Traffic Safety Legislation Wins
The North Carolina legislature has been busy with traffic safety related delegation this session. Two notable new bills have passed, benefitting North Carolinian motorists: a roads bill and a disabled veteran motorist bill. In South Carolina, the vision screening bill for motorists to adhere to has passed.
Build NC Bond Act
Over the next 20 years, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and Florida will account for 50% of the nation’s total population growth. It is imperative that our state’s transportation infrastructure is able to keep the pace to support that growth.
The Build NC Bond Act was recently signed into law. It will issue up to $300 million annually through 2028 in an effort to keep NC road building robust over that time frame.
Regarding the new legislation, NC Governor Roy Cooper said, “For families trying to get to work and school faster, for farmers and business owners seeking to get their goods to customers, and for CEOs looking to grow in North Carolina, transportation is essential. Build NC is a bipartisan effort that pulled Republicans and Democrats together to help deliver critical transportation projects to communities more quickly, helping North Carolina attract opportunities and stay competitive."
There are currently 350 highway projects and 144 additional projects in the 2018-2027 transportation plan.
House Bill 223
The passage of this bill includes military-friendly transit provisions in order to make the lives of North Carolina’s veterans easier and safer.
Advocated for by AAA Carolinas, H223 allows for the DMV to issue 100% Disabled Veteran and Partially Disabled Veteran motorcycle plates to veterans who suffered an injury as a result of their time in the United States Armed Forces. It also awards these disabled veterans their first plate free of charge.
It is imperative that special registration plates are not only on vehicles but are included on motorcycles as well to keep disabled veterans safe behind the handlebars.
This law reinstates the requirement for mandatory vision screening for all license renewals. This state-wide rule had been eliminated when the state adopted REAL ID in an effort to cut down on wait times at the DMV, but lawmakers decided this year to reinstate the requirement.
AAA Carolinas and the SC General Assembly felt that compromising on the safety of everyone on the roads in order to reduce wait times at the DMV was a grave mistake. Against the SCDMV’s recommendations, this bill was passed to bring back vision tests and ensure that every licensed driver on South Carolina roads is legally able to see the road as well as all of the obstacles that come with driving.