NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Congressman Tim Walberg Accepts NCOM Silver Spoke Award
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) was selected as this year’s recipient of the NCOM Silver Spoke Award for Government.  Unfortunately, he was not able to attend the 34th Annual NCOM Convention in Orlando, Florida to receive the award in May, so it was brought to Washington, D.C. recently and presented there by several members of the NCOM Board of Directors.

NCOM Confederation of Clubs Liaison “Boar”, Region IV Co-Director Ed Schetter and Region VII Co-Director John Bilotta were in the nation’s capital taking part in the Motorcycle Riders Foundation “Bikers Inside the Beltway” and meeting with their legislators and staff members.  During the visit to the Capitol, they met with Congressman Walberg and personally presented the award on behalf of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) in recognition of his work in Congress for the benefit of all of America’s motorcycle riders.

Representative Walberg introduced the recently-passed House Resolution that addresses profiling of motorcyclists and he and Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) head up the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus.

Missouri Governor Vetoes Repeal Of Motorcycle Helmet Law
Missouri Governor Mike Parson vetoed Senate Bill 147 on Friday, July 12, a bill that would have allowed most adult motorcycle riders to ride without helmets.  Despite voting in favor of such legislation in the past as a state legislator, the Republican governor blocked the omnibus transportation measure which, among other things, would have repealed Missouri’s helmet requirement for motorcyclists 18 and older who carry medical insurance.

Gov. Parson didn’t express opposition to relaxing helmet requirements for motorcyclists, but in a letter to lawmakers he wrote that he vetoed the bill because of a section that dealt with suspending driver’s licenses over unpaid fines related to traffic violations, which his office deemed to be unconstitutional.

Bikers rights activists and state lawmakers have been trying decades to repeal the helmet requirement, passing bills to do so in 1999 that was vetoed by then-Gov. Mel Carnahan, and again in 2009 that was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, both Democrats.

“The Governor was looking forward to signing this bill and still supports freedom of choice,” wrote Jay Widmer, Legislative Coordinator for Freedom of Road Riders (FORR-MO) on their Facebook page.  “We are working toward a meeting with the Governor and his staff to work with them towards a remedy.”

North Carolina Legalizes Motorcyclists Wearing Face Masks
Like many states, North Carolina law generally “prohibits a person from wearing a mask, hood, or other device, to conceal the identity of the wearer,” with limited exceptions which now includes; “a person may wear a mask for the purpose of protecting the person’s head, face, or head and face, when operating a motorcycle.”

House Bill 257/Senate Bill 321 “An Act to permit the use of a face mask while operating a motorcycle,” was signed into law by Governor Ray Cooper (D) on July 11, 2019 and goes into effect December 1st.

Amidst nationwide furor over political groups like Antifa wearing masks while engaging in civil unrest, HB 257 passed the House on March 27 by a vote of 111-1 and companion bill SB 321 passed the Senate unanimously on June 27, 48-0.

Law enforcement officers in some states had begun stopping and citing motorcycle riders, particularly patch holders, for violating local anti-mask laws.

The new law will “require the person to remove the mask during traffic stops, checkpoints, roadblocks, or when approached by a law enforcement officer.”

New Washington Law Requires Liability Insurance For Motorcycles
Washington motorcycle owners must make sure their rides are insured once a new law goes into effect on July 28, 2019, requiring motorcycle operators to obtain and carry proof of liability insurance coverage when cruising on Washington’s roadways.

The new rules stem from House Bill 1014, which was signed into law in April by Governor Jay Inslee (D).  Unlike other motor vehicle drivers, in virtually every other state, motorcycle riders in Washington have previously been exempt from obtaining and carrying proof of insurance.

According to an April 23 statement from the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bill Jenkin (R-Prosser), the law will require those operating a motorcycle to meet the insurance requirements, or equivalent, for registered motor vehicles under current law; 25/50/10 – Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, and Property Damage Liability Coverage: $10,000.

Oregon To Include Motorcyclists Under “Vulnerable Roadway User”
Back in 2007, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3314, creating an enhanced penalty for careless driving if it contributes to serious physical injury or death to a “vulnerable user of a public way”, providing legal protections for non-motorized roadway users such as bicyclists and pedestrians.

The concept of “vulnerable roadway user” had previously been widely used by planners and safety organizations in Europe to categorize and describe non-motorized roadway users, incorporating the inherent vulnerability of humans who use the roads without the benefit of being encased in a 4-wheeled protective steel cage.

On June 11, 2019, Governor Kate Brown (D) signed Senate Bill 810 into law, modifying the definition of “vulnerable user of a public way” in Oregon to now include persons operating or riding on a moped or motorcycle.

Thousands Ride To Honor Seven Bikers Killed In New Hampshire Crash
More than 3,000 motorcyclists rode across New Hampshire on Saturday, July 6 on the “Ride for the Fallen 7” to honor seven bikers killed and three injured in a collision with an oncoming pickup truck in June, as state police escorted the group along the 90 mile route to the site of the deadly crash.

The victims were Marine veterans and their spouses, members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, who were traveling west on Route 2 on their way to a charity event, when a pickup truck and trailer crossed into their lane from the opposite direction, plowing through the pack, according to a criminal complaint.

Commercial trucker, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy of West Springfield, Mass., an immigrant from the Ukraine with a documented history of multiple drug and alcohol arrests and convictions in numerous states, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of negligent homicide.

In the days following the fatal accident, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation revealed Zhukovskyy had received an intoxicated driving charge in Connecticut in May, which should have led to the termination of his Massachusetts commercial drivers license.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has announced changes to the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles, which include running all 5.2 million licenses through the National Driver Register to keep suspension information up to date and creating a new position to oversee safety and set requirements for commercial drivers in the state.

On July 13, as thousands more gathered at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., for a memorial service organized by the Jarheads MC, New England Patriots NFL team owner Robert Kraft made a surprise appearance to present a $100,000 donation to the crash victims’ GoFundMe campaign.

Prank Lands Man In Jail For Attempted Murder Of Motorcyclist
Late one night, on the morning after Christmas, a 45-year-old motorcyclist in Japan got a rope tangled around his neck causing him to dump his bike, severely injuring his back and hip.  Luckily, the man who strung the rope across the road was caught on security camera footage, and Japanese police quickly tracked him down and charged him with attempted murder.

Japan Today reports that police arrested Koichi Deki, 41, who claims the rope strung across the road was nothing more than a “stress relieving prank.”  There is no indication whether Deki knew a motorcyclist was coming down the road when he tied a rope to a sign and a pole on the other side of the street, and he is quoted as saying he did it to relieve his stress and didn’t think his “rope prank” could kill anyone.

The motorcyclist hit the rope roughly 15 seconds after the rope was stretched across the road, according to the time code on the surveillance footage, and now the prankster faces a prison sentence of several years.

Ireland May Ban All New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales After 2030
The Irish Government has reaffirmed its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as part of a new strategy aimed at protecting the environment.

In 2015, the United Nations agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and Ireland’s recently released Climate Action Plan details how that nation intends to achieve them.  The greatest potential impact on Irish motorcyclists, according to Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) involves halting the sale of all new non-electric vehicles by the year 2030, adding “It’s worth noting that nowhere in this plan is any mention made of motorcycles or other two-wheeled vehicles as having any considerations separate from those of all other vehicles.”

There is an ambitious plan to refine and develop an EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure throughout the country that can sustain 800,000 EVs by the 2030 deadline included, as well as possible consideration of an ICE (internal combustion engine) car scrappage program to be implemented as soon as 2020.

This is, according to MCN, partially in response to the UK potentially moving its 2040 ICE ban forward to 2032.  At this point, nine countries around the world have plans in place to begin phasing out ICE vehicles in the very near future.

Norway’s approach of incentivizing its citizens to adopt EVs over ICE vehicles resulted in an impressive 52% of cars sold in 2017 being EVs, according to Reuters.

The city of Amsterdam has also come forward to state it’ll be banning non-electric vehicles by 2030.

Ethiopia Bans Motorcycles In Capital City To Control Crimes
Officials in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa said a ban on motorcycle use will be implemented in the city starting from July 7, in a bid to curb rising criminality.

The capital city of an estimated 5 million plus population is generally considered a safe city, but rising incidences of violent crimes using motorcycles has alarmed residents and officials.

Mayor Takele Uma said criminals have in recent months been using motorcycles to engage in assaults and robberies, and that the motorcycle use ban was implemented in the city after a one-week long study revealed many criminal activities are done using motorcycles.

German Court Rules Sikhs Must Wear Helmets, No Exception
One of Germany’s top five federal courts has ruled that Sikh individuals are not exempt from country-wide motorcycle helmet laws.  The ruling was in response to an appeal by a Sikh man, who had argued that he could not successfully fit a helmet over his dastaar, the traditional turban that Sikh men (and some women) wear within their faith.

Federal Administrative Court of Leipzig presiding judge Renate Philipp said, in his ruling, “People wearing a turban on religious grounds are not for that reason alone exempt from the obligation to wear a helmet,” according to Deutsche Welle newspaper.

One argument the court made against the man’s claim is that wearing a helmet doesn’t only protect the rider — it also helps drivers avoid trauma if they cause injury to a rider without a helmet, and that any riders wearing helmets would more readily be able to assist others in an accident.

Several countries have exemptions from existing helmet laws for Sikh motorcyclists, including the UK, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba.  Around the world, in places including Australia and India, exemptions and even proposals for exceptions draw a range of opinions from both Sikh and non-Sikh motorcyclists alike.

Quotable Quote:  “I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.”

~ Friedrich August von Hayek (1899 – 1992), Austrian-born British economist & philosopher

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Call On Missouri Governor To Sign Helmet Repeal Bill, SB 147

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMCall On Missouri Governor To Sign Helmet Repeal Bill, SB 147

As reported previously in NCOM Biker Newsbytes, biker activists in Missouri have succeeded in passing a helmet repeal bill through their state legislature and onto the desk of their governor, Senate Bill 147, which would allow those 18 and older who carry qualifying medical insurance the right to decide whether or not to wear a helmet when they ride.

Governor Mike Parson (R) has until July 15 to sign the bill into law, veto it or let it go into effect via “pocket pass” without his signature.

Although many stakeholders have expected Governor Parson to sign SB 147 into law, since he supported prior repeal efforts when he previously served in the state legislature, a recent CALL TO ACTION from Mark “Sparky” Capps of Freedom of the Road Riders (FORR-MO) states that “We heard today that the Governor is going to veto this legislation on Friday.  We need everyone (inside and outside of Missouri) who supports freedom of choice to call or email him NOW!”
You can call Governor Parson at (573) 751-3222, or email him directly at governor@state.mo.gov, and please be polite.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION QUICKLY, THEN FURTHER DISTRIBUTE THIS LEGISLATIVE REQUEST 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Louisiana Enacts Law Against Motorcyclist Profiling
Louisiana has become the third state to pass legislation to curtail the profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement, by unanimously approving House Bill 141 in the state legislature (38-0 in the Senate 6/2/19 and 103-0 in the House 6/3/19), and the biker anti-discrimination measure was signed into law on June 11, 2019 by democrat Governor John Bel Edwards.

Effective August 1, 2019, HB 141, “Provides relative to motorcyclist profiling training for peace officers,” by establishing the creation of a “motorcyclist profiling awareness training program” to include classroom or internet instruction “in the current bias-recognition policing curriculum.”

Sponsored by Rep. Frankie Howard (R) at the request of ABATE of Louisiana, with support from the Louisiana Confederation of Clubs & Independents as well as the National Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project, the new LA law defines “motorcyclist profiling” as “the arbitrary use of the fact that an individual rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related clothing or paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop, question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search an individual or his motorcycle or motor vehicle.”

The Bayou State follows the states of Washington (2011) and Maryland (2016) in passing similar legislation, all by unanimous votes, and a bipartisan federal anti-profiling bill currently awaits further action in the U.S. House of Representatives (House Resolution 255) after passing by unanimous consent in the United States Senate (Senate Resolution 154) late last year.

Missouri Helmet Law A Signature Away From Repeal
The Show-Me State may soon grant adult motorcycle riders the freedom to choose whether or not to wear helmets, as legislation to repeal their mandatory motorcycle helmet law for those 18 and older who carry qualifying medical insurance is currently sitting on the desk of Governor Mike Parson (R) awaiting his signature.  Parson previously supported repeal as a member of the state legislature.

Senate Bill 147 passed the Senate 21-12 on Thursday, May 16 and the House voted 94-46 the following day to advance the omnibus transportation package to the governor.

Missouri is currently in the minority among states, as only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate the wearing of motorcycle helmets by all riders.  Repeal efforts have been debated in the General Assembly for decades, and twice before lawmakers had passed helmet law repeal bills, in both 1999 and 2009, but couldn’t overcome gubernatorial vetoes.

But now, with Republicans holding hyper-majorities in both chambers and the governorship, riders’ rights groups like ABATE for Missouri and Freedom of Road Riders of Missouri took advantage of the “perfect storm” to navigate their bill through the Conservative-controlled legislative agenda.

Gov. Parson has voted in favor of this issue in the past, and according to the St. Joseph Post newspaper, “nearly all stakeholders expect him to sign it.”

Nebraska Police Target Motorcyclists
In a battle between bikers and cops, Nebraska State Troopers are working with local law enforcement this summer to put the brakes on speeding motorcycles.

For the second year in a row, troopers will conduct special enforcement operations to stop speeding bikers, utilizing an $18,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office that will allow for aviation support as well as more law enforcement on the ground.

“Motorcycles have a unique ability to evade law enforcement…(so) we’ll use resources like helicopters to help out,” Nebraska State Patrol Capt. Jason Scott told KMTV 3 NewsNow in Omaha, adding that numerous citations have been made so far and arrests have been made for reckless driving and for flight to avoid arrest.

“We’ve been working with the county attorney’s offices to make sure there’s a message that’s sent here,” Capt. Scott said. “We’re not going to tolerate the aggressive driving.”

Red Light Cameras Banned In Texas
Drivers in Texas are about to be seeing less red, as Governor Greg Abbott (R) has announced that he has signed legislation that bans red light cameras across the Lone Star State.  House Bill 1361, authored by Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Fort Worth), would prohibit the use of “photographic traffic signal enforcement systems.”

Stickland told FOX7 the bill was motivated by “a lot of reason,” including privacy concerns and the right to due process.

The new law included a grandfather clause for cities involved in red light camera contracts that have yet to end, except if the contract includes a provision allowing for state law to break it.

Ever since becoming legal in 2007, Texas lawmakers have made attempts to turn the cameras off that were unsuccessful until now, according to the Star-Telegram.  Red light cameras have come under fire elsewhere recently, with at least 7 other states trying to ban them.

Washington Governor Signs Motorcycle Liability Bill
Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) has signed House Bill 1014, which is a motorcycle liability insurance bill.

Previously, motorcycle operators across the state were not required to be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy, but HB 1014 sponsored by Rep. Bill Jenkin (R-Prosser) changes this by requiring all motorcycle operators to be insured under a motor vehicle liability policy or the allowed equivalent according to the terms required by current law.

“People are surprised to learn that motorcycle operators are not required to have liability insurance. My bill simply requires those operating a motorcycle to meet the insurance requirements, or equivalent for registered motor vehicles under current law,” Rep. Jenkin told KEPRTV Action News.  “When someone gets property damage, or in an accident, with an uninsured motorcyclist, they are stuck filing a claim and potentially paying a higher premium.  Having motorcycles insured, just like other vehicles, makes sense.

Jenkin’s bill goes into effect 90-days after the adjournment of the 2019 session.

Grass Clippings And Motorcycles A Deadly Mix
A number of states and localities have come to the realization that grass clippings on the roadway are a danger to motorcyclists, and some are taking steps to outlaw the roughage.

In Pennsylvania, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington County) has proposed legislation to protect motorcyclists by making it illegal to throw grass clippings on the roadway during mowing season, making the violation a fineable offense much like littering. She says grass clippings not only cause the surface of the roadway to become extremely slippery, creating a hazard to motorcycle riders and other drivers, as well as presenting an environmental concern by clogging storm drains and can make their way into streams and cause pollution.

When riders complain to law enforcement, their complaints are often dismissed as the current law is not enforceable, but the senator’s proposal to add two words “grass clippings” to the law that makes throwing litter and other items on the roadway an offense would fix that.

Her bill proposes fines of up to $300 for the first offense and up to a $1,000 for subsequent offenses, and would require the landowner to remove the clippings from the roadway.

In Ohio, the city of Fremont says it will begin ticketing people for blowing grass clippings into the street, saying they pose a danger to motorcyclists.  City officials say dumping grass clippings in the road is illegal under a city ordinance regarding “placing injurious material or obstruction in street,” and the city says its code enforcer and police department will be paying special attention to the issue throughout the warmer months.

“Please make every effort to keep grass out of our streets and keep Fremont safe for our friends on two wheels!” the city says.

Meanwhile, an Illinois rider is dead after a crash involving grass clippings on the road and losing control of her motorcycle.  Her husband, who also lost control of his motorcycle, told the local newspaper; “I would like something to be done better than a $50 fine on grass clippings; it kills people!”  He has contacted his state representative about increasing the penalty for making an unnecessarily dangerous mess in the road from trimming your lawn.

While some slippery hazards like wet leaves in fall can’t be avoided, not spraying grass clippings onto the road is as easy as pushing or driving your lawn mower in the opposite direction to spray back into your yard rather than out onto the roadway.

Tariffs Could Devastate Motorcycle Industry, Claims Trade Group
Industry leaders are encouraging activism ahead of new import taxes, and the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is asking riders to help stop a new round of tariffs on Chinese products.  The sanctions will directly affect equipment and apparel that riders depend on, as well as motorcycle parts and accessories and bikes built in China. “The proposed additional 25% duty on Chinese goods lumps gear like boots and gloves in with common replacement parts, like lithium-ion batteries, and curiosities, like live manatees and blue-veined cheeses,” says the industry trade group. Perhaps more devastating to a business already working with tight margins is a catchall — number 8714.10.00 on the list — that includes all “Pts. & access. for motorcycles (including mopeds).”

The MIC makes the case that, in today’s motorcycling economy, even the most ardent purchasers of American apparel and machines are going to feel a pinch to the wallet.

“The proposed China List 4 includes essentially everything that is not currently subject to an additional 25% tariff on Lists 1-3,” MIC Senior Vice President Scott Schloegel says. “Tariffs are taxes paid by companies and consumers in America and it is critical that you make your voice heard now.”

Rolling Thunder Final Ride, Or Not?
For over three decades, hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists have roared into our nation’s capital over Memorial Day weekend for Rolling Thunder, an annual demonstration in support of veterans, prisoners of war and service members who went missing in action, but due to financial and logistical constraints, this year’s rally was their last hurrah.  Rally organizer and co-founder, Artie Muller, has announced that the massive rally, held every year in Washington, D.C. since 1988, has grown too costly and unwieldy and will come to an end.

However, efforts to keep the rally going include President Donald Trump who pledged his support and tweeted out during the “Ride for Freedom” on Sunday, May 26 that Rolling Thunder was not going to end after all:  “The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come,” he wrote. “It is where they want to be, & where they should be.”

In addition, “Wreaths Across America” has since announced a donation of $200,000 to Rolling Thunder to help cover costs and keep the ride going, with executive director Karen Worcester telling  Muller on that Monday’s “Fox & Friends” that “Remembering is too important to forget.”

Muller said during the Fox News show that he looks forward to meeting with the president about continuing the ride, but he also said that instead of holding one giant demonstration the group is planning to take the event nationwide next year and hold rides regionally throughout the country with its 90 local chapters.

But one thing could surely bring the hordes of patriotic bikers back to D.C. in protest, said the 74-year old Vietnam Veteran during his speech on the National Mall at this year’s Rolling Thunder; if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moves to impeach President Donald Trump.

Easy Rider Encore
July 14, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Easy Rider — and to celebrate, a newly-restored 4K version will be shown again in 400 theaters nationwide for just two nights; July 14th and 17th.

Directed by the late, great Dennis Hopper, the film starred Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson in a role that scored him an Oscar nomination.

In 1998, the film was officially added to the National Film Registry, and the American Film Institute lists it on its 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.

Quotable Quote:  “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

~ Haile Selassie, regent of Ethiopia (1892-1975)

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Biker Lives Matter

By | Biker's Rights

Biker Lives Matter

Biker Lives Matter is a New Safety Group that has started in the State of Florida. Its goal is to work with the State of Florida, other states, Federal Government and other organizations to lower injury and deaths of motorcyclist and others who travel on our roads.

While there may be other organizations working on the issues that affect all of us, this organization is going to help by making people aware of the issues through rider and driver education, promoting look for motorcycle campaigns and supporting legislation that makes the roads safer.

We are also promoting teaching people what to do at the scene of a crash or collision.

We will be working with Motorcycle Rights Organizations to help promote the many things they are working on.

The President of this organization is John “Rogue” Herlihy and he says he is going to use the experience he gained by being one of the original founders working with Easyriders when they formed the organization A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE)

The Vice President is Bob “Badd Bob” Simmonds has been heavily involved for over 10 years with Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.)

The Secretary Sharleen Mitchell besides being a rider for 48 years was Vice President of a motorcycle shop and very active in the motorcycle community.

The Treasurer is Kenneth Simmons who has been riding since the 90s and is a business man.

While there are numerous others working and we do appreciate all who are there is just too many to list here.

Numerous well know people in the world of motorcycling have joined as members and that is sincerely appreciated.

Biker Lives Matter is open to all who want to help promote safety, you do not need a motorcycle to join and JOINING IS FREE so please visit the website at bikerlivesmatter.com and join. Please also let as many people that you can about us.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

NCOM Convention In Orlando Stresses Unity
The underlying theme of the 34th annual NCOM Convention in Orlando, Florida, May 10-12, was “Unity” and welcomed back many past supporters and saw lots of new faces in the crowded conference rooms of the Doubletree by Hilton – Universal host hotel.

During the General Session, Outsiders MC member David “Double D” Devereaux, founder of the Motorcycle Profiling Project and member of the NCOM Legislative Task Force, spoke convincingly of the need for Unity in attaining our common goals, particularly in regards to state and federal anti-profiling legislation, and NCOM Chairman James “Doc” Reichenbach echoed those sentiments to the assembled representatives of hundreds of clubs, organizations and NCOM Member Groups.

One of the largest NCOM Conventions to date, this year’s gathering drew biker activists from motorcycle rights organizations (MROs) and Confederations of Clubs (COCs), as well as independents and other allied riders from across the country.

Motorcycle Profiling and “Save the Patch” were hot topics considering the recently victorious Mongols MC court case as well as the eventual dismissal of charges in the Waco catastrophe, while other important issues of concern to our nation’s motorcycle community included various legal and legislative seminars regarding RICO And Its Effect on Your Organization, Restoring Your Rights, Leadership 101 and “Share the Road” Motorcycle Safety.

Capping off a productive Convention weekend, the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet recognized outstanding freedom fighters; Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan (GOVERNMENT), James “Hollywood” Macecari of Insane Throttle Motorcycle Magazine (ENTERTAINMENT), Jim Wear, founder of the Salute to American Veterans Rally (COMMERCE), with SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS presented to David Duff of ABATE of Iowa, William Bird of ABATE of Florida and Mike Friend of Bikers For Christ.  NCOM’s highest honor, the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon “JR” Reed -1%er of Sons of Silence MC and Smitty 1%er of the Outlaws MC.

Next year’s 2020 NCOM Convention is scheduled for Indianapolis, and for more information contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE (662-2453) or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Support Federal Anti-Profiling Resolution In U.S. House
All motorcyclists are encouraged to contact their Congressional Representatives to ask for their support of House Resolution 255, a bipartisan anti-profiling measure introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that is identical to Senate Resolution 154 passed by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate late last year.

H.Res.255; “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling,” was introduced March 26 by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and currently has 22 co-sponsors.

Both nonbinding resolutions, S.Res.154 & H.Res.255, call for cessation of law enforcement discriminatorily profiling motorcyclists by thwarting “the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States,” as profiling is defined by each resolution.

Concerned riders can contact their U.S. Rep. by calling the Capital Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and request that they join their colleagues in cosponsoring H.Res.255 to put an end to law enforcement unfairly targeting motorcycle riders for traffic stops, questioning and citations.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month Congressional Resolution
On May 1, 2019 U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) submitted House Resolution 338 in the U.S. House of Representatives; “Expressing support for the designation of May 2019 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month,” which reads:

  • “Whereas motorcycling is a great American tradition enjoyed by an estimated 27 million people annually, representing almost 9 percent of the population;
  • Whereas motorcycles are a valuable component of the transportation mix;
  • Whereas motorcycles are fuel-efficient and decrease congestion while having little impact on our Nation’s transportation infrastructure;
  • Whereas the motorcycling community promotes rider education, licensing, and motorcycle awareness;
  • Whereas the motorcycling community is committed to decreasing motorcycle crashes through training and education, personal responsibility, and increased public awareness;
  • Whereas approximately 91 percent of motorcycles are operated on highways in conjunction with other vehicles;
  • Whereas motorcyclist deaths occur more frequently than fatalities in passenger vehicles;
  • Whereas motorcycle awareness is beneficial to all road users and will help decrease motorcycle accidents; and
  • Whereas the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to encourage riders to be properly licensed, receive training, and to remind all riders and motorists to always share the road: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives —
  1. supports the designation of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month;
  2.  recognizes the contribution of motorcycles to the transportation mix;
  3. encourages motorcycle awareness by all road users;
  4. ecognizes that motorcyclists have a right to the road and that all motorists should safely share the roadways;
  5.  encourages rider education and training for safe motorcycle operation; and
  6. supports the goals of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.”

H.Res. 338 has been referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and currently has 7 cosponsors.

Motorcyclists Among Those Benefiting From Public Lands Access
Recreation industry leaders and off-road vehicle enthusiasts applaud Congress for the passage of the Natural Resources Management Act, S.47, now Public Law No: 116-9 after being signed March 12, 2019 by President Donald Trump, affirming the existence and proper management of millions of acres of public lands and parks, including Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) areas, for years to come.

The law permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Every Kid Outdoors Act for seven years. Collectively this legislation will benefit thousands of parks, public lands, and waters as well as providing access to the outdoors to millions of off road motorcycle and ATV riders across the country.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas at the federal, state, and local levels. Many of the lands that NPT has transferred to the National Park Service were purchased with funding from LWCF, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Glacier National Park, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Zion National Park.

The sweeping Act reflects the bipartisan Senate-House agreement reached near the end of the last Congress to bundle together over 100 individual lands bills, striking a balance between creating new opportunities for natural resource and community development with limited, locally-supported conservation. It will improve public lands management, protect treasured landscapes, and increase public access for recreation while protecting private property rights.

Last year, the government released national data demonstrating the importance of an outdoor recreation economy that accounts for 2.2 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and directly supports 4.5 million jobs.

Mongols Fined $500,000 & Given Probation, But Retain Trademarked Logo
At a sentencing hearing on Friday, May 17 a federal judge in California fined the Mongols Motorcycle Club $500,000 and put the club on probation for five years following its racketeering and conspiracy convictions, but rebuffed yet another attempt by prosecutors to strip the group of its trademark protected back patch logos, citing constitutional protections against intrusions on free expression and excessive penalties.

Last December, a jury found the Mongol Nation as a whole guilty of RICO charges in a decade-long case in which prosecutors said the group operated an organized criminal enterprise.  That jury further decided at the time that the government could seize the Mongols intellectual property, but in February U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter intervened and refused to approve the asset forfeiture.

Stephen “Bowtie” Stubbs, lead attorney for the Mongols, called the judge’s decision to not strip its identifying insignia a victory for all motorcycle clubs, but said that the $500,000 would be a “major burden” to bear for current members who had nothing to do with any of the alleged behavior of past members, and told NBC News that the club plans to appeal the entire case.

 “The Mongols Motorcycle Club is very pleased that Judge Carter shut down another attempt by the government to limit symbolic speech,” said Stubbs, of Las Vegas, who is a member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF) and also serves as legal counsel for the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs (COC).

Prior to the sentencing hearing, prosecutors tried again, requesting the Mongols be prohibited from preventing others from using their image, which Stubbs said the judge also denied.

Show-Me Freedom Of Choice
Missouri is the latest state looking to give motorcyclists the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a helmet while riding, and hopes to soon become the 32nd state behind Michigan in 2012 to allow adult Freedom of Choice.  The legislative package, including other transportation provisions, passed the Senate 21-12 on Thursday, May 16 and on Friday the House advanced Senate Bill 147 to Governor Mike Parsons (R) on a 94-46 vote.

If signed into law, SB 147 would repeal their decades-old helmet law and allow motorcyclists 18 and older the option to ride without a helmet, provided they carry proper health insurance.

Like Michigan, which shook off the sting of two previous gubernatorial vetoes of their helmet law repeal bills before bouncing back to amend their mandatory helmet law, Missouri’s legislature previously passed a helmet law repeal in 2009 which was vetoed by then-Governor Jay Nixon (D), and in 1999 a helmet repeal bill reached the desk of former Gov. Mel Carnahan (D) who vetoed it — members of Freedom of the Road Riders (FORR-MO) and ABATE for Missouri are hoping this time’s the charm!

“SB 147 has passed through both chambers, and only needs a signature from the governor (who can be reached at (573) 751-3222),” reports www.forr.net“Yes, everybody Happy Happy,” commented Tony Shepherd of ABATE, a past member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) board of directors, who has worked diligently towards passage with FORR-MO Legislative Coordinator Joe Widmer.

Connecticut May Extend Helmet Law From 18 To 21 And Under
Helmet laws vary from one state to the other, with some rules being more flexible than others, and at least until now motorcycle helmets were not mandatory in Connecticut for riders aged 18 and over.  Prior to January 1, 1990, Connecticut was one of just four states that had no helmet requirement, but if passed House Bill 6161 would increase the minimum age for compulsory helmet use from Under 18 to Under 21.

HB 6161 passed the House by a vote of 113-13 on May 14th and is now heading to the Senate for consideration and vote.

Language instituting a universal helmet law for all riders was stripped from a larger bill, and although they still express opposition to any further attempt to mandate helmet use by adults, the Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association (CMRA) has already claimed a victory in defeating that measure; but advocates hoping to finally reinstate Connecticut’s full motorcycle helmet law after 43 years still hope they can pass legislation next session, despite their setback.

Quotable Quote:  “Freedom is never granted; it is won.  Justice is never given; it is exacted.”

~ A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979) Leader in Civil Rights & the American labor movement

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

About AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Federal Anti-Profiling Resolution Introduced In U.S. House
Last December, the United States Senate passed a nonbinding resolution by unanimous consent calling for an end to the discriminatory profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement, and now the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced an identical bipartisan measure in the 116th Congress, H.Res.255; “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”

Sponsored by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), the anti-profiling resolution was introduced in the House on March 26 to thwart ”the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States,” as profiling is defined in the resolution’s text.

“Michigan has a strong and vibrant riding community, myself included, that use motorcycles as a source of recreation and transportation,” Walberg said in a statement. “Making sure riders are free from profiling coincides with motorcyclists’ appreciation for our law enforcement community. I’m proud to work with Rep. Burgess on this effort to foster a greater understanding of the issue of motorcycle profiling and ensure our roads and highways are safe for all to enjoy.”

Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) is one of three original cosponsors, among 12 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, and said that with Texas being home to thousands of motorcyclists, he is committed to advocating for riders both on and off the road.

Walberg and Burgess are also co-chairs of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus which aims to improve public knowledge of motorcycle issues, promote safety on the roadways, and encourage Americans to enjoy responsible motorcycle riding.

All motorcyclists are encouraged to contact your Congressional Representative and ask that they join their colleagues as a cosponsor of H.Res.255 and help put a stop to law enforcement unfairly targeting motorcycle riders for traffic stops, questioning and citations.

Twin Peaks Update — Prosecutions Unravel
It was portrayed in the national press as a gang war shootout at a family restaurant on the edge of a shopping center in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015, leaving nine bikers dead and more than 20 wounded.

Nearly two hundred bikers were incarcerated in the aftermath of that deadly melee involving police who had surrounded motorcycle club members attending a regularly scheduled Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, raining down a hail of police gunfire.

From the start, lawyers and others pointed out that it was very unlikely indeed that all the 177 arrested had committed any crimes at all, and that the initial $1 million bond set for each of them charged with a blanket crime of “engaging in organized criminal activity” seemed unreasonably punitive.  The police strove in the aftermath to keep a detailed account of what actually happened from reaching the public eye, or that of defense attorneys.

Over the next four years, as the cases began moving into the courtroom one-by-one, they each began to fall apart until ultimately only two dozen remained indicted, with not a single successful prosecution to date.  The first and only case to go to trial ended in a hung jury and mistrial in November 2017.

McClennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, the D.A. at the time of the arrests, lost re-election last year, and before leaving office he “dismissed the vast majority of the 154 pending indictments his office sought in the Twin Peaks shootout,” according to the Tribune newspaper.  On April 2, 2019, newly-elected D.A. Barry Johnson announced that his office has chosen not to prosecute the remaining 24 cases, calling the way the former D.A.’s office handled the situation “a harebrained scheme” that was “patently offensive.”

“This is a difficult decision which must be made based on the existing facts and evidence in accordance with the laws of this state and in the interest of justice,” stated Johnson.

McLennan County reports that the shootout has run up $1,317,835.96 in total identifiable costs, with nothing so far to show for it, and all the while realizing the final cost is not yet calculated for the defendants and in some cases may never be.

Many of those bikers who’ve had charges eventually dropped, after spending months in jail on million dollar bonds, have subsequently filed civil rights suits, and as of January there were 133 federal lawsuits naming McLennan County, Waco police, the district attorney, the sheriff, police chief and individual officers, charging violations against the 4th and 14th Amendment Constitutional guarantees, plus a number of other civil rights violations.

Texas AIM Attorney Bill Smith will be presenting an update on the Waco situation during the Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting at the upcoming NCOM Convention in Orlando, Florida, Mother’s Day Weekend May 10-12, 2019 at the Doubletree by Hilton – Universal Orlando.

Mongols Case Still Presents A Threat Despite Patch Victory
“The recent decision by Judge David Carter in US v. Mongol Nation that the First and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution prohibits the government’s request to seize the collective membership marks of the Mongols MC, including their club name patch and center-patch, is a victory for all,” writes Kit Maira of Easyriders Magazine in his Biker’s Rights blog.  But, he adds; “Beyond the issues of forfeiture, a brand-new strategy to target motorcycle clubs under RICO has been born and legally confirmed.  The idea that a motorcycle club can be indicted under RICO as an entity, regardless of other members’ personal guilt, should equally alarm everyone.” Read More

The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

By | Biker's Rights

The REAL Reason Behind Waco Biker Dismissals

Waco Biker Dismissals an Attempt to Avoid Millions in Lawsuits

by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

In the interests of justice, on April 2, 2019 all remaining charges related to the May 17, 2015 Twin Peaks shootings in Waco, Texas have been dismissed by the newly elected McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson. These dismissals are a significant victory in the history of motorcycle club culture and the fight against motorcycle profiling and discrimination.  Although this concludes the criminal chapter of Twin Peaks, the legal battles are far from over. There are currently over 100 civil rights claims pending and the official press release announcing the dismissals makes it obvious that the new DA is attempting to cover Waco’s interests from a liability standpoint. There is no apology and no admission of wrongdoing related to the mass arrests. Instead, Johnson puts all the blame on former DA Abel Reyna, arguing that viable prosecutions could have occurred after the initial arrests had correct procedures been followed. The stakes are massive. In total, these lawsuits are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for a list of obvious constitutional infringements from false arrest to excessive bail.

Read the whole story

Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

By | Biker's Rights

Why US v Mongol Nation is Still a Threat Despite Trademark Win

The recent decision by Judge David Carter in US v. Mongol Nation that the First and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution prohibits the government’s request to seize the collective membership marks of the Mongols MC, including their club name patch and center-patch, is a victory for all. A victory that should be discussed and celebrated. However, the MPP also believes that part of this discussion should focus on the other implications to Judge Carter’s decision. Implications that aren’t being discussed because the focus has understandably been on the patch forfeiture issues. What other implications?  Beyond the issues of forfeiture, a brand-new strategy to target motorcycle clubs under RICO has been born and legally confirmed. The idea that a motorcycle club can be indicted under RICO as an entity, regardless of other members personal guilt, for crimes committed by individuals already punished for   those crimes, should equally alarm everyone. Although the government can’t take a club’s patch, they can seize a club’s property and impose huge fines. What else could the government do with this new theory of prosecution?

Read The Whole Story

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

NCOM Convention In Orlando Invites Names For Fallen Riders Tribute
With the 34th Annual NCOM Convention in Orlando, Florida just weeks away, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have died since last year’s Convention, so that we may honor their memories with the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

This year’s NCOM Convention, to be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-12, 2019 at the Doubletree by Hilton – Universal Orlando, located at 5780 Major Blvd., in Orlando, Florida will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “The City Beautiful” to address topics of concern to all riders.

The annual gathering of bikers’ rights activists will focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to benefit our right to ride and Freedom of the Road, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (800) 222-8733.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $85 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday night, or $50 for the Convention only.  All motorcyclists are welcome and encouraged to attend.

To pre-register, call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Judge Rules Government Can’t Seize Mongols M/C Patch
The Mongols motorcycle club has won its latest round in a decade long battle with the federal government, when a California judge found that a jury’s recent decision to strip the club of trademarked logo was unconstitutional.

On February 28, 2019 U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled that denying Mongols members the right to display the logo would overstep the constitutional right to free expression embedded in the 1st Amendment, as well as the 8th Amendment’s ban on excessive penalties.

“We are ecstatic that the Mongols motorcycle club has been able to win this 1st Amendment battle for itself and all motorcycle clubs,” said Stephen Stubbs, an attorney for the Mongols. “The government has clearly overreached into a realm that the Constitution does not allow. They tried to ban symbolic speech,” Stubbs told the Los Angeles Times.  Stubbs, a.k.a. “Bowtie” as bikers call him, is a member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF) and is legal counsel for the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs (COC).

In December, after a lengthy trial, a jury convicted the Mongols Nation entity as an organization of racketeering and conspiracy charges stemming from a 2008 investigation, and the ensuing guilty verdict thus allowed prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office to pursue a court order forcing the club to forfeit the trademarked symbol that appears on their patches.

Judge Carter affirmed the RICO convictions, which could carry fines at sentencing in April, but his written ruling marks a setback for federal prosecutors after they convinced a jury in January to allow the government to seize the club’s patches and trademarks as criminal instruments.

Carter’s ruling, which has drawn national attention in this first-of-its-kind case, is being hailed as a major victory for all motorcycle clubs, but it is expected to be appealed and may eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Save the Patch” and Motorcycle Profiling will be among the many issues that will be discussed at the upcoming NCOM Convention in Orlando, Florida, May 10-12, 2019.

Club Colors Banned From Idaho Statehouse For Anti-Profiling Vote
Members of motorcycle clubs in Idaho were recently barred by Capitol Security from wearing their colors into the State Capitol on March 4, 2019 during a Senate floor vote on Senate Bill 1109, a bill prohibiting motorcycle profiling. Read More

Judge Carter Says Government Can’t Seize Mongols MC Patch

By | Biker's Rights

Judge Carter Says Government Can’t Seize Mongols MC Patch

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The federal government will not be seizing the Mongols Motorcycle Club’s collective membership marks anytime soon. Judge David Carter issued a short and direct decision today (February 28, 2019) during phase 3 of the US v. Mongols Nation trial in the Federal District Court of Southern California concluding, “The First and Eighth Amendments to the US Constitution prohibit the Government’s request to forfeit the rights associated with the collective symbols. Accordingly, the Court DENIES the requested forfeiture of collective membership marks.”

Although this is a major victory, it is likely not over yet. Using the past as an indicator, the MPP believes that the government will likely appeal Judge Carter’s decision. But this decision gives hope that the constitutional principles at stake will continue to prevail against overzealous prosecutions.

The Particulars
Judge Carter denied the government’s request for the Mongols Nation to forfeit rights associated with the Mongols collective membership marks, including their name and center- patch. This means Judge Carter has set aside the jury’s grant of forfeiture in phase 2 of the trial based on the First and Eighth Amendments.

However, Carter tentatively granted the requested forfeiture of weapons, ammunition, body armor, and specific property seized during the ATF raids pending the filing of an amended request consistent with this order.

Finally, Carter denied the Mongols Nation’s motion for acquittal and motion for a new trial. This means that the jury’s Guilty verdict in phase 1 of the trial (guilt phase) stands. The Mongols Nation as an entity, defined as all patched members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, has been found guilty under the RICO statute.

Carter then set the Sentencing Hearing for April 24, 2019 at 1:30pm.

Read the whole story

NCOM Convention In Orlando Welcomes Riders Nationwide

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Convention In Orlando Welcomes Riders Nationwide

The 34th annual NCOM Convention is right around the corner, so plan now to be a part of one of the largest gatherings of motorcycle rights activists in the world.  This year’s NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-12, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Universal Orlando, located at 5780 Major Blvd., in Orlando, Florida.

Topics such as Motorcycle Profiling and “Save the Patch” will be among the many issues concerning our nation’s motorcycle community that will be discussed, as hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from the ranks of motorcycle rights organizations (MROs) and Confederations of Clubs (COCs), as well as independents and other allied riders will gather in “The City Beautiful” to address matters of interest to all riders.

Agenda items will cover various legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.  Additional seminars will be conducted regarding RICO And Its Effect on Your Organization, Restoring Your Rights, Leadership 101 and “Share the Road” Motorcycle Safety.

All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.

Be sure to reserve your hotel room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (800) 222-8733.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $85 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday night, or $50 for the Convention only.  For more information, or to pre-register, call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE (662-2453) or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

‘Green New Deal’ Seeks To Outlaw Gas-Powered Vehicles And Gassy Cows

In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Congressional Democrats sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture.

The nonbinding resolution calls for “10-year national mobilizations” toward accomplishing a series of objectives that the legislation lays out.  Among the most prominent, the deal calls for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”  The ultimate goal is to eliminate fossil fuels, shifting away from oil, coal and nuclear power, in favor of eco-friendly energy such as wind and solar power.

The Green New Deal calls for “replacing non-essential individual means of transport with high-quality and modern mass transit,” which is a flowery way of calling for a ban on gas-powered passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles, as well as airplanes.

According to the legislation, within the decade;

  • – Achieve a net-zero carbon economy with 100% clean renewable energy
  • – Eliminate internal combustion engines and expand electric car manufacturing
  • – Overhaul transportation systems and make air travel obsolete by expanding high-speed rail
  • – Retrofit all existing buildings for energy efficiency
  • – Work with farmers “to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions” such as cow farts
  • – “Economic security” for all, including higher education, jobs, wages, housing and health care

In short, the legislative framework combines climate-change-related ideas with a “dream” list of progressive economic proposals that would affect every American and overhaul the U.S. economy, all at an initial estimated cost of up to $6.6 trillion a year over the decade.

Importantly, the bill, introduced on Feb 7 by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), is a nonbinding resolution, so even if it were to pass it wouldn’t itself create any new programs but would instead establish a lofty set of ideals the House should pursue in the coming years.

Number Of American Households With Motorcycles Is On The Rise
More U.S. households than ever before now own one or more motorcycles.  A recent study conducted by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) shows that the number of American households with at least one motorcycle in their garage has reached 8.02% in 2018.  According to the MIC, in decades of surveying, this is the highest percentage ever reached, and represents a 15.6-percent increase over 2014 (when ownership was 6.94%); an increase of more than 1.5 million homes.

“The household penetration numbers have always been among the most important figures to us,” said MIC President and CEO Tim Buche.  “We’re certainly happy to see more homes that have a motorcycle. Riders who talk about motorcycling to friends and neighbors help to inspire people who don’t yet ride.”

Out of an estimated 126,224,000 households in the United States, over 10 million now own (at least) one bike.  In fact, the number of motorcycles per household has been calculated to average around 1.30, meaning some families own more than one bike.

According to the MIC survey, the total number of motorcycles owned also reached record levels, jumping to 13,158,100 last year, an increase of more than 2.5 million motorcycles compared to 2014, the last time the MIC conducted the survey.  It is even higher than the previous record from 2009 (11,704,500), which followed a long period of high-volume new-bike sales.

The estimated number of motorcycles in use rose to 12,231,000 in 2018, an increase of more than 2 million since 2014.  And that number was more than 1 million better than the record figure from 2009, when 11,015,105 motorcycles were in use.

“Modern motorcycles are high-quality machines, enabling the pre-owned market to be a key part of the overall growth in the motorcycle and rider population,” said Jim Woodruff, secretary/treasurer of the MIC Board of Directors and COO of National Powersport Auctions. “The annual pre-owned market is actually three times larger than the new market. Used bikes appeal to many riders because there are so many options in terms of price and style.”

The percentage of motorcycles in running order was down 3 percentage points, from 96.1% in 2014 to 93% in 2018.  “As used units become a larger part of the overall motorcycle population, it’s not surprising to see a slight decrease in the percentage of operating units,” Woodruff said. “Our research shows that the average age of a pre-owned motorcycle sold in the U.S. is approximately eight years old.  Plus, vintage bikes are on trend now and many riders are keeping non-runners as part of their collection.”

Federal Judge Seeks Expert Opinions On Mongols Patch Seizure
A federal judge presiding over the high-profile Mongols motorcycle club trial has put out a wide-ranging call for expert legal input on the implications of the government’s unprecedented efforts to gain control of the trademarked insignia worn by club members. Read More

Statistics Prove Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs Not A Public Threat

By | Biker's Rights

Statistics Prove Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs Not A Public Threat

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Authorities openly target motorcycle clubs, particularly 1% clubs, selectively enforcing the law, in order to harass or investigate individuals based on the belief that they are definitionally criminals. This perspective is based on an outdated stereotype that is ignorant of statistical reality and foundational constitutional principles that have been consistently confirmed by the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

Many federal and state authorities insist that what they call “outlaw motorcycle gangs/OMG’s” are a significant organized crime threat in America, despite the statistical data that proves criminal activity involving these clubs is negligible at best. (Note: the OMG tag is universally rejected by the clubs labeled gangs by law enforcement.)

Tens of millions of dollars are spent targeting and prosecuting motorcycle clubs based on a fallacy of composition. The regurgitated actions of the few are used to create a generalized assumption about thousands of people, regardless of statistical reality. Crimes committed by individual members of motorcycle clubs are highly sensationalized and presented to be representative of the entire community.  In fact, the statistical data that does exist, including the data generated by these same agencies, proves definitively that clubs labeled OMG’s represent a myopic percentage of criminal activity in this country.  Indeed, data suggests that law enforcement agencies commit and sanction many more major crimes than motorcycle clubs.

Read the whole article here:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

The Impact Of Brexit On Bikers
It’s been two and a half years since the referendum that started Britain on its journey out of the European Union, and now time is running out and “Brexit” is due to take place on March 29, 2019 – deal or no deal.  With Parliament squabbling, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is now looking increasingly likely, and that outcome would affect many things including motorcycles.

You may have heard about the United Kingdom reverting to ‘WTO’ rules when it comes to trade, and British biker website www.visordown explains what that will mean:  “The World Trade Organization (WTO) maintains an immense database that records types of products and the import duties that countries or trading blocs impose on them.  At the moment we’re part of the EU, which means we can trade with other European countries without incurring any tariffs, but once we leave we’ll be outsiders, subject to the taxes they impose.”

On motorcycles under 250cc, the EU charges an 8% tariff, and on bikes over that size there’s a 6% duty.  Meanwhile, motorcycle parts and accessories are taxed at 3.7% and bike tires are subject to a 4.5% import duty.

For consumers, if you’re buying a bike made in the EU — such as a BMW — there will be an extra 6% tax to be incorporated into its cost.  Even a UK-based manufacturer, like Triumph, would be subject to an import duty on motorcycle parts from EU suppliers, like their Brembo brakes, so even British-made bikes are likely to become more expensive in a no-deal scenario.

Exports might be less of an immediate concern to the everyday bike buyer, but they have an impact on the motorcycle industry in Britain, and without a deal in place exported bikes would be taxed by the EU at WTO rates.

Of course, once out of the EU the UK government will need to negotiate their own trade deals not only with Europe, but with other trading partners such as Japan, the U.S. and China, but the bottom line is that there’s little prospect that a no-deal Brexit will make bikes or bike-related parts any cheaper.

In the meantime, the uncertainty of Britain’s economic future has negatively impacted motorbike sales in the UK, plummeting 17.9% in December following an overall 2.9% gain in 2018.

Federal Jury Decides Mongols Must Forfeit Logo
In a first-of-its-kind verdict with far-reaching legal implications, a federal jury ruled that the Mongols motorcycle club must forfeit the logo worn by its members, finding in favor of prosecutors’ novel claim that there is a direct link between the club’s crimes and its trademarked insignia.

Last month, the jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., found the Mongol Nation guilty of racketeering and conspiracy, classifying the group as a criminal organization, and their verdict on Friday, January 11, 2109 was the second phase of a trial that focused on forfeiture of assets in a decade-long quest by the government to dismantle the club.

The verdict will lead to the forfeiture of the group’s legal interest in the word “Mongols” and some of their patches, as well as Mongols items seized during the investigation, prosecutors said.  If upheld, this will give the right to any law enforcement officer who spots a club member wearing the logo to stop him and confiscate the branded item.

The trial next moves to a third phase, in which U.S. District Judge David O. Carter will decide how the forfeiture is carried out.  He declined to immediately order the logos forfeited and set a hearing next month to address possible First Amendment issues raised by the verdict, agreeing to solicit briefs from a variety of experts, including trademark attorneys, law school professors, civil rights organizations and think tanks.

The judge’s decision highlights the new legal ground being broken in the unprecedented case, which has attracted national attention and is virtually guaranteed to go before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court.

California To Begin Enforcing Modified Exhaust Penalties
As of January 1, 2019, a modified exhaust on an automobile or motorcycle in California, excessively loud, can no longer be cited as a correctable violation.  Previously, if you were cited you had time to get it fixed in order to avoid paying the fine, but Assembly Bill AB1824 carves out an exception for exhaust noise by removing the opportunity to correct the violation and requires a citation to result in a fine only.

AB 1824, which was sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Budget and signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown in June of 2018, does not change existing laws pertaining to exhaust noise or sale and installation of aftermarket exhaust systems, but rather amends how excess exhaust noise violations are handled by law enforcement.  Beginning this year, a vehicle cited for violating the current exhaust noise law will no longer receive what is commonly known as a “fix-it” ticket.  Instead, violations will result in an immediate mandatory monetary fine.

The fine for a California traffic ticket for “a loud exhaust system” is up to $1,000 dollars.

Helmet-Free Scooters
Assembly Bill 2989, the e-scooter bill sponsored by California Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripon), removes the requirement for riders of motorized (electric) standup scooters in the Golden State to wear a bicycle helmet, provided they are 18 or older.  The new traffic law also prohibits riding a motorized e-scooter on highways with a speed limit greater than 25 mph, or roads with a speed limit greater than 35 mph, unless it is within a marked bikeway.

Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 3077, sponsored by then-Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) provides law enforcement the ability to issue a “fix-it ticket” to anyone under 18 who doesn’t wear a helmet while on a bicycle, skateboard or skates. The newly enacted violation is correctable if the minor completes a bicycle safety course and gets a helmet that meets safety standards within 120 days of the ticket being issued.

Utah Becomes First In Nation To Lower DUI Limit To .05 Percent
The Beehive State made history on December 30th by becoming the first state to lower its blood alcohol concentration limit (BAC) for drunken driving to .05 percent, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

Utah lowered the drunken driving BAC from .08, the national limit imposed by former President Bill Clinton in 2000, to .05, making it the nation’s strictest DUI law.  Utah’s new law also says anyone who “operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another” will have committed criminal homicide, which is a felony.

In 1983, Utah was the first state to lower its blood alcohol limit from 0.10 to 0.08 for impaired driving.  It would take nearly two decades for every state to follow suit, but as they did, the nation’s rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths dropped 10%. Now, Utah is pioneering the move to lower it once again.

Utah State Representative Norm Thurston (R-Provo) sponsored the bill at the request of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been urging states to lower DUI limits to 0.05 since 2013.

The American Beverage Institute says the new lower limit targets social drinkers and calls the law an “attack on the restaurant and hospitality industries,” claiming nearly 70% of alcohol-related fatalities in the U.S. are caused by drivers with a much higher BAC of 0.15 and above.

Science Proves That Riding A Motorcycle Is Good For You
Motorcyclists have always said there’s no better prescription for stress than riding a bike, and now a study from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, at the University of California, Los Angeles, seems to confirm that.

The recent study, funded by Harley-Davidson Inc., demonstrated potential mental and physical benefits of riding, including decreased levels of cortisol, a hormonal marker of stress.

Three UCLA researchers studied more than 50 motorcycle riders in tests that recorded their brain activity and hormone levels before, during and after riding a bike, driving a car and resting.  The bike ride resulted in a 28% decrease in biomarkers of stress, according to the researchers.

On average, riding a motorcycle for 20 minutes increased participants’ heart rates by 11% and adrenaline levels by 27%, similar to light exercise, as well as their focus and alertness.

Harley-Davidson says the study’s findings validate what it’s known for more than a century: that riding is good for your mental health.

This means the next time you are sitting at your computer feeling sluggish or that you get home after a long a stressful day, the answer to getting back on track or relieving some of the tension could be to simply go out for a ride…doctor’s orders!

Do Self-Driving Cars ‘See’ Motorcycles?
Lane-splitting is an accepted maneuver by motorcyclists all over the world, but in America it is only practiced by riders in the Golden State.  California-based Tesla, whose cars are well represented on California highways, seems to be aware of motorcyclists’ unique filtering capabilities there and has been working to ensure their Autopilot systems detect the presence of a lane-sharing rider in traffic.

However, YouTuber Scott Kubo recently posted a video to test the functionality of motorcycle detection while lane-splitting, and apparently detecting an approaching motorcycle seems to be hit and miss in Version 9 of Tesla’s neural net Autopilot software.  It’s clear from the clip that the system confuses motorcycles with cars at times, and can even miss a motorcycle entirely if the motorcycle is moving at a good clip.  It’s tough to determine how useful this detection would be in its current state in real-world application.

In the YouTube clip Kubo explains that the current 360° camera system (2.0 and 2.5) can process 200 frames per second (or 200fps) spread across the eight cameras positioned around his Tesla car.  So, each camera has an equivalent frame rate of 25fps — a decent digital SLR camera can have over 100fps and an iPhone can shoot at up to 240fps.  It might be that the current system just doesn’t have a high enough frame to capture fast moving motorcycles.

Self-driving cars are still a burgeoning field of technology with some bugs to work out, and Tesla warns that Autopilot should not be used without some sort of human interaction, but would you want to be rolling up behind a robotic car knowing that an inattentive driver may not be quick enough to take over the manual controls if they “didn’t see the motorcycle”?

Driverless Car Kills Robotic Pedestrian
In what some are labeling “Robot-on-Robot” crime, an autonomous self-driving Tesla car struck and “killed” a robot roaming down the middle of the roadway in a hit-and-run accident during the recent consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

Many mainstream news agencies worldwide reported the incident as legitimately newsworthy, though it is generally believed to be an over-the-top PR stunt staged by Russian robotics company Promobot ahead of the CES.

Stay tuned to NCOM Biker Newbytes for “real news”, nothing FAKE, as we have provided bikers with reliable, timely, relevant motorcycle news for over a quarter century!

Dutch Police Call On Parliament To Quickly Ban Outlaw Biker Gangs
Dutch authorities want Parliament to speed up a legislative proposal that will allow the Justice Minister to immediately ban “outlaw motorcycle gangs” emerging in the Netherlands, said police chief Pim Miltenburg, in charge of the motorcycle gang file at the police.

Currently, banning an outlaw motorcycle club is a lengthy job in the Netherlands.  A court must decide whether the ‘gang’ is acting in conflict with public order.  “The disadvantage of this type of procedure is that we can not arrange it in a short period of time, but it takes months or years before it is completed”, Miltenburg told NLTimes.nl.

The police say they would prefer if the Minister of Justice and Security can ban a motorcycle gang immediately, with a judge testing the ban afterwards.

So far Dutch courts banned two well-known motorcycle clubs, Satudarah and Bandidos.  The Public Prosecutor also stated plans to get the Hells Angels and No Surrender banned sometime this year, adding that some two thousand people in the Netherlands now belong to an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Quotable Quote:  “Civilization is built on a number of ultimate principles…respect for human life, the punishment of crimes against property and persons, the equality of all good citizens before the law…or, in a word: justice.”
~ Max Nordau (1849 – 1923) Hungarian physician, author and social critic

The AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

U.S. Senate Takes A Stand Against Police Profiling Of Motorcyclists
The United States Senate has approved the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (Senate Resolution 154) without amendment by unanimous consent on Dec 11, addressing concerns of motorcyclists across the country regarding law enforcement discriminating against bikers in traffic stops, citations and arrests.

This bipartisan and bicameral resolution (H.Res. 318 companion in the House) could provide a national solution to the discriminatory profiling of motorcyclists over mode of transportation or style of dress in enforcing the law.  Several states have considered bills to prohibit police from profiling motorcyclists, and Washington became the first state to pass such an anti-profiling law in 2011, followed by Maryland in 2016.

The two companion measures in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, which are nonbinding and do not have the force of law, seek to curb profiling of motorcycle riders at the federal level by “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”

S.Res. 154 and H.Res. 318 also “urges State law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcycle profiling in written policies and training materials.”

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) spearheaded the measure in the Senate, and recently tweeted; “Pleased the Senate passed S.Res. 154 to encourage states to take steps to prevent profiling of #motorcycle riders. Hopefully this will lead to more efforts to raise awareness of and address motorcycle profiling.”

As defined by the Congressional resolutions, “motorcycle profiling” means “the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States.”

Concerned riders are now urged to contact their Congressional delegations in the U.S. House of Representatives and encourage them to join their Senate colleagues by likewise passing House Resolution 318.

Government Wins First Round In Trial To Seize Mongols Patch
For over a decade, federal law enforcement authorities have been testing a unique legal tactic to take down the Mongols Motorcycle Club by seizing their trademarked logo under asset forfeiture laws, and now a federal jury in Santa Ana, California has found the Mongols guilty of racketeering and conspiracy, setting up a second phase of the trial during which the government will seek to seize control of the club’s “intellectual property” and thereby ban members from wearing their unifying “colors” or patches.

Federal prosecutors will ask the judge to fine the Mongol Nation — the West Covina, CA entity that legally owns the club trademark — and order it to forfeit rights to the identifying logo worn on the bikers’ vests.

Since the case is focused on the Mongols organization, no specific individuals are facing jail or prison time, but the government’s attempt to defrock club members is aimed at dismantling the club by destroying their identity and thus its allure.

During the five-week trial that ended Thursday, December 13, 2018 prosecutors testified that the Mongols were a violent criminal enterprise.  According to the Associated Press, in finding the Mongols guilty of racketeering, jurors decided that the motorcycle club itself is a criminal organization.

The Mongols have denied that they are a criminal enterprise, arguing that the organization itself isn’t responsible for crimes committed by individual members or in self-defense.

Defense attorney Joseph A. Yanny argued that individual club members may have committed criminal acts but the club is blameless and kicks out members under a “zero-tolerance” policy for such activity.

“They won the battle, but they did not win the war,” said David Santillan, the current president of the Mongols, said of the government after the jury verdict.

In 2008, dozens of members were charged with racketeering based on an investigation in which agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives infiltrated the club, and a judge ruled that they should forfeit the Mongols trademark but later reversed the decision.  The new case was filed in 2013, and it was thrown out two years later by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, but he was overruled on appeal.

Now, the same jury will return to court Jan. 8, as the focus of the trial shifts to potential seizures from the Mongols.  Judge Carter, who is presiding over the trial, will make the final ruling on exactly what will be seized.  If the judge ultimately approves the seizure of the trademark, he would also determine exactly what the government could do with it, including whether they could literally take the Mongols jackets off members’ backs.

Motorcycle clubs across the country are watching this test case closely.  “They take our patch,” Santillan told the New York Times, “and then they take all the clubs’ patches.”

NCOM Convention To Address Bikers’ Rights Issues
Topics such as Motorcycle Profiling and “Save the Patch” will be among the many issues of concern to our nation’s motorcycle community that will be addressed during the upcoming 34th annual NCOM Convention, to be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-12, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando, Florida.  Hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from the ranks of motorcycle rights organizations (MROs) and Confederations of Clubs (COCs), as well as independents and other allied riders will gather to discuss the concerns of all riders.

Agenda items will cover various legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.  Additional seminars will be conducted regarding Restoration of Rights, Leadership 101 and “Share the Road” Motorcycle Safety.

All motorcyclists are welcome, and to pre-register for the 2019 NCOM Convention contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Cell Phone Bans Are Saving Motorcyclists’ Lives
Laws to ban or curb drivers’ use of cell phones and other handheld devices have greatly reduced the rate of fatalities for motorcyclists, according to a new study by faculty at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami.  The study’s findings, recently published in Social Science & Medicine, show that states with moderate to strong bans have motorcycle fatality rates that differ by as much as 11% compared to states with no bans. Read More

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Autonomous Vehicles Should Stop Hitting Motorcycles

The safety of autonomous cars remains in question, as a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hit a motorcyclist on October 19 in Mountain View, California, when the test driver took control of the car to avoid a vehicle that had suddenly moved into its lane.  The manufacturer claims its technology, which can “see 360 degrees in every direction,” could have avoided the incident if the car’s software had remained in control, but reports from around the country indicate that self-driving cars are struggling to handle some driving tasks.

Autonomous cars are hitting the road whether we like it or not, but the presumption that they will be safer than human drivers when it comes to avoiding accidents has so far proven less than promising.  There have been at least three reported cases of an autonomous car crashing into a motorcycle.  On July 27, 2016, a motorcyclist in Norway was seriously injured when she was rear-ended by a Tesla Model S with its Autopilot self-driving system engaged.  Additionally, on December 7, 2017, a California motorcyclist was hurt in a collision with a self-driving Chevy Bolt that had aborted a signaled lane change and was returning to its original lane while the rider was lane splitting past it, a maneuver that is legal in California.

Another disturbing incident occurred when an autonomous Uber car struck and killed a woman who was walking her bicycle across the road at night.  One would think that the car’s radar and infrared scanners would detect such an object far better than the human eye could.  Indeed, the car’s onboard computer detected the obstruction in the road six seconds before impact.   Unfortunately, it failed to identify what type of object she was until just 1.3 seconds before impact, at which point it was too late to avoid hitting her.  Other factors, such as an inattentive human driver who was supposed to be monitoring the car’s surroundings, also contributed to the fatal crash, but a computer that fails to identify a target for nearly five seconds should be quite disturbing to motorcyclists who may suffer from this fate as well.

Adaptive Cruise Control is a radar guidance system that enables a car to change its speed relative to the vehicle in front of it based on traffic conditions. A study by RDW has determined that existing adaptive cruise control systems often do not do an adequate job of locking onto a motorcycle rather than a car.  These systems seem to have difficulty detecting a motorcycle not riding in the center of its lane, which is a problem since riders tend to occupy either the left or right tire grooves of a lane.

Another study by Dynamic Research shows similar results when it comes to forward collision warnings detecting motorcycles.  Throughout the tests, forward collision warning systems failed to detect the motorcycle adequately in 40% of trials.  Similarly, 37% of simulated crashes in this test occurred because the car’s onboard detection systems didn’t see the motorcycle, which is also the number one cause of motorcycle accidents with human drivers.

If autonomous driving systems are designed properly, developed with motorcyclists in mind rather than an afterthought, they could potentially deliver on their promise of making the roads safer for everyone.  “They could be on the lookout for motorcycles and other road hazards in all directions at all times, something even the most attentive human driver can never do,” according to RideApart.com“The trick is to design such systems to work in this way as a core functionality.  Autonomous vehicles must be able to search, evaluate, and execute the same way the Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches all riders to.”

U.S. Senate Seeks Full Funding For Recreational Trails Read More

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

President Trump Authorizes EPA To Make E-15 Fuel Available Year-Round
President Donald Trump has given the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to lift current restrictions on E-15 gas (containing 15% ethanol) to allow year-round sales of the higher ethanol blend.  Following the federal rulemaking process and public comment period, the expanded sales are expected to begin during the summer of 2019.

In 1978, a Clean Air Act waiver allowed the use of 10 volume percent ethanol in gasoline (E-10), and today almost all fuels are E-10 blends.  In June 2011, EPA approved a partial waiver for blends of 15 vol% ethanol in gasoline for use in model year 2001 and newer passenger cars, light-trucks and medium-duty vehicles.  However, the EPA does not approve the use of E-15 in small engines such as motorcycles or ATVs, and its use can damage vehicles and void manufacturer warranties.

Currently, gasoline retailers throughout most of the country are prohibited from offering E-15 during the summer months.  The President’s directive to the EPA is to change that.

CHP To Address Motorcycle Safety With Federal Funds
The California Highway Patrol is using a federal grant to promote motorcycle safety throughout the state, with the goal of reducing the most dangerous traffic violations which they say are speeding, improper turning, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

There are more than 1.4 million people with a motorcycle license in the state. The education campaign is called GEARS, or Get Educated And Ride Safe.

The year-long campaign will include the CHP deploying officers on enhanced motorcycle safety enforcement operations in regions with a high number of motorcycle incidents.  There will be a series of motorcycle traffic safety education campaigns, including the May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  Officers plan to stress the use of properly approved helmets for all riders and raise motorists’ awareness of sharing the road with motorcyclists.

According to provisional data from 2017, the number of motorcycle accident victims shows a 6% decrease compared to the previous year.

ABS Is Now Mandatory For New Bikes In Japan
In an effort to reduce the number of traffic-related motorcycle accidents and fatalities, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) made amendments to the country’s safety standards for road transport back in January, 2015, including the requirement for all new motorcycles, 125cc or larger, to be equipped with standard Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) effective on October 1, 2018.

Additionally, newly launched two-wheelers from 125cc and below must come with either ABS or CBS (Combined Braking System, which allows simultaneous front and rear brake application with a single input).  Continuous production motorcycles have until October 1, 2021 to comply.

Dirt bikes specifically designated for off-road use and competition are exempted from the law.

Europe has had ABS laws since 2016, and India’s obligatory braking system regulations came into effect earlier this year.  Taiwan and China are expected to follow in 2019 and 2020 respectively.  Here in the U.S., the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made recommendations to the federal government to enforce the same measures, while countries like Australia and Brazil are also considering similar regulations.

As more countries get on board, vendors around the world have reportedly been bracing themselves for possible slowdowns in motorcycle sales due to higher manufacturing costs.

Philippine Police Seize Modified Motorcycles & Accessories
The past few months have been very busy for law enforcement officers in the Philippines, where police have apprehended traffic violators, cited smoke belching vehicles, and impounded erring motorcycle riders’ property.

Among those apprehended were motorcycles fitted with certain modifications, which have been serving as a bone of contention for both riders and enforcers, according to MotoPinas.com.  Among those accessories confiscated were auxiliary LED lighting systems, aftermarket mufflers, aftermarket side mirrors, and upgraded brakes which aren’t compliant with Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) guidelines.

The Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO-Philippines) suggests that when apprehended for fitting illegal accessories, refuse the order to remove your accessories and insist the apprehending officer remove the accessories from your motorcycle “because as far as the LTO (Land Transportation Office) is concerned, you are within set regulations,” adding “Do not argue with the apprehending officers.  There is always a proper/lawful venue for contesting the apprehension.”

Driver Found Guilty Of Homicide In Racer Nicky Hayden’s Fatal Crash
On May 17, 2017, a speeding driver struck renowned MotoGP motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden as he was riding a bicycle in Italy, tragically passing away from his injuries five days later. Nearly a year and a half later, we have learned that the driver was charged with murder.

The unidentified 31-year-old driver at the wheel of a Peugeot 206 was reportedly driving at roughly 43 miles per hour (70 kph) in a 30 zone.  Although Hayden was zipping down a crossing street and ran through the intersection, the judge in charge of the ruling considers had the driver respected the speed limit, he would have had time to react to Hayden’s presence.

The driver has been found guilty of “road homicide” and sentenced to a year in prison.  His license has also been revoked and he will be expected to pay all the court fees.  The driver’s attorney has said they will appeal the ruling.

The driver is not only facing a criminal sentence but also a civil lawsuit, as Hayden’s family is suing the driver for $6 Million, the maximum covered by the Italian insurance policy.

Nicknamed “The Kentucky Kid”, 35-year-old Nicky Hayden began his career in MotoGP in 2003 with Repsol Honda and went on to win the MotoGP championship in 2006.  He also competed in American dirt track racing, winning a few Grand National events.  Hayden continued racing in MotoGP through 2015, competing for Ducati Team (2009-2013) and Aspar Honda (2014-2015).  Hayden made the jump to the World Superbike Championship for the 2016 season, becoming the sole American in the series until his untimely death last May.

Motorcycle Racing Incident May End Up In Court
Moto2 rider Romano Fenati was disqualified after he astonishingly grabbed the brake of rival motorcycle racer Stefano Manzi at high speed during a mid-September race in Misano, Italy, and has since been banned for two races, the FIM racing authority suspended his license, and his team contract has been cancelled.

But now the fallout from the disgraced racer’s brake-grabbing incident continues, with Italian news agency ANSA reporting he could now face a charge of “private violence.”

The Public Prosecutor of Rimini (in Italy) is said to have opened the investigation for the less serious charge, rather than that of “attempted murder.”

“Private violence” is akin to a motorist cutting off another driver on the road.  However, the use of such a charge for competitors in a motor race would set a very worrying precedent.

Fenati pulled Manzi’s front brake after the pair had clashed repeatedly during their home race, and although extremely dangerous, both riders remained upright.

Trade Deal Nets Cheaper Motorcycles For EU, But Brexit Rules Out Brits
A trade agreement between Japan and the European Union could spell disaster for British bike buyers, as the British Motorcyclists Federations (BMF) reports that the deal removes common EU external customs tariffs from Japanese manufacturers’ imports.

Under the EU-Japan Economic Partnership signed earlier this year, the 6% tariff affecting motorcycles will be abolished over the next five years — meaning cheaper bikes for EU buyers. European consumers will also benefit from common standards of type approval on product safety as well as emissions.

However, this free trade deal is unlikely to apply to the UK due to Brexit, with that country’s exit from the EU.  EU-based manufacturers will also enjoy more competitive access to the Japanese market, while those in the UK will continue to face tariff constraints.

But Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe did recently state that Japan would welcome Britain with “open arms” to the 11 country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), though the timeframe is not likely to be soon.

So while EU riders look to benefit from less expensive bikes and Japanese-standard type approval, Brits are still in the dark as to what this means…

Singapore Biker Groups Aggrieved By Ban On Older Motorcycles
When the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced on April 6 that motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003 would be banned from the roads after June 30, 2028, many riders’ dreams of having an older classic motorcycle or “hand down our precious bikes to our children,” went “down the drain.”

Calling it a “Plain injustice,” bikers say the ban “will push rare, vintage bikes into oblivion.”

The NEA told ChannelNewsAsia that the government is trying to reduce emissions from some 27,000 older motorcycles as part of a push to meet Singapore’s air quality targets by 2020.  Owners of older motorcycles have been offered up to S$3,500 to de-register their bikes within the next five years.  Beyond that, emission standards for such motorcycles will be tightened, before the 2028 ban kicks in.

These initiatives come as NEA figures indicate that older bikes emit up to 30 times more pollutants than new bikes, and contribute 40% of the total carbon monoxide emitted by motorcycles on the road.  Bikers counter that all motorcycles, regardless of age, must pass inspection and emissions testing, though older bikes are subject to less stringent standards.

Explaining its rationale for the July 1, 2003 cut-off date, NEA said Singapore adopted Euro 1 type approval standards for new motorcycles on that date.  Motorcycles registered before that are more pollutive than newer models which comply with the Euro 4 standard.

Some of these bikes, however, may be able to stay on the roads even after the ban — provided they are converted under the Classic Vehicle Scheme, which allows vehicles to be used for up to 45 days in a calendar year. But the catch is that to qualify for the scheme, the bikes must be at least 35 years old; meaning that when the ban begins in 2028, affected bikes registered after June 1993 will not qualify…so “nearly two decades of bikes will be destroyed…put into storage…or exported.”

Dumb News: Youtube Posting Gets Man 1-Year Motorcycle Ban
A motorcycle rider who ran from police at speeds up to 143 mph was caught when his own helmet cam video posting was spotted on YouTube.  The rider had fled from a St. Charles, ILL officer who spotting him making an illegal turn and riding a bike without a registration plate, according to a report in the Daily Herald.

The incident was included in a compilation video of motorcycles running from police that was posted to the FailsandFlights YouTube account, and shows the elusive motorcyclist waiting at a red light, turn his head toward the officer who is signaling for him to shut the motorcycle off, but instead pulls away through several stopped cars, runs the light and accelerates down the road.

At one point, the video displayed a link to the film star’s personal YouTube page, which investigators used, along with his other social media channels, to track him down and make an arrest.  He was charged with several felonies, but agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving and will perform 100 hours of community service and cannot own or ride a motorcycle for one year.

Quotable Quote: “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
~John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) sixth U.S. President

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

Authorities Misapplying Texas Law to Disarm Bikers

By | Biker's Rights

Authorities Misapplying Texas Law to Disarm Bikers

The MPP has repeatedly reported on the rising trend in Texas of arresting members of motorcycle clubs for possession of weapons, including members that have no criminal record and that possess a license to carry (LTC, or concealed carry permit). Prosecutions follow arrests, and on September 21st, 2018 a jury in El Paso convicted an individual with no criminal record solely for being a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in possession of a legal weapon.

If this seems outrageous, your instincts are correct. The MPP, after conducting cursory research on 46.02, has identified precedent, Ex Parte Flores 483 SW 3d 632 (2015), that clearly articulates how law enforcement is currently misinterpreting and misapplying Texas statute in violation of the basic rules of evidence and the US Constitutional.

Law Enforcement and prosecutors should immediately cease and desist misapplying Texas statute. Applying Texas Penal Code 46.02 to members of clubs with no criminal records, and even LTC’s, would chill 1st Amendment Association and the doctrine of personal guilt, “a cornerstone of American Jurisprudence.”

Read the restart this link:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights, General News

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Federal Agency Seeks Anti-Lock Brakes On New Motorcycles In The U.S.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all new motorcycles built for road use in the U.S. have anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control as standard equipment.  The federal safety agency says that ABS has been required on passenger cars since 2000, and electronic stability control has been required since the 2012 model year, but the technology has lagged for motorcycles and requiring it would save lives.

The NTSB voted unanimously 5-0 during their September 11 open board meeting to make the recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has authority to impose regulations.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) determined that anti-lock brakes could reduce motorcycle fatalities by 31%.  “That is a sizeable safety benefit that the U.S. is leaving on the table, leaving on the pavement, actually,” he told the Associated Press (AP).

Eric Emery, the NTSB’s Safety Research Division chief, said anti-lock brakes would allow riders to use maximum braking force without fear of the wheels locking up and skidding, improving the chances of keeping control of bikes in an emergency.

Anti-lock brakes are currently standard on 8.9% of U.S. motorcycles and are optional on 13.3%.  Anti-lock brakes were required in Europe starting in 2016 on motorcycles with engines larger than 125 CC, agency officials said.  Other countries are discussing or requiring it, including Australia, Japan, China and Brazil.

NTSB Issues New Recommendations To “Improve Motorcycle Safety”
Safety issues surrounding the causes of motorcycle crashes, and the prevention of crashes through better integration of motorcycles in crash warning and prevention systems and the use of advanced braking and stability control systems, were the subject of a National Transportation Safety Board meeting conducted Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

During the public hearing, staff from the Office of Research and Engineering and the Office of Highway Safety presented findings and recommendations from the “2016 Motorcycle Crash Causation Study” on select risk factors associated with the causes of motorcycle crashes, which were adopted unanimously by the five-member board.

Among 10 recommendations included in the report, “Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes,” are calls for all new on-road motorcycles sold in the United States to be equipped with antilock braking systems and that the federal government establish performance standards for electronic stability control on motorcycles sold in the U.S.

Additionally, the report recommends that motorcycles be fully incorporated in the development of technology for on-board crash prevention and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems.

It also calls for further study and strategies regarding alcohol and drug use on rider crash risk, and to evaluate the effectiveness of motorcycle licensing procedures.

The NTSB does not typically investigate motorcycle crashes, but it conducted a motorcycle safety forum in 2006 and issued recommendations as a result.  It has been more than 10 years since the NTSB has issued new recommendations “to help reduce motorcycle crashes and improve safety.”

Ending CARB
The Trump Administration has announced plans to revoke a special waiver that currently allows California to regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions differently than what the federal government mandates, which would eliminate California’s more stringent greenhouse gas standards imposed under CARB (California Air Resources Board).

CARB’s stricter smog standards have been adopted in thirteen states and the District of Columbia, representing nearly 40% of the nation’s new vehicle sales.

Sikh Helmet Exemption Granted In Ontario On Religious Grounds
This winter, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation says Sikh riders will be exempt from the province’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law due to the wearing of turbans.  The possibility of an exemption has been a contentious topic for years throughout Canada, with some arguing that it would pose a safety risk, but now Premier Doug Ford says he will make the change in recognition of Sikh motorcycle riders’ civil rights and religious expression. Read More

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

EPA Admits Ethanol Causes Environmental Damage
“The federal requirement to blend ethanol into gasoline on the theory that it will reduce the hypothetical global warming that hasn’t appeared yet has been a joke from the start,” states a newsbit circulated by Bikernet.com, and that “By adding a huge amount of demand for corn, it did push up prices for that commodity, and made vast swaths of the rural Midwest prosperous, though it has injured poor Mexicans and others who depend on corn for a substantial portion of their nutrition and driven up the price of feed used for animals, raising meat prices.”

The net energy balance of ethanol production – subtracting the amount of energy necessary to grow the corn, transport it to refineries, and then transport the ethanol to gasoline producers, has been considered a substantial net energy gain.  But now the EPA has finally issued a new report and admits that the ethanol mandate comes at a considerable environmental cost.

The Public News Service summarizes:  “Federal law requires the EPA to assess the environmental impact of the fuel standard every three years, but the new report, issued in July, was four years overdue.  According to David DeGennaro with the National Wildlife Federation, the report documents millions of acres of wildlife habitat lost to ethanol crop production, increased nutrient pollution in waterways and air emissions and side effects worse than the gasoline the ethanol is replacing.”

“The bigger surprise is the fact that ethanol production and combustion significantly increases the production of nitrous oxides (Nox),” notes HotAir.com“This combines with oxygen in the atmosphere when exposed to sunlight, producing ozone…and actually contributes to the formation of smog and leads to respiratory ailments for many people.”

None of this speaks to the excessive costs that ethanol forces on drivers and auto manufacturers, says Bikernet.com, concluding that; “Alas, the mandate is so popular with corn farmers in Iowa, home of the first round of presidential nominations, that President Trump (and other politicians) not only maintain the mandate, President Trump recently told an audience in Iowa that he was ‘very close’ to having EPA issue a waiver to the Clean Air Act to allow year-round sale of E-15.”

Synthetic Petrol Is On Its Way
The concept of fuel for your bike that doesn’t drain our dwindling oil reserves and offsets its C02 emissions with its very production is closer than we think, according to MotorcycleNews.com“For decades, boffins have been trying to work out ways to synthesize petrol (gasoline) and diesel, but with recent strides by Ducati owners Audi and tech giants Bosch, synfuels could hit our pumps within the next decade.”

The theory is to harness our natural resources to make petrol and diesel and be able to produce it on an industrial scale so that prices can match current fuel costs.

“The new fuel has many advantages.  It isn’t dependent on crude oil, it is compatible with the existing infrastructure and it offers the prospect of a closed carbon cycle,” says Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development at Audi.

A huge amount of energy is necessary to process the fuel, but Audi and Bosch’s plans involve a renewable energy source, such as solar or hydroelectric, to power the process.  They say renewable electricity can make the process carbon neutral.

When combined with a potential carbon-free production process, it means internal combustion could be part of the environmental solution rather than the problem.

While all this might sound like science fiction, Audi produced their first synthetic petrol earlier this year, called e-Benzin, and is currently constructing a diesel production plant in Switzerland powered by hydroelectricity from a nearby dam.  Mass production of this petrol is the next obvious step.

Accidents & Fatalities Down At Sturgis, Despite Bigger Crowd
The number of fatal crashes during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was half that of last year’s count, according to statistics released by the South Dakota Highway Patrol.  During the two-week event, there were four fatal crashes, compared to eight during the same time period last year.  Both injury and non-injury accidents were down more than 10% compared to 2017, and total citations issued during Sturgis were also down nearly ten percent to 987.

Meanwhile, more than half a million vehicles rolled into the small western South Dakota town of 6,900.  Data gathered by the South Dakota Department of Transportation from nine locations around Sturgis show a nearly 8% increase in traffic over last year, which saw 469,100 vehicles.

For this year’s 78th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the tally was 505,969 vehicles, which includes motorcycles, automobiles, trucks and motor homes.  Still, the number was shy of the 2015 traffic, when 747,032 vehicles rolled into the city for the 75th annual rally.

Motorcycle Industry Trying To Attract New Riders
Motorcycling in America is getting a makeover, as industry stalwarts and upstart competitors are trying to attract new riders who want something different from Harley’s big burbling cruisers or screaming Japanese and European performance bikes, says CNNMoney.

The changes are in response to younger riders who are attracted to the efficiency and fun of two-wheel travel, but who don’t want to buy into all the “biker” baggage.

“Millennials and Gen X’ers, they aren’t always seeking to make motorcycling a lifestyle, where it’s kind of everything you live for,” said Tim Buche, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council.  These younger riders are looking for motorcycles suited to a more casual relationship rather than a serious commitment.

With shifting tastes, some start-up motorcycle makers are offering “green” electric bikes, without the noise, vibration and pollutants of an internal combustion engine, while more well-established brands are putting design emphasis on spare simplicity, targeted at a more casual rider.

Even long-venerated Harley-Davidson announced it will start offering products aimed at reaching customers who aren’t traditionally drawn to its renowned American retro-styled offerings, and will produce their first electric motorcycle — the all-new LiveWire — in 2019.

Harley Refutes ‘Misinformation’ About Moving Production Offshore
Harley-Davidson Inc. Chief Executive Officer Matt Levatich pushed back against what he called “misinformation” surrounding the Motor Company’s announced plans to move some production overseas.

The iconic American motorcycle maker has been the subject of angry tweets from President Donald Trump since announcing in June it would move some production abroad to sidestep tariffs the European Union slapped on its bikes in retaliation to Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

According to Bloomberg business news, “the spat heated up recently when President Trump said he would support a boycott of the company if it moved production overseas.”  Trump’s pronouncement that “A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!,” came a day after he welcomed nearly 200 ‘Bikers For Trump’ supporters to his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, and a New York Times article cited some Harley-Davidson owners criticizing the company at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally saying this was their last Harley.

Levatich said that the uproar surrounding the company’s earlier announcement that it would move some of its production overseas “misinformation”.  He reminded employees and dealers that the purpose of this move is to keep their products competitive in their second biggest market.  Harley doesn’t sell motorcycles in the U.S. that are built overseas, and that won’t change, Levatich said.

New Mexico MRO Calls Out Sheriffs Deputies For Profiling Bikers
A motorcycle rights group in New Mexico is calling out the Bernalillo County Sheriff, claiming his deputies are profiling motorcyclists.  “Being profiled, it’s not a comfortable feeling,” said Raymond Gallegos of the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization (NMMRO), saying there’s been a string of incidents with BCSO, prompting them to write a letter to Sheriff Manuel Gonzales.

Some see the patches, the leather and certain colors on riders and assume criminal.  However, Gallegos, vice chair of the NMMRO, says that’s far from the truth.  “So many of our organizations really benefit the community.  We’re working for charities, we’re raising money for this organization or that organization,” he told KRQE News 13.

Gallegos says members of the NMMRO have reported three incidents over the last year that call into question BCSO’s practices.  It led the group to write a letter to Sheriff Gonzales that calls out the department for harassing, intimidating and even photographing riders.

So, NMMRO set up a meeting for July 30 with the sheriff.  “We really wanted to see how our community and BCSO could work together to get ahead of this profiling issue,” he said. “That was the intent of this meeting with the sheriff’s department.”

However, the meeting was canceled at the 11th hour and the department told KRQE that there’s an ongoing operation to address reckless motorcyclists, but that deputies do not profile riders.

A re-do meeting has since been rescheduled, though NMMRO says it’s also pursuing anti-profiling legislation, and is encouraging its members who were allegedly profiled to seek legal counsel.

Waco ‘Twin Peaks’ Update
To keep readers apprised of the ongoing travesty of ‘Waco’ — the May 2015 shootout involving police and club members attending a legislative meeting at the Twin Peaks Restaurant that left nine bikers dead and 20 wounded — AIM/NCOM Founder Richard Lester would like to share the following information gleaned from Southwest Scooter News:

Prosecutors and an attorney for Jacob Carrizal, the Dallas Bandidos chapter president, have agreed to postpone the retrial of the Twin Peaks biker shootout defendant, which had been set for September 10, 2018.  Carrizal is the first and only defendant to stand trial so far, and his first trial ended in a hung jury and mistrial in November 2017.

In a joint motion for a continuance, Robert Moody, McLennan County first assistant district attorney, and Chris Lewis, Carrizal’s attorney, cite the volume of evidence needed to be reviewed, plus evidence federal prosecutors have agreed to share from the separate trial of two former Bandidos national leaders that both sides want to see, according to the Waco Tribune.

Besides McLennan County prosecutors, attorneys representing defendants in federal civil rights lawsuits filed over the mass arrests of 193 bikers after the Twin Peaks incident also have cited the need to see federal evidence from a Bandidos racketeering case in San Antonio as a reason for postponing proceedings in the civil cases.

Prosecutors re-indicted Carrizal and 23 other Twin Peaks defendants earlier this summer on riot charges and have said they do not intend to pursue the identical ‘engaging in organized criminal activity’ charges on which 155 bikers were indicted three years ago.  Of those 155 cases, with defendants being held in jail for months on a million dollars bail each, all but 27 have been dismissed.

In the meantime, as his term grows short, Waco District Attorney Abel Reyna — who failed in his re-election bid largely over his mishandling of the “Twin Peaks Shootout” cases — is settling old scores before leaving office by firing prosecutor Amanda Dillon, the last of Reyna’s remaining employees who provided information to the FBI during its investigation of DA Reyna, effectively blaming her for the mistrial in the Carrizal case.

Hanoi To Ban Motorcycles
Vietnamese authorities have announced plans to ban motorcycles in Hanoi by 2030 in a bid to cut air pollution and improve locals’ quality of life.  The country’s capital, Hanoi, is home to 7.7 million people and is one of the most polluted cities in Southeast Asia and only 38 days last year had air quality that was considered good by the World Health Organization.

The city is famous for its millions of motorcycles (5m), and it is these — together with coal-fired power plants, heavy industry, a surge in construction projects and the seasonal agricultural burning — which authorities are blaming for the pollution.

In an attempt to combat the air quality problem and boost public transport, Hanoi city council announced in early August that powered two-wheelers would be banned by 2030.

Quotable Quote:  “If you want to call the NFL to make your voice heard,” ask for Mike in the P.R. Office (212-450-2000) and “let them know the players need to respect our National Anthem and the Veterans of the United States.  No profanity, be polite!”

~ from Gill Mellon, ABATE of California board member and liaison to the Confederations of Clubs

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Former Tennessee Sheriff Kills MC Member and Still Not Charged?

By | Biker's Rights

motorcycle profiling projectFormer Tennessee Sheriff Kills MC Member and Still Not Charged?

On July 7th, 2018 a former county sheriff driving an SUV hit and killed a 21-year-old motorcyclist wearing club colors in McMinnville, Tennessee. This former sheriff was cited for failure to yield, however, no criminal charges have been filed. 1

Although the investigation continues with assistance from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and District Attorney’s office, information that is often released to the public during accident investigations is being withheld, such as whether drugs or alcohol are thought to be involved. The National Council of Clubs (NCOC) and the Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP), organizations representing the legal and political interests of motorcycle clubs nationwide, are concerned that the former sheriff is being protected legally and politically by the thin blue line.

The public has a right to know whether drugs or alcohol are thought to be involved because that would inarguably constitute vehicular homicide under Tennessee law, as opposed to a devastating accident. And the public has a right to know about the short life of Jay Alan Webster, extinguished by a former sheriff currently being shielded by the laws protecting investigatory information.

Read the whole article:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Hawaii Approves Shoulder Surfing
Some places allow lane splitting, riding between lanes of slow moving traffic, and others allow lane filtering where riders can filter through traffic at stop lights and proceed ahead of other vehicles when it turns green, but as an alternative Hawaii will now allow motorcycles to ride on the shoulder of the roadway.

Authorities have been debating allowing riders to practice lane filtering, as opposed to lane splitting, but after much deliberation Hawaiian riders will get neither, and instead will be the first state to get shoulder surfing: House Bill 2589 will allow two-wheel motorcycles to travel on the shoulder in designated areas of state roads, when there is congestion.

In Hawaii, the lanes are narrow, which makes lane splitting and filtering a greater concern.  The motion was approved, however, Governor David Ige (D) was initially against the idea, stating that the shoulder lane was reserved for stopped vehicles and emergency services.  He considered that allowing motorcyclists to surf the shoulder would equate to higher risks of accidents.

Despite the Governor’s initial intention to veto the motion, on July 12th, 2018, it was passed by default, without the Governor’s signature.  In Hawaii, any bill left unsigned and un-vetoed automatically becomes a law.  Effective January 1, 2019 riders will be allowed on the shoulder on roads of at least two lanes in each direction and with a shoulder lane wide enough for a vehicle to circulate safely.

This experiment will also serve as an indication of whether this kind of measure concretely helps the flow of traffic or not.

Lane Splitting May Be Allowable In More Places
Although practiced by motorcyclists around the globe, lane splitting is legal in only one American state; California, though theoretically the practice could be permissible in 12 other states and Washington, D.C., reports RideApart.com; “California is the only state where lane splitting has any sort of official legal status, but that has only been the case since 1 January 2017.  Before then, the commonly practiced riding technique was something of a gray area — not specifically legal, but equally not specifically illegal.  According to attorney Michael Padway, lane splitting exists in the same legal gray space in the following states: Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.”

So, perhaps the only reason people think it’s against the rules in the states mentioned is precedent, but since lane splitting is not necessarily protected it would be up to an officer’s discretion to determine whether the practice is safe.

Michigan Modifies Handlebar Height Law
Michigan recently became the latest state to modify or repeal their antiquated handlebar height law, which many states enacted decades ago to give police a reason to pull over bikers.  Currently, Michigan law prohibits anything with a handlebar height over 15 inches (measured from the lowest point on the saddle to the highest point on the handlebars), but Senate Bill 568, signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder (R) increases the maximum allowable height of handlebars on motorcycles and mopeds from 15 inches to 30 inches.

“Motorcycles have changed drastically over the years and customization is very popular among riders,” said Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) who sponsored the legislation.  “One area where they are often doing so is with the height of the handlebars to offer a more enjoyable ride…by allowing for additional rider customization that does not expose a safety hazard.”

Additionally, many motorcycles on the road today may not even be compliant with current state law.

In recent years, states like Wisconsin and Ohio have eased their restrictions; “I look forward to the governor putting Michigan on par with some of our neighbors concerning handlebar restrictions,” commented Sen. Jones, adding that some states have no height restriction at all.

Jones said the bill was brought to him by the group American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) after a member of the riding community proposed the idea.

Interior Department Promotes Powersports
A new U.S. Department of the Interior summer video posted on YouTube and other social media sites features exciting scenes of off-road motorcycling on public lands, and the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is calling on all riders to applaud the efforts of the department and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR).

The Interior Dept. video, “Recreation’s New Look,” is the latest result of combined Interior and industry efforts to give outdoor recreation a new look for the 21st century, and one that clearly includes powersports.

“Along with Interior and the ORR, the Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) have worked hard to make powersports an even more recognized outdoor activity on public lands and this new video really showcases that effort,” said Tim Buche, MIC president and CEO.

The ORR works to promote policy and legislative reforms needed to enhance the outdoor recreation economy, which accounts for $673 billion in annual economic output.  Since early 2017, the MIC, SVIA, ROHVA and other outdoor industries have been meeting with Secretary Ryan Zinke and officials from Interior and the U.S. Forest Service to discuss ways to improve visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters, including providing more and better access to trails.

H-D Shifts Overseas Citing Tariffs, Trump Lures Other Bike-Makers To U.S.
A few weeks ago, Harley-Davidson announced that it was moving some production offshore claiming it was due to President Trump’s trade war tariffs, stating in prepared remarks; “Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe. Europe is a critical market for Harley-Davidson.”

To briefly recap: Trump enacted tariffs on imported steel and aluminum earlier this year, prompting the European Union to place tariffs on a broad range of American imports, including motorcycles.  That, in turn, prompted Harley, already facing headwinds, to move some of its jobs overseas, announcing plans to open a motorcycle assembly plant in Thailand this year.

In response, according to a report by Business Insider, the President is now looking to foster foreign manufacturers in the US, tweeting; “Now that Harley-Davidson is moving part of its operation out of the U.S., my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S. Harley customers are not happy with their move – sales are down 7% in 2017. The U.S. is where the Action is!”

Scotus Sides With Motorcycle Thief
It’s not often that a motorcycle-related legal case ends up in the U.S. Supreme Court, but as the result of a dispute over a stolen bike in Virginia, the case of Collins v. Virginia, 16-1027 focused on the Fourth Amendment, and whether or not police violated the defendant’s Constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures during a 2014 investigation.

Now, several years after the initial incident, the highest court in the land has concluded that the defendant’s fourth amendment rights were indeed violated when a Albemarle County, Virginia, police officer strolled onto the defendant’s (or rather his girlfriend’s) property, lifting a cover to reveal a stolen motorcycle.

In this particular case, the Supreme Court Justices voted 8-1 in favor of Collins, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor asserting the search was an “invasion of the sanctity” of Collins’ curtilage (basically the land/area surrounding one’s house).

Regarding the “automobile exception” which allows certain types of searches to be conducted on vehicles without a warrant since, unlike a house, cars can be moved at a moment’s notice, Sotomayor contended it “does not justify an intrusion on a person’s separate and substantial Fourth Amendment interest in his home and curtilage.”

So in the end, Collins’ “receiving stolen property” conviction previously handed down by the Virginia Supreme Court was overturned, though the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to close the book on the potential for Collin’s convictions to be upheld on different grounds.

Of particular importance to the motorcycling community, irrespective of guilt or innocence, ownership of a motorcycle does not invite an unwarranted search.

World’s First Motorcycle-Themed Amusement Park Breaks Ground
What could be more exciting than a theme park dedicated to motorcycle-riding, including a high-speed head-to-head roller coaster race?

To be identified as “Ducati World”, Ducati laid the first stone to the world’s first theme park dedicated to all the motorcyclists, young or old, that will include a showroom, children’s attractions, virtual reality and many more indulging experiences fully showcasing the Ducati brand in a larger than life format.

Located at Mirabilandia, the “Ducati World” will be the world’s first entertainment arena themed after a motorcycle brand.  It will become a part of the Mirabilandia leisure park which is in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, the birthplace of Ducati.

It will be spread across 35,000 square-meters and feature a unique new-gen roller coaster that will “turn each visitor into a Ducati rider” as a major attraction.  It will also be home to motorcycle simulators allowing visitors to have the feel of the road on superbikes and track machines going at full throttle.

The highlight of the amusement park would be a racing-inspired interactive roller coaster, which simulates a ride on a Panigale V4 with the power to control the acceleration and braking; “An authentic head-to-head between bikes roaring along parallel rails.”

A museum will showcase the rich history of the iconic brand, and of course you’ll have fine multi-cuisine Ducati and Ducati Scrambler-themed restaurants and Michelin-starred kitchens cooking delicious meals. The Ducati shop will give the visitors the opportunity to buy all sorts of official Ducati and Ducati Scrambler apparel and merchandise.

Gates to the “most engaging and innovative experience for motorcycling fans” will open to the public in 2019.

SOA Blamed For Rising ‘Biker Gang’ Numbers
We blame a lot on television shows and on movies…violence, sexuality, food – but we can apparently now add fictional dramas to the long list of things that are bad for us on TV, as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recently released a statement that blamed the FX series “Sons of Anarchy” for the rise in “outlaw biker gangs’ numbers” in the province of Nova Scotia.  The show ended four years ago, but it apparently keeps inspiring edgy riders to jump in the saddle and seek out their peers.

According to RCMP Constable Scott Morrison, the spirit of camaraderie is the big selling point.  “They think the camaraderie is there based on the television show and they’re joining up,” he told CBC News.

Dutch Judges Ban ‘Homegrown Biker’s Gang’
In The Hague on June 18, Dutch judges banned a national motorcycle club and seized all its assets, ruling members had spread a culture of violence and criminal activities in the Netherlands:  “The court in The Hague has decided today that the motorcycle club Satudarah is banned with immediate effect,” the judges said in their ruling.

The judges also ordered that the club should lose all its assets including access to its clubhouse.

The case had been brought by the Dutch prosecution service, as part of an ongoing clampdown on gang violence.  Last year prosecutors successfully shut down the Bandidos MC when a court in Utrecht ordered all the club’s chapters to close, saying it posed a public threat.  Dutch justices have also tried in vain several times to outlaw the Hells Angels as a criminal organization, but a new case against the club is due to be heard soon.

Quotable Quote:  “It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.”
~ U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Parker (1892–1969), American jurist

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

The Imaginary War Between MC’s And the Government

By | Biker's Rights

Imaginary WarThe Imaginary War Between MC’s And the Government

Press Release
July 10, 2018
National Council of Clubs
Re: The imaginary war between MC’s and government.
Contact: David Devereaux-Spokesperson
media@councilofclubs.org, councilofclubs.org

The National Council of Clubs (NCOC), dedicated to protecting the legal and political interests of motorcycle clubs coast-to-coast, is extremely concerned about an imaginary war between motorcycle clubs and the government, created in the minds of some law enforcement and government prosecutors, playing itself out in courthouses across America. This ideology of war has followed us to the steps of the criminal justice system, where visibly draconian security measures have been implemented based on unsubstantiated and ambiguous sources, even though there have been no validated examples of motorcycle clubs storming courthouses during a trial. A topical example reinforcing such irresponsible claims has been recently memorialized in a Texas District Attorney’s press release relating to the supposed and constant threat of violent retaliation that prosecutors face during biker trials.

Despite the absurdity of the claim that any motorcycle club would storm a courthouse or target prosecutors with violence, there are no consequences for these falsehoods meant only to perpetuate fear and reinforce false narratives about 1% motorcycle clubs. And, of course, these false threats are used to justify excessive security measures during biker trials.

This fear-based tactic has real implications. Inside the courtroom, juries will be biased against biker defendants because of the perception that their safety is in jeopardy. Outside the courtroom, law enforcement will increasingly treat those exercising the constitutional liberties of association and expression as a direct violent threat based on inaccurate information and training. Incidents of motorcycle profiling and selective enforcement of the law will likely continue at epidemic levels until a more accurate narrative is reported by the media, both grassroots and mainstream.

Read More:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

New ‘A Biker’s Guide To Making Law’ Brochure Available From NCOM
The latest in a line of “BIKER’S GUIDE” brochures was recently unveiled during the Mock Legislative Session at this year’s NCOM Convention in Mobile, Alabama.  Conducted by the National Coalition Of Motorcyclists’ Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), the seminar was a hands-on demonstration of passing legislation, providing a perfect opportunity to unveil the new “A Biker’s Guide To Making Law” educational brochure of similar topic.

The new tri-fold brochure was produced by the NCOM-LTF to explain how to get a bill introduced and lobby for pro-motorcycle legislation, and is being provided free of charge to any Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO), Confederation of Clubs (COC), NCOM Member Group, club or organization, through Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester.

“The Biker’s Guide was well received,” said Frank Ernst, Chairman of the NCOM-LTF following the mock session on May 12th.  “After we passed them out, many attendees came up and asked if they could have additional copies, and most agreed it is a valuable tool and will give people help on how to get started in the process.”

A Biker’s Guide To Making Law joins previous titles in the educational series which includes; Running For Public Office, Communicating With Government, and News Media Relations, and for free copies for you and your motorcycle group, call A.I.M./NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE (800-662-2453).

Motorcyclist Fatalities Trend Downward
Nationwide motorcycle traffic fatalities dropped by 5.6% from 2016 to 2017, a new report shows.  The Governors Highway Safety Association released a report in May showcasing preliminary data on last year’s motorcycle fatalities by state.  Per the report, U.S. motorcycle fatalities dropped by 296 deaths — from 5,286 in 2016 to a projected 4,990 last year.  That’s coming off a 5.1% increase in such road fatalities from 2015 to 2016, the report states.

The figures reported are projections based on preliminary data provided for 2017 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Compared with 2016, motorcyclist fatalities are estimated to have decreased in 30 states, remained the same in two states, and increased in 18 states.

E15 Ethanol Protection Proposed In Congress
U.S. Representatives Austin Scott (R-GA) and Lois Frankel (D-FL) have introduced the bipartisan “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018” to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand consumer awareness on how to safely use fuel containing more than 10% ethanol.

Since motorcycle and ATV engines are prohibited from using fuel with more than 10% ethanol content, namely E15 (fuel containing 15% ethanol), improved labeling, fuel pump safeguards, and education outreach are key to protecting consumers.  E15 fuel is sold at many retail gas stations, and currently 63% of consumers assume all products sold at these stations are safe for their engines despite the fact that high ethanol fuel blends can damage smaller engines and void manufacturer warranties.

Retaliatory Tariffs Would ‘Significantly Impact’ Harley-Davidson
With the full support of all 28 member states, the European Union will impose “rebalancing” tariffs on U.S. imports ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Levi’s jeans beginning in July in retaliation over President Donald Trump’s decision to put duties on European aluminum and steel.  After failing to win trade concessions, on June 1 the Trump administration withdrew exemptions given to imported metals from the EU, Canada and Mexico from global tariffs imposed in March, citing “national security” interests.

Harley-Davidson has warned of a “significant impact” on its sales from reprisal duties, saying in a statement; “We believe a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any of our major markets would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, our suppliers and our customers in those markets.”

The Milwaukee-based Motor Company claims such tariffs on raw materials would inflate its costs by an additional $15-20 million this year.

Likewise, India is countering the Trump tariffs by proposing an increase on import duty on 30 American products, including “specific motorcycles imported from the U.S.”, by up to 100%.

MIC, Congressional Motorcycle Caucus Confer On Automated Tech
The Motorcycle Industry Council, in coordination with the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus, hosted a briefing on “Intelligent Transportation Systems and Automated Vehicle Applications Impacts on Motorcycle Safety” on May 22.  Caucus co-chairs, U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX) addressed the Caucus’s mission to support riders through education and awareness, the potential for technologies to improve the riding experience and bring in new riders, and why the discussion on how motorcycles will factor into a connected and autonomous world is so important.

The briefing, moderated by Callie Hoyt, MIC’s manager of federal affairs, featured a panel of industry and research experts: Sam Campbell, BMW Group; Gary Higgins, American Honda Motor Company, Inc.; Shane McLaughlin, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute; and Eric Teoh, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Visibility on the road can equate to life or death for motorcyclists, and human error is a major factor in that equation.  If emerging connected and automated technologies are developed to correctly detect and respond to motorcycles, their deployment holds the potential to considerably decrease motorcyclist injury and fatality rates,” Hoyt said.

Panelists discussed how connected and autonomous applications relate to motorcycles, how the applications can supplement one another, and the overall effect that widespread connected and automated technology can have on motorcycling.

Both the House and Senate have been developing legislation that would establish the first federal regulatory framework for autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies.  The briefing recognized the importance of ensuring that the needs of everyone on the road — particularly motorcyclists — are addressed in AV legislative and regulatory landscapes, as well as in real-life applications.

Advanced technology will also affect motorcycle rider training programs, and the panel talked about the need to train riders on how to interact with connected and automated vehicles.

Automated Vehicle Technology Showing Up On Motorcycles Too
It’s not only cars and trucks: automated tech is starting to show up wherever there are wheels, and companies are starting to focus on making motorcycles safer with automated-driving technology.  Exposed to the elements and operating on two wheels instead of four, motorcyclists are particularly defenseless in the event of a crash.  Yet there’s been little innovation in the motorcycle safety industry until recently.

Earlier this year, major auto parts supplier Bosch announced it was working on driver-assistance systems for motorcycles, like adaptive cruise control, which accelerates and decelerates to avoid potential collisions.  Before that, a Canadian startup called Damon X Labs also launched with the intention of creating a similar system for motorcycles.

Now, Israel-based startup Ride Vision is also working on rider safety features for motorcycles, creating an alert system that uses relatively inexpensive front- and rearview cameras to give a 360-degree view of the motorcycle’s immediate surroundings.  The system uses lights attached to the motorcycle’s rearview mirrors to alert the motorcyclist when there is a chance of collision — whether there’s a car passing or if the rider is leaning too hard.

Skully Technologies, an Atlanta-based wearable tech company, is introducing a DOT certified motorcycle helmet that has augmented reality and artificial intelligence features including a heads-up display, rearview camera, Smart Phone and Bluetooth integration, with hands-free control and other smart technology.

While some of the self-driving sensors and systems are the same between cars and motorcycles, it’s a notably different product says recode.net; “While the mechanics are different, the automated motorcycle industry will likely move in a similar direction as the autonomous car industry.  Startups and suppliers alike will rush to partner with major motorcycle manufacturers to begin testing and then eventually producing vehicles with this technology.”

New Hampshire Bans Motorcycle-Only Roadside Checkpoints
Motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints first appeared in New York in 2009; functioning like sobriety checkpoints, motorcycle-only checkpoints (MOC) allow law enforcement to pull over motorcyclists without cause, for an on-the-spot safety, license, and helmet inspection.  Since then, these so-called safety checkpoints have popped up across the country and have spiked controversy as opponents claim invasion of privacy and discrimination against motorcyclists over the operators of other motor vehicles.

Nineteen states now bar such roadblocks either through legislation or judicial proceedings (AK CA IL ID IA LA MD MO MI MN NC NH OR RI TX VA WA WI & WY), and in 2015 Congress banned the use of federal funds for MOCs as part of the FAST Act highway bill.  Yet they continue to be a problem for bikers in some states.

Although in 2011 New Hampshire became the first state to prohibit the use of federal funds to conduct discriminatory motorcycle-only stops by police, the “Live Free Or Die” state recently enacted Senate Bill 516 to prohibit motorcycle-only checkpoints outright.

Signed by Governor Chris Sununu on May 30, 2018, effective immediately; “No law enforcement officer or agency shall establish or conduct motorcycle-only checkpoints.”

Philippine Resolution Calls For Review Of All Anti-Biker Laws
Senator Grace Poe of the Philippines has recently filed a resolution in the Senate to look into legislation and ordinances that lead to the discrimination of motorcycle riders.  The resolution notes the prevalence of, “stricter checkpoints specifically targeting motorcycle riders and the latter are now perceived by the community as reckless riders and/or prone to criminal activities.”

It cites the following activities as discriminatory to riders: “a. irregular PNP checkpoints; b. national laws that penalize motorcycle riders excessively; c. high fines being imposed against motorcycle riders; and d. local ordinances that have overlooked the income of minimum wage-earning motorists.”

The resolution is hoped to review current legislation, ordinances, and law enforcement practices that specifically target motorcycle riders.  Riders of the Philippines recently united several groups to ride in protest of such discriminatory practices, and drew several thousand attendees.

The resolution, filed on May 28, 2018, ends with the statement, “that while it intends to substantially bring down the number of accidents and crimes involving motorcycles, the State shall not do so to the detriment of the rights of motorcycle riders who seem to be treated with automatic disdain and “Harassment” at times.”

Motorcycle Racing Endangered By Insurance In England & The EU
Motorcycle racing is in danger in the U.K. and across Europe as new insurance rules loom, and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MIA) has called on EU member governments to reject the latest European Commission proposals, which have the potential to end all competitive motorsports across England…”Even if this means defying Brussels.”

The EU directive amends aspects of the Motor Insurance Directive, responding to the so-called ‘Vnuk’ judgment from 2014 which ruled that all mechanically propelled vehicles must have third-party insurance, even if they are only used on private land.

The insurance industry has already made it clear that it would be difficult to provide such insurance given the risks involved with racing and that doing so could be incredibly expensive and lead to “catastrophic damage inflicted on motorsports across the board if this ruling becomes law,” according to the MIA.  In other EU countries where this has already been applied, premiums have risen dramatically making many events unsustainable.

The proposals represent a complete U-turn from the European Commission’s previous position in 2016, when it proposed to exclude vehicles not being used ‘in traffic’.  This would have made all forms of motorsports exempt from the impact of the ruling, impacting around £11 billion ($14.6 billion USD) to the U.K. economy alone.

Quotable Quote:  “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.”
~Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), American Essayist, Philosopher

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

How to Help End Motorcycle Profiling In America

By | Biker's Rights

ProfilingHow to Help End Motorcycle Profiling In America

If you believe that motorcycle profiling by law enforcement agencies is wrong and should not be tolerated, please use the link below contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to support the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (H.Res.318 and S.Res.154).

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is working with the National Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project to call on our elected officials to end unconstitutional profiling of motorcyclists across our county. If your member of congress has signed on, you can still ask them to lean on their colleagues to support these resolutions.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell Congress that pulling over a motorcyclist because of his clothes, cut or bike is discriminatory

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

NCOM Convention Mobilizes Bikers Rights Activists In Mobile
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists was founded over three decades ago during the turbulent formation of the bikers’ rights movement to foster unity among diverse segments of the motorcycling community in order to advance a more cohesive political agenda.  Unity and cooperation were the buzzwords at this year’s 33rd annual NCOM Convention in Mobile, Alabama as hundreds of representatives from Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (MROs), clubs and associations from across the country came to listen, learn and share information on a variety of issues important to today’s riders.

“While not the largest attendance at an NCOM Convention, those who were there had a good time and the Convention was a success,” notes Convention Committee Chairman David “Animal” Reid, who says “Attendees at the various seminars and presentations were attentive, asked pertinent questions and left with current information on a wide range of subjects and issues.”

Among the many meetings, seminars and breakout sessions conducted throughout Mother’s Day Weekend, May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance – Riverview Plaza Hotel, were seminars on civil rights, profiling, RICO, veterans affairs, motorcycle insurance, and featured a Mock Legislative Session presented by the NCOM Legislative Task Force.  “The Mock Committee Hearing went over very well,” says NCOM-LTF Chairman Frank Ernst, adding that “Those in attendance gave our committee much positive feedback and they appreciated the information provided by the LTF,” including a new “Biker’s Guide to Making Law” free informational brochure on how to impact the legislative process.

Spreading some good news finally, after more than three years in litigation, A.I.M. Attorney Bill Smith of Texas gave an update on the deadly Waco shootings and reported that most of the nearly two hundred bikers arrested and charged under RICO with murder have now had their cases dismissed, including longtime bikers rights activist Paul Landers, former NCOM-LTF Chairman who had to resign due to the miscarriage of justice that cost many innocent Freedom Fighters their jobs, homes, relationships and even children taken from them.

During the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, several honorees were recognized for their contributions to “Improving The Image of Motorcycling”, including; GOVERNMENT: New Hampshire State Rep. Charlie St. Clair, Executive Director of Laconia Motorcycle Week;  MEDIA: Vernon & Melania Schwarte of Thunder Roads Magazine – Iowa;  LEGAL: Michael DeKruif, AIM Attorney—California;  ENTERTAINMENT: Stunt Rider Bubba Blackwell;  and NCOM’s highest honor, the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Charlie Boone of CBA/ABATE of North Carolina, member of the NCOM Board of Directors.

Next year’s 34th Annual NCOM Convention will be held May 9-12, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando, Florida.  For further information, contact NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Twin Peaks Cases Unravel
Three years ago on May 17, 2015, the bodies of nine dead bikers lay in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant in the infamous Waco shootout as the District Attorney had police round up and arrest everyone there to attend a Confederation of Clubs meeting.

Many of the nearly two hundred bikers arrested that night would spend the next several weeks jailed on million-dollar bonds.  It was a risky legal strategy, one that had never been tried on this scale: Throw a wide net around a complicated crime scene and charge everybody involved with engaging in organized criminal activity.

Now, with the 3rd anniversary of the cases upon us, the failure of that audacious strategy has become clear as prosecutors dismiss most of the cases, the district attorney lost re-election by a landslide, and 130 bikers line up to sue over civil rights violations.  The only case that has gone to trial ended in a hung jury and mistrial in November.

“In the last three years, the 192 bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks shootout have lived under a cloud,” reports the Waco Tribune.  “Some have languished in jail, lost jobs, lost vehicles or lost spouses. In some cases, ex-wives used their arrests to seek modifications in child custody or visitation orders. Most were under strict bond conditions that restricted their travel and freedom to associate with their friends.”

The Twin Peaks debacle may also have ended a promising political career for D.A. Abel Reyna, who suffered an overwhelming defeat in the March primary in which his opponent accused him of corruption and prosecutorial overreach.  Since the electoral loss, Reyna’s office has dismissed 124 cases en masse, and has re-indicted 24 remaining defendants on a variety of charges including riot, murder and tampering with evidence, superseding the original organized crime charges.

“Meanwhile, the raft of civil lawsuits stemming from the Twin Peaks cases leaves the city and county in potential financial jeopardy,” according to the Waco newspaper, noting that the massive volume of cases had put a severe strain on court operations and on county resources already.

California Motorcycle Club Claims Profiling And Police Harassment
A video posted recently on YouTube shows members of the Jus Brothers Motorcycle Club “doing nothing wrong” when a Sonora, CA police sergeant started harassing them and photographed the license plates on their parked motorcycles.  “They say police unlawfully profiled the club members as a motorcycle gang,” reported the Modesto Bee newspaper.

Jus Brothers members from its Mother Lode and Stanislaus County chapters were waiting for a club event to begin at the nearby Intake Grill restaurant and sports bar, a monthly meeting geared toward sharing information about motorcycle legislation and is open to the public.

“We get this kind of hassle from Sonora PD all the time,” a member told The Bee.  “I think they’re just trying to keep us out of downtown.  They come around taking pictures of our bikes, nitpicking to see what they can find.”

Club members in the video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZN4fDjL17M) tell the sergeant that they plan on posting the video online with the department’s phone number, so callers can tell officials what they think of it: “That way America can see what it’s like to live in a police state!”

Another Jus Brothers member in the video asks the sergeant if police will do the same to the other vehicles parked along the street, and the sergeant seems to indicate they’re only doing this to “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

The Sonora Police Department has responded to the allegations of profiling local bikers; “The police sergeant in the video was simply engaging in intelligence gathering on a public street,” according to the official police news release.

In the video, the Jus Brothers members tell the police sergeant about Assembly Bill 2972, a bill to prohibit peace officers from engaging in “motorcycle profiling.”  If passed, police would not be allowed to consider a person riding a motorcycle or wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club-related clothing as a factor in enforcement decisions.

Motorcycle Club Retaliates With Cyber Attack
Management at Marion Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba received a harsh dose of virtual reality as they suffered the wrath of the Manitoba Nomads, a chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

According to a news posting on www.rideapart.com, “It all started when members of the Nomads were refused access to the hotel for sporting their colors.”  Unwilling to let the offense go unpunished, the chapter President invited his people to boycott the establishment.  The members joined forces and on March 27 targeted their Facebook page by submitting a tsunami of one-star reviews.  This lowered the hotel’s otherwise respectable rating of 4.5 to a mediocre 3 overnight, forcing the hotel to take down its page.

“Hell hath no fury like a biker gang scorned, and the gang proceeded to do the same with the hotel restaurant’s page,” even turning to the Marion Street Eatery’s TripAdvisor page.

Previously, the club expressed disagreement with what they considered discrimination against bikers by targeting Headingley Sport Ltd./Indian Motorcycle Winnipeg for forbidding colors from a riding event.  “Once the shop withdrew from the event, the perpetrators were asked to modify their ratings, which they did.”

A Road To Zero Motorcycles
A recently released National Safety Council report entitled “A Road to Zero” is the federal government’s vision for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050, but it fails to identify any significant procedures to reduce motorcycle fatalities except for helmet laws and hi-tech.

Despite input from motorcycle organizations, the NSC relies heavily on automotive technologies such as driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles to pave the way to a safer future, ignoring such rider safety issues as motorcycle awareness, rider training, impairment, distracted driving and proactive measures to prevent car-versus-motorcycle collisions.

The report also endorses using insurance to price some high risk operators and vehicles off the road, opening the door to allow insurance companies to effectively achieve zero motorcycles.

Zero Emissions, Zero Deaths, Zero Tolerance
Bandit and his Bikernet Crew at www.Bikernet.com posted on their blog about a California Air Resources Board meeting regarding new rule making for motorcycles.  Every manufacturer of motorcycles was there, as CARB talked about embracing all aspects of the market before making their recommendations in 2020…that’s the good news.

“They discussed anti-tampering, competition with the EU and Zero emissions,” writes Bandit.  “They talked about moving California to zero emissions by rebates on electric bikes, and they want California riders to be riding 5 million electric bikes by 2025 by executive order from the nice California Governor.”

Bandit et al go on to state their case:

“Two points: One is that word Zero again. They use that word in two other regulatory segments, Zero deaths on the highways and Zero tolerance when it comes to drunk driving or drugs. Zero sounds good from one side of the coin, but the other is ultimate control or Zero Freedom.

The other point I hope to make is that motorcycles represent such a small number in the emissions mix we should be left alone. One of the administrators mentioned two areas of emissions they walked away from and I hope to help make motorcycles a third or at least the aftermarket motorcycle industry.”

Millennials’ Student Loan Debt Hurts Motorcycle Industry
Student loan debt has been hindering millennials for years; now it’s causing harm to the motorcycle industry, according to MarketWatch.com, which further states the motorcycle industry has been increasingly struggling due to millennials’ disinterest in purchasing motorcycles in light of financial burdens.

Young millennials and Gen-Z/Millennials, born between 1990 and 2003 respectively, are two-thirds as likely to be interested in motorcycles as baby boomers during their pre-family stage, Bernstein financial advisers say.  Yet, even an interest in motorcycles may not be enough to keep the industry alive, as “The average millennial has almost twice as much student debt today during their ‘pre-family’ life stage as did the average Gen Xer,” according to Bernstein analyst David Beckel. “That may not sound like a large enough increase in debt to sway one from buying a motorcycle,” Beckel said. “But for the individual 20 million millennials with student debt, the difference between $15,000 and $26,000 of student debt is $130/month, which is the equivalent to a monthly loan payment on an $8,000 bike.”

In 1990, 50% of college undergraduates had taken out student loans with an average borrowing of $15,000.  By 2012, up to 70% of undergraduates had taken out student loans with an average borrowing of $25,000.

The typical new motorcycle will cost around the same as today’s average student loan debt, which makes it difficult for young millennials to purchase cars let alone a motorcycle.

Bernstein analysts additionally theorized that rebellion, the characteristic often attributed to motorcycle culture, doesn’t appeal to debt-burdened millennials like it used to appeal to older generations, who are aging out as the lead target audience.

Quotable Quote:  “A free society is a place where it’s safe to be unpopular.”
~ Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) American lawyer, politician and diplomat

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Charges Against Key Motorcycle Rights Activist Dismissed in Waco

By | Biker's Rights

dismissedCharges Against Key Motorcycle Rights Activist Dismissed in Waco

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

As the McLennan County District Attorney’s Twin Peaks debacle continues to crumble, an important and previously prolific motorcycle rights activist has emerged from the dust. Thomas Paul Landers, along with most of those arrested in May 17, 2015, has had all charges against him related to Twin Peaks tragedy recently dismissed. Paul, although very relieved, is still angry about the continued prosecution of innocent people also arrested and jailed that day that continue to face the prospect of life in prison for being ambushed at a political gathering.

Mass Arrests at a Political Gathering
On May 17th, 2015 I arrived home after a 350 mile ride following a club event in Oregon, to my son telling me to watch CNN because they were reporting a shooting at a biker event in Texas. I began watching the news coverage and immediately called my friend Paul Landers when I realized it was a COC meeting. Paul is a prominent motorcycle rights activist and always attended COC events in Texas, so I immediately began worrying about him.

Paul answered the phone from the parking lot of the Twin Peaks. I asked him if he was alright. He said he wasn’t injured but didn’t know what was going to happen. We hung up, and the rest of the story has been a 3 year nightmare for Paul and nearly 200 others arrested, jailed, and held on $1-$2 million dollar punitive bonds. Paul’s nightmare ended Monday, May 14th, 2018 when his charges were dismissed by the McLennan County District Attorney. In fact, most of the charges have been dropped against most individuals.

But, unfortunately, the nightmare is not over for 24 individuals re-indicted and charged with rioting, three of them also charged with murder. And because a murder occurred, the sentence can be enhanced to the same level of life in prison.

Read the whole story

Daytona Beach News Journal Falsely Reports Bikers Kill Children

By | Biker's Rights

Motorcycle Profiling ProjectDaytona Beach News Journal Falsely Reports Bikers Kill Children

David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The Daytona Beach News Journal (News Journal) is disrespectfully using the anniversary of a biker’s murder as an opportunity to promote a discriminatory and highly inaccurate stereotype about motorcycle clubs, even going so far as quoting an investigator from Wisconsin saying that motorcycle club members have a history of killing children.

The National Council of Clubs, a movement representing the political, legal, and legislative interests of motorcycle clubs nationwide, is outraged that any media source would desecrate the memory of a man that lost his life prematurely by irresponsibly propagating fear and false narratives about tens of thousands of individuals that belong to motorcycle clubs.

The Story as Published in the Daytona Beach News Journal
Outlaw MC member Louie Da’ Lip was murdered in Daytona Beach on April 2, 2017.

The News Journal released an article on April 2, 2018 titled, “1 year later, murder of Daytona Outlaws biker ‘Louie da Lip’ remains unsolved.”  But instead of merely reporting on the facts of Louie’s murder, the News Journal used the 1 year anniversary of this incident to spread fear and sensationalized falsehoods regarding motorcycle club culture.  The News Journal reports:

“Members of biker gangs have committed murder, rape and other violent crimes and they have a history of degrading women and even killing children, said Charles Berard, a criminal investigator from Wisconsin who has studied biker gangs for more than three decades.”

Read the whole story
http://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/daytona-beach-news-journal/

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights, Uncategorized

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Congressional Ethanol Bill Would Limit E-15 Fuel
A measure to limit proliferation of E-15 fuel (gasoline containing 15% ethanol) has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.  The “Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible Fuels Act” has been introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 5212) by

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and in the Senate (S. 2519) by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).

This proposed legislation intends to cap mandated ethanol content in the nation’s fuel supply at 9.7% and would stop the federal government from forcing E15 fuel into the market.  Capping the ethanol mandate would ensure continued availability of fuels deemed safe for motorcycles, such as E-10, since E-15 fuel is not approved for use in motorcycles and can damage fuel systems and void manufacturers’ warranties.

Harley Gets Reprieve As Europe Exempted From Trump Tariffs
Harley-Davidson is breathing a sigh of relief at news that the European Union will be temporarily exempted from America’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.  European ministers had specifically named the Motor Company, along with Levi’s jeans and Jack Daniels whiskey, as a target for punitive European import duties in retaliation against President Trump’s announced 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on foreign aluminum.

At least for now, the EU, along with Argentina, Brazil, Australia and South Korea, has been temporarily exempted from the U.S. tariffs, giving those countries time to try to negotiate permanent exemptions.  For other countries including Russia and Japan, the tariffs are set to go into effect.

Despite the exemptions, prices may still be driven up by the additional costs that Harley, and other American manufacturers, will encounter due to the new American import tariffs.

Appeals Court Strikes Down Gag Order In Waco Case
A Texas appeals court has struck down a gag order issued in a case arising from the 2015 shootout involving motorcycle clubs and police outside a Waco restaurant that left nine bikers dead and dozens more injured.

In a six-page opinion issued Wednesday, March 21, a three-judge panel of the 10th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office had failed to make a case for the order.

State District Judge Doug Shaver of Houston had issued the order at District Attorney Abel Reyna’s request in the case of Matthew Clendennen, one of 154 motorcyclists indicted after the shootout.  The order prevented prosecutors, attorneys and investigators from commenting publicly on the case.

Clendennen’s attorney appealed, supported by media groups that included The Associated Press, arguing the order was overly broad and unconstitutional.

Deadwood Casinos To Implement ‘No Colors’ During Sturgis Rally
Following a February 16 request from law enforcement for the South Dakota Commission on Gaming to ban colors in casinos during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the commission put the onus on the city of Deadwood and the individual gaming properties in coming up with a solution, tasking them with “taking the lead” to implement policies to monitor potential increased bike gang presence during Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Deadwood Gaming Association (DGA) Executive Director Mike Rodman briefed the commission on the industry’s response plan at the April 3 gaming commission meeting in Deadwood.  “We believe that the best path forward to keep Deadwood safe is for each individual property to have their security and management teams work with the city of Deadwood and its safety officials on proper safety planning that takes their unique properties into consideration.  We do not believe there is a ‘one solution fits all’ approach that would be effective overall,” said Rodman in a letter to South Dakota Commission on Gaming Executive Director Larry Eliason.

The letter was drafted in response to correspondence from Eliason requesting proposals from the city and the industry as to how they would proceed to comply with the commission’s directive.

The commission asked for a list of DGA member casinos that will and won’t allow colors during the Rally.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Signs Driver Accountability Law
Oregon Governor Kate Brown formally signed House Bill 2598, the Driver Accountability bill, into law on February 28, 2018, providing some relief for riders who are victims of reckless drivers.

“HB 2598 makes it a crime for a driver who recklessly injures a motorcyclist,” explains the Oregon Confederation of Clubs website, www.oregoncoc.com“This law also covers the passenger on a motorcycle.  If convicted, the reckless driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will have a Class A Misdemeanor on their record.  The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison with a maximum fine up to $6,250.”

Great thanks to Oregon Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM) attorney Christopher Slater, “who took a brilliantly simple idea and seeing that concept to its very end and conclusion.”

This will be a powerful tool to punish those who violate a biker’s right of way or otherwise injures a rider due to a driver’s recklessness. “Too often drivers have crashed into a motorcyclist getting away without even a ticket.  With this law, there will finally be some teeth in ensuring that reckless drivers who injure riders or their passengers will be convicted of a crime,” wrote Mike of the Oregon COC on their website.

Much thanks to BikePac and ABATE of Oregon for their skillful efforts of organizing the hearing testimony, and great appreciation for the riders that testified.

Female Riders Worldwide To Ride In Unison For “Female Ride Day”
Lady bikers around the globe will take to their motorcycles on Saturday, May 5th for the 12th edition of International Female Ride Day (IFRD).  Celebrations will be hosted in countries worldwide by women’s clubs, foundations and individuals, and the organization will host an open house at SF Moto in San Francisco featuring guest speakers, test rides and some of the latest motorcycle products designed for female motorcyclists.

Created in 2007 by Vicki Gray, a Toronto-based road and race instructor, IFRD’s purpose was to highlight and celebrate the tens of thousands of women who ride globally.  The event takes place annually on the first Saturday of May each year.

Other countries taking part in the 2018 event include Canada, the USA, Iceland, India, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Japan, China, and Israel.

Sikhs In Alberta Exempted From Helmet Law
Turban-wearing Sikhs in Alberta, Canada will be allowed to ride motorcycles without a helmet starting April 12, joining the Provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia in granting the exemption.  For decades, the Sikh community in North America has been fighting to pass a legal exemption that would allow members of the religion to legally ride a motorcycle while wearing a turban, and not a helmet.

The exemption to the vehicle equipment regulation in the Traffic Safety Act was amended by an order from Transportation Minister Brian Mason, the provincial government announced March 29th.  Mason told CBC News that the province’s Sikh community has requested the exemption for the past 30 years, which applies to drivers and passengers over the age of 18 who are practicing members of the Sikh religion.

Mason said the exemption was granted at the request of the Sikh community as recognition of their civil and religious rights.

The Sikh Motorcycle Club of Edmonton says the law change is a “milestone and memorable day” in Alberta history, adding “This change will bring some new opportunities/businesses to bike repair shops/aftermarket accessories shops and Motorcycle Dealerships etc.”

Back in 2014 this issue came up in Ontario, Canada where lawmakers, after careful and calculated consideration, denied the request to allow the exemption.

Three-Wheel ‘Autocycles’ Don’t Require Motorcycle License
More and more states are adjusting their regulations towards three-wheelers that aren’t quite cars and aren’t quite motorcycles; like the Polaris Slingshot.  The latest state to do so is Mississippi, where all you need to drive a Slingshot is a regular driver’s license with no motorcycle endorsement necessary.

The new vehicle classification means residents of the Magnolia State can now legally drive “autocycles” sans motorcycle endorsement, thanks to three-wheelers that have traditionally been classified as motorcycles being re-designated as “autocycles.”  This makes Mississippi the 43rd U.S. state where driving an autocycle only necessitates a class C license, but you do need to follow the state’s motorcycle helmet laws if you want to drive a Slingshot.

Far-East To Reward Riders Who Scrap Older Bikes
Riders in Far East countries such as Singapore will be offered cash incentives if they de-register bikes that are more than 15 years old in an attempt to cut emissions and traffic congestion.  Motorcyclists who registered their vehicles before July 1, 2003 will receive cash incentives of up to S$3,500 (USD$2650) to owners who will de-register their pre-2003 registered motorcycles over the next five years, on or before April 5, 2023.

In justifying the new regulations, Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a statement that older motorcycles are more pollutive; “Those registered before July 1, 2003 – before the introduction of Euro I emission standards for motorcycles – emit up to about 10 times more CO and 30 times more hydrocarbons compared to a Euro IV motorcycle today,” it said.

After the incentive scheme ends on Apr 6, 2023, NEA will tighten the in-use emission standards of such older motorcycles.  After 2028, these motorcycles will not be allowed on the roads.

Appeals Court Sides With Cops Using Biker Photos To Lobby
Fighting a bill that would have allowed Floridians to openly carry guns, two Orange County sheriff’s deputies in 2011 moved forward with a plan to give lawmakers a glimpse of some people who might be able to pack heat publicly; such as outlaw bikers.

The deputies pulled together booking or driver’s license photos of “one percenters” — members of outlaw motorcycle clubs — who might be able to openly carry guns, and provided the photos to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to the measure.

In the end, lawmakers did not approve a broad open-carry proposal for people with concealed-weapons licenses, but their use of the photos led to a lawsuit that resulted in a federal appeals court rejecting arguments by three members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club that the officers had violated a privacy law in using the photos without their knowledge or permission.

The civil case focused heavily on whether the officers violated a federal law known as the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, but the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the officers, upholding a lower-court ruling that an exception to the federal privacy law covered lobbying, and additionally that the officers were entitled to “qualified immunity”.

NCOM Convention In Mobile, Alabama Welcomes Riders Nationwide 
The 33rd annual NCOM Convention is coming soon, so plan now to be a part of one of the largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world.  This year’s 2018 NCOM Convention, to be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-13 in Mobile, Alabama, will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “The Port City” to address topics of concern to all riders.

Agenda items will cover legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.

Among this year’s featured seminars, the NCOM Legislative Task Force will host a Mock Legislative Session to provide attendees with insight into the process of making laws; Jesse McDugald will present “You & Our Constitution”, and Slider Gilmore will discuss “What Successful People Do.”

For more information, or to register for the 2018 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Quotable Quote:  “The secret of Happiness is Freedom; the secret of Freedom is Courage.”

~ Thucydides (460-395 BC), Greek historian

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

Massachusetts Motorcycle Safety Awareness

By | Biker's Rights

MassachusettsMotorcycle Safety Awareness

Massachusetts motorcyclists “kick-started” the Commonwealth’s “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period” the past week with events in Amesbury and Beverly, after Governor Charlie Baker urged all citizens to take cognizance of the more than 165,000 motorcyclists coming out of winter’s hibernation March 25th through April 30th in an annual Proclamation.

Massachusetts“We lost 48 riders last year, up from 39 in 2016,” area biker advocate and activist Paul W. Cote told Amesbury’s City Councilors, inviting them to join with Mayor Ken Gray last Thursday issuing his own Proclamation for the more than a thousand owners of motorcycles in the area.

On Sunday, State Senator Bruce Tarr delivered the Governor’s Proclamation to the family of Nelson Selig of Essex, MA who was killed May, 2000.  His death rallied area riders and statewide into activism and advocacy, resulting in this Proclamation being enacted by then acting-Governor Jane Swift in June 2002.

In Selig’s memory another piece of legislation, “Nelly’s Bill” was enacted in 2004,  which put a motorcycle awareness module into the auto driver’s schools’ course curriculum.  A nonprofit public charity, the Motorcyclists Survivor’s Fund, Inc., (Bikers Helping Bikers) was also set up in 2003 to promote motorcycle awareness to prevent accidents and assist local families of riders killed and seriously injured in crashes.

Every State except Massachusetts promotes “May” as the “Motorcycles and You” month.

Massachusetts

2018 Elisa Felicia Nelson Kristin Faye and Senator Tarr

However, Betsy Lister and Cote, both longtime AMA and Bikers of Lesser Tolerance (B.O.L.T.) members, studied the motorcycle fatality reports for 1998-2000, finding over 25% of rider fatalities in Massachusetts happened in March and April, rolled the awareness Proclamation Period back to the last week of March through April 30th“And we still get the benefit of “MAY’s” awareness period too,” claimed Cote.

2018 Nelson's Family Breakfast Group Photo by Josh“Someone smarter than us come up with ‘March’ being “Motorcycle Awareness Really Can Help . . . save lives . . .” Betsy Lister told Sunday’s crowd.

More events are planned by Cote, via his “Check Twice Save a Life, Motorcycles are Everywhere” bumper stickers and lawn signs, including their 4th year with the Boston Red Sox and their April 30th “Check Twice Night” at Fenway Park.

For more information, see www.CheckTwiceSigns.com and www.BikerHelpingBikers.org

NCOM Convention In Mobile, Alabama Welcomes Riders Nationwide

By | Biker's Rights, Events

NCOM ConventionNCOM Convention In Mobile, Alabama Welcomes Riders Nationwide

The 33rd annual NCOM Convention is coming soon, so plan now to be a part of one of the largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world.  This year’s NCOM Convention, to be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance / Riverview Plaza Hotel, located at 64 S. Water St., in Mobile, Alabama will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “The Port City” to address topics of concern to all riders.

Agenda items will cover legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.

Among this year’s featured seminars, the NCOM Legislative Task Force will host a Mock Legislative Session to provide attendees with insight into the process of making laws; Jesse McDugald will present “You & Our Constitution”, and Slider Gilmore will discuss “What Successful People Do.”

All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.

In the meantime, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have passed away over the past year, so that we may honor their memories with the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

Be sure to reserve your hotel room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (251) 438-4000.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $85 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday night, or $50 for the Convention only.  For more information, or to pre-register, call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com2018 STAR FLYER ALABAMA-CONVENTION-

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

NCOM Convention In Mobile Invites Names For Fallen Riders Tribute
With the 33rd Annual NCOM Convention in Mobile, Alabama just weeks away, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have died since last year’s Convention, so that we may honor their memories with the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.

Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring an item on behalf of their organization for the Freedom Fund Auction, with proceeds benefiting the motorcyclists’ rights movement nationwide through Getting Our People Elected donations, NCOM Speaker Program, lobbying activities and other pro-motorcycling projects as determined by the NCOM Board of Directors.

The 33nd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance / Riverview Plaza Hotel, located at 64 S. Water St., in Mobile, Alabama.

This annual gathering will draw bikers’ rights activists from across the country to discuss topics of concern to all riders, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (251) 438-4000.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $85 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday night, or $50 for the Convention only.  All motorcyclists are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Meetings, seminars and group discussions will focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to benefit our right to ride and Freedom of the Road.

To pre-register, call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Twin Peaks Update
On the eve of a Feb 7 hearing at which two Twin Peaks shootout bikers were seeking to disqualify McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna from prosecuting their cases, on a variety of grounds, Reyna instead dismissed one of those cases and recused his office in the other to avoid the disqualification hearing.

Subsequently, Reyna announced on Feb 28 that he’s seeking the dismissal of cases against 13 more bikers indicted for engaging in organized crime in connection with the deadly melee in Waco nearly three years ago, and dropping charges against 24 others who weren’t indicted.

Also, in early February, 73 indicted bikers had their cases dismissed, and eight unindicted bikers had their charges dropped.

Only one of the scores of bikers indicted in the shootout has gone on trial; Jacob Carrizal, President of the Dallas Bandidos chapter, whose trial on RICO and murder charges ended with the judge declaring a mistrial in November after a hung jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The May 17, 2015 shootout Ieft nine bikers dead and 20 more injured.  Police arrested 177 bikers after the incident, all of whom were charged with engaging in organized crime and all of whom were initially ordered held in lieu of $1 million bonds.

DA Reyna has been highly criticized for his handling of the cases, and recently lost his re-election bid.

Trade War Could Impact Harley-Davidson
President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum would likely lead to global retaliatory consequences for iconic American industries such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levis jeans and whiskey.

In response to Trump’s announcement of his intention to impose tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum to reduce an $800 billion trade deficit and protect the interests of American workers, European Union leaders threatened to target quintessential American goods such as blue jeans, bourbon and motorcycles.

H-D could suffer from a negative two-pronged effect from the tariffs on steel and aluminum; the costs of production will rise, causing the cost of the bikes themselves to increase; both of which would be passed along to the consumer.

“A punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any market would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, their suppliers and our customers in those markets,” say Harley-Davidson officials.  Roughly 16% of Harley-Davidson’s sales are to Europe, representing more than half of its international sales.

American-made Polaris is not as concerned because 50% of its sales are made to Canada where, like Mexico, the country would be exempt from the tariffs, so no retaliation is expected.

The U.S. has previously threatened to hike import duties up to 100% on European motorcycles in response to an EU ban on American bred beef from cattle raised on growth hormones.

Honda ‘Riding Assist’ System Could Advance Motorcycling
New patent images give a glimpse of Honda’s self-balancing technology that could be seen as a significant step forward for motorcycling.  Although unthinkable until recently, the growth of automated systems such as traction control, stability control and anti-lock braking systems could soon lead to a bike that is virtually impossible to crash.

That could be a massive step for motorcycling and its acceptance on a wider scale, as most non-riders would cite the perceived risk as their number one concern.

Honda’s Riding Assist system, which adds a computer-controlled steering system between the bars and the front wheel, is the next step.  Modern bikes can already intervene in your application of the throttle and brakes, but to really save us from ourselves they need to be able to override the stupidest of our steering mistakes as well.  “If a novice could jump on a bike with zero fear of toppling off it, even if they come to a halt without putting a foot down, then it becomes as user-friendly as a car while offering all the congestion-busting and emissions-reducing advantages of a bike,” predicts Visordown.com.

While the new designs patents, just published on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website, shouldn’t be taken as evidence that the Riding Assist system is going to go into production anytime soon, they provide a fascinating glimpse into one of the most radical projects in motorcycling at the moment.

Riders Risk Permanent Hearing Damage At Highway Speeds
Motorcyclists are at risk of permanently damaging their hearing after just 15 minutes of riding at 62mph, seven minutes at 74mph or three minutes at 87mph, research has found.

The study, carried out by Germany’s automobile association, ADAC, has shown that riding a motorbike at 62mph typically generates a wind noise of 95dB, which can permanently damage hearing after a quarter of an hour.  At 74mph, the wind noise can be expected to reach 98dB, which will prove harmful after just seven minutes of exposure.

Motorcyclists who regularly ride at highway speeds without earplugs are at risk of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), which can occur when exposed to long or repeated sounds 85dB or above.  Prolonged exposure could result in tinnitus, a form of permanent ringing in the ears.

Helmets don’t help, and it isn’t the sound of the motorcycle causing all the noise; “It’s the wind noise that can cause permanent hearing loss,” explains Ohio A.I.M. Attorney Ralph Buss, who has represented a client who was ticketed for wearing earplugs.  Using earplugs in Ohio while operating a vehicle has been illegal since 1989 and the law, which was enacted largely in response to stereo headphones in cars, doesn’t allow earplugs to be worn by motorcyclists or motorists.

That may soon change if ABATE of Ohio has its way, as legislation has been introduced to permit motorcyclists to wear earplugs for hearing protection.  HB548 was introduced on March 13 by Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and would add motorcycle riders to a short list of mostly emergency personnel who are exempted from the law.

Similarly, a law in California allowed only for “custom earplugs,” but was amended in 2004 to allow individuals to wear earplugs that don’t block the sounds of horns or emergency sirens.

Aloha Freedom Of Choice
Resolutions have been introduced in the Hawaii legislature on March 1st “Urging the Department of Transportation to submit legislation for a universal helmet law in Hawaii requiring all operators and riders of motorcycles, motor scooters, mopeds and bicycles to wear safety helmets.”

The partisan Democratic measures, House Resolution 41 and House Concurrent Resolution 53, call for the DOT to expedite implementation of its strategic goal for motorcycle, motor scooter, and moped safety by submitting legislation for a universal helmet law by the Regular Session of 2019.  Both await consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

The Aloha State is currently one of 31 states that allow adult riders to choose to wear a helmet, with 19 states requiring all motorcyclists to wear approved headgear.

California Introduces Anti-Profiling Bill
Anti-profiling legislation, Assembly Bill No. 2972, has been introduced in the California legislature to define the term “motorcycle profiling” and prohibit peace officers from engaging in motorcycle profiling.

Introduced February 16, 2018 by Assemblymember Anna Marie Caballero (D-Salinas), AB2972 would define the term “motorcycle profiling” as the illegal consideration of the fact that a person is riding a motorcycle or wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club-related clothing as a factor in law enforcement decisions.

Further, the bill stipulates that “A person who has been subjected to motorcycle profiling in violation of this section has a private right of action to enjoin that action and to seek damages, including punitive damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, against the peace officer and the employing agency of the peace officer.”

Several other states have considered bills to prohibit profiling motorcyclists, but Washington became the first state to pass such a law in 2011, followed more recently by Maryland in 2016.

In addition, two bills in Congress seek to end profiling of motorcycle riders on the federal level; H.Res.318 and S.Res.154 — “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”

Portsmouth Police Prepare To Enforce Motorcycle Noise Levels
Police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire are making efforts to address loud motorcycles this riding season, as Police Commission Chairman Joe Onosko, citing complaints about motorcycle noise, has called for stricter enforcement of noise laws.

Police Chief Robert Merner said he is aware of a proposed ordinance currently in a Senate committee that would ban “motorcycle-only checkpoints,” but added that he has ordered decibel reading equipment for his officers to be used citywide.

The Portsmouth Herald newspaper reported that Merner said enforcement of noise levels will begin in the spring during motorcycle season.

However, a New Hampshire Superior Court has previously ruled that towns cannot impose their own noise limits that are stricter than state law.

Quotable Quote:  “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
~ Warren Buffet, Investor and Philanthropist

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Mandatory S.O.S. Emergency Alert System For Motorcycles
An emergency call system for cars has been available for a while, such as the GM OnStar safety device system that summons a quick response in case of an accident.  An equivalent system called “eCall” will soon be mandatory in Europe on all new cars sold after April 16, 2018.

Reasoning that motorcyclists are more vulnerable in a crash than car drivers, the European Union now wants manufacturers to equip all motorcycles with an S.O.S alert system.  Since 2017, some BMW motorcycles already offer the “Intelligent Emergency Call” sent automatically or manually by the rider to emergency responders.

Studies show that emergency crews would be able to get to the accident scene 40 to 50% faster, saving around 2,500 lives every year in Europe alone. Will the U.S. follow suit?

Two Wheels TV Network Set To Launch
For motorcycle enthusiasts who can never get enough two-wheel action on television, TwoWheelsTV.com “all motorcycle network” is set to launch this Spring.  Whether you’re seeking live racing action, or commentary from leaders within the industry, the new “over-the-top” (OTT) streaming network is dedicated entirely to motorcycles.

“Like Netflix for motorcycling,” according to founder Alan Smith, Two Wheels TV (TWTV) will be available on an annual and monthly basis, and promises to deliver live motorcycle racing that’s streamed from all over the world, plus an on-demand library of movies, shows, race archives and other exclusive motorcycling programs.

The soft launch is for iOS and Android devices; register at TwoWheelsTV.com.  The full launch is expected in April, and TWTV will be supported by Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku.

The launch of Two Wheels TV coincides with a spike in the conversation about U.S. motorcycling, as efforts to reinvigorate the industry have come from the grassroots level (“Give a Shift” and “Plus 1”), as well as a new initiative from the Motorcycle Industry Council (“Ride”).

Florida Riders Fight For Stricter Laws On Crashes Involving Cars
More than a hundred motorcyclists made their way to the Capitol in Tallahassee on Monday, February 12, as riders with ABATE of Florida, Inc. spoke to legislators about some of the safety issues they face every single day.

The state president of ABATE, James “Doc” Reichenbach, told WCTV Eyewitness News that their main focus is trying to cut down on deaths due to drivers who are distracted.  He wants to see a bill passed that protects the motorcyclists on the road.

Reichenbach said the most common type of crash involving a car and motorcycle is from left hand turns.  Reichenbach said he’s had five times more motorcyclists die recently from accidents Involving distracted or careless drivers.  He believes this type of accident should be considered manslaughter.

“We’re getting killed.  We’re getting run over by cars and trucks and everything else and trying to stop that.  We’re fathers, we’re mothers, and we have children.  We’re just like anybody else, we just happen to ride motorcycles, and we shouldn’t be an endangered species,” said Reichenbach, who also serves as Chairman of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM).

South Dakota “Gang Bill” Opposed By Motorcycle Groups
Legislation addressing “gangs” in South Dakota is raising concerns among those in the motorcycle community, as House Bill 111 seeks to revise certain definitions regarding criminal street gang activity that some rider groups feel could target them.

“It jumped out at me that it’s basically a profiling bill,” said Bryon Farmer, Chairman of the South Dakota Confederation of Clubs, who told KDLT News ”There are some good issues to trying to keep street gangs out of our communities and out of our state, that part I’m okay with.  It’s just the broad range of the way the bill is written, it could be used against way too many good groups that are out there.”

Motorcycle groups like ABATE of South Dakota are testifying in opposition of the bill they say targets them as gang members.  “It’s not just motorcyclists; it’s so broad that just about anybody that’s wearing similar shirts could be defined as a street gang,” said Dave Brende, President of “Those Guys” ABATE Chapter.  “We don’t want to be lumped in as a street gang member, we do a lot of good for this community and so do all the other clubs and organizations.”

New Mexico MRO Honored By MSF & DOT
The New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization (NMMRO) was presented an award from MSF and DOT for all the work they do to promote Safety Awareness in the state and for providing support to motorcycle crash victims through their “Biker Down” program.

The award was presented during the annual Motorcycle Advisory Safety Program Committee Meeting, attended by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT), MSF Rider Coaches, local dealerships and the University of New Mexico Traffic Research Unit that keeps track of crash statistics for the state.

Among the top topics discussed was promoting basic rider and advanced rider training to enhance rider skills to all ages.  “We have always concentrated on the campaigns such as Watch Out For Motorcycles which we will continue; but it is just as important that we also promote rider responsibility,” said Annette Torrez, NMMRO Chairperson.  Torrez, who also serves on the board of directors for the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) added that “With enhanced riding skills there are many factors that we as riders can be more aware of to avoid or prevent a crash.”

The Motorcycle Safety Achievement Award states in part; “The NMMRO ceaseless efforts have made significant and enduring contributions to the safety of motorcyclists in the State of New Mexico.  The professionalism, initiative and action demonstrated by NMMRO has contributed to saving lives.”

NCOM Christian Unity Report
In a recent Christian Unity Report submitted by Louie Nobs, Christian Unity Liaison to the NCOM Board, it was reported that “Over the past year, Christian Unity groups in the Midwest, Oklahoma and Texas have been growing and having regular meetings. As the result of information that was given in our Region II CU meeting in Oklahoma last November, some members have pursued certifications through FEMA for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).  This will help them get into areas in emergency situations to serve and assess with first responders.

“I was able to share some of my experiences as a CERT member during Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.  Some of the tasks I was able to do was rescue people from flood waters by air boat, serve in shelters, and get supplies to area shelters.  I would like to thank those of on the NCOM board of directors and bikers across the country who responded to our call for assistance.  Supplies were shipped to Central Harley-Davidson in Austin and then trucked into affected areas.  Most stores were unable to keep simple things like respirator masks, tarps and box cutters on the shelves in the affected areas.

“A recent turn of events regarding the Waco case has brought relief to 20 affected families in that they have had their charges dismissed.  Some of those folks have kept in contact with us and have also been recipients of assistance from Shield of Faith.  We continue to keep praying for justice for all the bikers who were involved in this debacle.  The article can be accessed at: www.kwtx.com/content/news/DA-to-seek-to-dismiss-charges-against-more-than-20-Twin-Peaks-bikers-473216573.html.

“We are looking forward to a good turnout for the NCOM Convention in May in Mobile, Alabama.  We are currently seeking out Christian Unity members and motorcycle ministries to assist with the hospitality suite.  If you are interested contact us at ncom.christianunity@gmail.com or call Louie at 936-443-4500.”

Injured Motorcyclist Sues Autonomous Car For ‘Negligent Driving’
In the first of its kind lawsuit against an autonomous vehicle, a California motorcyclist has filed suit against General Motors, accusing one of the car maker’s robotic cars of “negligent driving.”

The rider was splitting lanes on a highway in San Francisco when a Cruise AV aborted a lane change maneuver in heavy traffic and swerved back into its original lane which was now occupied by the motorcyclist, knocking him to the ground in a crash that left him injured and unable to work, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

The police report on the incident blamed the motorcyclist, saying he shouldn’t have been passing on the right, though “lane-splitting” is allowed in California.  But the report also noted that the car’s human overseer, who was operating the self-driving prototype in autonomous mode, tried to grab the wheel and avoid the collision, but was too late to prevent contact.

An attorney for the motorcycle rider claims the accident report actually supports his client’s claim in stating that the AV driver saw his client before the crash but didn’t have enough time to grab the wheel and swerve.

This news comes on the heels of GM announcing plans to release a Level 5 autonomous vehicle — without a steering wheel or pedals — in 2019.

The court case could prove a landmark given the involvement of an autonomous car.

Ten States Object To EPA Reducing Harley-Davidson Emissions Penalty
According to a recent report from Reuters news agency, ten U.S. states and the District of Columbia have announced they are challenging a decision by the Trump administration to drop a requirement that Harley-Davidson Inc spend $3 million to reduce air pollution under settlement the Obama administration announced.

In 2016, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer agreed to pay a $12 million civil fine and stop selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution, in violation of the Clean Air Act, and was ordered by the EPA to spend nearly $3 million to instead retrofit or replace wood-burning appliances with cleaner stoves to mitigate air pollution.

The Justice Department in July cited a new policy by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and an ongoing review of the penalty by a government auditor in proposing to drop the $3 million penalty from the settlement.  A U.S. District Judge must still decide whether to approve the revised agreement.

The Harley-Davidson settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 “super tuners” enabling motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified.  Harley-Davidson did not admit liability, and said previously it disagreed with the government, arguing that the tuners were designed and sold to be used in “competition only.”

The Harley-Davidson settlement came amid greater scrutiny on emissions and “defeat devices” by U.S. regulators after Volkswagen AG admitted to using illegal software to evade U.S. emissions standards in nearly 600,000 U.S. vehicles in September 2015.

India Pulls Back On Plan To Enforce Approved Helmets
Police in India have withdrawn a rule requiring motorcycle riders and passengers to wear ISI-approved helmets, after a week of seizing non-approved helmets and fining riders.

Motor Vehicle Rules in Karnataka, a state in southwest India, require that helmets have the ISI mark (that certifies acceptable levels of quality and crash performance).  Traffic police officials had set the deadline of February 1st for all riders and pillions (passengers) to switch to ISI branded helmets.  Now though, this deadline has been withdrawn.

In announcing this sudden change, the Commissioner of Police said in a statement; “Traffic policemen on duty cannot decide the standard of helmets by a mere physical inspection and hence it is unfair to penalizing bikers for wearing sub-standard helmets… Each and every helmet we confiscate would have to be sent to the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) office and we could not impose a fine until we got the results.”

Many bikers who wear helmets branded with ECE and DOT marks, said to be better than ISI in terms of quality and crash performance, complained that the ISI-helmet rule was unfair.  Now that the BIS has clarified that a helmet’s quality cannot be assessed by just looking at it, the traffic police department of Karnataka will no longer check for the ISI-mark on helmets worn by riders and pillions of two wheelers in India.

Quotable Quote:  “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.  For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th US President 

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

NCOM Convention Coming To Mobile, Alabama

By | Biker's Rights, Events

NCOM ConventionNCOM Convention Coming To Mobile, Alabama

The 33rd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance / Riverview Plaza Hotel, located at 64 S. Water St., in Mobile, Alabama, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (251) 438-4000.

The largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world, this year’s NCOM Convention will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “The Port City” to address topics of concern to all riders.

All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.

Agenda items will cover legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.

NCOM has successfully outreached to numerous segments of the motorcycling community in an effort to unite for our rights, in both the courthouse and statehouse, and has become a unifying voice amongst North America’s motorcycle rights organizations (MROs), motorcycle clubs, women riders, religious riding organizations, touring groups, trikers, sportbikers, and minority motorcyclists.

For more information, or to register for the 2018 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Convention

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Save The Date: NCOM Convention In Mobile
The 33rd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance / Riverview Plaza Hotel, located at 64 S. Water St., in Mobile, Alabama, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (251) 438-4000.

The largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world, this year’s NCOM Convention will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “The Port City” to address topics of concern to all riders.

All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.

Agenda items will cover legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.

NCOM has successfully outreached to numerous segments of the motorcycling community in an effort to unite for our rights, in both the courthouse and statehouse, and has become a unifying voice amongst North America’s motorcycle rights organizations (MROs), motorcycle clubs, women riders, religious riding organizations, touring groups, trikers, sportbikers, and minority motorcyclists.

For more information, or to register for the 2018 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Second Biker Set For Trial In Waco Rejects Plea Deal
Following a hung jury in the first of 171 Twin Peaks cases to go to court, resulting in a declared mistrial, the second defendant set for trial on charges stemming from the deadly May 17, 2015 shooting has rejected a plea deal.

Dallas trucker George “Scooter” Bergman declined a deal in court to plea to a misdemeanor with one year probation, and the District Attorney dropping murder charges, but he instead demanded his day in court by pleading not guilty to engaging in organized criminal activity resulting in deaths and injuries.  Nine bikers were killed and 20 injured in the 2015 shootout involving police and bikers at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.

Describing how he was on his way to the bathroom when the first shots rang out, and how he ducked for cover until the firing stopped, Bergman says “How can I say I am guilty for something when that is what I did?”  Defense attorney Clint Broden says the state has no evidence against his client “other than he was present at Twin Peaks and was wearing a motorcycle jacket.”

The prosecutor’s office has since sought a continuance of the case until July, after the upcoming March 6 election primary, in a move many believe is so the D.A. doesn’t suffer a loss or another mistrial before facing local voters.

Last November, Bandidos MC leader Christopher “Jake” Carrizal was the first biker to face trial.  The jury in that case told the judge that even after several hours of deliberation they could not reach a unanimous verdict, which forced the judge to declare a mistrial.

Study Urges Motorcycle Awareness Training In Driver’s Ed
Motorcycle awareness should be included in all driver training and increased in safety campaigns, according to the authors of an Australian National University study which found that drivers are twice as likely to miss seeing a motorcycle compared with a taxi and admit they do not expect to see motorcyclists.

Referred to it as “inattentional blindness” resulting in “looked-but-failed-to-see” (LBFTS) crashes, these are the most common type of collision involving motorcycles, according to the 2017 US Motorcycle Crash Causation Study.

Now, a new Australian National University study, “Allocating Attention to Detect Motorcycles: The Role of Inattentional Blindness”, has found that drivers are overloaded with more sensory information than the brain can handle.  “So our brain has to decide what information is most important,” the study reports.

Researchers showed photographs of “safe” or “unsafe” situations involving a motorcycle and a taxi, and 65% did not detect the motorcycle while only 31% did not notice the taxi.  In other experiments, drivers modulated their attention to accommodate motorcycles when necessary, suggesting that motorcycles are given the least amount of attention.

Participants said they believed a motorcycle was just as likely to be on the road as a taxi, but admitted they would be far less likely to notice the motorcycle.  However, participants who have a motorcycle license were more likely to notice the motorcycles.

“Motorcycles appear to be very low on the priority list for the brain when it is filtering information,” University researcher Kristen Pammer says.  Co-authors say their study highlights the need to encourage drivers to be more motorcycle-aware with special training for novice drivers to “put motorcyclists higher on the brain ‘radar’ of the driver.”

Pammer notes many ways drivers can be made rider-aware, including advertising campaigns.  “I would put it into driver training programs where everyone who drives must also experience what it is like to ride a motorbike,” she says, adding that “If we could have everyone pass a simulator motorbike riding test — I bet it would make a big difference.”

Traffic Stop 101 Required Learning
A legislative trend has started amongst states passing laws requiring licensees be taught the basics of being pulled over, and by knowing what to do drivers can avoid negative interactions with law enforcement during traffic stops.

As of the New Year, three more states have introduced such legislation;

In Kentucky, HB104 would require that a driver’s education program includes “instruction regarding a driver’s conduct during interactions with law enforcement officers” and amend the state’s Driver Manual to contain the information needed for an operator’s license examination; and require driver training schools to include it in the course of instruction for new drivers.  House Bill 104 was introduced January 2nd and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 1244 in Missouri “Requires driver’s license examiners to demonstrate to applicants what he or she is likely to experience during a traffic stop and requires driver’s education providers to include curriculum on traffic stops.”

Likewise, S7239 in New York would mandate “driver education courses to include a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions a motorist shall take during such stop including appropriate interactions with such officers.”  It was introduced January 5th in the Senate and referred to the Transportation Committee.

Slumping Bike Sales Blamed On Uncle Sam
“To say sales of new motorcycles have been slow is an understatement right up there with advising the captain of the Titanic that there’s a ‘little leak’ down in the hold,” observes the National Motorists Association (www.motorists.org), then rhetorically asking ‘Why?” in a recent blog…”Could it be … Uncle?”

“It is because of Uncle that motorcycling isn’t what it was once — freeing, in particular,” claims NMA columnist Eric Peters, adding that it has also become too expensive for Millennials — the next-up generation that ought to be swelling the new rider ranks, but aren’t, because they’re already saddled with plenty of debt.

Some telling statistics indicate the median age of a rider today is 47 — up from 32 in 1990 — and even more alarming is that the number of first-time/new riders in the 18-24 cohort of people who will form the backbone of the buyer base for the next 20-30 years is down from 16% of the total pool back in 1990 to a depressing 6% today.  Probably because they can’t afford it, says NMA.

“Motorcycling has become not-cheap for several reasons — all traceable to Uncle.”

Bikes are now mandated to have the same expense-padding equipment — especially anti-pollution equipment like cars have had for decades, even though motorcycles overall have a negligible impact on the environment because of small engines in small numbers.

“New bikes must now be very much like new cars — computer-controlled EFI, catalytic converters…They are not only expensive as a result — especially to service, which most people can no longer do themselves.”

So instead of being an inexpensive hands-on experience, motorcycling is becoming the pastime of the old — and affluent.

The median household income of a motorcycle owner is now $62,200 according to stats compiled by the Motley Fool and 65% bring in more than $50,000.  That largely rules out the 18-24 crowd (Millennials) as a class.  It’s not that they “don’t like motorcycles,” as asserted by some analysts… “It’s simply that they can’t afford them anymore.”

GM To Launch Self-Driving Cars By 2019
General Motors has filed a petition asking the federal government permission to deploy self-driving cars on U.S. roadways without backup drivers or any manual controls.

The U.S. auto manufacturer announced it will mass produce vehicles without steering wheels or pedals, and that it plans on rolling them out in 2019.  Some other autonomous cars allow human drivers to take control if something goes wrong.

All vehicles that are allowed to operate on public roads must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — 16 of which include human-driver-based requirements.  GM is asking NHTSA to allow the company to meet those safety standards through alternate means — a process that the U.S. House of Representatives intends to include in a self-driving bill that was recently passed.

GM is facing competition from Google, which started testing driverless cars on public roads late last year.

The petition is the latest step toward the company’s goal of deploying a commercial robotaxi service.  GM wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019; a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

“We believe this is a pretty notable milestone on the journey to AV deployment where we’re talking about a real production car with no manual controls,” said GM President Dan Ammann, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”

GM’s announcement came on the same day the Boston Consulting Group issued a new report looking at the impact technologies like autonomous driving and electrified vehicles will have on the auto industry over the next two decades.  Among other things, the study forecast that about 20% of the miles Americans travel by automobile in 2035 will be in robo-cabs operated by ride-sharing services.

Airbag Suits Now Mandatory In Motorcycle Racing
Motorcycle suits with airbag technology have been used voluntarily by most of the world’s fastest riders for nearly a decade, though never mandatory, but that has now changed for all classes across the 2018 MotoGP World Championship races.

Thanks to a new official ruling by governing body Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the high-tech devices are becoming mandatory across the board in MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 for the 2018 season.  The FIM’s new mandate states that all full-time riders must wear leathers fitted with an airbag system at all times during every session.

The new regulations also require that every airbag system pass a series of rigorous tests which each manufacturer is responsible for self-certifying that its respective suit passes all regulations and standards.

“These regulations mark yet another step towards increased rider safety, with the FIM, IRTA and Dorna all committed to making sure MotoGP is as safe as possible — and always evolving,” according to MotoGP.

Quotable Quote:  “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68) Civil Rights Leader

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

All FL Bikers at Risk After LE Statements Regarding Murdered Outlaw

By | Biker's Rights

OutlawAll Florida Bikers at Risk After Law Enforcement Statements Regarding Murdered Outlaw

National Council of Clubs
Re: LE statements following Outlaws MC Paul Anderson killing.

Contact: David Devereaux-Spokesperson
media@councilofclubs.org, councilofclubs.org

Press Release: The National Council of Clubs, an organization dedicated to protecting the political, legal and legislative interests of motorcyclists nationwide, is very concerned that law enforcement is using the tragic murder of Outlaw Motorcycle Club member Paul Anderson near Tampa Bay on December 21st to dangerously propagate unnecessary fear and bias against all motorcycle clubs and bikers. Law enforcement is using the local news media to imply that Paul was a deserving criminal and to report that outlaw motorcycle clubs nationwide are headed to Florida for retaliation. More than being highly inaccurate sensationalism, such fear-driven propaganda creates very real risks to the civil liberties and safety of innocent motorcyclists in Florida.

Read the whole article

Autonomous Transportation and the Future of Motorcycling

By | Biker's Rights

AutonomousAutonomous Transportation and the Future of Motorcycling

By David “Double D.” Devereaux
For Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

Widespread autonomous vehicle use is inevitable. These vehicles are no longer imaginative ideas confined to sci-fi novels and futuristic movies. At an increasing pace, autonomous technology is being tested and used on public roadways in numerous American cities. In response to this technology, there has been more discussion in motorcycle rights circles relating to the impact that autonomous vehicles will have on motorcyclists. Technology can be good or bad. In the end, how a new technology is applied is arguably more important than the technology itself.

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Harley Dealership Swap Meet Created After Motorcycle Expo Bans Mongols

By | Biker's Rights

MongolsHarley Dealership Swap Meet Created After Motorcycle Expo Bans Mongols

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Mile High Harley-Davidson of Parker, Colorado has announced that it will be hosting a motorcycle swap meet in support of the Colorado Confederation of Clubs (Colorado COC) and to benefit the Colorado Vets 4 Vets program on January 27th and 28th, 2018. Mile High HD of Parker is in full support of the Colorado COC’s decision to not attend the Motorcycle Expo due to the banning of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, a Colorado COC member club. The swap meet is a perfect example of a responsible response to acts of discrimination against the motorcycle club community.

Read the whole story

Let Riders Speak

By | Biker's Rights

Let Riders SpeakMotorcycle Riders Foundation Delivers Petition at First Meeting of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, Asking to ‘Let Riders Speak’

For Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

WASHINGTON, DC – A petition containing over 5,000 signatures was delivered to the first meeting of the Federal Highway Administration’s Motorcyclist Advisory Council on Tuesday. The document was presented by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and demanded that the Council designate additional seats to represent the motorcycle rider community. Currently, the Council has 10 available seats; only one of which is filled by a motorcycle rider association representative.

Read the whole story:

 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Date Set For Retrial Of Twin Peaks Case
After a mistrial was declared in the first Twin Peaks case to go to trial in over two years, a spring 2018 trial date has been set for the first defendant to go back on trial in the deadly shootout.  The retrial date for Christopher “Jake” Carrizal, 36, will be April 2, the court coordinator for Waco’s 54th District Court determined.

A mistrial was declared in the case after the jury couldn’t come to any agreement on the three gang-related charges on which Carrizal was indicted in connection with the 2015 shootout involving police and bikers at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant.

“At the end of the day they couldn’t, there wasn’t enough evidence that the Dallas Chapter (of the Bandidos MC), and specifically Jake Carrizal, had committed any violence against any person that wasn’t self-defense,” defense attorney Casie Gotro said in response to the ruling.

When leaving the McLennan County Courthouse after the hung jury resulted in mistrial, Carrizal said he knew his battle was only beginning.  “We’ll fight it another day,” he said.

Government Announces New Transportation Research Partnership
In a partnership that will raise the profile of behavioral traffic safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has announced the launch of a new forum for collaborative research through the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP).

Through funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the BTSCRP will conduct research projects proposed and selected by State Highway Safety Offices to provide actionable solutions that will save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce the costs of traffic crashes associated with unsafe behaviors.  BTSCRP is jointly managed by NHTSA and GHSA and executed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

As TRB Executive Director Neil Pedersen explains, “Traffic safety has long been one of TRB’s highest priorities.  The vast majority of traffic crashes result from human error, so a research program that focuses on human behavior is critical.  We look forward to working closely with GHSA and NHTSA in finding new ways to reduce crashes related to behavioral issues.”

For each BTSCRP research project, TRB will assemble a panel of subject matter experts to provide guidance throughout its full lifecycle, from problem statement development through final product delivery.

GHSA Research Committee Chair Thomas Glass states, “This is exciting for GHSA members and anyone working in the highway safety field.  The panels can include members from law enforcement, prosecution, treatment and many other professional fields that do not work directly for an SHSO.  We are benefiting not only by the collaboration of TRB, but also by the widening circle of experts that we will become active participants in highway safety research.

Information on GHSA’s current research projects can be found at www.ghsa.org/resources/BTSCRP

Save Motorcycling
As a devastated motorcycle industry slowly recovered from the big recession nine years ago that decimated domestic sales, it was hit hard by an aging demographic.  Reports of declining motorcycles sales blame an aging baby boomer generation, disinterested millennials, unaffordable prices, limited choices for new riders, licensing requirements, closures of off-road riding areas, insurance and registration costs, and a nervous overall economy.

Whatever the reason, the situation has reached so dire a point that a group of industry insiders, veteran riders, marketers and moto-journalists convened at the recent International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Long Beach to discuss matters and come up with some solutions to save motorcycling from the steady decline it’s been experiencing in the United States.

Former Indian Motorcycle executive Robert Pandya formed the ‘Give A Shift’ group this fall, beginning with a written survey which included 300 participants, and proceeded to a roundtable discussion in Long Beach, on Nov. 16, with 25 of the most ardent influencers.

Their key findings and comments, made anonymously for fear of offending employers and business associates, paint a bleak picture:

  • Sales are flat or falling in almost every area.
  • Baby boomer buyers, the most consistent motorcycle consumers, are aging out of the industry fast.
  • The industry has failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.
  • The old dealership model is outmoded and unimaginative.
  • The arrival of autonomous vehicles may push motorcycles off the road entirely.

“The message is, ‘We are in trouble, and there is no silver bullet’,” Pandya said.  The consortium called on the power sports industry collectively and riders individually to self-correct, self-police and work together to improve motorcycling’s image and prospects.

In summary, the panel’s report identifies five major areas that participants felt the motorcycle industry should focus on over the next three years:

1.  Improving the desirability of motorcycles

2.  Ensuring motorcycles are not forgotten amid the autonomous car boom

3.  Increasing female ridership

4.  The importance of self promotion

5.  Improving the dealership experience

“There has never been a more compelling and interesting time in motorcycling,” the report states, with consensus centering on attracting new riders in a shrinking market.

New Study Forcasts Strong Global Electric Motorcycle Growth
A recent study by Infiniti Research Ltd predicts that the electric motorcycle market will grow 42% in the next five years.  Reported on military-technologies.net, the detailed analysis includes all major global markets, and identifies marketing strategies and market trends through 2021.

“One trend in the market is development of long-mile range motorcycles,” said one analyst on the study team. “Hence, OEMs are continuously working toward the development of battery technology so the mile-range bridge between these motorcycles and ICE (internal combustion) counterparts is reduced.”

The report concludes that the most prominent driver in the market is decreasing battery prices, which allows OEMs to push cost benefit toward customers.  The market is facing continuous improvement in battery technology, which has the strongest effect on both profitability and adoption rate.

The report also states that high purchase prices remain the most challenging prospect for high-performance electric motorcycles.  Although while the initial cost of electric motorcycles is higher than equivalent internal combustion powered bikes, the total cost of ownership is less than that of IC-powered bikes due to the latter’s higher fuel and maintenance costs.

Full Moon Linked To Motorcycle Fatalities
A Canadian research study published in the British Medical Journal recently found that “distracted drivers, like those who text behind the wheel, are a danger to themselves and to others.  Even a brief, momentary glance away from the road can result in life-threatening consequences.”

Motorcycle riders can testify to that, but the research identifies one fatal attraction for motorists that shows up 12 times a year – the full moon.

“The researchers found that on nights illuminated by a full moon, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 5% compared to nights without a full moon,” the report concludes.  “On evenings when the supermoon decorated the sky, this increased to 32%.”

The study included 40 years worth of data from the United States, as well as records from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

After analyzing data from the official United States registry of motor vehicle crashes from 1975 to 2014, during which time 494 full moons and 65 supermoons appeared, researchers calculated the number of fatal crashes on full moon nights compared to nights with a quarter moon (one week before and after the full moon).

They found 4,994 fatal crashes occurred on the nights with a full moon, which is equal to 9.10 crashes per night. In contrast, a total of 8.64 fatal crashes per night occurred on nights without a full moon. Fatalities increased further under a supermoon, amounting to a total of 703 fatal crashes, or 10.82 fatal crashes per night.  This means that for every two full moon nights, there was one additional fatal crash.  Under the supermoon, this increased to two additional deaths.

Authors of the study believe there are at least three potential explanations for the link between motorcycle deaths and full moons, including lighting effects produced by the moon that may cause riders to misjudge their speed, or that a full moon means more riders — or other traffic — might take to the roads.  “A different possibility is this idea of distraction — that glancing up at a full moon takes the rider’s gaze off the road and creates a moment of inattention that can lead to a loss of control,” according to the report.

Oklahoma To Enforce “Move Right” Law
On November 1, the Oklahoma State Law went into effect penalizing motorists driving in the left lane, especially if they are identified by police as impeding traffic.  According to a report given by Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison to the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs at a recent NCOM Board Meeting in Oklahoma City; “Law Enforcement WILL issue tickets, especially since it’s probably going to constitute a Revenue Generation Tool to help with the State’s budgetary shortfall (fines are estimated at $285), and given that we don’t have an Anti-Profiling law on the books, you can probably expect police to pull over any bikers on a Pack Ride if they’re staying in the left lane, and especially if they’re not passing slower traffic.” 

Isolated reports of this happening have been circulating already, said Revere, advising riders in the Sooner State to be careful and observant!

Arizona Considers Legalizing Lane Splitting
Arizona State Senator David Farnsworth (R-Mesa) has introduced a bill that would make lane splitting legal in the state, making Arizona more like neighboring California and many European and Asian countries that allow the practice, also referred to as lane filtering.

Sen. Farnsworth recently introduced the bill for the coming legislative session, which begins in January.  The bill, SB 1007, strikes out the clauses in statute that make lane-splitting illegal.  If the bill becomes law, it would allow motorcyclists to “overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken,” and also would allow motorcycles to operate “between the lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles.”

Bob Eberhardt, chair of the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (ACMC), said he “absolutely” thought lane-splitting should be legal — for safety reasons.  Lane-splitting would likely “greatly reduce” rear-end collisions of motorcycles, he said.  But he acknowledged it might take some getting used to by other motorists “until the public was aware that it was legal,” Eberhardt said.

Saudi Women To Be Allowed To Drive Motorcycles
Saudi Arabian women will be able to drive trucks and motorcycles, officials have said after the kingdom announced a historic decision to end a ban on women driving.  In September, King Salman issued a decree saying women will be able to drive beginning next June 2018 as part of an ambitious reform push in the conservative kingdom.

“Yes, we will authorize women to drive motorcycles” as well as trucks, said the Saudi General Directorate of Traffic, adding that the royal decree stipulates that the law on driving will be “equal” for both men and women.

There will be no special license plate numbers for female-driven cars, officials said, but women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centers that will be established and run by women.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose a ban on women driving and its maintenance was seen around the world as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom.  The Saudis enforce some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, so its historic decision to allow women to drive has been cheered inside the kingdom and abroad — and comes after decades of resistance from female activists, many of whom were jailed for flouting the ban.

Quotable Quote:  “Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best.”
~ Henry van Dyke, poet (1852-1933)

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

MPP: Sheriff Revokes Gun Rights for Associating With Hells Angels

By | Biker's Rights

MPPSheriff Revokes Gun Rights for Associating With Hells Angels

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

A recent incident in Modesto, California further evidences that law enforcement is employing a new strategy to target motorcycle clubs. The MPP has reported on the the national trend towards law enforcement attempting to disarm motorcycle club members, including those that have no criminal record, for no other reason than their association with a motorcycle club. In fact, many incidents, including the instant case in California, involve individuals that have a Carry Concealed Weapon license, which also means they have no criminal record and have undergone extensive background checks.

Read the whole story

 

The Waco Mistrial

By | Biker's Rights

Waco MistrialWaco Mistrial: Here’s Why Bandido Jake Will Remain a Free Man

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

The first trial of Christopher Jacob Carrizal has come to an end. As an expert consultant to his defense, the MPP refrained from releasing anything related to the trial in an attempt to avoid any negative impact or potential conflicts of interest. But the trial is now over and it’s time to speak the truth.

Read the whole story:

 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Hung Jury Forces Mistrial In First Waco Case
It’s been over two years since the bloody Twin Peaks melee in Waco, Texas, and the first trial of more than 150 of those arrested and charged has ended in a mistrial when the jury was hopelessly split on multiple counts.

Dallas Bandidos leader Jake Carrizal was charged with three criminal counts, including murder and racketeering, stemming from the May 17, 2015 brawl and gunfight with rival Cossacks members during a meeting of the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents that left nine bikers dead and 18 seriously injured, most shot by responding police.

The prosecution had hoped a conviction in this first “big test case,” considered the state’s strongest, would serve as an indicator of how solid the government’s cases might be going forward, and could be used to generate plea deals amongst the remaining 153 bikers indicted, explained A.I.M. (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) Attorney Bill Smith of Texas.  Smith, who also serves as legal counsel for the Confederations of Clubs (COC) in Texas, gave a much-anticipated update to bikers from across the U.S. during a recent National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Regional Meeting in Oklahoma City.

Carrizal faces life in prison if found guilty, but following more than a month of testimony in proceedings that cost the Waco community over $2 million to date, the three woman, nine man jury deliberated for just under 15 hours over two days before notifying Judge Matt Johnson they were irrevocably deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict.

Judge Johnson sent the jury home on Friday, November 10, and declared a mistrial.  The State has reportedly announced they will retry the case, but at this point it is unclear if the case will be retried on the same or amended charges, or how it will affect others under indictment.

“Just by attending a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, many of these bikers lost their jobs, lost their motorcycles, lost homes, or lost custody of a child because of their arrest for engaging in criminal activity,” said Attorney Smith, “spending days, weeks or months in jail under million dollar bail bonds.”

In early 2016, several of the bikers filed a civil rights lawsuit against the District Attorney, the Chief of Police and other Waco officials, and “if acquitted, they can succeed in civil action.”

NCOM Meeting Report From OKC
“Many thanks to all that attended the NCOM Board of Directors meeting and NCOM Region 2 Conference this past weekend in Oklahoma City, and to all OK COC (Confederation of Clubs) Member Groups that worked so hard to ensure its success,” wrote NCOM board member Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison for the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs, in his recent OKCOC Liaison Report.

“Lots of valuable information was shared that will ultimately help improve our Motorcycling Quality of Life,” Tiger Mike continues… “The seminar dealing with RICO and Biker Judicial Rights, the Texas AIM/NCOM Attorney update on the Waco Situation, and the presentation addressing profiling and police harassment of Motorcyclists were educational.  The Regional Motorcyclist Rights Forum and Multi-State COC Symposium afforded Rights Activists and Club Members from all over the Nation the opportunity to share informational updates and legislative strategy for the future.  The Regional Christian Unity Meeting featured Spiritual riding groups from many states sharing their faith and community outreach experiences.”

Revere goes on to say that, “The NCOM Board of Directors continues to be impressed with the degree of enthusiasm and involvement Region 2 Members demonstrate for being educated on critical issues.  Particular recognition goes to those that staffed the Hospitality Room, handled logistics for the hotel and transportation, and to the vendors that took part.  The Saturday Night Camaraderie Party and Dinner was a Blast!  Thanks to our OKCOC Lawyers for providing the food.  It was great to see how many riders showed up for Sunday’s OKCOC Meeting as well–the Biltmore Hotel’s Ballroom was packed with well over 400 Riders!”

He concludes with; “I deeply appreciate your passion and commitment to defending Biker Liberty, in Oklahoma and Nationwide.  Be sure to put the 33rd Annual National Coalition of Motorcyclists Convention on your Calendar.  It’s scheduled for May 8-13, 2018 in Mobile, AL at the Riverview Plaza Renaissance Hotel, and it’s going to be a great one!  The Region 2 Conference was also a Veterans’ Day celebration, and 150 bikes rode to the Oklahoma State Capitol on November 11 to take part in the ceremonies.  Thanks very much, attendees, for honoring our Armed Forces!”

Bikers Assist Disaster Victims
U.S. Defenders and the Facilitators at Camp Ironhorse have been deeply involved not only in assisting Hurricane Harvey Disaster relief efforts in Texas, but also in traveling to Puerto Rico for disaster relief aid following Hurricane Maria. “Texas Defenders and Camp Ironhorse volunteers alternate every other week delivering supplies and support equipment,” reports NCOM board member Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison for the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs.  “Multiple agencies in our area have donated to support efforts which benefit our fellow Americans victimized by the storms and enhance a Positive Biker Image.”  A critical need continues, so anyone interested in providing any support or donations, assisting in Relief Efforts, or desiring more information can contact Monte “Stick” Keiner at: wizzardproduction@yahoo.com.

NCOM Christian Unity also continues to be very responsive in meeting Disaster Victims’ needs, as updated at the recent Region 2 Conference in Oklahoma.  “They are working with an effort led by Central Harley-Davidson out of Austin TX,” reports Revere, “and the assistance they provided is much appreciated by our awesome Motorcycling Community.”  For more information or to contribute, contact Louie Nobs, NCOM Christian Unity Liaison, at ncom.christianunity@gmail.com.

Biking Pastor Shepherds Texas Church, Site Of Massacre
Pastor Frank Pomeroy oversees the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a crazed gunman opened fire on Sunday, November 5th and slaughtered 26 people, one unborn, and injured 20 others inside the church.  “Rev. Pomeroy, a motorcycle enthusiast, also runs a ministry for bikers,” and the following information was submitted to NCOM Biker Newsbytes by Becky Cakes, recipient of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists’ 2013 NCOM Silver Spoke Award for Media.

The First Baptist Church has a YouTube Channel where it posts videos of worship services and events, and in the last sermon posted online, Rev. Pomeroy — the church’s motorcycle-riding pastor — used the imagery of a Harley-Davidson to illustrate his theme for the service, entitled “You Don’t Need Training Wheels, You Need Christ!”

Ms. Cakes continues her post; “The pastor brought his bike into church last Sunday, set it in front of the altar and used it as a metaphor.  It was safer, he said, to lean into turns on the bike, even though it felt less safe, a lesson he was trying to teach his daughter Annabelle Pomeroy, 14, on the ride there that morning, when it was only 34 degrees.

“We had a beautiful ride,” he said. “She was back there cuddled behind me, and when I pointed at the temperature gauge, I felt her snuggle in even tighter.”

Annabelle was shot and killed on Sunday.  Mr. Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were out of the state. …” (Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal, www.wsj.com).

U.S. Interior Dept Creates Recreation Advisory Committee
On November 7, 2017, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced the creation of a Recreation Advisory Committee to help improve visitor experiences on America’s public lands and waters through expanded public-private partnerships.  “We used to have a Bureau of Recreation – we’re bringing recreation back,” Zinke said, adding that “I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans.”

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in economic impact and supports 7.6 million jobs across the country.  “The creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee – combined with meetings, declarations and events – is an important step in harnessing the might of the outdoor recreation economy and shows the department’s commitment to supporting its continued growth,” reports the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) in announcing the formation of the committee.

The committee will offer new opportunities for experienced and committed supporters of the Great Outdoors to collaborate with the secretary and other Interior officials on a range of issues, including expansion of world-class visitor services and infrastructure, skillful management of peak visitation, improving fee collection, incorporating new technologies and much more.

This action is the result of numerous meetings between the Department of the Interior, the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR), of which the MIC is a member, and others.

“Creation of the Recreation Advisory Committee is great news for the outdoor recreation industry,” said MIC president and CEO Tim Buche. “We are excited to work with the Department of Interior to address issues facing outdoor recreation, including trail maintenance and expanding access to public lands.”

New York To Require Motorcycle Safety Savvy Before Licensure
Those seeking a drivers license in the state of New York will soon be required to take and pass a series of Motorcycle Safety scenarios.  A7486/S2119, signed into law on October 23, 2017 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, establishes a motorcycle safety awareness component as a requirement for licensing.

Introduced by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D-S Bronx), the legislation creates a “Motorcycle Safety” component to licensure, and requires “The commissioner to provide in the pre-licensing course, a mandatory component in “Motorcycle Safety” awareness education as a prerequisite for obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle.  The purpose of the component is to educate prospective licensees on the potential dangers to persons operating motorcycles on the roadway.”

So “Motorcycle Safety” will now join alcohol and drug education, “Road Rage” awareness and “Work Safety Zone Safety” as subject matters for the pre-licensing course.

Fraudulent Motorcycle Endorsement Documents In Indiana
“It has come to our attention that some Indiana residents have been caught up in a scam regarding documents necessary to obtain a motorcycle endorsement,” reports Jay Jackson of ABATE of Indiana (www.abateonline.org), which “represents all Hoosier motorcyclists and is very concerned anytime one of us is harmed.”

Although details from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are incomplete, “it appears that someone has made copies of the state form used to issue a waiver for skills test and forged the signature of a former ABATE instructor. This unlawful act of greed casts an ugly and undeserved shadow on the instructor’s reputation, as well as that of ABATE of Indiana.”

Jackson related stories of people caught up in this situation, with some paying money for these documents or attending and “passing” makeshift classes.  If the BMV is unable to confirm that the applicant had successfully completed a legitimate rider course, “they suspend not only the motorcycle endorsement, but also the operator’s license, and in some cases the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), of the individual.”

If you have any information related to this situation, please reach out and contact the Indiana State Police, or call the ABATE office at (317) 422-8040 (Indiana residents call (800) 23-ABATE).  “We want to get to the bottom of this in hopes that it may assist those that were victimized.”

Humanity Triumphs Over Machinery
Humans have been getting their tails handed to them by computers, as artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been regularly trouncing humanity in classic games like chess, Go, and Mortal Kombat, but at least there’s one area where we still reign supreme (for now): motorcycle racing!

In a tale bearing striking resemblance to that of folk hero John Henry, the “steel-driving man” who proved his human prowess in a race against a steam-powered contraption, an A.I.-piloted motorcycle recently lost a race against a modern-day riding champion.

Renowned MotoGP racer Valentino Rossi outperformed MOTOBOT, a motorcycle-riding robot from Yamaha that controls six actuators aboard a non-modified motorcycle; steering, throttle, both brakes, clutch and gearshift.

The Yamaha MOTOBOT project began in 2015, and after three years of trials the computer has developed a much better understanding of motorcycle racing that Yamaha hopes by 2020 will “deliver new value from Yamaha to our customers.”

Quotable Quote:  “People Make Choices.  Choices Make History.” ~ facinghistory.org

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

First Twin Peaks Case Goes To Trial In Waco
Following more than two years of examining trials, hearings, motions to recuse judges and to disqualify prosecutors, appeals court rulings and a host of speedy trial demands, the first case in the Twin Peaks melee has finally gone to trial in Waco, Texas.

Jacob Carrizal, President of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, appears before Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court on charges of directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Carrizal is the first to stand trial of the 154 bikers indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured while attending a Saturday, May 17, 2015 meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents, an affiliation of motorcycle groups.

Many questions will hopefully be answered, at long last, including how much of the bloodshed was due to a biker turf war and how much resulted from law enforcement actions.

Authorities tightened security measures around the McLennan County Courthouse, including a metal fence around the 115-year old building, and black curtains over the windows, while attorneys have whittled down a jury pool from nearly 150 prospective jurists to 11 men and three women, with two serving as alternates.

“Lowest Figures On Record” For U.K. Motorcycle Fatalities
In a promising message for motorcyclists, statistics recently released by England’s Department for Transport (DfT) show that U.K. motorcycle deaths are down by 13%, the lowest figure since records began in 2006, despite an overall increase in motorcycle traffic last year and amidst the highest total of overall road deaths since 2011.

In fact, statistics from the DfT’s “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report” reveal that motorcyclists were the only road user to see a decrease in fatalities from 2015-16, even though they rode 2% more to cover 2.8 billion miles.

AAA Claims Baby Boomers At Higher Risk On A Bike
A new report from AAA claims that the baby boomer generation that made motorcycles cool are now more likely to sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries in a crash than younger riders.

The organization, analyzing federal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says older riders make up a disproportionate number of motorcycle fatalities. The mortality rate for riders who are 60 or older is more than four times the overall increase in motorcycle deaths for 2015-16, says AAA, with motorcycle fatalities rising 5.1% while deaths among older baby boomers increased 22%.

Important to note, the increase in overall motorcycle fatalities is partially the byproduct of a corresponding rise in the number of motorcycles on the road, increasing to 8.6 million motorcycles in 2015 compared with 8.4 million in 2014, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data cited by the organization.

Life Sentences Proposed For Killer Drivers
U.K. drivers or riders convicted of causing death by dangerous driving could face life imprisonment if new Government proposals are adopted to increase maximum penalties.

The move follows a public consultation in which 70% of respondents believed that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life — the top penalty that British law offers.

Under the same proposal, the crime of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also be increased to life.  Currently, both offenses carry a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment, while the average sentence imposed is four years.

The Government also proposes the creation of a new offense of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a prison sentence up to five years, a measure supported by 90% of those surveyed.

The punishment for cases that involve mobile phones, street racing or speeding would carry a sentence equivalent to manslaughter.

The Future Of The Engine In Question
Some world governments are already acting to curtail or eliminate gasoline-powered engines, and now the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has announced that he is also considering ways to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

During a recent public meeting on U.S. Climate Alliance in New York, Brown stated; “We’re doing something in the face of inaction.”

“Eventually, Washington will join with us, because you can’t deny science forever, you can’t deny reality.  And the reality is climate change is occurring.”

With a zero-emissions mandate currently in place, California is one of the U.S. states that is fully committed to carrying out the objectives of the Paris Agreement — which is an ambitious project from the United Nations aiming to tackle the problems caused global climate change.

Gov. Brown’s announcement follows a similar diktat from the British and French Governments, reflecting plans to move to electrically-powered vehicles within the next few decades.

Self-Driving Cars Closer To Home
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill called the SELF-DRIVE act, the first of its kind to drive the unmanned market forward by putting federal regulators in charge and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles or setting performance standards.

This legislation would supersede state-by-state rules, making it possible for autonomous testing to proceed on a level playing field across the U.S.

If it becomes law (which still requires it to pass the Senate), then it would make it possible for companies working on self-driving to field a lot more vehicles per year – as many as 100,000 autonomous test cars annually, in fact.

The proposal would make it possible for car companies such as Ford, GM and others to bypass certain safety standards that currently apply to human piloted cars, including equipment and controls.

The Senate has also been working on its own self-driving bill, which may cover trucking as well.

California Measure Will Ensure Traffic Lights Detect Cycles
Two-wheelers will be detected by all newly installed and replacement traffic signals throughout California, as recently passed Senate Bill 672 will “ensure that local transportation agencies will replace current traffic-actuated signals during the course of regular maintenance and upgrade cycles to adopt motorcycle-and bicycle-sensitive signals.”

Existing law due to sunset provides that, in due course of maintaining or replacing traffic control devices, local governments ensure that the systems are set at a level to that can detect cyclists and motorcycles, thus this bill indefinitely extends these provisions without a specific mandate from Sacramento.

“Since I authored the original law ten years ago, this common sense measure has proven to be effective at making our roads safer,” said Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).

Signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 3, 2017, SB 672 specifies that “Upon the first placement of a traffic-actuated signal or replacement of the loop detector of a traffic-actuated signal [responding to the presence of traffic detected by mechanical, visual, electrical, or other means], the traffic-actuated signal shall, to the extent feasible and in conformance with professional traffic engineering practice, be installed and maintained so as to detect lawful bicycle or motorcycle traffic on the roadway.”

Advanced by ABATE of California, the motorcycle rights organization says of the legislation; “Thanks to Governor Brown for signing this permanent extension,” stated Chairman of the Board Glenn Phillips, adding that “With over a Million Motorcyclists in our state, this legislation is imperative to protect riders on California roads.”

New York Measure Would Ban Children From Riding
Assembly Bill 8700 would prohibit children under the age of twelve from riding on a motorcycle.  Introduced by Assemblymember Aileen M. Gunther (D-Dist.100), the bill states; “No person shall operate or ride a motorcycle on a public highway, road or street in this state with a child under the age of twelve on such motorcycle.”

A8700 has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Help “Lemon Law” Pass For Riders In Pennsylvania
ABATE of Pennsylvania has issued a Legislative Call To Action regarding House Bill 74, a bill introduced by Representative Pam Snyder that would include motorcycles in the current PA Automobile Lemon Law. HB 74 was introduced and referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee.  On June 12 the House Consumer Affairs Committee approved HB 74, and the measure is now facing consideration by the full House.

“Contact House of Representative members and ask them to support HB 74 to include motorcycles in the state’s “Automobile Lemon Law,” urges the state office of ABATE of PA.  “You can call them, email them or visit them.  But you have to do something if we are to have success in having HB 74 pass the House and be sent to the Senate for their consideration.”

Motorcycle Thefts Are On The Rise
The annual theft report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows bike thefts rose 2% nationally across the U.S. in 2016, with a total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen, up from 45,555 in 2015.

For the second year in a row, California is the top state for stolen bikes, where 7,506 motorcycles were reported taken — compared with 4,482 stolen in Florida and 3,692 in Texas, the next most troublesome territories.  Vermont had only 24 motorcycle thefts in 2016, the least amount of all the states.

New York was the most-plagued city, followed by San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, while Los Angeles County was the top county.

The NICB study reveals that the bulk of motorcycle thefts predictably occur during the summer months, when more bikes are on the street.  August was the top month, when almost twice as many motorcycles disappeared than in December or January.

Some bikes are more popular targets than others or are simply easier to steal, and a disproportionate number are Japanese models top the theft list: Honda (9052 thefts), Yamaha (7,723), Suzuki (6,229), Kawasaki (5,221), Harley-Davidson (4,963)

The recovery rate for stolen bikes isn’t encouraging, according to the NICB report, with only 17,463 of the 46,467 motorcycles reported stolen in 2016 being returned to their owners, about a 40% nationwide rate of recovery. The recovery rate in Hawaii was highest at 94%, while the New York rate, at 19%, was the lowest in the nation.

By brand, Honda owners had about twice as good a chance of getting their bikes back than owners of Ducatis, which had only a 29% chance of coming home.

On a more positive note, bike thievery is down considerably — about 30% — from what it was a decade ago.

Philippine Government Seeks Strict Helmet Law Enforcement
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Philippines is seeking to strengthen enforcement of the Mandatory Helmet Law (RA 10054) nationwide.  In a Memorandum issued Sept 6 to all governors, mayors and others, the DILG directs local officials “to implement said (Helmet Law) Act, and ensure that the provisions are strictly complied with.”

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento directly addressed DILG during the department’s budget hearing in Congress and said he observed that several motorbike riders and drivers forget to use their helmet resulting in road accidents and deaths.

The Subject of the memo calls for the “Observance of the provisions of Republic Act No. 10054; an Act Mandating All Motorcycle Riders to Wear Standard Protective Motorcycle Helmets While Driving and Providing Penalties Therefor (sic).”

Quotable Quote:  “A man wearing a helmet defending our country is more valuable than a man in a helmet defending a football.”
~ Seen on a T-Shirt

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

ncomNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Bikers Aid Hurricane Victims
Dear NCOM Board; We have spoken with Doc (NCOM Board Chairman “Doc” Reichenbach) and he has given us the go ahead to solicit relief assistance from our affiliates.  After helping our friends and neighbors, we are now ready to contact the motorcycle community to assist with a storm that has contributed to the greatest property loss in our nation’s history.

We have responded to an effort led by Central Harley-Davidson in Austin, Texas.  They are receiving donations and then trucking them to dealerships in the affected areas, principally Houston.  We asked if we could get our organization’s members to ship to their store and they said yes, but make sure the boxes are marked.  We see a great need with the cleanup efforts, so this is what we are proposing –

  • Phase 1 – Groups can order cleanup supplies from the box stores – Walmart.com, Target.com or even the Home Depots and Lowes.  Package one type of item per box and then labeled (ex. attached hurricane relief – tarps, or hurricane relief – surgical masks, etc.).
  • Phase 2 – We are coordinating with Motorcycle Resource Teams and bike clubs to volunteer at Central H-D and delivery points to load/unload boxes so the motorcycle shops can still conduct their daily business.
  • Phase 3 – Once delivered we will assist with getting the supplies to the areas in most need.  Getting a group to set up at the Golden Triangle H-D shop and delivering supplies to neighborhoods in the affected areas.

Following is a list of needed supplies – extension cords, box fans, work gloves, tarps, box cutters, blades, nylon rope for tarps, bug spray, antibacterial wipes, disposable surgical masks, rubber gloves, shop vacs.

If folks would rather send money donations, a Houston organization that is networked with a multitude of churches and organizations in the state who are doing the relief work and gets the supplies that are needed in a very timely manner is www.somebodycares.org.  Please check them out, and they have a donate button on their website.  They also have a Houston warehouse with trucks going to affected areas daily, so we will also put them on the suggested list of recipients for Mancuso H-D.

We want to thank you in advance for the assistance offered from our awesome motorcycle community.

Serving Him with Joy,
Lou & Denise Nobs, NCOM Christian Unity
ncom.christianunity@gmail.com

NCOM Board Of Directors / Regional Meeting In Oklahoma City
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Board of Directors will hold their bi-annual board meeting at the Biltmore Hotel, 401 S. Meridian Ave in Oklahoma City on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in conjunction with the NCOM Region II Conference.

All motorcyclists are invited to attend this free event, to learn and share with fellow bikers rights activists from around the country and across the region (NCOM Region II consists of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska).

For further information, contact NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Laconia Motorcycle Week Organizer Elected To N.H. Statehouse
Longtime motorcycle enthusiast and organizer of the annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, Charlie St. Clair has won a House Seat in a special election in Belknap County, New Hampshire, posting a mild upset in the previously Republican-held district.

Charlie rides a Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic and has been riding cross country every year for over forty-one years to attend Laconia’s sister rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, and was inducted into the Sturgis Museum Hall of Fame in 2008.  He has served as executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association since 1992, and will continue in that role.

Newly-elected State Rep. St. Clair (D-District 9) says “People know me, and I’m going down there to represent my constituents in my district.  As for motorcyclists, I’ll be watching out on their behalf whether they’re constituents or visitors to the state.”

Illinois Law Mandates Students Learn What To Do During A Traffic Stop
In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic, students in Illinois will now learn a possibly life-saving lesson; What to Do during a Traffic Stop.

The new state law, signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, is aimed at preventing a situation from escalating when teens are pulled over by police, and mandates that teachers dedicate instruction time to ensuring that students learn what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop, and how not to panic and do something that may seem like a red flag to cops.

“My hope is that if we uniformly require that driver’s education include the protocol and what is expected when you interact with a police officer that things will not escalate,” Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), who sponsored the bill, told the local station ABC 7.

Arkansas Becomes 37Th State To Revise Slingshot Licensing
Polaris Industries reports that Arkansas no longer requires Slingshot owners to have a motorcycle operator’s license, thus making the Natural State the 37th state to classify the three-wheeler as a car for licensing purposes.

“When Slingshot was introduced to the market in 2014, most consumers were required to hold a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate it,” the company said in a recent press release. “Because Slingshot does not feature handlebars or straddle seating, but rather offers a unique three-wheel configuration with a steering wheel and side-by-side seating, state policymakers have recognized the need to update their operator licensing laws.”

Although Slingshot resides in the motorcycle classification which has long provided for three-wheel designs, operator skills are more similar to those required for a passenger car.  “Our goal is to gain a unified classification and operator licensing scheme across the country to provide more opportunities and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience that Slingshot offers,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager.

Banned Knives Now Legal In Texas
A bipartisan House bill repealing the Lone Star State’s 1871 ban on Bowie knives and other large blades has been signed by Governor Greg Abbott, dropping the carry of illegal knives such as “Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, and spears” from the Texas penal code on weapons, a crime which currently carries fines of up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

Still off limits for knives with blades over 5.5 inches will be places such as schools, correctional facilities, houses of worship, and bars that derive more than half their income from alcohol sales.  Minors, under 18, will not be able to buy or carry a location-restricted knife.

New Hampshire passed the nation’s first repeal of a switchblade (automatic) knife ban in 2010, and since then such knife restrictions have been repealed in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Facing Backlash, Confederate Motors Changes Its Name
When Matt Chambers created his company in 1991 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he chose to name it Confederate Motors “in a salute to good Southern principles,” but in today’s politically charged climate that associates the Southern Confederacy with racism and white supremacy, Chambers has decided to retire the name.

“The Confederate brand was no longer viable.  I think we lost a lot a business with that name,” Chambers told the Los Angeles Times, adding “We’ve missed out on branding opportunities.  So, it’s time to retire it.”

The company is now the Curtiss Motorcycle Co., named after the father of American aviation, Glenn Curtiss, who gained fame competing with the Wright Brothers to dominate the skies, but who also famously built and raced motorcycles.

Their first model will be called the Hercules, the name originally used for Curtiss’ motorcycles, and will be an electric sportbike.

British Motorcyclists Ride On Parliament To Protest Bike Crime
Hundreds of concerned motorcyclists rode through London on Saturday, Sept 9th to protest a staggering increase in bike thefts, bike-jackings and brutal attacks on motorcyclists in the U.K.

The protest comes after acid was sprayed at six scooter riders in a 90 minute period in a series of attacks in London in July, with one victim suffering “life-changing injuries” according to police.  Due to these vicious assaults, acid attackers now face life in prison, and prosecutors have been advised to impose sentences of up to four years just for carrying acid.

Other riders have had their bikes stolen from them by armed thieves.  Recent crime figures have shown that vehicle theft has risen 18.6% nationwide in the last year and 25.9% in London, which is a trend that has been plain to see for bike owners.  The thieves are more brazen than ever, posting pictures of bikes they’ve stolen on social media.

As the police struggle with motorcycle theft, the army may be called in to address the situation.

Protest organizers ‘#BikersUnited’ say 65 bikes are stolen a day in the capital, while riders increasingly face “violence, knives, acid and even death from the thieves.”

Formed of a number of biking groups including MAG (Motorcycle Action Group), #BikersUnited says on its Facebook page: “We represent the 1,000s of riders of motorcycles and scooters in Britain and are protesting about the outrageous escalation of bike theft and bike jackings in our country.”

Philippines Calls For Bigger License Plates To Deter Crimes
The Philippine Senate has unanimously approved a bill requiring the Land Transportation Office to provide bigger and reflectorized license plates for motorcycles and scooters to deter crimes.

Voting 21-0, the upper chamber approved on final reading Senate Bill 1397, or the proposed “Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act of 2017”, which would require significantly larger license plates for the front and rear of all motorcycles and scooters for easy identification to deter motorcycle-riding criminals from easily getting away.

“Motorcycles have become crime machines. With their small plate numbers, criminals perpetrating crimes while on board motorcycles easily flee from the scene of the crime, and usually there are no witnesses who can read or identify plate numbers so that the authorities can go after the criminals,” Senator Richard Gordon, the bill’s author, said.

Study Shows Car Drivers Are Confident They Can Text And Drive Safely
A recent study by Progressive Insurance reveals that about one third of car drivers feel confident in their own ability to text and drive, yet the majority believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents and more than 90% say it should be illegal.

The report showed a sharp difference in attitudes between younger and older drivers, with more than 60% of 18-34 year olds being confident in their ability to safely text while driving, compared to less than 6% of those 55 and older.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States in 2015.  Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

The study further showed that men think they are better at texting and driving, with twice as many men (21%) as women (11%) saying they are “very confident” in their ability to text while driving.  Despite that confidence in their own abilities, some 88% of men and 97% of women think texting should not be allowed.

Among all drivers, more than 65% of individuals polled believe that texting/looking at one’s phone while driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents in the United States.  And 83% of individuals believe police should be able to pull over drivers for texting alone.  Yet at the same time, 34% of respondents said they were somewhat or very confident in their ability to text while driving.

Meanwhile, the study said the most common feelings evoked when seeing another driver texting is concern (62%) followed by irritation (50%), and these feelings didn’t vary by age or gender.

Quotable Quote:  “A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) science-fiction author

The AIM/NCOM Motorcycle E-News Service is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

 

Motorcycle Industry Welcomes Ban On Gas Powered Vehicles
The Motorcycle Industry Association (U.K.) has welcomed reports of a ban on new fossil fuel-powered vehicles starting 2040, saying it will be a “tremendous stimulus” for bike makers.

The Government is due to announce a ban on the sale of new petrol (gasoline) and diesel vehicles from 2040 as part of an effort to tackle air pollution, according to several national newspapers. The measure is expected to include a ban on new hybrid vehicles and “could mark the beginning of the end of the prevalence of the internal combustion engine in automotive transport,” reports www.BritishDealerNews.co.uk.

The announcement will be in line with a similar commitment already made by France.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), pointed out that no specific mention had been made of motorcycles but added: “I think there’s a great opportunity.”

“For all the congestion-busting abilities of motorcycles and the abilities to make electric bikes I think it’s a tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry,” Kenward predicts. “It’s a tremendous commercial trigger to push on with electric motorcycles.”

Motorcycles made before 2007 are already set to be hit by a £12.50 ($16.10 USD) daily pollution toll for entering London beginning in 2020.

India Becomes World’s Largest Motorcycle Manufacturer
India has dethroned China from a long reign as the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, having already overtaken China to become the largest domestic motorcycle market three years ago.  The growth curve is continuing, as India’s growing domestic market and partnerships with English and European bike builders have put the country at the forefront of worldwide two-wheeled production.

While overall new motorcycle sales in the U.S. have been about 500,000 a year, and around 125,000 are sold in the United Kingdom, the total sales of machines made in India for the last financial year came to 17.6 million – more every three days than are sold in the UK in a year; more every 11 days than are sold annually in America.

Meanwhile, China’s domestic motorcycle market has been in decline for five years as government policy has incentivized electric bicycle sales and denied motorcycles access to city centers across China.

Conversely, the relentless growth of motorcycle sales in India is beginning to reshape the global marketplace.  According to New Atlas, sales within India grew 6.9% last year, thanks to a fast-growing 1.32 billion domestic population that is quickly urbanizing and emerging from poverty — India has the fastest GDP growth of any major country.  A massive India-wide road construction program is also fueling car and bike sales, just as it did in America a century ago.

Currently India’s domestic motorcycle marketplace is dominated by sub-125cc scooters and motorcycles, but larger capacity “luxury” classes are taking an increasing share as the market matures.  Royal Enfield, built in India for the past 62 years, sold more than 700,000 motorcycles last year, a figure nearly equal to the combined worldwide sales of Harley-Davidson, KTM, BMW, Triumph, and Ducati, and their production target for this fiscal year is 900,000.

Millions Of Licensed Motorcyclists Don’t Ride
Nearly 8 million Americans have a motorcycle license, but don’t own a bike.  These phantom riders, referred to as “Sleeping License Holders,” have come to the attention of motorcycle manufacturers seeking new customers as baby boomers age out of riding; wanting to wake them up.

Many of these ‘sleepers’ were active motorcyclists who had things happen in their life that caused them to quit riding: marriage, kids, financial pressures, a job that demands most of their time or simply a change in interests.  Others completed rider training, got their license, but never bought a bike.

All of which has led Harley-Davidson, Indian and other bike makers to devise new marketing strategies.

Harley has set a goal of attracting 2 million new U.S. riders in the next decade and says it’s committed to introducing 100 new motorcycles over the next 10 years, including an electric bike, and that effort is expected to bring some sleeping license holders into bike ownership.

Indian Motorcycle Co. is also digging into why the sleepers aren’t taking that next step to become motorcycle owners.  “I think, collectively as an industry, we need to answer that,” said Kevin Reilly, vice president of motorcycle marketing for Indian.

The median age of U.S. motorcyclists is about 45, according to a report in Cycle World magazine, with an overwhelming number of new bike buyers over the age of 50. Read More

MC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

By | Biker's Rights

Unlawful CarryMC Members Being Arrested For Unlawful Carry Without Cause

The MPP is issuing this Travel Advisory to all members and associates of motorcycle clubs traveling in or to the state of Texas.

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

WARNING- As a motorcycle club member, there is a legitimate risk of being arrested for Unlawful Carry of a Weapon in the state of Texas solely because of membership or association with a motorcycle club, even if you posses a legitimate carry permit recognized by the state. The MPP believes that the risk is exponentially higher for members and associates of 1% motorcycle clubs.

ABC News in El Paso reported this last weekend that 5 members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were arrested for Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (click to read article), even though every one could legally possess a weapon, solely because of their membership or association with the motorcycle club. They were initially stopped by the El Paso PD Gang Unit for an alleged failure to properly signal. All 5 men are from New Mexico and were traveling to El Paso to attend a funeral for a deceased member. (NOTE: The MPP has confirmed that only 3 of the 5 were members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club).

This is not a isolated event. In November 2015, the MPP reported that “the trend to confiscate handguns and revoke legally obtained permits from motorcycle club members in America is on the rise.

From Houston to Long Island, and now back to Texas, law enforcement is aggressively targeting the gun rights of those in motorcycle clubs.” (See Revoking Gun Rights from Motorcycle Clubs is on the Rise, November 12, 2015). That trend, particularly in Texas, shows no signs of slowing down.

Read the whole story:

Legal Defense Fund for Victims of the Waco Tragedy

By | Biker's Rights

support-waco-legal-defense-620x350Support the Legal Defense Fund for Victims of the Waco Tragedy

By David “Double D” Devereoux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

There are many unanswered questions relating to the May 17, 2015 shooting at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. But what is known provides more than enough to establish that an irrefutable miscarriage of justice has occurred.

177 people were arrested without any individualized or specific probable cause. They were arrested solely based on their association with a motorcycle club, including individuals that law enforcement acknowledges committed no crimes. Each individual arrested was given 1-2 million dollar bails explicitly “to send a message”, which is a clear violation of the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against punitive bail.

A cornerstone of a free society is the idea that protecting one innocent person outweighs society’s interest in punishing the guilty. The ends do not justify the means. The issues of false arrest and excessive bail should take priority over the interests of punishing any guilty party present at Twin Peaks. The interests of the innocent are simply more important from a societal perspective.

This is not about any one motorcycle club. What happens in the Waco prosecution will have far reaching impacts on the entire culture of motorcycle clubs and the 1st Amendment issues of expression and association. And the results of the initial trials could have far reaching impacts on the remaining trials.

The Bandidos Motorcycle Club and associates have been targeted and are being prosecuted first. Time is short. Help is needed. The amount of legal resources available often equates to a better defense. The first trial is set for September, 2017.

Any motorcycle club member, motorcyclist, or individual concerned about the wider implications of the Waco tragedy can contribute to the legal defense of the first club being prosecuted by sending checks or money orders to:

USARG Inc./BMC
PO Box 58868
Houston TX 77258

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Police in Texas Pressuring Bars

By | Biker's Rights

TexasPolice in Texas Pressuring Bars to Ban “Motorcycle Colors”

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Motorcyclists from Texas and around the US, many wearing motorcycle-related patches and colors, regularly visit public establishments and bars in San Marcos, Texas.

Recently, the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) made a prejudicial recommendation to downtown San Marcos businesses to implement a broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related insignia or colors.

These recommendations amount to coercive pressure from a government actor to implement policies of discrimination. It is settled law that motorcycle patches and colors are Constitutionally protected by the 1st Amendment from acts of government discrimination. Prohibiting individuals from expressing themselves with patches or insignia exposes the government to liability under 42 USC §1983.

No agent of the government may pressure or coerce any establishment to impose a dress code that prohibits attendees from wearing clothing displaying the name or symbols associated with a motorcycle organization.

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights, General News

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Millennials Are Negatively Impacting Motorcycling
U.S. motorcycle sales for Harley-Davidson, which represents about half of America’s big-bike market, were down 3.9% last year, and investment management firm Alliance Bernstein recently downgraded the Motor Company’s rating while citing the millennial generation as a key contributor in the brand’s downturn.

“Our data suggests the younger Gen Y population is adopting motorcycling at a far lower rate than prior generations,” AB analyst David Beckel told AOL’s Business Insider.  “Gen Y’s are aging into the important ‘pre-family’ cohort of riders and Boomers are increasingly handing over their keys to the smaller Gen X population.”

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers in numbers to become the largest generation pool in the United States, and these 18 to 35-year-olds grew up during a recession, which has impacted their spending habits.

“I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this great recession,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger.  “One in every five households at the time were severely negatively impacted by that event.  And, if you think about the children in that house and how the length and depth of that recession really impacted people, I think you have an entire generation with permanently changed spending habits.”

Bike-To-Vehicle (B2V) Technology To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle often claim they didn’t see the bike.  Their smaller size, quickness and maneuverability makes motorcycles more difficult to identify in traffic.  Autotalks, the world leader in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is launching its bike-to-vehicle (B2V) solution, a technology for the prevention of motorcycle accidents.  The solution is based on the B2X (Bike-to-Everything) chipset developed by the Israeli company.

Research conducted by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, finds that motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent almost one third of motorcycle related accidents, which has encouraged the German company to develop what they call a “digital protective shield” for riders.  Digital visibility would warn the driver of a car about a motorcycle’s close presence, even when it’s not visible to the human eye.

The goal of the new technology is to prevent accidents from occurring, by providing warning notices on dashboards.  The data would be exchanged by vehicle transmitters through public WLAN and ITS-G5.  Potential hazards and nearby motorcycles would then show up on satellite navigation, including direction of travel, position, speed, acceleration, and vehicle type.

Advantages of the Autotalks’ B2V solution include simple integration, low power consumption, the smallest form factor, highest range of operating temperature and smallest physical size, which results in its resistance to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of motorcycles.

Oregon Enacts R-O-W Law To Protect Motorcyclists
A “Right-of-Way” or R-O-W law has been enacted in Oregon, as House Bill 2598 was signed by Governor Kate Brown on June 20, 2017.  The bill also known as the “Milkman Mike Act” or the “Driver Responsibility Bill” will become law on January 1, 2018 and expands the offense of vehicular assault to include contact with motorcycle, motorcycle operator or motorcycle passenger that causes physical injury.

“This means that if a reckless driver injures a motorcycle rider or their passenger, the driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will be a Class A Misdemeanor,” reports the Oregon Confederation of Clubs.  The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison and a maximum fine up to a $6,250.

“This is a great win for Oregon riders!!,” states the Oregon COC on their website (www.oregoncoc.org).  “Now we have something that has some teeth in it to punish drivers who are determined to be ‘reckless’.  We have had too many brothers and sisters run down by car drivers getting a ticket for nominal money or no ticket at all.  At best they get a slight bump in their insurance rates.  And in the case of no ticket, their insurance company never really has a clue they have a high risk client on their hands.

“All it took was a sharp attorney (Oregon A.I.M. Attorney Christopher Slater) to do a very simple thing.  He had the great idea to look to see if there is existing legislation.  He found legislation that covered bicyclists and pedestrians (ORS 811.060).  From there it was easy to add a few words…’motorcycle rider and passenger.’  It was so simple it was brilliant.  Much thanks to Christopher and his efforts.  Many thanks to BikePac of Oregon and ABATE of Oregon who also worked hard to make this bill a reality.

“And may Milkman Mike rest in peace forever.  This legislation is something he worked hard to achieve for many years.  He was unable to see it done due to a health issue and we lost him several years ago.  Mike was constantly working within the motorcycle rights community.  He also worked as the coordinator for the Coalition of Independent Riders (COIR).  He spent a great amount of time adding non affiliated and independent riders to his communication roster.”

North Carolina To Provide Driver Instruction On Law Enforcement Stops
Similar to a measure recently adopted in Louisiana to teach new licensees how to interact with police during traffic stops, House Bill 21 “Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops” has been approved unanimously by the North Carolina legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 12, 2017.

HB 21 provides that “The Division, in consultation with the State Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, shall include in the driver license handbook a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.”

Ohio ‘Dead Red’ Law Amended For Bicycles Only
During a lame-duck legislative session ending last December, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 154, commonly referred to as a “Dead Red” law, allowing all vehicles and bicycles to treat a malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop sign and to proceed through a red light after a reasonable time has elapsed, as long as the intersection is clear and you must yield to oncoming traffic with the right of way.  Signed by the governor, the new law was to take effect in March, but an amendment was introduced and fast-tracked as an emergency measure to remove all motor vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) from the law, and House Bill 9 amended the red light section to apply to bicycles only. Read More