CROSSROADS CHRONICLES 127 NCOM NEWS BYTES
WORLDWIDE MOTORCYCLE NEWS
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
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
ANTI-PROFILING MEASURES SPREAD NATIONWIDE - NCOM-LTF UPDATE:
This is one of the most exciting and productive Legislative seasons we have had in a very long time, as a unified community and as a freedom seeking culture. We are moving towards our goal of Critical Mass in establishing a National Movement to end Motorcycle Profiling with eight States in the process of Bill sponsorship, committee hearings or have already passed anti-profiling protection. Once we reach that tipping point, look out Washington D.C.! I met with the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus Co-Chair and discussed a National Anti-Profiling Bill, and he’s willing to listen.
Currently from Washington State across the country to New York State and including; California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri, all have motorcycle anti-profiling bills. The NCOM Legislative Task Force is accessible when called upon by any, and willing to assist providing a cohesive plan to help insure success with; “Lessons Learned from Washington State”, Fiscal analysis, Collecting a Pattern of Evidence, Controlling the Message when giving Testimony, all are substantiated documents authored by our own US Defender Commander from Washington and NCOM LTF Vice Chair, Double D, who is willing to travel and provide excellent testimony to accompany the effort from any State.
We have launched a campaign Nationwide to “Save the Patch”; the many facets of our network continue to raise funds contributing to the Trademark Defense Fund regarding the Mongols MC patch. It is a Unifying Event for everyone across the country, and it is going to take all of us participating to defeat this discriminatory attack on our patches! As we speak, another case involving the Devils Diciples MC copyrighted patch is under attack as well. LTF members are in strategic meetings to develop a plan to fight this case.
A new attitude, a new Mission Statement defining who we are, and a revival of fundamentals that work. Look at our roster, the best of the best. Historic! Our NCOM BOD and the LTF reflects an accurate snapshot of our motorcycling community at large. We are members of every organization in the motorcycle rights work arena. So the time is now to reach across any divide, put aside old petty grievances that only a handful even remember anyway, and embrace the National MRO’s and SMROs all working in sync that can achieve great things collectively.
See you at the NCOM Convention in Denver; it’s going to be a good one!
Paul Landers, Chairman, NCOM Legislative Task Force
30th Annual NCOM CONVENTION ROLLS INTO DENVER
The 30th annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-10, 2015 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, located at 4900 S. Syracuse St. in Denver, Colorado, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $99 by calling (303) 779-1100.
Billed as the largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world, this year’s annual NCOM Convention will draw over a thousand concerned bikers from across the country to “The Mile High City” to discuss topics of concern to all riders.
The NCOM Convention will be hosted by the Confederation of Clubs of Colorado, and all motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focused on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.
Topics will include Anti-Profiling Laws; “Save the Patch” Legal Defense Fund; The R.I.C.O. Law and How It Affects You and Your Group; Public Relations & Social Media; and 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.
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is solely sponsored by the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) nationwide legal services program and serves as an umbrella organization for more than 2,000 NCOM Member clubs, organizations and associations worldwide, representing well over a quarter of a million politically active motorcyclists. NCOM has successfully outreached to numerous segments of the motorcycling community in an effort to unite for our rights, both legal and legislatively, 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.
To pre-register for the 2015 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
LANE SPLITTING COULD MOVE BEYOND CALIFORNIA
California is the only state in the U.S. where motorcyclists are allowed to cruise between lanes of cars, a practice called lane-splitting that is normally used to cut through stalled or slow-moving traffic. But now, an effort to legalize lane-splitting in other states, such as Washington, Oregon, Texas and Tennessee, is gathering momentum amid a push by motorcyclists and by some lawmakers looking to relieve highway congestion.
Bills to extend the practice to other states has sparked a safety debate, and although no one has tracked exactly how many highway accidents are caused by lane-splitting, a study from the California Office of Traffic Safety last year found that motorcyclists’ injuries were kept down as long as they split lanes in slowly moving traffic and exceeded the speed of other traffic by less than 10 miles an hour. Further, the study found that motorcyclists were less likely to die or be injured in lane-splitting crashes when compared with other kinds of collisions.
The lane-splitting measures in Washington (SB 5623 & HB 1515), Oregon (SB 172 & SB 420), Texas (SB 442 & HB 813) and Tennessee (HB 1102) all set varying limits to motorcyclists’ speed and speed differential. Most of those bills are in committee, although Washington state’s measure has passed the state Senate 35-14.
HANDLEBAR HEIGHT LAW REPEALED IN SOUTH DAKOTA
Good news for those riding to the 75th Anniversary Sturgis Rally this year, as South Dakota has abolished their handlebar height law, so as of July 1st ape hangers will now be legal and no more 20-dollar-tickets for bars taller than shoulder-high.
On Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Governor Dennis Daugaard signed Senate Bill 85, joining 13 other states with no handlebar restrictions (Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee).
Pointing out that there are no national laws that regulate handlebar height, nor commonly agreed upon standards between states, ABATE of South Dakota emphasized personal comfort and style over safety concerns, given that no scientific studies identify any negative impact.
“A great team effort,” cites ABATE state coordinator Jiggs Creasy. “Not a single opponent testified and not a single vote against it (SB 85 passed unanimously in the Senate 34-0 on 02/05/15 and passed the House of Representatives 69-0 on 02/17/15).”
UNITED FRONT HELPS TO DEFEAT HELMET LAW PROPOSALS IN NEW MEXICO
In a unique “Pay-to-Play” scheme to punish motorcyclists for exercising their right to ride without a helmet, a Senate bill proposed in New Mexico would have created a system of taxation for riders who opt not to wear a helmet.
Specifically, SB 308 would have created an annual motorcycle $697 license plate sticker that allowed the operator and passenger to refrain from wearing a helmet, for a fee. It and a full blown helmet law (SB 327) were both heard in committee on the same day, and each bill died.
“February 24, 2015 is a day that will live in New Mexico Motorcycle History as two helmet bills died in the Senate Public Affairs Committee,” said Annette Torrez, Chair of the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization and a member of the NCOM Board of Directors. Torrez had issued a call to action, requesting assistance from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), the NCOM Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), US Defenders, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), all of which came to the aid of NM riders to help defeat the onerous proposals.
“Together we can accomplish the possible and the impossible,” said Torrez. “Now we can put our efforts into SB 651, the Careless Driving Bill to increase penalties for a person who commits careless driving that result in death or great bodily harm.”
RED LIGHT BILLS ADVANCE IN GEORGIA & OREGON
“Today marks the first time either Georgia General Assembly body has voted YES on Red light relief for Georgia Riders,” said ABATE of Georgia state director Ned Williams, referring to Senate Bill 76 “Motorcycle Mobility Act” which passed the state Senate 51-4 on March 11. “So now we are ramping up for a fight in the house …” and ABATE is calling for motorcyclists to contact members of the Georgia House of Representatives “and ask them to VOTE YES on AB76.”
Likewise, a bill to allow motorcyclists to proceed through an inoperative or malfunctioning traffic-control signal has cleared the Oregon state Senate unanimously which will permit “a bicyclist or motorcyclist to proceed at a stop light under certain conditions.” Senate Bill 533 is now headed to the House floor with bipartisan support, and is designed to bring relief to bikers who find themselves at stop lights that won’t change by allowing them to safely proceed through a red light that “fails” to trip after “one full cycle.”
MASSACHUSETTS RIDERS OPPOSE PROPOSED BAN ON BIKE RIDES IN YARMOUTH
Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) members are organizing opposition to citizens’ petition articles that will be before voters at the upcoming Yarmouth Annual Town Meeting. One article would ban motorcycle rides through town and the other involves a noise bylaw.
Rick Gleason, Massachusetts Motorcycle Association legislative director, said, if enacted, one of the articles would ban charity rides in town. That would include, he said, one of the town’s biggest rides, Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen. “If this ban is put in place and enacted and if the attorney general stands by it and says that it is just, it’s going to force the organizers to reroute the ride,” Gleason said, adding that people who come to town for the charity rides spend money locally on hotel rooms and meals. “We do not support this ban. There are a couple of big rides that begin or end or pass through Yarmouth. We would hate to see the town miss out on the opportunities and the monies that are generated during these charity rides.” he said.
SCHOOLS IN CHAD CLOSED
OVER VIOLENT HELMET LAW PROTESTS
Schools and universities in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena were closed on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 and remained shut "until further notice" after student rallies against motorcycle helmet laws left at least one person dead.
The closure announced by the government of Chad in central Africa comes a day after students took to the streets to protest against a rise in helmet prices ever since their use became obligatory in N'Djamena effective March 1 and motorcyclists are now required by law to wear a helmet.
The protesters set fire to several vehicles and blocked access to schools and universities, an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist reported. Clashes broke out after security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters. Hospital officials contacted by AFP said "three people were killed, and several others were injured."
DRUG DRIVING LIMITS
SET FOR FIRST TIME
Limits on the consumption of illegal drugs before driving have been set for the first time under new legislation introduced in the United Kingdom, and drivers and motorcyclists face up to six months in prison for exceeding very low limits set on eight illegal drugs including cannabis and cocaine. The limits set for medicinal drugs exceed normal prescribed doses.
The legislation, which covers England and Wales, also sets limits for eight prescription drugs including morphine. Police will use new roadside drugs testing kits to measure cannabis and cocaine in saliva. Tests for other drugs including ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin can be done at police stations.
A conviction will lead to a minimum one-year’s driving ban and a fine of up to £5,000. Police will delay enforcing the new law until satisfied the procedures “withstand legal scrutiny.”
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
James Madison (1751-1836) fourth U.S. President