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House | March 3, 2015 | Committee Room | House Community College

Full MP3 Audio File

[SPEAKER CHANGES] Members let's take our seats. Let's prepare for the transportation committee. We have a good quorum present, so I call the transportation-House Transportation Committee to order. The first House Transportation Committee meeting of the 2015 session. And today I'd like to recognize our pages and our Sergeants-At-Arms, Carlton Adams, Martha Gaddison, and Joe Austin. We have pages, two pages, Jacob Bird from Burke County, sponsored by Representative Hugh Blackwell. Wave, there you go. And Nikki ?? Caburras County, Representative Larry Pittman. She's over here. Got to remember how to work the microphone, sorry. Okay, in a few minutes I want to do an introduction but first I want to get in to our bills and then we'll come back and introduce committee members. Be sure everybody's here. I appreciate everybody being pretty punctual this morning. Let's start out with House Bill 5, our first bill, Representative Torbett will be presenting. You're recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I hope you've had a wonderful morning. House Bill Number 5 is pretty much a simple and very easily explained bill. It's titled Military Veterans Special Plate. It simply would remove the necessity and all the legwork required to get 300 applicants and provide a license plate for anyone that had honorably served in our military. Simply put, that's pretty much what it is and I'm open for any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions from the committee, Representative Brown, Brian Brown? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Formal motion when appropriate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bumgardner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Torbett, have we had a problem getting enough minimum number of people for this plate? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm not aware of any problem that we've had. I just know that all the stuff that is-you're supposed to go through it provides a roadblock for 300 veterans from across the state to assemble and all know that every one of them's going to get a plate. My guess is is that if it was out there, that we would have more than 300 people actually get that plate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So, we don't have a military plate now? Is that right? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We do not have one that's available to veterans unless they get 300 names on a list and submit the list with 300 names and do the intense background to provide for that plate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Additional follow-up? Okay, Representative Faircloth? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. An inquiry, do we have any other of these plates that we've excluded the 300 requirement on? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Of the veterans' plates or like kind? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any of these special plates that require 300 that we've taken that requirement off of. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I'm going to have to go to staff on that question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There are other plates that are currently authorized that don't require a minimum number of applications, and they're generally for populations that are small where people, where they would have trouble getting that many applications. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a concern. These plates are always a problem for us, and not necessarily a problem, but we have to cover a lot of issues on them and I just didn't want us to set a precedent where we'd keep having people coming back wanting to cut the number of plates required.

FLLQCT [0:00:00.0] …Just for consideration. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for those, Representative and fully understand that that’s why I choose to only after hearing from several groups, only serve military veterans would be the only ones that are applicable for this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Kelvin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have got a problem with this and I mention it to Representative Torbett before, we are a state of military veterans, we have veterans associations all over the State, and if this plate was on the authorization for this place, was out there the individual to have it passed when it was done a couple of years ago, it could very easily went to every veterans organization in the State and I would think with little and no problem if the veteran monitor the veterans plate what would have then, he would have this 300. I don’t know why they didn’t get 300, I don’t know why and how many he actually got whoever was working on getting the plate. But for a common place in veterans plate that has no attachments such as a proper hard plate, a bronze star plate, or the other military plates that we have put know restrictions as to how many have to be gotten ??, I just think we had doing something wrong here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Torbett you want to talk? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? speaks to me about it and we just agree and disagree, I think by the simple honorable service one is provided to the country you all know, you all know what I’m talking about then I think it’s one of the least things we could do and should not 300 applying for and of course the cost would be reduced for the state, should all 300 apply for it? I think the fiscal note says 300,000 and some change, I just think that’s the cost that I brought forward and willing to bear. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, I didn’t know we had a fiscal note on this, I talk to TNV and I was told that these plates cost TNV for 25 a piece. And it’s now what your fiscal note says? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] A fiscal note that was paired for a like special registration plate the count was $324,000, includes such as YMCA volunteers and law for total rescue town, and Mathew Town, and ?? river and some of the same like kind of place. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Boles. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Do you have a picture or the example of what the plate will look like or you gonna have break it down in the Army, Navy, or just gonna be says veteran or what idea do you have, what it would look like? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I did not have that available, no it would be just a veteran plate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you have a vision what it would look like? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No Sir I don’t have a vision what it would look like. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you gonna have options of a Navy, Army? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I had not gone to put that specificity but if you would like to provide those amendments I will be more happy and try. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And one more follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I guess the cost was also I think addressed and are these gonna be at the same I guess retail to the public or is there discount to our veterans or as far as the price of the tag? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It’s pretty much the same at cost but there is as you know some of the other special plates may not be exact term but if it’s for a group sometimes they will charge more and use it as a money making venture. It does not gonna be one of those plates. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay and that was another follow up, the extra money go to the particular… [SPEAKER CHANGES] No extra money. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, organization. So I guess you have to recap, you don’t have any idea what it may look like. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I do not. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett thanks, staff has an answer to some of those questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Point out that the authorization itself does say… [0:05:00.1] [End of file…]

Speaker Changes: the play would military ?? and Sydney of the branches watch the persons served Speaker Changes: i don't have vision that what do it look l like Speaker Changes: Representative Queen Speaker Changes:being my considerations to answers i will say that generally speaking they are lot of veterans that would appreciate such play one of the reason that probably not 300 if not getting benefits if veterans ?? representative Cleveland maintain work in this bill it would have thousand of it it might ?? suggest that i get some advocacy group benefit from the play or indeed helping that our military veterans all cross the states ?? our military would be ?? that would get lot of folks more because that is ?? would appreciate having this option for cars and trucks Speaker Changes: thank you Mr.Chair Representative Queen ?? this is provide knowledge to the service and cause to the state ?? should have veterans group ?? they have more likely to bring something that would provide revenue or income fro them for also provide same process Speaker Changes: Representative ?? Speaker Changes: thank you Representative ?? i appreciate leadership for this bill i have question for you why 300 is that a reason why 300 signatures Speaker Changes:?? settle couple of years go Speaker Changes:Representative shepherd Speaker Changes:thank you Mr.speaker this is for ?? i know that there is already some plays there for veterans ?? can someone tell me how many play veterans we ?? this will be all veterans how many out there we already have veterans in some form of fashion Speaker Changes:?? Representative ?? Speaker Changes:I'm looking fuse he does the place already exist,I'm over to you ,is this play already exist is that what i men here Speaker Changes:couple of years go it exists ?? Speaker Changes:follow up Speaker Changes:?? since it has been legitimate Speaker Changes:an individual ?? 300 printing done has not taken Place Speaker Changes: does the staff has the answer Speaker Changes: the authorization for the place has currently existed in law it has existed in one point was in the statutes ?? were currently in the statues was requirement it's never got 300 application so the place never got in developed but the authorizations were currently in the statues but ?? if they don't get the minimum number of applications Speaker Changes:?? Speaker Changes:?? so if i understands if your bill passes that if veteran applies for ply today they would get that if they choose one person they would get to ply and in the next month if only the open person get applied they get to play they would be ?? to get the certain mount to produce them they would just produce they come out is that correct Speaker Changes: that's correct

Okay, any further questions? Any further questions from the Committee? Rena Turner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Torbett. I support your bill and I thank you for calling it to our attention. If it has already been developed, I thought the reasoning in the development of the 300, you having to require 300 applications was so that costs could be taken care of for the development of the plate. But if this plate has been available in the past, then there wouldn't be that cost to develop the background all the things they have to do. So, I support your bill and I hope that it will be received favorable. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, any further questions or comments from the Committee? Representative Bryan you're recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I move for a favorable report of House Bill 5 of the Serial Referral to Finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, you've heard the motion. Approval of House Bill 5 with the Referral to Finance. All in favor say "aye". Oppose "no". Bill passes. Okay, Representative Torbett is recognized to present House Bill 6. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, this one is going to be much easier. Before we, before we get started on it I'll address your attention to a handout you've received in black and white. It shows you a description of the vehicle and gives you some pertinent information pertaining to a certain vehicle. Ladies and gentleman of this committee, it was brought to my attention some months ago that the state of North Carolina would require a completely enclosed vehicle with airbags and safety restraint belts, harnesses, that had a steering wheel and multiple seat capacity for it's passengers - that from, sounds like your car or truck doesn't it? That they would be required to wear a motorcycle type helmet for safety. So, what this bill does is it looks at one of these types of currently in development vehicles and pretty much looks down the road as to how North Carolina will determine the outcome. There are only 5 states that don't have that and all of them are looking at the same legislation as we speak. And I want that legislation would be is to simply take that fully enclosed vehicle and have airbags and seat belts and a steering wheel, and you don't straddle the gas tank, multiple passenger capacity like your car or truck. But, it only has 3 wheels instead of 4 or more. To treat it more so like an automobile but since it's not completely an automobile to have a definition in it describing what it is simply so we could provide the necessary statute to allow the occupants and the operator not to have to wear a motorcycle helmet. And that's all it is. And I'll be, for some of you hot doggers out there, I will tell you its 0-60 9.6, 49 miles per gallon in the city. 84 miles per gallon on the road. And you could order, this isn't a commercial, but they're estimating the price to be $6,800. And I'm available for any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, I have Representative Waddell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Torbett that's not going to do a whole lot of good for the gas tanks, I don't think, either. But for a motion at the appropriate time. [LAUGHTER]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Brawley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, it's good for the environment is the answer to that question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Why are we not just saying that this is an automobile? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Because it currently does not meet all of the transportation safety and the federal definition of an automobile. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. Has the department of transportation commented on the new definition or the new thing as an auto cycle? [SPEAKER CHANGES] North Carolina Department of Transportation sent me a thing yesterday and without reading it verbatim, is they didn't have any issues with what we're trying to do. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is anyone here from D.O.T. to confirm that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] There may be. There was earlier. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Someone can speak to this question in the public. If you identify yourself.

And up to three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name’s Robert, sir. I’m with the DMV, and we do not oppose or have any comment on it other than we’re neutral. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brawley, was there a specific question, or just…? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a comment, Mr. Chairman. It would seem like we were creating a whole new type of vehicle and with the attendant regulation and what have you, so it seemed to me like there might need to be more verbiage, but perhaps not. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett, do you want to respond to that, or…? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Approach it with brevity, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative McNeill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, just a point of clarification, and this may be me just misreading it. On the first page, line 21 under ‘Definitions’, it includes autocycles under the definition of a motorcycle; however on the next page, 10, it says “For the purposes of this section, the term ‘motorcycle’ shall not include autocycles,” so am I misreading something, or is that a misprint? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We yield to staff on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The way the bill was drafted, the autocycle is still considered a motorcycle under state law, but certain provisions of the state motor vehicle law are applied to the autocycle as opposed to the motorcycle parts of the existing state law, so I think that’s drafted correctly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That answer your question, Representative? Representative Adams. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Am I to understand that if this vehicle had four wheels, it would be an automobile? Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I can’t go that far because it has not passed the federal definition. There’s an acronym that’s applied to the federal bill, and I can’t remember what that is right now, but it has not met all of those, but it has met a large majority to the point that every other state is carrying pretty much the same legislation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, if I could. To me, yes. Absolutely to me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, it would seem to me that all you’d have to do is put two wheels on the back of this thing on the same axle and you’d have a four wheel vehicle. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s correct. That’s correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Blackwell? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have what I intend as a friendly question, maybe for staff. On the first page of the bill, on lines 10 and 11, it says it’s a three-wheel motorcycle that has a steering wheel, pedals, and seat safety belts for each occupant. If you then flip over to page 3 and you look at line 40, it says that the autocycle shall be equipped with at least one set of seat safety belts for the front seat of the autocycle. Then if you slip over to page 4 on line 3, it’s talking about attaching at least one set of seat safety belts for the rear. Is there any inconsistency at all in the first requirement that it’s got to have the belts for each occupant, but then it refers to “at least one” as though that might be an option also? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That question to staff, possibly, or… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brawley, I think this could benefit from some clarification. I think the provision on page 1 would apply, requiring a seatbelt for each occupant. I think that would be more stringent than the language that you pointed out on page 3. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So are you suggesting that the language on page 1 is stringent enough that the others do not contradict it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think yes. I think the language on page 1 would apply, and we’d be happy to work on an amendment at the next committee or here to clarify the language on page 3. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So we have to prepare an amendment to take care of that language on the other two pages, apparently. Representative Blackwell, are you…? Does that answer your question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bumgardner.

[SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Torbett, how many passengers can ride in one of these vehicles? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Bumgardner I guess that would depend on the size of the passengers. I'm looking here in the language. I know I saw it somewhere. I'm going to safely assume at least three, and very possibly four. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Assuming that they're able to fit in there, three, or, either three people that's fine. I was wondering if there were some representative of this company or somebody in the auto or motorcycle industry that would give us a, a short educational talk about these things and what they are and how they are. I've seen some on the road in my neighborhood, so I know they're out there and exist, but I would like if there's somebody here that sells, or has something to do with manufacturing these I'd like to hear from them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I think that'd be a great thing. I would address Representative Bumgardner is that currently it's not, not that I'm aware of these vehicles, any of these that we're looking at have actually been manufactured or are currently available. I think they're taking orders at this point, so the ones you may have seen in your, on your, in your normal travels, may not be the fully enclosed or complete cycle that this is, such as a car with just three wheels. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct. What I have seen is a three-wheeled motorcycle and it looks like it could hold a passenger but it is not an enclosed vehicle. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Boles. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'm sure other states, I'm just concerned with the federal highway funds, if this does not meet-I think you stated earlier it does not meet the federal safety standards. Or did I-it wouldn't jeopardize any federal state highway funds, correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's correct. It would not jeopardize. If I could direct your attention to-I'm sorry it doesn't have a page number but on it, but you turn to the last page of the printed information. At the top of the page it says motorcycle endorsement issue, and just give you a little bit of that information. It says because in NHTSA, which is that acronym I was looking for earlier, certifications of motorcycle current North Carolina statute technically would require a motorcycle license for residents and those traveling throughout the state. Then it goes to say that many states don't require motorcycle endorsements, for three-wheeled enclosed vehicles. Therefore, people without motorcycle endorsements traveling in or through North Carolina from other states could receive a traffic citation, have their vehicle impounded. This vehicle is 72 inches wide, and 13 feet 6 inches. It's impossible to pass what is commonly known as the Motorcycle Drivers' Test simply because it's too large of a vehicle. There's no way it can go through the-I've had to do this, you have to drive through cones and they are placed an exact amount apart to be able to test your ability to operate a motorcycle. This vehicle's a car. There's no way it could go through that. Currently as I said earlier, let me look right here, give you an idea on the other states. I think what impressed me the most about it is that every other state in the union is looking at this. There are helmets technically required now, only one, two, three, four, five, five states, and all of those states are looking at doing the same thing we're doing in this bill so far. So as far as the goose and the gander, it looks like it would be favorable to pass this on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Boles, does that answer your question? Representative Alexander? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Can you tell me the difference between-well let me do it this way. Is the only difference between a spider and this autocycle the enclosure? [SPEAKER CHANGES] A spider is a three

...three-wheeled motorcycle? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, pretty much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Taking the same handout, I think one that best represents what this vehicle is, is shown on, there is a page in there that has it sitting next to an automobile. Have we all seen that? So to answer your question, this is the page I’m referring to here. And I can’t tell what kind of automobile it’s sitting next to, but to me, I don’t see a Spider anywhere or anything that replicates, or looks like, or simulates what this vehicle is. Does that answer your question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not really. This vehicle see. Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES} Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This vehicle seems to be based on the Spider type chassis. In this picture where you see a person with their hands on the steering wheel. I would assume that if you put bars, or you know, there, you would pretty much be riding a Spider. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s an assumption you’ll have to have. I, I can’t make that connection. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up [SPEAKER CHANGES] In this information it mentions a test that you have to have when you are qualifying for a motorcycle license. Do we know whether or not a operator of a Spider type vehicle has to go through that same test, or do they go through some other kind of test? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I think the best answerer to that would be the gentleman from DMV, who pretty much administers that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gentleman from DMV still available? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could, Mr. Chairman, I ask that the question be repeated. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I, I was asking what type of licensure is required for an operator of a Spider type three-wheeled vehicle now. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sir, Robert ?? again. That is gonna be a motorcycle endorsement with a passenger vehicle license, Class C. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That answer your question, Representative? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe our amendment is ready, Mr. Blackwell’s ready to present the amendment to correct the language and Giles Perry will present it. {SPEAKER CHANGES} Thank, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Representative Blackwell moves to amend the bill in two places. The first is on page three lines forty and forty-one, by rewriting those lines to read, “Every autocycle registered in this state shall be equipped with seat safety belts for the front seats of the autocycle” and then continuing the same language that exists on that line. And then again on page four line three by rewriting that line, “Attachment points for the attaching seat safety belts for the rear seats of the autocycle”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’ve heard the amendment. Do we have a motion? Do we adopt the amendment? Representative Blackwell, you want to make that motion? [SPEAKER CHANGES] So moved. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Second? {SPEAKER CHANGES] Second, Representative Zachary. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’ve heard the amendment. Any questions, comments on the amendment? All in favor say, “Aye”. All opposed, “No”. Amendment passes. We’re back on the bill. I had next in line Representative Hardister. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is a question for the bill’s sponsor. Representative Torbett, I support the bill, I think this is the right thing to do based on my understanding, but, but I was wondering if the Department of Insurance has weighed in on this topic. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ve had no conversations with the Department of Insurance on this topic. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would this be something that the Department of Insurance may have interest in? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It appears that a lot more people have interest in it than I’d originally believed they would. But, but my guess is they would follow our lead and the DMV’s lead as how to appropriately apportion the said requirement

For insurance and that they probably already have that in their bag. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One last follow up. Is there anyone here from the department of insurance? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Is anyone here department of insurance? Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Then maybe we can just have that insurance be free, since they're not here. For everyone. Just, any objections? I'm sorry, sorry Representative Tine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, Representative Brian Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman. Just for clarification for the members, the company's website states that it is a two seat vehicle, one on top of another, and the differentiation between the spider, the ?? spider is quite a bit actually. You're talking a, a totally different motor. You're talking about a 13-30 ACE high torque motor, zero to 60 in much quicker than nine seconds. Even if you put a roll cage on a spider, you're talking about air bags, seat restraints, and the list goes on and on, so very, very different applications. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Yarborough. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I didn't know what an autocycle was, so I googled it, and the thing that came up was a Virginia law which seems to be identical to what you did here. Is this just a copy of what was done in the other states? [SPEAKER CHANGES] What we've done and we've assembled language that seems to correspond, and other states have picked up and we're, just everybody's pretty much just pushing the same language through. Because it's a clear definition, that way you have the intrastate or the interstate applications. Not intrastate, interstate is what I'm saying. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Boles? [SPEAKER CHANGES] At the appropriate time, would like to make a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, any further questions or comments? Okay, it must be the appropriate time. Representative Boles, you are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to make the motion of a favorable report of House bill 6 with the amendment rolled into it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rolled into, you mean the PCS? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The PCS and refer to finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Correct. Okay, you heard the motion. Questions and comments? All in favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it, the bill passes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman, members of the committee. It's been an absolute privilege. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Now I have a slightly more complicated bill. House bill 60. Representative Elmore is about ready to present the PCS. And I need a motion that the PCS be before us. Representative Shepard. Second. All in favor say aye. Opposed no. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman for the opportunity. The idea for this bill came about over a year ago from a bicyclist in my area and he talked with me about a policy paper that came from the North Carolina active transportation alliance. It's now called bike walk NC, and what they were looking at are laws across the country that help with the safety of cyclists. Keep, to try to keep down episodes of road rage against the cyclists, running them off the road, ramming them, that sort of thing. And what he brought to my attention is an Ohio law that they were interested in with the ability to go around a slow moving vehicle. So over this year period, I've talked with the Department of Public Safety and the highway patrol, and how this could actually blend into our current laws that exist here in North Carolina. And what is, and we even had the attorneys deal with this also. What this would allow is if you are behind a slow moving vehicle that is less than half the posted speed limit, that if it is safe, that you can go around the vehicle. The vehicle has to be half the posted speed limit. You cannot overtake the vehicle if you’re exceeding the speed limit. You also have to go around the vehicle at least two feet to the left and you have to make sure that the left of center is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic. Also in the PCS, it addresses ultra dangerous spots, which, from the Western part of the state, blind curves, that sort of thing, because they are already posted with signs that say no passing zones. So that's the gist of the bill, mister chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, questions from the committee. Representative Boles. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, thank you mister chair. Are we talking about four wheeled vehicles, or are we talking about bicycles?

The definition of a vehicle, from my understanding through this process, all of these are vehicles. This would include a horse, a horse and carriage, a bicycle, a moped. All of those are deemed vehicles. Currently if you’re behind a horse, you’re technically not supposed to go around the horse on a double yellow. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just to clarify, so this gives the authority to pass a slow-moving vehicle, even on a double yellow line, even on a posted “do not pass” zone. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not on the posted “do not pass”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Alexander? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Bike lanes. How does this work with bike lanes and intersections? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do you want to respond to that, Rayne? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would say that bicycles, if you’ve got a bike lane, that would make this a moot point. The reason I’m on this bill is because I have truckers in my district and they say “We are constantly getting behind mopeds, garbage trucks, bicycles – people that really drive less than half the posted speed, and we feel that it’s more dangerous to stay behind them,” and I agree. At the risk of being led out of here in handcuffs, I pass on a yellow line or a double yellow line at least once a month. We’ve got tractors in my district; I’m all of the time getting behind a garbage truck that’s going 10, 15 miles an hour, and we take risk. We make judgments every time we get in a car. Every time you approach a stoplight that’s getting ready to turn yellow, you make those kinds of decisions. I constantly see double yellow lines or yellow lines in my lane, and the vision I can see for quite a ways, and we’re talking about excessively slow speeds that’s going to take a very short time to get around, but I think it’s a safety issue, I think that… and with the truckers, if they… and we’ve already heard from the highway patrol that they don’t enforce this. I mean they do, but it’s very sketchy. So if you’ve got a trucker and he passes a bicyclist, if he even goes across that line, not even talking about getting in the other lane, if he gets a ticket, that affects his CDL. If he gets a ticket and he works for someone else, that could affect his job. We’re talking about common sense. Use your best judgment. When you’re going this slowly, like I said, it’s not going to take just a moment to get around. I think it’s safer; I think that it cuts down frustration in driving quite a bit. Did I answer your question? I think I did on the bike lanes. I think that would be a moot point. I live in a rural district. We don’t have bike lanes; we got country roads, and this is what I confront every single day, just about. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jeter. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was more opposed to this until Rayne started talking about trucking, and now I’m a little bit more favorable towards it. To me, I understand your argument, particularly about the trucks. I understand the argument when you’re talking about passing non-powered vehicles, or non-engine-powered vehicles, whether it be a horse, whether it be a bicycle. I get all that. I completely understand your point; agree with you 100%. However, when you’re passing a powered vehicle in a lane that I’m assuming that DOT has already decided by double yellow line that they’re saying “do not pass”, my concern is not how far you can see, or how fast your car’s going or the car in front of you is going or the garbage truck. My concern is that autocycle coming at you, which apparently can go to 60 miles an hour in 90 seconds and don’t have to wear helmets anymore. That’s what concerns me, is the oncoming traffic you can’t see, and they’ll be going the speed limit, and I have to assume that DOT, and this may not be a good assumption, but they put those double yellow lines there for a reason. For that reason, as much as I love you three, unless we separate engine power from non-engine power, I can’t support the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What we found out… Sorry, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. What we found out when we were researching this bill is actually we have laws on the books that dictate minimum speeds. They are not posted, so even a motorized vehicle that is running less than half the speed limit is breaking the law. That is not enforced that much because you don’t see it on the speed limit signs like you would in South Carolina.

Also, from my understanding with the DOT, they’re determining those passing lanes based on normal speeds travelled. This is an exemption to the rule. It is your variables that are of the very low end – your horses or mopeds or even in your scenario, the elderly person that’s running 15. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That answer your question, Representative Jeter? Representative Adams. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, I’m going to support this bill. Couple of comments: I’m a little bit worried about the metrics about 2 feet from this… the arguments that will arise from that. I will say this: In my district, one of the most common complaints that I hear is about mopeds – particularly mopeds that are being ridden two-up, which I don’t know if that’s legal or not, but they’re very slow and they do hold up traffic, particularly in hilly terrain like we live in. One item that does concern me: school busses. School busses stop on the road, drop off kids; takes them a while to accelerate. Is there any kind of provision that excludes school busses? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This issue was brought up as a concern from one of the other members. All of those laws are still on the books. If you pass a stopped school bus, the violations are very strict already, and this is not affecting that at all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m not talking about a stopped school bus; I’m talking about a school bus that has stopped and has not retracted the sign, turned off the lights, and it slowly accelerates away, as they do. Now it would be eligible for passing under this regulation. Are we going to allow that? Is that okay? And what I visualize is a number of people would try and make that pass. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure, there’s a lot of what-ifs with the bill, and we tried going through all of those different scenarios when formatting it and trying to fit it into the language. Originally the bill did have a list, and the highway patrol did not feel comfortable with having everything listed out because of the enforcement issues if they do have someone in what Representative Jeter was talking about – the spider or whatever that’s going 100 miles per hour. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Can I respond? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Go ahead, Representative Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just a point of clarification. If we’re on a road, as I am every morning coming to the General Assembly – say Kildaire Farm Road, and it’s a duel lane on both sides – I’m passing school busses that are going very, very slowly, but I’m always watching to make sure that when I see those lights come on, those brake lights, I know that I’ve either got to make a decision to go on around, or I’m just going to have to wait my piece until he stops. I don’t understand how that would be any different. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What I’m suggesting here is that people… school busses in my area, particularly on two-lane roads, particularly on hilly roads, you can have a column of people stacked up behind that school bus, and what I envision would be not just one car trying to pass, but a column of cars, and the guy that’s at the tail end, Charlie, when somebody comes over the hill on a double yellow line, is in trouble. That’s the only thing, and it would also apply to other long, slow-moving vehicles. I’m just raising a concern. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ve got seven people in the queue, and Representative Carney’s next. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a hypothetical. First of all, Representative Elmore, you did say I think, in response to the question about a “do not pass”, you said they can’t do that now with this bill if there’s a posted “do not pass” sign? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, that is correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So but the bill states that which is marked by signs… It’s everything, so I’m wondering if that needs to be a clarification, that under that circumstance you can’t do it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff may need to address that because they scrubbed the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff has an answer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The bill, it is an exception to anything that’s marked or signs posted. This would allow passing even if there are signs posted. There are other restrictions in the statute about passing on a grade or around a curve, and those things would still apply, but the signs and the markings, this would allow somebody to pass even if those exist. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So to me that’s another safety issue, but a hypothetical. If I

...I am on a motorcycle. Currently in this state you don't have to have any insurance. And I'm just cruising down the road and all of a sudden I see a tractor in the other lane coming this way, I'm going this way. And all of a sudden, and I'm probably going fast, I don't drive a motorcycle that way, but the car pulls out to go around this slow-moving vehicle on a double-yellow line. He's passing legally. We collide. Who's liable? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You want to respond to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] And that could apply to a car, too. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think the bill says that you can pass in safety, so I think if there's somebody coming you obviously wouldn't be able to pass in safety. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mr. Chairman? Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I understand that. I understand the safety part. But you know, a car could pull out of a side street and you don't see it coming. A motorcycle could fly out around passing another car and you don't see it. We all want to think that we drive safely, but I'm going to the liability part. If I'm in a car and I have three kids in my car, and I'm riding down the road and that guy's so antsy and we all, again, want to hope that we drive safely. But I'm antsy, I'm late for an appointment, I'm late for work, I'm going to pull around that tractor. And that car's...and they can see it. And even if they, if it's not in the sight line, I'm not sure, I'm just not sure we're at that point yet to say pass any car that's going slow. And it is all moving vehicles. I'm concerned about the liability. If I am legally passing on a double-yellow line, and for whatever reason I hit something, I hit a child running out in the road, I hit another car, I hit a motorcycle head on. I'm now, I was legally passing so I'm not responsible. Is that, and maybe that's a question to staff. Is that a fair assumption? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff Helen? Response. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't know that you can make that assumption. I think if you're passing legally then you don't have the argument of negligence per se. If the person's not violating a statute, that doesn't mean that there's not otherwise some kind of negligence. And that would just be determined if somebody filed a lawsuit by the court. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We're up against a time constraint. We have members that have other meetings, as well as staff. And so we're going to displace this bill until next week and the meeting is adjourned. We have others in the queue. We've got seven more on the queue.