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Home Four Corners Headlines Politics: Capitol Watch - Some of session's bills aimed at making roads safer

Politics: Capitol Watch - Some of session's bills aimed at making roads safer

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April 7, 2011 - Last session, the legislature passed 81 (R) HB 339, as known as the "Less Tears, More Years" Act. HB 339 made many changes to the graduated driver's license program aimed at increasing the safety of our young drivers. HB 339 also required the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to report students that were no longer enrolled in school to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Due to restrictions at the federal level in providing student information to agencies outside of TEA, this section was unable to be implemented. Additionally, since the bill has been enacted, it has become evident that some clarification in the language regarding the use of a wireless communication device for drivers under the age of 18 is needed.

This session, I have authored HB 2466, which provides clarifying language that a driver under the age of 18 may not use a wireless communications device while driving and also revises the circumstances under which a school, law enforcement officer, or the student's parent/legal guardian can report the student's absence from school to DPS for the revocation of the student's license.

Motorcycle safety awareness for both riders and drivers is an important tool in preventing motorcycle accidents. To this end, Mike Grove of Bells, Texas, has worked to educate motorists regarding the importance of watching for motorcyclists through the Motorcycle Fatality Awareness program. This program places red crosses on the roadside where a fatal motorcycle accident has occurred. I have authored HB 2469, which places the red cross memorial sign program into statute, and designates that the law be known as the Mike Grove Motorcycle Fatality Awareness Act.

Sport bikes are high-powered motorcycles that are increasingly popular. These bikes can reach very high speeds, and when used improperly, can be dangerous. This session, I have authored HB 2470, which defines "sport bike" as a class of motorcycle that is optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability on paved roads, has a light-weight frame, and is not a touring, cruiser, standard, or dual-sport motorcycle. In addition to the requirements related to all motorcycles, HB 2470 provides that the operator of a sport bike may not carry another person on the sport bike unless the operator is 18 and has held a motorcycle license for at specified period of time. The bill provides that if a bike is designed to carry a passenger, it must be equipped with foot pegs and handholds for the passenger. HB 2470 is called "Malorie's Law" in remembrance of Malorie Bullock, of Sherman, who was a passenger on a sport bike when she died last year. Malorie's family made the trip to Austin to testify on the bill in committee, and I thank them for their moving testimony on behalf of the bill.

For more information on these bills or any other legislative matter, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.

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written by Ulric, May 11, 2011
Mr. Phillips,

In regards to HB 2470 all I can really do, after reading your bill, is question if you bothered to do anything except suck up to this poor family.
I'm curious, did you check at all to identify what particular 'sport bikes are designed for passengers but lack footpegs and hand holds?
Did you research at all, the # of incidents involving 'sports bikes' vs 'standards', 'cruisers', 'choppers' or any other 'type' of motorcycle, their ability and designs in regards to 'passengers' and their rates in accidents?
Precisely what are the differences between a 'sportbike' and say a 'standard'? Is the Yamaha FZ-6, FZ-8 * Fz-1 a sport bike, a sport touring or a 'standard'?
How do you propose a law enforcment officer identifies a 'sport bike' vs these others, wether it is properly 'equipped' and that the operator & pillion meet your proposed criteria?

All you have done is introduced a piece of legislature that is more designed to harass and ineffectively target a particular 'type' of motorcyclist

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