H.3615: Why Must we Fight for Safety?

Rep. Loftis of Greenville objecting to H.3615, because a crosswalk shouldn’t require a car to stop.

For the last 4 years, the PCC persisted with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act H.3615, through direct advocacy and You – our grassroots network – Thank You!!

Unfortunately, today the bill died because Representative Dwight Loftis of Greenville once again used a parliamentary procedure to stop it. Please share with your networks. Our state deserves to know.

In 2015-2016, the bill passed both the state House and Senate, surviving persistent challenges from lawyer legislators who did not want to increase penalties for drivers who fail to yield the right of way. It made it to the final day of that session only to be killed through a Parliamentary procedure by Rep. Dwight Loftis of Greenville.

When the bill was reintroduced in 2017, PCC members actively got involved and the bill quickly got a favorable subcommittee report. But, Rep. Loftis intervened by requesting that the full committee delay action on the bill until he could develop an amendment. When it eventually became apparent that he had no amendment, the committee gave the bill a favorable report and it headed to the floor of the House for consideration.

When the bill came up for debate on the house floor, Rep. Murrell Smith objected to the section that required a Defensive Driving Course for Failure to Yield Right if Way Resulting in Injury or Death. He moved to put the bill in the Judiciary Committee for further study. For the next twelve months, our staff and lobbyist worked back and forth with Judiciary to find a solution to their legal challenges, and when we finally got that solution, Rep. Smith made a motion to recall the bill from Judiciary. This would require unanimous consent.

That’s when Rep. Loftis waved his yellow flag with fervor, as you’ll see in the large photo, as he objected to the recall motion. That’s how H. 3615 died. It cannot make the April 10th deadline to pass the House and be considered by the Senate.

Please thank the following House members for their support with H.3615, using these links: Rep. Herbkersman for introducing the bill; Judiciary Chairman Delleney, Rep. Weeks, and M. Smith who eventually agreed to a compromise; House Ed & PW subcommittee members Rep. Elliott, Willis, Felder, Stringer, Cogswell, Alexander, and their Chairman Rep. Rita Allison. The following Senators also helped: Senator Grooms, Hembree, Hutto, Kimpson, McElveen, and Sabb.  Also, thanks to our co-sponsors, and especially Rep. Bernstein who helped us several times along the way. 

In addition, it is very important we honor Beverly Pack for testifying in support of the bill, because she did so as a result of the loss of her son Josh Duncan.

Amy Johnson Ely

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