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Current Events

FSheriff Grady Judd Polk Gounty Floridalorida Cop Killer Shot 68 Times - LAKELAND, FL – 9/29/13 - Officers fired 110 rounds at a suspected cop killer, hitting him 68 times, according to an autopsy. Angilo Freeland was suspected of fatally shooting a deputy, a K-9 police dog and wounding another deputy after being pulled over for speeding, Thursday and then bolted into the woods setting off a manhunt consisting of 500 police and SWAT members that ended 24 hours later.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was not concerned by the number of shots fired. "You have to understand, he [Freeland] had already shot and killed a deputy, shot and killed a K-9 and shot and injured another deputy, and quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances.

And Now the Best Part: When asked why the officers shot Freeland 68 times, Sheriff Judd replied: "Because we ran out of bullets."

Gov. Rick SnyderMichigan Repeals it's Helmet Law - Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law SB-291 allowing bikers to ride without a helmet as long as they are 21, have operated a motorcycle for at least 2 years, passed the motorcycle safety course and carry at least $20k worth of medical insuarance thus repealing the previous law banning lidless riding. Tom Constand, a spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan in Brighton, said the repeal is “unconscionable.” Poor Tom is obviously already brain dead.

Virginia Bars Biker-Only Checkpoints - This have been a contentious issue in the states that have deployed them. Gov. McDonnell of Virginia signed HB 187 prohibiting motorcycle only checkpoints, as well they should. Virginia is now added to the list with North Carolina, New Hamshire and California.

The Twisting of Data in Helmet Safety Studies (by Jessica Bosari) - Extensive research has been done on the safety of motorcycle helmets. The most famous study of all, the Hurt Study, shows no question that a helmet protects the head, reducing injury severity. The main question that researchers want to answer is whether the likelihood of neck injury is more significant than the likelihood of a helmet saving the riders life.

North Carolina - H 392 - Repeals the requirement that a person who is 18 years old or older must wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. The bill was introduced by Reps. Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston), Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), and Darrell McCormick (R-Yadkin) on 3/16/11. It passed the 1st reading and was referred to the Transportation Committee on 3/17/11. Please contact these representatives to advise your support.

HR-904 Motorcycle Checkpoint Block Bill (3/11) - Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) introduced bill HR-904, a to prohit the DOT from giving grants or funds to states and local governments for use to create motorycle-only checkpoints (AKA: MOCs). New York and Georgia have conducted such MOCs in the past with the financial aid of the the DOT/NHTSA. The bill was co-sponsored by Tom Retri (R-Wis) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis).

Ban Georgia Motorcycle Checkpoints - Please contact Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to urge him to stop the Georgia State Patrol from running and more biker checkpoints. Go to his website, email or call 800-436-7442 to express your opinion.

Dick Floyd, a crusty, chain-smoking former assemblyman best known for carrying the legislation requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, died at his Sacramento area home Thursday evening. He was 80. Good riddence.

Illinois Helmet Law Status - a series of helmet bills were introduced in 2010 to mandate riders of motorcycles, mopeds and pedalcycles to wear helmets: SB2535, SB2536 and HB5031. Fortunately these bills lost. Illinois had a mandatory helmet law, which was rescinded in 1969. But apparently the sleeping giant (the Safety Nazi) has been awoken and this years model is HB 0285 was introduced in the IL House (sponsored by Rep. Mary Flowers) on 1/27/11. I was just sent to the Rules Committee on 3/17/11 for a 2nd time (first time: 1/28/11). HB 0285 provides for all 26 year olds and younger to wear helmets. Please contact Rep. Flowers' office and let her know your feelings (politely please) to keep Illinois a free state. Illinois page.

Las Vegas Checkpoint Refusal - This is a set of 2 fabulous must see videos of a Las Vegas man who refused to be detained at a checkpoint on the basis that the officer could not give him a reason for the detention, as in no probable cause or evidence of a crime. As such, he stood his ground to respectively ask to leave the checkpoint if he was not being legally detained or arrested, which he wasn't and was allowed to leave! BRAVO. Video 1, Video 2. Good stuff. Know your rights. Don't back down. Thanks to Mac Henderson, BOLT of California for the links.

Delaware Veteoed - July 14, 2011 - Gov. Jack Markell vetoed HB 95, which would have repealed Delaware's helmet law that requires every person up to 19 years of age to wear a "safety" helmet. The Governor is prepared to discuss the bill with proponents and others to see how to make roads safer for bikers, including education, training, enforcement, and a mandatory helmet requirement.

National - SB-10-44 - The National Transportation Safey Board (NTSB) staged a press conference and article targeting all states to have mandatory helmet laws. As always, our feeling is that educating BOTH riders and car drivers to share the road responsibly is the key to bike safety. Preventing accidents is key, as opposed to helmeting those that are in the midst of a crash. Our concern is that agencies are so committed to wearing helmets as if the cure for injury and death, that if all states were to have mandatory helmet laws, that these agencies would assume their job was completed and education and funds for it would dry up. Mandating helmets will not reduce accidents. Reducing accidents should and must be the focus.
Here's the NTSB article

California - 9/28/10 - Well "Pipes Save Lives" fans, it's soon to be over in CA. At least on new bikes built after 2013. CA has just enacted a new law (SB 435) that will require 2013 and later bikes have an EPA exhaust system label stating the pipes comply with sound loudness standards. Decibel limit is 80 dBs. First offense will be $100, 2nd offense $250. First time offenses are supposed to be fix-it tickets at the judge's discretion.

AMA Joins The fight Against Federal Funding For Bike Stops:
A federal traffic safety agency is offering law enforcement agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up checkpoints that target only motorcyclists, and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) wants to know why. Also see: State Sponsored Discriminatory Bike Stops

State Sponsored Discriminatory Bike Stops: New York Mandatory Bike Stop SignACTION ALERT: The NHTSA has created a new program they are funding with our tax dollars where cops can stop a biker WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE to lecture them on safety, check for law infractions and hand out safety materials similar to the NY State Police program of 2007 and 2008. (see above bill HR-904).

Myrtle Beach SC - 06/09/10 - The SC Supreme Court ruled the city's helmet law was invalid because the state had already dealt with this issue and the city doesn't get to further comment or enact laws over the state's ruling. The repeal is immediate and all pending helmet tickts are to be dismissed, and those previously found guilty are to be refunded any fines and have their records expunged. Congratulations SC!

Los Angeles - 05/09/10 - This sign is on the 101 freeway south toward downtown near the Silverlake exit. I was in my car and snapped it with my cell phone and the words didn't come out so I doctored it with Photoshop, but it said something to the effect of a call to share the road with bikers. I was stunned and thrilled and called the CHP to compliment them. Next time I pass it, I'll get the exact words and redo it. We need more of this!

Share the road with motorcyclists

Texas - On 6/19/09, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law SB 1967 of the 81st Regular Legislative Session effective 9/1/09 and repeals the helmet exemption sticker program.

Current law requires a person be covered with a minimum of $10,000 in health insurance for injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident to be eligible for an exception for the offense of operating or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. The bill removes that minimum amount. The bill requires the Texas Dept of Insurance to prescribe a standard proof of health insurance for issuance to persons who are at least 21 and covered by an applicable health insurance plan.

The bill prohibits cops from stopping or detaining operators or passengers for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a motorcycle health insurance plan and repeals provisions relating to a DPS-issued sticker required to be displayed on a motorcycle by the owner.

Justice Riders Committee (Boston) A group of motorcycle advocates and activists are putting the final touches on a lawsuit they expect to file this week in Suffolk Superior Court, asking the Court to restrain the City of Boston from issuing $300 tickets to motorcyclists and declare a recently rushed through "noise" Ordinance invalid. Check out the Biker Lowdown radio interview Wed 8pm EST 8/5/09.

Freedom Fighting with Don Blancet and Mark Temple of Bolt. Check out this YouTube video of Officer Aaron Love's roadside stop.

AlphaBiker Radio - BikerLowdown.com - Yup! We're being interviewed this coming Wednesday, 7/15 at 8pm on this excellent biker radio station. Don't miss it! From this link, you have to click the BikerLowdown Radio Show icon half way down the page.

FMVSS218, TESTING, ROADSIDE STOPS, HELMET TICKETS & THE LAW - I got an email from a reader this weekend of Independence about how a particular ticket I got years ago turned out since it got rather invovled and culminated in a Watch-Brief helmet ticket writing Moratorium from our local sheriff's office.

I read over the documents I had as it was awhile ago and it just got me going again.

To me... here's what we should be focusing on:

  1. FMVSS218, The Federal Motor Vehcicle Safety Standard No. 218
  2. It's relationship to how many of our states attempt to define what a defines a legal helmet
  3. How the testing is done
  4. What DOT stickers mean
  5. How in practice (meaning on the road and in court), the burden of certifying compliance with the Standard mysteriously shifted from the manufacturer to us, the user
  6. How cops are allowed to circumvent FMVSS218 testing with in many cases on the fly eyeball exams to give them probable cause for a stop
  7. And then witout any technical knowledge or information write us tickets (Fix-it or otherwise)

If you haven't yet read FMVSS218, testing requires 4 identical helmets to be tested at various temperatures by dropping a weight from a specified height on each one until they break to prove compliance. The efficacy of this method is fodder for another day.

So the notion of a cop eye-balling your helmet from their bike or car as you roar by going opposite directions cannot give them enough probable cause to stop you, not to mention write you, is a gross violation of the Standard, our freedom, rights and if it's illegal for a manufacturer to circumvent the Standard, then why on Earth is legal for a cop to do it?

Now let's think about the repercussions:

  1. The disruption to your day of the ticket
  2. Time off work to get the ticket signed off
  3. Time off work to go to court
  4. Possible fine, even if only under $20ish dollars
  5. Anst and aggravation
  6. The number of people who have stopped ridding over the years because of the harassment

So, I thought I'd blog this as all the above still seems to be at the heart of how helmet laws can be overturned and how at very least we can help raise awareness of how roadside stops need to be re-thought and scrutinized. Our rights are getting creamed out there over this.

Well, here's the redux with some new thoughts:

I got cited for a beanie ticket some time ago (1997) by Dep. Porche in West Hollywood, CA, which was dismissed in Beverly Hills court. I sent a complaint to then Sherriff Sherman Block, which resulted in Indexed Briefing 96-2.

Interestingly, I received another ticket from Porche in just about the same street location shortly after, which resulted in a sit down meeting with West Hollywood Sherriff Odenthal, which resulting in his famous area-wide Helmet Ticket Moratorium Watch-Brief as long as it appeared the rider was making some attempt to obey the law.

The Moratorium was *very* important because Sherrif Odenthal realized that by issuing it, he was taking the burden of whether a helmet was in compliance with the law off of the rider/consumer as it should as was later determined in Buhl vs. Hannigan, was "absurd."

Keep a copy of the FMV218 with you and hand it to the cop if you get stopped. Ask him if your helmet has been officially recalled or if he has 4 of YOUR helmets ready for independent lab testing. If he's still going to write you a ticket, ask how he's going to show probable cause by eyeballs alone. Fun.

Other than that, I haven't heard of any tickets following the Moratorium years ago and while we haven't been successful in overturning the law here in California, most cops seem to have taken the position similar to the spirit of the 1997 West Hollywood Moratorium: if the biker has something reasonable on their head, leave them alone. So that means beanies go un-noticed and while not hair to the wind, it's a step, but than a stop. FMVSS218 HTML. FMVSS 218 PDF. Letter to NHTSA Re: Roadside Stops. NHTSA Roadside Reply. More...


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Legislation modifying Missouri's motorcycle helmet law is on its way to the governor. The bill would allow those 21 and older to ride without helmets on all Missouri roads except interstate highways. The House gave the bill final approval Wednesday on a vote of 93-65. It cleared the Senate earlier.

Proposals to repeal the mandatory helmet law have been controversial in the past. But this year's measure, to simply modify the law, received little debate in either chamber. Supporters of Missouri's existing helmet law say the protective headgear keeps motorcyclists safer during a potentially dangerous activity. But some motorcycle enthusiasts contend it's more fun to ride without a helmet. They've argued that the state should micro manage their lives.

Myrtle Beach, SC - Enacts helmet law. Ordinance 2008-64. Both rider and passenger and passenger must wear a helmet and glasses whether on public or private property!

California - Judge's helmet-law ruling leaves cops, courts and biker confused. In a decision both sides call baffling, a judge recently ruled that a Soquel man's tickets for not wearing a motorcycle helmet can be considered "fix-it" tickets, seemingly erasing any fine or mark on his driving record for violations that are not normally considered fixable.

DOT or NOT Approved? - like chicken teeth, "DOT Approved" helmets do not exist. The NHTSA/DOT does not approve or disapprove anything and they will be the first to tell you. The link above will take you to 16 NHTSA quotes stating so. So how can the folks in Louisiana comply with their State Police bulletin that specifies riders MUST wear DOT Approved helmets? Well... they can't. Period.

Helmets vs Airbags - We get letters. For those unsure or sure helmets are always safe or unsafe in all conditions, please read this...

Louisiana - HB-109, Requires any person who operates or rides a motorcycle to wear a safety helmet. Signed by Governor Blanco 07/06/04, effective 08/15/04.

North Carolina - HB 1517 - Repeal helmet law bill. Ref To Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House 05/04.

Massachusettes - HB 206 a bill allowing riders 18 yrs and older to ride helmetless in public parades passed the Senate and goes to the Governor who has 10 days to sign. Very creative idea to whittle down the resistance...

California - AB 1200 - Failed 9 to 10 in Trans Comm. Asbn. Longville struck the controversial organ donar amendment saying it was a mistake before the vote, which was granted reconsideration. However, this isn't likely unless he's able to get the additional votes needed to pass out of committee. Longville posted this letter explaining the mistake.

Maverick Radio Host Alleges Harassment by Sheriff - Richard Quigley filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff who allegedly threatened sanctions unless the radio station terminated Quigley's radio show.

Massachusettes on the Move: It's been quite a year for MA. And the MMA has really been pressing hard and working ALL the angles for bikers rights:


HB-206 - a bill to allow bikers over 18 ride helmetless in parades passed the MA House and goes on to the Senate. Call your state senators!

Insurance Lawsuit - MMA to sue the state of MA over unfair insurance practices that withhold discounts given to car and truck owners.

Helmet Regulations in Conflict - Per Paul Cote, regarding their appeal, the Court concluded the MA Regulation for motorcycle helmets IS IN CONFLICT with the Federal Standards and the MMA had authority to bring the lawsuit on behalf of its members.

Missouri - HB 770 - A mod bill which would allow persons 21+ the Freedom of Choice to ride with or without a helmet. Contact your reps now...

Massachusettes - The MMA and ABATE will merge into one organization, Massachusetts Motorcycle Association.

Tennessee: riders can proceed through a red light with caution if after waiting an appropriate time their bike's weight doesn't trigger a light change.

EPA Standards - Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO) has urged the director of the EPA to modify the proposed emissions standards for bikes.

New York - SB S170 - 21 and older Helmet Mod bill filed.

Washington - SB 5335 goes into effect 7/27/03 which attempts to define what is a helmet including that helmets have a hard shell, padding and DOT sticker.

Medical Insurance - 100 reps support HR-1749, The Health Care Parity for Legal Transportation & Recreational Activities Act, which would bar health care discrimination against motorcycling, ATV, snowmobiling, skiing or horseback riding.

Pennsylvania - SB 259- Gov. Ed Rendell signed SB 259 modifying PA's 35-year-old helmet law; effective in 60 days. Bikers who are under 21 and/or don't have 2 years riding experience and/or who haven't passed the Motorcycle Safety Program still aren't free and still have to wear a helmet.

Anatomy of a Liar - NHTSA's Paul Snodgrass lies to prevent Nevada Legislature from repealing their helmet law with SB 274.

Nevada - SB 274 - the full repeal bill failed in committee. NHTSA testified and lied against the bill.

California - AB 1200 - 18 + Helmet mod bill with medical insurance.

Anatomy of a Loud Pipes Ticket. The how's and why's of getting my ticket dismissed (California).

NHTSA - 2003 Helmet propoganda. PDF (56k)

Nebraska - LB 303- Bill to repeal NE's Helmet Law.

Washington - HB 1080/SB 5230 - 21 & over helmet mod bill. SB 5335 - Defines motorcycle helmets. SB 5457 - posting of caution road signs to protect bikers. SB 5229 - Provides for separate training for bikes & trikes.

Arkansas - HB 1024 - (Rep. Bledsoe) a bill to revoke Freedom of Choice for riders over 21 failed in committee! R.I.P.

Missouri - HB 137 - requires bikers under 21 to wear a helmet and SB 226 exempts bikers 21 & over from wearing one.

Mississippi - SB 2281 - relates to motorcycle helmets; revises requirement to wear.

New York - AB 589 - mandates helmets meet the federal safety standards and be impact-tested. SB 170 exempts bikers over 21.

Virginia - HB 1848 - 21 & over helmet mod bill passed the Militia & Police Committee (12-7 with 3 not voting). HB 1938 - helmet mod bill (21 & over) on Virginia By-Ways passed Militia and Police (13-5, with 4 not voting). Both go to the House; if passed go to the Senate.

West Virginia - SB 61 - requires bikers and passengers under 21, or any operator licenced less than 2 years, to wear helmets.

EPA Bike Emissions Standards: The new national EPA standards could ruin motorcycling and NOT improve overall air quality. History | Analysis.

50 State DMV Website Review - We visited each state's DMV Website and found a wide range of support and awareness for motorcycles. Some sites feature motorcycle links, bike pictures and info prominently, where others have no mention of motorcycle info whatsoever. Eight sites were outstanding, 29 adequate and 14 down right dismal.

Warning Sticker No one here is saying helmets don't offer some safety benefits. They do.

But helmets also offer some safety risks... just like Air Bags do.

But unlike Air Bags, helmets don't come with Warning stickers. This is VERY disturbing...

New Mexico - SB 239 - 2/3/03 - Here's one for the books: State Sen. Allen "Frankenstein" Hurt (R-Waterflow and a physician!) introduced SB 239, which would force the harvesting of organs for some bikers declared brain dead as the result of an accident if not wearing a helmet. We just spoke to his office and apparently Hurt has awoken from his moral coma and will be dropping the bill due to public outcry and, since already being brain dead himself, perhaps Hurt didn't like idea of his own bitter medicine! Idiot!

Pennsylvania - HB 152- 12/9/02- repeals its handlebar height law effective 2/7/03 and that bikes built after 1973 have headlights on day & night.

Michigan - HB-4823 - Helmet Mod bill - 21 and over with 2 years riding endorsement or completion of a MRF safety course; passed the House 5/29/03 (58 - 46 with 5 not voting) but was held up in the senate past it's deadline. ABATE has started a new bill.

Nevada - Nevada's helmet law is in crisis. The latest published opinion by the Attorney General, unbeknownst to her, spells out that it's impossible to comply and enforce with their helmet law with certainty. Even the Nevada highway patrol agrees. If your state's helmet law relies on FMVSS 218, read this to learn how to take out your law!

New Bike Crash Study - A key U.S. House committee has taken the first step toward updating the famous Hurt Study of motorcycle accidents by with $2 million for detailed safety research.

California - Gov. Gray Davis vetoed AB-2521, a bill to require all new and replacement traffic-actuated signals to recognize motorcycles and bicycles.

Michigan SB 1413 - a bill to make a person found guilty of causing injury to a biker or passenger, subject to a fine 5 times more than otherwise prescribed.

End of Two-Strokes? - The EPA is adopting strict emissions standards that could mean the end of two-stroke trail bikes and ATVsby 2006!

ABC News' "World News Tonight" Maligns Bikers with bogus Public Burden theory.

AMA Testifies on Capitol Hill - for Steps to Improve Motorcycling Safety calling on Congress to fund a new in-depth study into the causes of motorcycle crashes, before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. The last study was completed and released over 21 years ago!

Helmet Laws Suck!

Massachusetts - SB1266 - placed with the Senate Way & Means Committee. They indend to 'study' the 'burden to society' caused by helmet-less riders. Specifically, the increased insurance and medical costs they believe will be incurred. A helmet mod bill has not progressed this far in 20 years. 4/2/02 - the Joint Committee for Public Safety voted a favorable "Ought to Pass" recommendation for SB 1266!

Missouri - SB-646 - Helmet Mod bill - 21+ years. Sponsor - Sen. Danny Staples (District 20). Last Action 1/30/02 - Voted "Do Pass S Transportation Committee."

Mississippi - HB500 - 21+ helmet mod bill with insurance rider moves out of the House Trans Committee for the first time.

West Virginia - HB 2156 - Helmet Mod bill (18/over with medical coverage) is now before the House Judiciary Committee.

NHTSA has released its Traffic Safety Facts 2000: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. This report combines data from two key crash databases, providing statistics on traffic crashes of all severities. You can download a PDF copy from their website.

NHTSA - Reflective Motorcycle Apparel - The TREAD Act endeavors to make manufacturers report deaths and injuries due to faulty equipment. NHTSA is not limiting this to just original equipment, but also "Replacement Equipment" which they define as: "[all] motor vehicle equipment other than original equipment, and tires...[and] also accessory and off vehicle equipment, such as retro reflective motorcycle rider apparel and child restraints."

EPA To Adopt California Streetbike Emission Standards - New road motorcycles sold nationwide will be required to meet strict emissions standards set by the state of California beginning in 2006. Related previous article

BikeBags? BMW has patented a new airbag system and is planning to fit it to its motorcycles. It uses ultrasound to build up a picture of where and how the rider is sitting on the bike. If he or she is flung forward too quickly, or to one side, the patent claims the new system can fire an airbag in a way to catch the rider safely. BMW also claims the system will prevent injuries caused by the firing of the airbag and make the decision whether to fire or not. The idea of airbags on bikes isn't a new one. Honda has been developing an airbag system for years on its range of Advanced Safety Vehicle demonstration machines. Kit makers Dainese and Spidi have also worked on air bags deployed from your clothing. [Source AMA]

The AMA Challenges a Recent Report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a hopelessly flawed analysis of motorcycling fatalities.

New Single-Bike Crash Analysis indicates drinking, speed, inadequate brakes & steering, no license, night riding and curved roads are the top contributing factors in fatal accidents. It also cites an increase deaths for the 40+ demo with the largest number of deaths in the 20 - 29 age group.

Massachusettes - Helmet confiscation and Bike towing no longer allowed per State Police memo.

Michigan - HB 4823 - 21+ helmet mod bill passed the House Trans Committee, but didn't get the required 56 votes (10/31/01) needed to pass the House and was held over for the next legislative session.

Hawaii - DMV outlaws custom bikes? Scary. Check out their DMV's letter...

Oregon - HB2808 - 21+ helmet mod bill. Passed House 35 - 22 on 03/26. Moved to Senate Trans 3/28. In adjournment as of 7/7/01. Bill Status

Georgia SB-192 - Helmet Mod Bill for 18+ was read in the Senate and referred to committee - [no recent change]

New Mexico - Resolution 2051-2001 - Signed into effect. If an accident occurs between a motorcycle or bicycle rider and another vehicle, and the rider is not wearing "appropriate" headgear, and as a result head or spinal cord injuries occur... the operator of the other vehicle should be held harmless for the head and spinal cord injuries. [NOTE: As this reads now, the driver can be at fault and "should" be held harmless...]

Mass SB-1266 - a 21+ Helmet Mod Bill and SB-1267 a bill prohibiting ticketing for helmets that may not be in conformity with FMV218 except with proof the operator has actual knowledge of a determination of non-conformity. HB-1263 - 3/21/01 - Now this should wake up the opposition - a bill requiring ALL operators of ALL vehicles to wear a helmet. Yup, cars too! This is the bill to watch and see how the state deals with it. BRILLIANT!

Illinois Under Attack - 4 helmet bills have been introduced to enact mandatory helmet laws. House Helmet Bills: HB-3255 is for all riders. HB-3084 is for all riders under 18. Senate Helmet Bills: SB-1325 is for all riders and SB-1326 is for those under 18. All bills are going before various committees.

Protect Your Health Benefits! - We face a serious threat to continued health-insurance coverage under newly proposed federal regulations.

Maryland Statistics (1985 - 2000) - Instead of a decrease in death's, there has been a 1.04% increase in the Death to Accident Ratio (DAR) since Maryland's 1992 Helmet Law.

Of General Interest

We Asked a Number of Helmet Companies, which of their helmets would provide the best safety benefits

Snell "A helmet that can take one of our headforms through these 2 impacts unscathed could probably handle a single impact somewhat greater than 17.3 MPH, but certainly no more than 23 MPH." - Ed Becker, Snell
Racer's Market "It is not that little data is available, rather, the data that is available is not really applicable to street use." - Sales, Racer's Market
Laser Helmets "The laws of physics leads one to assume that there is a point after which a helmet will not protect your head from injury, but I can't tell you what that point is." - Pete Salters, Laser
Racer's Market "... the speed of impact with a heavy helmet when you don't hit something with your head is important, as the heavier helmet stretches your neck more, with more risk of neck injuries." - Sales, Racer's Market

Here's the full email correspondence...

Exhaust Pipe Noise Tickets - Fiction vs. Reality. In California, unlike speeding tickets where the cops have radar detectors that must be calibrated with proof read into the record of every speeding ticket taken to court, the equipment used to determine exhaust pipes excess noise are the cops ears, which by the CHP's own admission is subjective. Subjective enforcement of a law is by nature is arbitrary, inconsistent and against the law. Here are some facts and letters I used to fight my ticket.

DALE EARNHARDT- was killed when his helmet broke his neck. The neck can't handle the forces generated in a crash. Granted, Dale's crash scenario is different from a bike crash. He was strapped in and going 200 MPH, but the physics are same and too many riders have been injured, paralyzed and killed by the same inherent problems. Enter the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system that is being considered for required equipment in certain race events. Basically, the HANS system protects the driver by making his "safety helmet" safe. You mean they're not?

See: Andretti tests HANS, HANS Website, Understanding Head & Neck Trauma, Helmet Issues page.

Not Hannigan Again! If you're a Californian, or up on the rights issues, you know the name Maurice Hannigan. The Washington Times reports the National Safety Council is pushing for Maury to head up NHTSA. Under Hannigan, CA was a police state. Since his departure the CHP has regained it's humanity. If Hannigan were to get this appointment here's the math: Hannigan + NHTSA = Nightmare. BOLT is reportedly writing up a proposal to guide rights groups nationwide in opposing the NSC and Hannigan's appointment. Stay tuned for more info...

Condoms and Seat Belts by John Richens, Jan/00. Mr. Richens argues that it is human nature to live with and maintain a certain level of risk. If that level of risk is reduced (or perceived to be) as with seat belts or helmets, there is evidence that we will alter our behavior to increase the risk back to our desired level. With driving/riding increasing speed is often the method used, however going faster will surpass the abiliy of seat belts and helmets to provide the intented safety benefits, thus creating more accidents and/or worse ones.

CHP Bulletin 98-100 - Amazing written admission that states "determination of excessive noise is subjective." and "the CHP does not currently provide either the instrumentation or training necessary to conduct vehicle noise testing." The only thing "uniform" about noise law enforcement is that it is subjective from cop to cop!

REVIEW: CA Bike Registrations plummeted 1991-99. Or... how the helmet law is effective in reducing accidents.

California - Helmet tickets and most recently exhaust systems tickets have been changed to "Non-Correctable" equipment violations by the California Judicial Council (CJC) through misuse of the "Bail and Pentalies Schedule." More...

Of On-Going Interest

National Agenda For Motorcycle Safety - In an effort to plan safety initiatives, a working group of respected experts in motorcycling, traffic safety, law enforcement, insurance, healthcare and research have been organized. The public is invited to read and make comment on their draft at http://www.ahainc.com/nams/.

Fighting Helmet Laws - This site is dedicated to motorcyclist's rights, not just helmet issues, albeit a hot topic. The Fighting Helmet Law page is a collection of info from this site that may help in your fight.
Airbags Not Mandatory - because of 87 deaths out of thousands of deployments. But what about helmets? (see airbag crash statistics).
Understanding Head & Neck Trauma - By Tony Pan Sanfelipo.
Stupid Laws - and you thought you had problems... This is a state-by-state listing of really dumb laws. Sad but true.
Food For Thought - or, why you shouldn't paint at the dinner table.
I Hope Nobody Famous Slips in the Bathroom! Due to the skiing untimely deaths of M. Kennedy and S. Bono, the Safety Nazis, legislators and Insurance Industry take aim at how we choose to recreate.
AAA Actively Campaigns Against Bikers - Do you have AAA coverage? Did you know AAA won't tow or insure your bike and actively lobbies for helmet laws and against repeals? AAA earned the coveted "Shack O' Shame" award in Easyriders Magazine last October...

Helmet Laws Still Suck!

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