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House | March 26, 2013 | Committee Room | Transportation

Full MP3 Audio File

Good afternoon. The quorum being present, the House Committee on Transportation is now in session. The sergeants at arms serving us today are Bob Rossi, Doug Hanes, Barry Moore, and Billy Jones. Our pages today: Jamal Hall from Durham, Joshua Garner from Randolph County, Miles Heath from Wake, and John Hodges from Wake. Thank you for your service today. First item on the agenda today, House Bill 211, Weight Limits Animal Feed Trucks. Representative Dixon is recognized to present the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair, members of the committee. I’d like to thank Representative Brisson, Representative John Bell and Representative Larry Bell for joining me on this piece of legislation. Members of the committee, House Bill 211 makes an addition to legislation that we passed in the last session, in Subsection 3A adding feed, processed feed that is delivered to poultry or livestock from a storage facility, holding facility or mill, to a farm. It’s an important piece of legislation for our livestock producers throughout North Carolina, in that it gives us an additional method of staying competitive with those who are closer to the supply of the ingredients for feed. I consulted with the highway patrol up front, Lieutenant Hook is here should any of you have any questions of him. I’ll be glad to answer any questions concerning this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Are there any questions for the sponsor? Representative Shephard? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to make a motion at the appropriate time, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay thank you chairman. Mr. Torbitt? Okay, are there any comments? Your motion’s in order, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to make a motion that we approve this bill and I forward it to the next committee, if there is one? Mr. Chair, agriculture. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So the motion is favorable to the bill, with referral to Agriculture. So many as favor the motion, say aye. All opposed. Thank you for an excellent presentation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you members of the committee. [LAUGHTER] [SPEAKER CHANGES] A brilliant job of presenting the bill, if I’ve ever seen one. House Bill 109, Representative Torbitt’s recognized to explain the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you members of the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe we have a proposed Committee Substitute on motion of Representative Shafer. The substitute is now before us. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just like to kind of rehash very briefly some of the discussion that went on. As you know, the origins of this was a helmet law was implemented or mandated by the state government of North Carolina because it was an access to federal funds, years ago. That later was proved unnecessary. A lot of states, 31 of 50, chose to exile that and to have choice in their wearing of helmets. So 31 of 50 currently have that. Some of the other reasons is statistical differences in fatality between freedom of choice states and universal helmet law states are miniscule. That shows that the helmet is not the answer. Of the top five most expensive states for vehicle insurance, four of them have or mandate the helmet law. Of the five least expensive states for vehicle insurance, four of them are choice states. Of the top twelve states most expensive states for inpatient hospital expenses, 7 of 12 have the helmet law. Five are choice states. Of the twelve least expensive states for inpatient hospital expenses, 4 have a universal helmet law, 8 are choice states. So as you can see as we discuss, that some of the information it just makes good common sense about the helmet but when it comes to factual data, it’s just not supported. Also at the last meeting it was brought forward about our Governor’s health safety task force, Governor Safety Task Force, it was mentioned that

Cityscapes and a writer surveyed agreed with the current helmet all and give you a breakdown that will and anybody in this rent pretty much understand how polls are and there were 200,000 licensed motorcycles and North Carolina study interviewed 601 license drivers subsidence and most only 43 of these people reported they were licensed operators of Microsoft so essentially the response right you got was 43 out of 600 and anything they would motorcycle sign that they do support motorcycle of that is you that here once again those numbers are pretty much I just is really not supported and I will finish up with take a point in my present herself here last two mins ago.scheme he was emphatic that what you members of the committee notice because he might statement he went back to check this statement and statement made was that currently three states mandate insurance and he the least him your email very apologetic he was incorrectly found that only two states mandate insurance partly in one of those a $10,000 without close share request represented more of Mecklenburg Bakula musculus love quick comment and emotional it is appropriate have the skeletal thought about it at first you know I was in favor with bill first came here with people 18 years in and under would be required compulsory of 21 I would understand and I'm in favor would be my preference is I will ride a motorcycle without Dylan in several years many years that I've always wore a little helmet to protect myself but when you look at a person's right send endear of an and you have a right to decide whether he wants to wear and 21 eight they should be able to make a reasonable decision whether they want aware of Hellman a not so I will Oedipal every time I will like to make a most representative claim represented Brisson thinkest you all imagine the insurance is that medical ensures that required hours ago Leo are slow or the Shiite telephone noninsured just to stay the accepted liabilities and responsibilities of the individual whatever about health website for the they accept motor vehicle accidents of which cars are the largest things they accept pedestrians which are just number motorcycle so it it is just no barren bicycle so, question follow-up searches this insures visit to the above include medical insurance that the latest to get is my medical insurance side effect that did not lead so they would be made noninsured all interested in what we can only hope that's correct you know a course we have uninsured in the four wheeled vehicles now North Carolina when you understand insurance but I guess the the the law is that it's is for licensure pedagogical terminology this follow up to what the other person was asking as I read this you'll have that insurance if you Ryland after helmet represented Blackwell find this chairman I'm not sure if this is sure if she told her for staff is I understand the bill now, somebody convicted of violating the statute wants its amended would be committing an infraction and I would pay $25.50 for violating the statute that they would be exempted from paying court costs my questionnaires if reading is correct what other infractions do we similarly exempt from paying court costs for example I assume that not wearing your seatbelt I am a car is an infraction are they exempted from court costs or

Are there other infractions exempted from court cost? Do you have an answer? [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right we're going to give him a minute to find it. Would it be all right if I allowed Representative Shepard to ask his question while we wait? Thank you. Representative Shepard. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My question was concerning the same issue. Representative Torbett, why did that come into play just for the court cost? Could you share with us why this came into play exempt ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] An effort to not clog the court system. It to be pretty much a simple citation. That was the intent. So in other words you pretty much pay a ticket and there is no court cost, other than just the maintenance for doing the ticket. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there other-- Representative Starnes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chair. I have a question going back to the - and I may have missed this because I did come in a few minutes late and I apologize if I did - the $10,000 of medical benefits. Where did we come up with that $10,000 number? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative, Mister Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Starnes that was to simulate, for example, State of Florida that allowed the bill to move forward once people felt reassured there was some insurance attached to that law. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you have any objections to raising that number? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually we based off the states that have it, and 10,000 is the only common of the 2 of 31 that actually mandate it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? Yes, Mr. Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Finish up on Representative Starnes. I have no problem lowering it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Catlin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Chairman. Having served on the state public health commission, I have concerns about the cost to the public of long-term brain injuries. Having had a motorcycle myself, and wearing a helmet it saved my life before. I do respect your bill, but I probably will be voting no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Chairman. I do, I want to respond to my colleague if I may before I ask my question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The ?? recognized to debate the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I really don't think that's a road that we want to go down on, because every single year there are people who don't care of their health. They don't take their high blood pressure medication. They don't look after their diabetes. They eat a piece of cake at every meal. We are always going to pay for irresponsible people. I think that not to vote for this bill because of that is really going down the wrong road. We don't want to start going there. That's my comment. My question is: how do we know if someone's 21 years old or younger? Is there going to be any way - and maybe I missed this comment, I apologize - but is there going to be anyway to differentiate between who's 21 and who's younger? Thank you, Mister Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Currently in the-- oh, sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Chairman. I tell you what I was told. A policeman is a trained observer. And they do a real good at the job and the function that they serve to the public. When it comes down to 1 year, it's often times just obviously to determine, especially with a helmet on, if a person's 21 or not 21. With a helmet off, of course that becomes much easier. But even so there would still be some apprehension as to gauging the age. So I would allow on the police officer as a trained observer, as the courts will tell you that's what they do. That's a large part of their function is they are more highly skilled in the aspect of observation, that we lead it to their guidance. And should it present a problem, there is a simple remedy. And the remedy would be a notation on a license tag of the vehicle, something that would discern them based on 21 years of age. And I didn't incorporate that. I'm thinking that if police come back in a couple of years and say, "Hey, look. There's a problem that we can't really tell." Then we can take it to the next step and just make a different colored plate or something. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Staff has an answer to Representative Blackwell's question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It's my understanding that you were asking about whether people convicted or found responsible for infractions pay court cost. The seatbelt law, the driver of the vehicle.

He’s responsible for court costs. The fine is 25 dollars and 50 cents. But they are responsible for court costs. The rear seat occupant who violates the provision whose an adult is not responsible for court costs and is subject on to a fine. Speeding is an infraction and there are court costs in those instances. So it depends on the particular infraction and as to whether or not the person has to pay court costs. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Ms. Carter. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up, Mister Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So are you suggesting that you all haven’t done an exhaustive search but there may be other examples of infractions exemptive of court cost? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s correct. There’s no general exemption of infractions from court costs. So there may be some other instances where the infractions are not subject to court costs. But I can’t identify them at this time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. Except for the one about someone in the rear seat of a car who is not wearing a seat belt. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right. Well, we looked at the seat belt statute just because that was one that we knew is an infraction that may or may not carry court costs and we found that it did have court costs for the driver but not for the occupant. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Arp. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That was part of my question was what the seat belt infraction was in terms of who pays what. And I think that answers my question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Gill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I’m looking again at the medical insurance. The 10,000 dollars at least, for insurance policy if you’re a rider or a operator. What if the rider does not have insurance? I mean as there a penalty for either not having insurance? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The only answer I have for you would be the 25 dollars and 50 cent fine. I would guess for an infraction to that law. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mister Chairman. I would just comment to that that I think the 25 and 50 is adequate. I mean, if the person driving the motorcycle chooses not to wear a helmet, if anything happens, he’s not hurting anybody but himself. If he has a passenger and they either have a helmet on or they don’t, that’s their responsibility, I would think. And so, I don’t think anything beyond the 25.50 should be imposed on this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Further discussion. Representative Moore moves. Favorable to the proposed committee substitute for House Bill 109 on favorable to the original bill with a referral to judiciary. Yes, Mr. Arp. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I apologize. I’m a freshman here, so I’m trying to learn the rules. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s okay. We can still talk. You’re recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I sure would like to vote for this but I think what gives me pause is just simply the court costs and everything. I would love to support the Bill in terms of the age of 21, but I want to put some teeth in it to the ones who are underneath 21. And so for me, I think making the court costs and the infraction a piece of that would be good. But I wanted to get your thoughts, Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett is recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m a sophomore but it’s my guess that that debate will be carried on in it’s entirety in judiciary. And if you allow it to go to judiciary because I’ve been in that room before and they don’t let anything slide. Most of the members are counselors of fine standing. [SPEAKERS CHANGES] So it seems like since you called for a motion, maybe mine is out of order. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. Actually I never understood why we wait to finish the debate to make the motion. I’ve always thought you have to have the motion before you can debate it. So we’ll just follow the rules. I’ve got my little red book like everybody else but mine’s not published by Chairman Meyer. Did you have a further comment, Sir? Okay. Further discussion. Further debate. The motion is approval of the proposed committee substitute, with a referral to the judiciary. All in favor say “Aye”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The Chair believe the Ayes have it.

Have it. The bill is passed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Having no further business, the committee is adjourned.