restrictive and admonished some Assemblyman Quirk  and Lackey to work with a motorcycle community to come up with a better more reasonable restrictions in the definitions of this bill.

The committee chair and then called for a vote, vote passed 13 to 1.

After the hearing Assemblyman Quick hung out in the halls and talked with many of us about these restrictions. He seemed genuinely engaged and willing to work with us to find a better speed to include in AB51.

AB51 now moves into appropriations, and assemblyman Quirk will continue to reach out to the motorcycle community to refine the language and the restrictions.
Horsemen, President
Abate Local 8, PAC Officer
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