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.”

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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)

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.

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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.

Read the whole story

 

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

Read More:

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.

Read More:

 

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

Big Win – MC’s Stop ‘No Motorcycle Colors’ Policy in Colorado

By | Biker's Rights

ColorsBig Win – MC’s Stop ‘No Motorcycle Colors’ Policy in Colorado

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (RGB&P), located near Cañon City, Colorado, recently adopted  an over broad policy of discrimination against any individual wearing motorcycle-related patches or colors. So the National Council of Clubs (NCOC), an organization representing the interests  of motorcyclists nationwide, immediately protested the decision in the form of a written  complaint to RGB&P management.

Normally, private actors such as RGB&P cannot be sued for 1st Amendment restrictions because there is nothing unconstitutional about private actors discriminating. However, RGB&P leases the land from Canon City exposing the government actor to civil rights liability for the discriminatory acts of the private party.

After receiving the NCOC’s letter of complaint, RGB&P management contacted NCOC attorney Wade Eldridge and informed him that all “no motorcycle club colors” signs had been removed from the park and that the park reversed its policy. The NCOC verified on June 10th that all  signs have been removed. NCOC participants, members of motorcycle clubs including 1%’ers, have been granted access to the Park.

This is an important win for the NCOC and the motorcycle club community generally. Many motorcyclists frequent RGB&P and some club members have even had their ashes spread at the park.

Silence is consent. Grassroots political opposition is one of the most effective strategies for tangible change, as demonstrated by the NCOC.

Read More

 

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

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

Biker Anti-Profiling Measures Under Consideration In Congress
H.Res.318/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,” was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on June 2, 2017.  Concerned motorcyclists are encouraged to contact their federal lawmakers in the U.S. Senate & House of Representatives to co-sponsor and support these bills.

Under the companion measures in the Senate and House, “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.

Federal Legislation Could Proliferate E15 Gas
Despite objections that the proliferation of E15 gasoline into the U.S. marketplace will negatively impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower or boat, two new federal bills have been introduced to expand availability of the higher concentrate ethanol fuel.

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and U.S. Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced the “Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act” (S.517 & H.R.1311) amending the Clean Air Act to allow the sale of E15 (15% blend ethanol gas) during summer months (June 1 – September 15).

Motorcycle and ATV owners risk damaging their machines by even inadvertently putting E15 in their tanks, as the higher blends of ethanol can cause engine and fuel system damage, void manufacturers’ warranties and violate federal law.

Motorcyclists should also be concerned about the availability of compatible fuel supplies if gas stations primarily provide E15 gasoline that’s EPA-approved for the majority of their driving customers — but no on- or off-road motorcycles or ATVs appear on the EPA’s list of vehicles approved to use E15.

Zero Motorcycles New “Don’t Wait For Washington” E-Bike Program
The recently launched program was created to advocate for electric motorcycles and assure buyers they will get the Electric Motorcycle Federal Tax Credit.  “Don’t Wait For Washington” assures “up to $1,869 on a Zero motorcycle if the government fails to reinstate the Electric Motorcycle Tax Credit.”

The initiative serves the dual purposes of driving the conversation on electric motorcycles forward while legislation languishes in Washington, and of motivating would-be electric motorcycle riders to join the e-movement.

Should the federal government fail to reinstate the tax credit by the end of the year, then Zero will step up and send 10% cash back to buyers, matching the expired tax credit for new, eligible 2017 Zero motorcycles.

Mainstream Media Promotes Ridership
According to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), a not-for-profit national trade association, their 2014 rider survey reports that “56% of Generation Y riders use their motorcycles as a primary means of transportation,” and that factoid recently appeared in a Ride To Work Day graphic on the front page of the June 19 edition of USA Today’s Life section.

“This major mainstream media placement is especially significant to the MIC as the industry association is actively promoting motorcycles as transportation and seeking new generations of riders,” says the MIC communications department, which has previously worked on Ride to Work Day segments with “Good Morning America,” ABC’s national morning news show, and with “The KTLA Morning News,” the biggest morning news program in Southern California.

The MIC exists to “preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, AIMExpo, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues.”

Louisiana To Teach New Licensees How To Interact With Police
Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards has signed into law a requirement that driver education classes must include a segment on interacting with police in their course curriculum.

Introduced by Senators Ryan Gatti (R-Bossier), Wesley Bishop (D-New Orleans) and Gary Smith Jr. (D-Norco) on March 20, 2017, SB17 “Provides for driver education to include instruction on appropriate driver conduct when stopped by a law enforcement officer.”

The bipartisan measure was signed by the governor on June 16 as Act No. 286 with an effective date of January 1, 2018.

Handlebar Height Law Modified In Maryland
Maryland has become the most recent state to modify or repeal their antiquated and discriminatory handlebar height law, which many states enacted in the sixties to provide a law enforcement tool for pulling over bikers on their choppers.

Governor Larry Hogan approved Senate Bill 668 on May 25, 2017; “Increasing, from 15 inches to 20 inches, the maximum height that the handlebars of a motorcycle may be above a specified part of the motorcycle seat in order for a person to lawfully operate the motorcycle.”

SB668 was introduced February 3, 2017 by lead sponsor Senator H. Wayne Norman, Jr. (R-D35) and becomes effective October 1, 2017, and ABATE of Maryland advises to “Remember that the height is measured from the seat to the highest point on the handlebars, not from the bottom of the handlebar to the grips or highest point.”

New Hampshire Okays Colored Headlamps For Motorcycles, Same As Cars
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed HB458 into law on June 8, 2017, an Act relative to motorcycle headlamps.  Sponsored by Rep. James Spillane (R-Deerfield), “This bill allows headlamp colors approved by the director of the division of motor vehicles for automobiles to be considered approved for motorcycle headlamps,” with an effective date 60 days after its passage (August 7, 2017).

Oregon Enacts Laws Effecting Trikes & Autocycles
In dealing with the increased popularity of three-wheeled vehicles, Oregon lawmakers have passed two new laws to make it easier for riders to get in the saddle.  House Bill 3125 was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on June 14, 2017 to define an “autocycle” and provides that a person may operate one without a motorcycle endorsement.  The Act takes effect immediately under the Emergency clause.

Sponsored by the Committee on Transportation Policy, under HB3125 “autocycle” means a motorcycle that: (1) Is manufactured to travel on three wheels; (2) Has a steering wheel for steering control; and (3) Has nonstraddle seating, and (4) is equipped with a manufacturer-installed three-point safety belt or safety harness.

Senate Bill 36 “Provides that Department of Transportation may waive skills test for person seeking motorcycle endorsement to operate three-wheeled motorcycle [trike],” and was also signed by the governor on June 14.

License Plate Mounting Options For South Dakota Riders
Effective July 1, 2017, motorcycle owners in South Dakota will be allowed to mount license plates to their motorcycle “in any visible manner other than upside down.”

Governor Dennis Daugaard signed Senate Bill 79 into law on March 9, after overwhelmingly passing through both chambers of the state legislature.

Fair Warning: Most Drivers Know They’re Bad Drivers
Millions of drivers admit that they don’t always make thorough mirrors checks when pulling away, according a driver survey, with 25% admitting they don’t look in their mirrors when pulling out into traffic.

Of 2,025 drivers polled, 15% admitted not always looking at road signs, 68% admit rarely driving with both hands on the wheel, and over half (52%) believed bad habits such as these would ensure they failed the driving test if they had to do it again.

Too many people are injured on the roads due to poor judgment and a lack of road skills says David Carter, spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline in the U.K., which conducted the research, adding: “It is worrying that more people don’t feel confident in their own skills on the road and feel that they’ve developed bad habits which would cause them to not pass their driving test.”

Gone But Never Forgotten
This year has been tragic for our bikers rights family, suffering the loss of two past NCOM Board of Directors; Butch Harbaugh (NCOM Legislative Task Force) and Dennis “Big D” Watson (NCOM Region IX), both recipients of the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award (2003 & 2006) in whose memory the recent National Coalition of Motorcyclists’ NCOM Convention in Reno was dedicated, and now we regretfully report the passing of longtime biker advocate and Easyriders magazine writer “Twiggy” Blakeboro (73, of Lompoc, CA) who died June 11, 2017.  Twiggy was much beloved by his peers and was a past recipient of the NCOM Silver Spoke Award – Media (1997).  “Nuff said.”  R.I.P. Brothers, Ride In Peace.

Quotable Quote:
“If not me, then who?”
~ USMC 1st Lt Travis Manion (Nov 19, 1980 – April 29, 2007), upon his second Iraq tour; KIA saving his men from ambush (TravisManion.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.

New Louisiana Law Exempts Motorcyclists From Anti-Masking Arrests

By | Biker's Rights

lousina_mask_exemption_featured_image_2-620x350New Louisiana Law Exempts Motorcyclists From Anti-Masking Arrests

By David Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

Motorcyclists in Louisiana score a big win! Efforts of motorcycle rights advocates paid off when the Louisiana legislature approved a law exempting “persons driving or riding a motorcycle” from the state’s anti-masking statute. (See Louisiana State Legislature-HB161)

The Louisiana House passed HB 161 on a vote of 95-0 on June 5th, 2017 following a mass majority approval by the state Senate on May 30th, 2017. The legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The MPP reported in November of 2016, (See “Bikers Arrested for Wearing Bandanas”, November 29, 2016) following a trip to Louisiana as a guest speaker at a Louisiana

Confederation of Clubs and Independents (LCOC&I) meeting, that motorcyclists wearing legal helmets were being arrested for violating a state “Anti-Masking Law” originally intended to deter public acts of terror being committed by the KKK.

Read the Whole Story

Ultimate Freedom Fighter Honored By Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

By | Biker's Rights, General News

Michael_FarbaughUltimate Freedom Fighter Honored By Sturgis Motorcycle Museum

Biker, Diplomat, MRF Champion & ABATE Founder Michael “Balls” Farabaugh Named 2017 Freedom Fighter Award

Press Release: In keeping with the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum’s mission to Honor the Rider, the special “Freedom Fighter” award recognizing an individual who has fought to protect the rights of motorcyclists was instituted in 2001. The Freedom Fighter for 2017 is posthumous recognition of Michael “Balls” Farabaugh lifetime of protecting motorcyclist’s right.

“Michael is the original freedom fighter,” says Tigra Tsujikawa, Marketing & Development Director for the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall Of Fame. “He co-founded ABATE of Indiana, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and launched the annual Meeting Of The Minds conference. As the long-time Executive Director of ABATE, Balls was respected for his honesty and integrity by the biker community – as a 30-year member of the American Motorcycle Association’s Board of Directors, Mr. Farabaugh was able to bring the OEMs and the politicians to the table,” says Tsujikawa.

MichaelFarabaughAs passionate as Farabaugh was when it came to motorcycle rights organizations, he was equally committed to rider safety. “He successfully lobbied many state legislatures into giving publicly funded rider training parity with drivers ed. Michael graduated from the first Motorcycle Safety Foundation Chief Instructor Program in 1980 and he and his wife Debby, also an MSF instructor, taught survival skills to literally thousands of riders and instructor trainees over the years.”

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Waco Twin Peaks Tragedy —Two Years Later

By | Biker's Rights

Waco Twin PeaksThe following is a press release from Clint Broden, one of the attorneys representing some of the defendants in the Waco Shooting tragedy, on May 17, 2015.

Press Release: On the eve of the two year anniversary of the Waco Twin Peaks tragedy, Clinton Broden of Broden & Mickelsen has issued the below statement to summarize the past two years. Broden represents three of the motorcyclists in their criminal cases (Matthew Clendennen, Burton Bergman and Richard Luther) and is co-counsel, along with Don Tittle, for approximately forty of the motorcyclists in their civil rights cases.

“In the first few days following the Twin Peaks tragedy, the Waco Police Department and the Waco District Attorney gave numerous press conferences attempting to characterize all of the 177 arrested motorcyclists as criminal gang members. Then, when it started to become clear that many of those arrested were bystanders and had absolutely nothing to do with the violence, the District Attorney’s office ran to court to obtain a gag order. The gag order was specifically designed to prohibit the motorcyclists from refuting the false information that the Police Department and District Attorney had spewed in their press conferences following the incident. In other words, the Police Department and District Attorney created a false narrative for the public and did not want anything to interfere with that narrative. Not surprisingly, the gag order was eventually held to be unconstitutional.

“Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson who gleefully set identical $1 million bonds for every one of the 177 arrested motorcyclists was eventually recused from the case because of his actions. The State Commission on judicial Conduct also made Judge Peterson “aware of its concerns” regarding his conduct in the case.

“Next, in November 2015, the DA bamboozled a grand jury into indicting 106 motorcyclists in a marathon session that allowed for less than five minutes of individual consideration per motorcyclist. It became clear just how much the DA’s office manipulated the grand jury when it was learned that the motorcyclists were indicted for the death of a person who, in fact, was not even killed at Twin Peaks. Eventually, the DA’s office obtained indictments against more than 150 motorcyclists, many of who were innocent bystanders who had no weapons.

“Nevertheless, despite rushing the cases to the grand jury, when Matt Clendennen and others sought speedy trials, the State sought continuances. To this day, the State has refused to try any of the Twin Peaks cases and has intimated that it has no intention to do so for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, during a court hearing, it was learned that each of the three acting police chiefs and at least two police detectives on the scene on May 17, 2015 opposed arresting the motorcyclists not involved in the violence and believed them to be mere witnesses. Despite that collective judgment, however, District Attorney Abelino Reyna contacted police chief Brent Stroman, who was out of state at the time of the incident, and advocated for the arrests of all 177 motorcyclists without even telling Chief Stroman the charges upon which the arrests would be based. Shockingly, Reyna testified at the same hearing that he had detailed and specific discussions with the police detective who signed the identical “fill-in-the-name” criminal complaint affidavits, but then the detective specifically contradicted Reyna and testified that he never even talked to Reyna that night.

“On the eve of the two year anniversary, more than 100 motorcyclists have filed civil rights lawsuits against Abelino Reyna and various members of the Waco Police Department and the Department of Public Safety. The lawsuits allege, among other things, that the wholesale arrest of all motorcyclists present at Twin Peaks without any individualized consideration of whether they participated in any violence violated the United States Constitution. Reyna and the officials named in the lawsuits have asked the court to delay the lawsuits.

“Finally, lost in the constant delays sought by the State, is the tragic death of nine Texas citizens. Yet, to this day, the Waco Police Department has refused to tell the public how many of those nine killed were killed by law enforcement officers. Meanwhile, the Sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of those indicted and, even two years later, these motorcyclists and their families are being denied justice and are unable to move on with their lives because there is absolutely no end in sight as a result of the State’s delaying tactics. Also, during the past two years and likely into the next decade, McLennan County citizens are being asked to absorb the staggering financial burden of the ill conceived actions by their elected district attorney.”

Clint Broden Broden & Mickelsen
2600 State Street
Dallas, Texas 75204
214-563-3154

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOMNCOM Biker Newsbytes

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

BIGGEST LITTLE NCOM CONVENTION IN RENO
Like “The Biggest Little City in the World,” this year’s 32nd annual NCOM Convention in Reno NV may have experienced a slight reduction in numbers, but it continues to be the largest gathering of bikers’ rights advocates on the planet with hundreds of representatives from Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (MROs), clubs and associations across the country.

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) board of directors moved to broaden the spectrum of programs aimed to assist bikers’ rights groups while expanding outreach to active segments of the motorcycling community such as the Confederations of Clubs, women riders, clean & sober, Christian Unity, sportbikers, tourers and veterans.  The NCOM Legislative Task Force likewise took action to provide supportive services on the legislative front, while the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM) nationwide network of biker attorneys continually develops new strategies for litigation on a litany of motorcycling issues.

In addition to meetings and breakout sessions conducted Mother’s Day Weekend, May 11-14 at the Silver Legacy casino, the NCOM Convention featured seminars on Federal Anti-Profiling Legislation, Civil Rights And How To Protect Them, Driverless Vehicles, and a special presentation by Sr. EMT Instructor Slider Gilmore on “The Diabetic Rider”.

During the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, several honorees were recognized for their contributions to “Improving The Image of Motorcycling”, including; GOVERNMENT: U.S. Senator Jodi Ernst of Iowa;  MEDIA: Scott & Denise High of Thunder Roads Magazine – Tennessee;  LEGAL: Christopher Slater, AIM Attorney for Oregon & Washington;  ENTERTAINMENT: Frank Fritz of “American Pickers” TV Show;  SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Stephen Stubbs, NCOM Attorney – Nevada; and NCOM’s highest honor, the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Boar, NCOM Liaison for Confederation of Clubs.

Next year’s 33rd Annual NCOM Convention will be held May 10-13, 2018 at the Renaissance – Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Alabama.  For further information, contact NCOM at (800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

ANTI-PROFILING LEGISLATION FILED IN U.S. HOUSE & SENATE
A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a resolution to address the issue of motorcycle profiling and promote collaboration between the motorcycle and law enforcement communities. U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Michael C. Burgess, M.D (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) led the effort in the House (H.Res. 318), and U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Senate version (S.Res.154).

“This bipartisan resolution should send a clear message to relevant regulatory and law enforcement agencies across the country: motorcycle profiling has no place on our roads. Instead, we must foster collaboration and cooperation between these agencies and the riders in order to promote safety and ensure all motorists are treated fairly under the law,” stated Rep. Pocan in a press release issued by Rep. Walberg, co-chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus.

“From coast to coast, Americans of all backgrounds responsibly ride a motorcycle as their means of transportation or simply to enjoy the open road.  This bipartisan resolution aims to raise awareness about the reality of motorcycle profiling and foster an open dialogue between motorcyclists and law enforcement,” said Walberg.

H.Res.318 – “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling,” has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, and defines profiling as; “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.”

CONGRESSIONAL MOTORCYCLE CAUCUS SEEKS MEMBERS
Since 2009, the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus has provided a forum for members of Congress who ride to support motorcyclists “through education and awareness in order to encourage responsible motorcycling.”  The CMC also “serves to ensure that the motorcycling community is treated equitably by Congress as it considers infrastructure and environmental policies, as well as safety and education programs.”

U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) head the caucus, and with the new Congress being recently seated the two sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to their peers in the U.S. House of Representatives soliciting CMC memberships from those who ride or have an interest in motorcycle issues: “We invite you to join the CMC to help promote these and other initiatives,” and in addition to promoting sound policy, “CMC members can help highlight the safety of motorcyclists through the recognition of Motorcycle Awareness Month, hosting and participating in industry fly-ins, drawing attention to the national ‘Ride to Work Day,’ promoting rider awareness and safety at national events — such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Summer X Games — ensuring motorcycle safety is remembered in the transportation reauthorization process, and working to remind operators to be aware of motorcycles with whom they share the roads and highways.”

If he or she rides, please encourage your Congressional Representative to join the CMC by contacting Rep. Burgess’ office at 5-7772 or Rep. Walberg at 5-6276.

HISTORIC VEHICLE REGISTRATION
A federal bill has been introduced in the 115th Congress “to establish a program to accurately document vehicles that were significant in the history of the United States.”

The National Historic Vehicle Register Act of 2017 (S.966) was introduced April 27, 2017 by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and would require the U.S. Department of the Interior to create a register housed in the Library of Congress to preserve examples of historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks and commercial vehicles.

This project is the first of its type to create a permanent archive of significant historic vehicles that would include short narratives, photographs and engineering drawings of each vehicle.  To be eligible for the register, vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, have a unique design or be a rare model.

The Senate bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

LIQUOR SALES CHARGE AGAINST MOTORCYCLE CLUB DISMISSED
A North Dakota district court judge has dismissed a liquor sales charge against a Minot motorcycle club, following motions to dismiss filed by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) Attorney Justin Vinje and the prosecuting attorney.

The Ice Cold Ryders Motorcycle Club had been charged with engaging in the unlicensed sale of alcohol at their clubhouse.  A police investigation of a nearby disturbance during the morning of November 29, 2015, led law enforcement to peer inside the clubhouse during a social gathering.

Inside, officers saw a large number of people socializing and drinking alcoholic beverages.  Law enforcement concluded that unlicensed liquor sales were occurring.  One officer testified in support of a search warrant, falsely claiming to have also seen a cash register in the clubhouse.

Law enforcement received a search warrant and entered the clubhouse later that morning, seizing the club’s security equipment, sound system, coolers, alcoholic beverages, and paper documents.  Law enforcement also froze the club’s bank accounts.

On October 6, 2016, nearly a year after the raid, law enforcement charged the club with the unlicensed sale of alcohol.  A.I.M. Attorney Justin Vinje represented the club and requested law enforcement’s investigative reports.  Those reports mainly consisted of an analysis of the club’s banking records and an inventory of items seized.  The reports also revealed that law enforcement never seized a cash register from the premises.

During the case, a confidential informant with ties to local law enforcement contacted Vinje, telling the club’s lawyer that law enforcement asked her to attend club gatherings and wear a wireless recording device to capture proof of unlicensed alcohol sales.

The informant wore a wire and attended two club gatherings in the spring of 2016.  A SWAT team stood at the ready to raid the club in the event of illegal activity.  No unlawful alcohol sales took place, but the government failed to provide any records of this to the defense.

Attorney Vinje filed a motion to dismiss the charge, due to the government’s failure to turn over records related to the confidential informant’s activities.  Vinje also filed a motion to suppress evidence from the search, arguing that law enforcement testified falsely about the presence of a cash register during its application for the search warrant.

Three days later, the government filed a motion to dismiss the charge, citing insufficient evidence to proceed and that dismissal would serve the interest of judicial economy.  The case was dismissed.

NEW HAMPSHIRE REPEALS HANDLEBAR HEIGHT LAW
Without a federal standard, the regulation of handlebars on motorcycles rests with the states, and until recently New Hampshire was among more than 30 states that limit the height of handlebars.

On May 15, 2017 N.H. Governor Chris Sununu signed SB27; “RSA 266:77, relative to grips and handlebars on motorcycles, is repealed.”

The Granite State began regulating handlebars in 1967, a time when many state legislatures associated motorcycling with the counter-culture captured by films like “The Wild Ones” and “Easy Rider,” explained Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. “Law enforcement pulled people over for high bars as a tool for probable cause,” he said in applauding the bill’s passage, adding, “I have never heard of handlebars presented as a safety issue.”

Unfortunately for attendees of this year’s Laconia Motorcycle Week, held annually since 1923 during the nine days in June ending on Father’s Day, the law becomes effective 60 days after passage, which will be July 11, 2017.

BILL ADDRESSES “MASKED” MOTORCYCLISTS BEING CITED IN LOUISIANA
Louisiana has a law prohibiting the wearing of masks in public, and according to an article in the Baton-Rouge Times-Picayune, motorcycle riders are being “pulled over and ticketed under the mask-wearing law because they were wearing helmets that concealed their faces.”  Louisianans are banned from “concealing their faces with masks or hoods, except during Mardi Gras, Halloween or for religious reasons.”

Now a bill authored by Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport), HB161, would revise the law to exempt motorcycle safety helmets.  By all indications, the bill will pass, and it is currently pending Senate final passage.  Speaking before the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice, Rep. Seabaugh said his bill arose out of complaints from motorcyclists in his district who said they have been harassed by “overzealous law enforcement officers.”  Riders have been pulled over at random, according to testimony by ABATE of Louisiana, claiming one officer in particular has targeted motorcyclists whose helmets and face shields concealed their faces.

Apparently recognizing the absurdity of ticketing motorcyclists for wearing helmets, when helmets are required by law, committee members unanimously agreed that the mask-wearing ban needs revision.  They tacked on an amendment “clarifying that the exemption only applied to motorcycle helmets being used during a ride,” then recommended the bill for full House approval.

Rep. Terry Landry (D-New Iberia), a former Louisiana State Police superintendent, thanked the committee for supporting the bill. “I think it corrects a wrong.”

WEIRD NEWS: MAN ATTEMPTED SEX WITH MOTORCYCLE
A man has appeared in court in Canterbury, England for allegedly attempting to have sex with Suzuki’s most alluring model, a GSX-R.  Mechanophilia, where a person is sexually attracted to cars, motorcycles, helicopters, ships, planes and other vehicles, is a crime in the U.K. and if found guilty, perpetrators can be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

The 33-year old chap reportedly exposed himself in public and tried to engage in a tempestuous relationship with his motorcycle, after previously being seen punching and kicking the bike on the same day.  Apparently drunk and on drugs, he claimed in court to remember dropping his trousers but denied exposing himself and has pleaded not guilty to indecent exposure and criminal damage.

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

–Harper Lee (1926-2016) author of the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

No Coverage For Motorcycle Clubs

By | Biker's Rights

insurance-policy_featured-image-620x350State Farm Insurance Says No Coverage For Motorcycle Clubs

by David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The MPP received a copy of this letter from State Farm Insurance notifying a chapter of the Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club in Florida that the insurance coverage on their clubhouse was being cancelled. State Farm’s explanation for the policy cancellation is “we don’t provide coverage for businesses engaged in motorcycle clubs.” The MPP personally verified the incident in a face-to-face conversation with the individual that provided the letter to the MPP. He is a member of the chapter denied coverage.

Millions Could Be Denied Coverage?

Although there might be nothing technically illegal with State Farm’s actions because they are a private company, the blatantly discriminatory policy stands diametrically opposed to a the ideas of free expression and association and, in this instance, respect for the service of Veterans.

The Vietnam/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club extends coast to coast and has a massive membership. And to be balanced, if there were a specific or legitimate reason given why this particular club had their coverage cancelled then it may be understandable and motorcyclists would raise no objection. But the letter explicated a general policy of not providing “coverage for businesses engaged in motorcycle clubs.”

The potential number of people impacted beyond this club is staggering. The AMA estimates that there are approximately 10 million registered motorcyclists in America, many of whom belong to motorcycle clubs. And the influence of Veterans on motorcycle club culture is generally accepted as common knowledge.

Beyond motorcycle clubs themselves, many of which are registered nonprofit entities, many businesses are “engaged” with motorcycle clubs. Consider the thousands of motorcycle repair and apparel shops that regularly engage in business with members of motorcycle clubs and their property. Motorcycle manufacturers as well. And the thousands of public accommodations, including bars and restaurants in all 50 states, that host motorcycle club charity events and engage in business with motorcycle clubs on a daily basis.

Read More:

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights, General News

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

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

First-Ever Motorcycle Caucus Formed In U.S. Senate
In a rare bipartisan effort, motorcyclists are getting a very special form of representation in the U.S. Senate as two Senators are reaching across the aisle to establish the first Senate Motorcycle Caucus.  Kickstarting this unique legislative road trip, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan), both lifelong motorcyclists, will serve as co-chairs of the caucus, which will advocate on behalf of both motorcycle riders and manufacturers.

Sen. Ernst said her concern for motorcycles and motorcyclists started when she was a child.  “Some of my most cherished memories include motorcycles, from delivering messages as a young girl to my dad while he was working out in the fields, to riding through the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa with family and friends,” Ernst said.  “Throughout my 99 county tour of Iowa, I have heard from many of these folks about some of their priorities, including improving safety, infrastructure and energy efficiency.  These concerns are shared by folks across our great state and country, and I look forward to working with Sen. Peters toward solutions.”

Sen. Peters bought his first motorcycle at age 11.  “I’ve loved motorcycles since I was a kid, and I started a newspaper route to buy my first motorcycle at age 11.  To this day, I believe there is no better way to see Michigan’s beautiful scenery than by bike, whether I’m riding to meet with constituents and small businesses or taking my bike out on the weekend,” Peters said.  “Motorcyclists come from all walks of life, and I can’t think of a better way to bring together a diverse and dedicated group of advocates to discuss everything from safety concerns to manufacturing.  I’m looking forward to working with Sen. Ernst as co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Motorcycle Caucus to foster these important discussions and find common ground with motorcycle lovers across the country.”

Security And Privacy In Your (Spy) Car Study Act
With motorcyclists sharing the road with a growing number of Smart vehicles, security from cyber-intrusion is a significant safety concern, and U.S. Reps Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 701; the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act of 2017 (“SPY Car Study Act”) to address automotive software safety, cybersecurity and privacy regulations.

This bill would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study to determine and recommend standards for the regulation of the cybersecurity of motor vehicles manufactured or imported for sale in the United States. The study shall identify:

  • isolation measures that are necessary to separate critical software systems that can affect the driver’s control of the movement of the vehicle from other software systems;
  • measures that are necessary to detect and prevent or minimize anomalous codes, in vehicle software systems, associated with malicious behavior;
  • techniques that are necessary to detect and prevent, discourage, or mitigate intrusions into vehicle software systems and other cybersecurity risks in motor vehicles; and
  • best practices to secure driving data about a vehicle’s status or about the owner, lessee, driver, or passenger of a vehicle that is collected by the electronic systems of motor vehicles; and
  • a timeline for implementing systems and software that reflect such measures, techniques, and best practices.

Police Motorcycle Hit By Autopilot Tesla
According to a report in the Arizona Republic, a Phoenix police motorcycle was hit by a Tesla Model X operating on autopilot.  Police said the officer and the Tesla exited a freeway with the motorcycle in front.  When the rider stopped for a light, the car stopped as well, but then started moving forward.  The officer jumped off the bike, which was struck at low speed by the car.

The driver reported having the car on autopilot at the time. The officer was uninjured and the car driver wasn’t ticketed.

Tesla has warned customers in the past that its autopilot mode does not mean a driver can completely disengage, but increasingly it seems customers are unwilling to listen.  Tesla’s website specifically states that drivers are in command of their vehicles after exiting freeways.

The company announced in October that it would soon begin including hardware in its vehicles that could make them fully autonomous.  Currently, the vehicles are simply equipped with driver aids like forward collision warning, automatic braking and auto steering.

“Autocycles” No Longer Considered Motorcycles In Two More States
Colorado and Wyoming are the latest states to reclassify their licensing requirements which allow drivers of so-called “Autocycles”, such as the Polaris Slingshot, to operate the vehicle with a valid state driver’s license instead of requiring a motorcycle endorsement or license.  Drivers under the age of 18 will still be required to wear a helmet, in accordance with the states’ motorcycle helmet laws.

Because of the three-wheeled configuration and characteristics of autocycles, determining how to classify them has been a challenge for state governments.  Polaris calls the Slingshot a “three-wheeled moto-roadster.”  Initially, when it was introduced to the market in 2014, consumers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate the Slingshot, which offers a distinct ride through its open cockpit and side-by-side seating.

Currently, 30 states, including the District of Columbia, require only a driver’s license to drive an autocycle.  The remaining states require a motorcycle endorsement, but Polaris says efforts are being made to reclassify the vehicle to gain full conformity throughout the United States.

“As we educate state officials on the unique attributes of this category-creating Slingshot, they are realizing that the licensing requirement for the roadster are more similar to that of a driver’s license than of a motorcycle endorsement or license,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager. “Our goal is to gain a unified classification across the country to provide more opportunity and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience.”

Driver Who “Didn’t Care” He Hit Motorcyclist Gets 15 Years
Remember the Texas driver who was filmed deliberately swerving across centerline into a passing motorcyclist and then said “I don’t care” that he’d knocked the rider and his girlfriend to the ground?

The heartless car driver is 69-year-old William Crum and following a two-day trial at 355th District Court in Hood County, Texas, he’s been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing bodily injury.

The 15-year sentence means that Crum, who was arrested soon after the incident in Granbury, TX in October 2015, will be in prison until he’s 84.

Harley Pulled Into Political Fight Over Leather Products
Many challenges face motorcycle manufacturers selling their products in other countries; and a strange example of this is Harley-Davidson facing a public relations issue in India over leather, something as closely associated with bikers as the bikes they ride.

Leather comes from cows, which are revered and even worshiped by many in the Hindu community, and according to the Hindustan Times a well-known Bollywood actor is taking on the iconic American motorcycle-maker over religious principles.

Popular actor and producer Ajaz Khan is urging India’s Prime Minister to impose a ban on Harley-Davidson products, claiming they’re made from cow hide.  “I just bought a leather belt from Harley Davidson,” Khan is quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying. “This is a cow leather belt.  It’s being sold in the entire world.  If you really consider yourself men, then I request [the Prime Minister] shuts down Harley Davidson.”

Motorcycle Awareness Rally Put On Hold After London Terror Attack
A mass London “Awareness Ride-Out” to be held a day after a deadly terrorist attack in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament, had to be rescheduled in the wake of the Wednesday, March 22 car attack that killed four and injured more than 50 pedestrians.

The campaign group “We Ride London,” which aims to be the “main lobby group for riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in London,” had invited thousands to join a ride at 1pm on Thursday April 23, from Regents Park through central London to City Hall, but had to call the event off.  A statement on the group’s Facebook page said: “We have decided to cancel tomorrow’s awareness ride in light of the terrible events in our capital today.  Now is not the time to be hindering the emergency and security services as they investigate and recover from this.”

Rolling Into Reno For NCOM Convention
With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, Motorcycle Clubs, & riding associations submit the names of those members & supporters who have died this year, so that we may honor their memories during the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board, or e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com.

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 & other pro-motorcycling projects as determined by the NCOM Board of Directors.

The 32nd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-14 at the Silver Legacy Resort-Casino, 407 N. Virginia St. in Reno, NV, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $99 by calling (800) 687-8733 and mention “GNCOM17”.  Pre-register for the 2017 NCOM Convention at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”

~ Benito Juárez (1806-1872), President of Mexico

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.

 

 

Government Threatening To Revoke Biker Bar Licenses

By | Biker's Rights

government_coercion_no_colors_featured_Image-620x350Government Threatening To Revoke Biker Bar Licenses Nationally

By David “Double D” Devereoux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) of Virginia recently sent 30 letters to bars and restaurants in the Central part of the state warning that their licenses could be revoked for allowing “Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members to patronize their establishments.”  Although not directly demanding action in the form of “no motorcycle club colors” policies, that is the intended result of this coercion.

Government discrimination is illegal in any form. Wearing motorcycle club colors, including those labeled OMG’s by law enforcement, is protected by the 1st Amendment. Independently, coercing bar owners violates their constitutional right to pursue an occupation as established by case law.

Unfortunately, what’s happening in Virginia is a national epidemic occurring in states coast-to-coast. The unconstitutional practice of government agents coercing public establishments that serve club members must stop. The 1st and 14th Amendments demand it.

Law Enforcement Coercion Is A National Epidemic
According to the National Motorcycle Profiling Survey 2015-2016, an alarming 42% of survey participants reported knowing of a business being forced not serve club members. Forms of harassment and coercion includes excessive code enforcement violations, threatening denial or renewal of liquor license and or permits, and police harassment of customers and business owners.

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Oregon: Tax All Vehicles Over 20 Years Old

By | Biker's Rights

old-car-tax-2Oregon Plan to Tax All Vehicles Over 20 Years Old

Our friend over at Eric Peters Autos clued us into a bill that was just introduced in Oregon, which imposes a $1,000 tax on all motor vehicles (including your motorcycle!) over 20 years old. The tax is to be paid every five years, in perpetuity.

He writes:

“For planned obsolescence to work, you’ve got to keep the conveyor belt rolling. And most of all, prevent anyone from getting off. It is a problem if people “cling” to their old cars instead of regularly trading them in – ideally, to be crushed – for new ones – hopefully, heavily financed. But how to get rid of the old cars when people decline to get rid of them voluntarily?
Democratic politicians in Oregon have just the thing.
It is House Bill 2877 and – if it becomes law – it will impose heavy taxes on cars 20 years old or more to the tune of $1,000 payable every five years, in perpetuity – unless the owner obtains Antique Vehicle registration and tags for the vehicle.”
The Antique tags, of course, cost extra – and once registered as an Antique, the vehicle may no longer be legally driven regularly but only occasionally, to “parades” and “shows” and so on. It’s one step away from drilling holes in the engine block and turning the car into a static display.

The legislation would make older cars either functionally useless – or usuriously expensive to drive . . . if you insist on clinging.A grand every five years. So, two every ten. Four every twenty. In exchange for the privilege of being allowed to keep “your” car.

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The bill is here

 

FBI Uses Local Cops To Profile Bikers

By | Biker's Rights

fbi-video-featured-image-620x350Video Proves FBI Uses Local Cops To Profile Bikers

By David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

The Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP) recently received a video capturing a typical motorcycle profiling stop that occurred in September 2016. One of the victims explained to the MPP that a group of Ft. Worth Gang Task Force officers in four vehicles conducted a stop on four motorcyclists wearing motorcycle club insignia. On video, a Ft. Worth officer admits that he has engaged in a pattern of profiling and stopping individuals based on their associations with motorcycle clubs in order to photograph and gather intelligence.

Although disturbing, motorcycle profiling stops are becoming more common, so this admission is not shocking. What is shocking is the explanation for why a policy of profiling exists in the first place.

On video, in response to one of the bikers commenting that they were good guys, a Ft. Worth officer says,

“Unfortunately, for you all at least, the FBI leaves it upon us to take pictures and make contact with everyone associated with. And even though y’all don’t claim 1%, y’all associate with 1%’ERS. So, we kinda gotta stop y’all every once in a while too, you know what I mean?”

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

NCOM Biker NewsbytesNCOM Biker Newsbytes

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

Congressional Bills Reintroduced To Curb Ethanol
Calling the Federal Ethanol Mandate “a Flop,” a bipartisan group of lawmakers have re-introduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives to cap the ethanol content of commercial gasoline and decrease the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline on the American market.

“It’s time the ethanol mandate became a thing of the past.  While well-intentioned from the start, after a decade of this policy it couldn’t be more obvious that the RFS is a flop,” announced Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on March 2, 2017 after introducing two bills to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 1314) and the RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315).

Reps. Goodlatte, Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a joint statement after reintroducing H.R. 1315; “The Renewable Fuel Standard is a well-intentioned flop…it’s clearer than ever that the federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has resulted in a domino effect that is hurting people across the country.”

The RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 1314) has the support of 60 bipartisan cosponsors and would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard which mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels (primarily corn ethanol) be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022.  The RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315), which has the support of 42 cosponsors, “eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels, and decreases the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline sold or introduced into commerce for years 2017-2022.”

Black Box Privacy Protection Act
H.R.736, the “Black Box Privacy Protection Act”, was introduced in the House on January 30, 2017 by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA).  This bill amends the Automobile Information Disclosure Act to require manufacturers of new automobiles to disclose on the information label affixed to the window of the automobile: (1) the presence and location of an event data recorder (commonly referred to as a “black box”), (2) the type of information recorded and how such information is recorded, and (3) that the recording may be used in a law enforcement proceeding.

The bill sets forth similar requirements for motorcycle manufacturers.

An “event data recorder” is any device or means of technology installed in an automobile that records information such as automobile or motorcycle speed, seatbelt use, application of brakes, or other information pertinent to the operation of the automobile or motorcycle.  The bill prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale, or import into the United States of an automobile manufactured after model year of 2016 that is equipped with an event data recorder, unless the consumer can control the recording of information.

Violators are liable to the U.S. government for a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation with a maximum penalty of $35 million for a related series of violations. The event data recorder in an automobile or motorcycle, and any data recorded, shall be considered the property of the owner of the automobile or motorcycle.  Retrieval or downloading of recorded data by any other person is unlawful, except: (1) with the owner’s consent, (2) in response to a court order, or (3) by a dealer or automotive technician to service the vehicle.  Certain violations are to be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Idaho Senate Kills Anti-Profiling Bill That House Unanimously Endorsed
Idaho senators killed a proposal outlawing motorcycling profiling, which had passed the House unanimously, defeating H.B.123 on the Senate floor by a vote of 22-13 on March 15. Read More

Idaho House Unanimously Approves Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Bill

By | Biker's Rights

idaho-hb123-featured-image-620x350Idaho House Unanimously Approves Anti-Motorcycle Profiling Bill

By David “Double D” Devereaux

Motorcycle Profiling Project

Grassroots manpower is the most powerful tool in the motorcycle rights movement’s arsenal and motorcycle clubs are a critical component. This power was again demonstrated by the Idaho motorcycle club community and ABATE of Idaho beginning on February 21, 2017 when HO 123, a law prohibiting motorcycle profiling, passed out of the House Judiciary committee with a unanimous do-pass recommendation. On February 27th the entire Idaho House of Representatives voted 69-0-1 (one rep. was absent) in favor of HO 123. Which will now go through the same process in the Senate and, if successful, will ultimately be the third state to send similar legislation to their Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Manpower and The Public Hearing
Bikers filled every available seat during the public hearing, so the adjacent room was opened up in order to accommodate the overflow. Bikers are one of the most visible constituencies actively utilizing the democratic process through grassroots mobilization. The movement to pass anti- motorcycle profiling laws at the state and federal level is proof positive, and legislators are  taking notice.

HO 123’s primary sponsor, Representative Robert Anderst, introduced the bill, emphasizing that the goal was to look forward and improve the relationship between law enforcement and the biking community. Rep. Anderst testified that his support stemmed from the perspective of  both a legislator and an advocate. Rep. Anderst is a biker himself, and proudly stands with the motorcycle community.

Anderst said, “We definitely aren’t the caricature sensationalized on TV. Just like any large group, we are made up of individuals … tradesmen to attorneys, truckers to clergy – even a few legislators. What I can say is that the vast majority are hardworking, productive members of society who want to be left alone.”

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Message from MRF President

By | Biker's Rights

CALL TO ACTIONA Message from MRF President, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard – CALL TO ACTION

As many of you know, last year the MRF assumed a new endeavor related to the unconstitutional practice of motorcycle profiling. After reports began to rise from our own membership citing instances where they felt singled out by law enforcement simply because of their appearance, apparel, or because they are simply riding a motorcycle, the MRF decided to take action.

Working with its partners within the Anti-Profiling Action Group, the MRF developed a strategy at the national level to help combat profiling, an issue that affects ALL riders and is unfortunately increasing. We know this to be true because of a survey put forth by the Motorcycle Profiling Project. In 2015, the survey found over 50% of riders across the U.S. reported being unjustifiably stopped by police at least once while riding their motorcycles.  With a participation level of over 5,000 motorcyclists nation-wide, these facts and figures will help support and solidify our concerns over this issue when addressing lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

This year, the Motorcycle Profiling Project has launched another survey designed to reach an even broader audience. Like the previous survey, its results will be used as critical tools in the efforts to obtain legislative relief across the country.

I am asking you to take a few moments and fill out the survey, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
It’s completely anonymous and it’s only 15 questions.
YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

http://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/national-motorcycle-profling-survey/

On behalf of the entire MRF membership and its Board of Directors, thank you for your support on this issue.

RIDE FREE-

KirkWillard-Signature

 

 

 

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes

By | Biker's Rights

National Coalition of MotorcyclistsNCOM Biker Newsbytes

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

Butch Harbaugh, Gone But Not Forgotten
It is with great sadness that we report the death of longtime Freedom Fighter, Butch Harbaugh, former Chairman of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists – Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), among other positions.  Butch passed away February 7th from heart failure and cancer.

“When I began as the AIM (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) and NCOM Attorney for Oregon back in the late 1980’s, Butch was actively involved with ABATE, and with BikePAC since it was founded,” recalls Sam Hochberg, AIM Attorney Emeritus, and now Of Counsel to Christopher Slater, Oregon & Washington AIM Attorney.  “He spent many years as the lobbyist for ABATE, and was well-known, respected and liked by many in the legislature in Salem.”

A biker rights activist since the 1970s, Butch attended and helped organize many STEAM conferences and ABATE/BikePac planning retreats.  He was a regular at many ABATE runs around the state, often helping AIM Chief of Staff “Gunny”, now retired, at the AIM/NCOM tables, and was known and highly respected in the biker’s rights community nationwide.

Butch also participated in many NCOM Conventions, and in 2003 was bestowed with the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, NCOM’s highest tribute.  This year’s 32nd Annual Convention, to be held over Mother’s Day weekend May 11-14th in Reno, Nevada at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, will be dedicated in his honor.

For the past dozen or so years, Butch lived with his loving wife Laura in Rigby, Idaho, where he enjoyed riding his Panhead and was active in the home-brewing community.  Always friendly, engaging and enthusiastic about motorcycles and biker’s rights, he will be greatly missed.

With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, at this time 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 May, so that we may honor their memories during 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.

NHTSA Seeks To Curb Driver Distractions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing new federal guidelines to provide a safety framework for developers of portable and aftermarket electronic devices to use when developing visual-manual user interfaces for their systems.  According to NHTSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT), their “Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices” [Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0137] will “encourage innovative solutions such as pairing and Driver Mode that, when implemented, will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while at the same time preserving the full functionality of these devices when they are not used while driving.”

Driver distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention away from the driving task to focus on another activity.  This distraction can come from electronic devices, such as texting or emailing on cell phones or smartphones, and more traditional activities such as interacting with passengers, eating, or events external to the vehicle.

The crash data indicate that visual-manual interaction (an action that requires a user to look away from the roadway and manipulate a button or interface) with portable devices, particularly cell phones, is often the main distraction for drivers involved in crashes.

In 2015, 10% of the 35,092 traffic fatalities involved one or more distracted drivers, and these distraction-affected crashes resulted in 3,477 fatalities, an 8.8% increase from the 3,197 fatalities in 2014.  Of the 5.6 million non-fatal crashes in 2014, 16% were distraction-affected crashes, and resulted in 424,000 people injured.

At any given time, an estimated 542,073 drivers are using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Currently no safety guidelines exist for portable device technologies when they are used during a driving task.

Researchers Blame “Other Drivers” For Most Motorcycle Accidents
An Australian study states “failure of other drivers to give way” as the most common factor in motorcycle accidents.  Research by Monash University in Melbourne has found that human error was the primary contributing factor for 94% of bike accidents.  “Whilst with single-bike crashes, rider error and loss of control were found to be the most common causes, for incidents involving more than one vehicle, it was found that ‘motorcycle crashes occurring in lighter traffic more likely involved an error by another driver, including such things as failure to give way’.”

The motorcycle crash research studied over two hundred and thirty accidents between January 2012 and August 2014, with nurses at the hospitals and crash scene investigators aiding with the compilation of the data.

“Whilst car drivers were responsible for the majority of accidents in less-dense traffic, it was the motorcyclist to be more likely at fault for most ‘urban’ crashes and collisions however,” Trevor Allen of the Monash University Research Centre told The Herald Sun newspaper, adding that this was most likely due to the greater frequency of danger; “Higher traffic density leads to more hazards and a higher level of difficulty for riders to move safely in and among traffic, compared with other vehicles.”

The research also found that the older the rider, the less likely it was that the rider was primarily to blame for the accident. Read More

NCOC Video Exposes National Motorcycle Profiling Epidemic

By | Biker's Rights

Motorcycle Profiling EpidemicNCOC Video Exposes National Motorcycle Profiling Epidemic

David “Double D” Devereaux
Motorcycle Profiling Project

A video released by the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) this week makes a strong argument for laws addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. Video footage depicts irrefutable examples of excessive force including ramming bikes with patrol cars, excessive beatings without cause, and even an example of a trooper pepper spraying a pack of passing motorcycles.

According to an NCOC spokesperson, the video “Stop Motorcycle Profiling In America” was made possible by the media department at Brent Coon and Associates, an NCOC legal consultant. BCA’s media department gathered video clips from the community nationwide and produced a video designed as a call to action targeted at legislators, and all citizens, to push for laws addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. The NCOC writes:

“The NCOC is committed to the national effort to pass these laws at the state and federal level and encourages all motorcyclists to share and spread the video as a tool to educate legislators and fellow Americans. Motorcycle profiling deprives individuals of their basic civil liberties, exposes the state to civil liability, and represents a gross misuse of public resources.”

 

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