Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pursuit of Happiness

"The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but the common Right which he has under his Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under this Constitutional guarantee one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's Rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct." II Am.Jur. (1st) Constitutional Law, Sect.329, p.1135.

Opponents of "Freedom of Choice"

Got Freedom? Not if these folks can help it!Below are insurance companies and organizations that oppose freedom of choice for adult motorcyclists. Is YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY on this list? Any organizations you belong to?If so, make your voice heard. Change insurance companies and tell the old one exactly why you are changing.
Taken from: Traffic Safety Facts; Laws; Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws April 2004
Who Supports Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

AAA• Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety• Allstate Insurance Company• American Academy of Family Physicians• American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials • American Academy of Pediatrics • American Coalition for Traffic Safety, Inc.• American College of Emergency Physicians • American College of Preventive Medicine • American College of Surgeons • American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association • American Insurance Association • American Medical Association • American Nurses Association • American Public Health Association • American Trauma Society • Association of Women"s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses • Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine • Brain Injury Association • Center for Rural Emergency Medicine • Emergency Nurses Association • Emergency Nurses CARE • Epilepsy Foundation of America • GEICO • General Federation of Women"s Clubs • Indian Health Service • Motorcycle Industry Council • National Association of County and City Health Officials • National Association of Orthopedic Nurses • National Association of Public Hospitals • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians • National Association of State EMS Directors • National Association of State Head Injury Administrators • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control • National Conference of Black Mayors • National Flight Nurses Association • National Safety Council • National Sheriffs Association • Nationwide Insurance • Native American Injury Prevention Coalition • Prudential Insurance • State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association • Students Against Destructive Decisions • State Farm Insurance • Think First Foundation • Wellness Councils of America

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Motorcyclist Aplogizes to members of DUMB

Larry Supina

ARTICLE TOOLS: Email Article Print-Friendly Format
An apology is in order, so, please, forgive me. It was not until this morning on my ride to work that I fully understood I was in error.

Yes, I've noticed that there are many very busy and important people on the roads. You all are hard to miss with the cell phones, laptops, breakfast bars, coffee, cigarettes and all, but until now, I didn't realize I was causing so much trouble for you busy, multitasking drivers.
I figured it out this morning, thanks to the nice lady working on the laptop who needed the lane I was in.

First, ma'am, let me say that when I honked at you from the shoulder, I didn't mean to startle you. My intent was just to give you a little beep to let you know the lane was all yours. But I was braking so hard, I couldn't lift my thumb off the horn button. My bad.

I surely didn't mean to cause you to nearly hit the guy talking on the cell phone. You know, he was smoking and talking as he moved his SUV right into the space you had just left.

Anyway, the good news is, that's when I realized all of you multitasking drivers must be texting each other about intended lane changes and running traffic lights and stop signs and such. I'm sorry - I'm still using old-fashioned blinkers. I didn't realize you needed some time to e-notify that guy that you needed the lane back. I really messed it up for both of you!

I can only say that the guard rail was a little distracting, and I was only thinking about myself. I'll try harder next time.

Like I said, I didn't know that was how you multitasking drivers were communicating. It must have been in an e-mail, but my laptop fell off my tank and I haven't replaced it.
However, I have a solution.

I know many of you are so busy and important that you have no choice - you have to eat, work, talk, read and do lots of other really important things as you drive.
Those of us who use the road only for traveling would be happy to stay out of your way; we just need to know you're coming.

A little visual clue would help - I was thinking of a bumper sticker. That way, everyone could identify you as Drivers Utilizing Multiple Behaviors.

Of course, that's a little long, so we'd cut it down to an acronym - DUMB.
If you'd place stickers on the front, back and maybe the sides of your car, the rest of us would know not to interfere with you on the road.

I think it's such a good idea, I'll pay for the bumper stickers and even put them on for you. Deal?
Again, I'm sorry I got in your way. I'll try harder to see you coming from now on.
I promise!

Larry Supina is an Amarillo resident. He works as a safety manager at Pantex.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Michigan Freedom Faces Veto

Motorcycle-helmet bill passes Senate; faces Granholm veto By Amy Lane

Legislation that would allow some motorcyclists to ride without helmets has passed the Senate, after clearing the state House last week.

The Senate on Thursday approved House Bill 4749, sponsored by Barbara Farrah, D-Southgate. The bill would give riders over 21 the option of going helmetless if they pay an annual state permit fee and meet other requirements. The measure calls for riders to purchase a $100, one-year permit or a $200, three-year permit. They must carry at least $20,000 in insurance to pay first-party medical benefits in the event of an accident, have been licensed for at least two years to operate a motorcycle, and have completed a motorcycle safety course. Riders who do not purchase a permit and ride without helmets face a fine of up to $300. The Senate amended the bill to put money raised by the new permit fees toward a greater number of law-enforcement purposes than previously listed in the bill, and the bill now returns to the House.

The legislation appears unlikely to see approval by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who supports the state’s current helmet law and has vetoed past helmet-law repeal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beating Back Biker Discrimination

Delray Beach motorcyclists prevail - for nowClick-2-ListenBy Michael LaForgiaPalm Beach Post Staff WriterTuesday, October 16, 2007
DELRAY BEACH — Looking out at a grizzled, bandana-and-leather-clad crowd this evening, the city commission put off a proposal to ban raucous motorcyclists from a five-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue, saying the city's noise problems need more research.

Last week, Mayor Rita Ellis, who said she heard complaints about bikers revving their engines in the bustling downtown district, asked city attorney Susan Ruby to research an ordinance that would ban motorcycles.

Bikers, business owners, patrons all disgruntled Opponents of the proposal said existing noise regulations should cover engine noise without resorting to a ban.

At tonight's meeting, Ruby offered commissioners two options for amending an existing ordinance, one that included a motorcycle ban and one that didn't. Before discussion began, Ellis noted she was disappointed that "our guests on motorcycles" had roared down the avenues in a show of unmuffled defiance over the weekend, after word of the proposed ban spread.

The suggested changes, up for first reading tonight, would have made motorcycles off-limits on Atlantic between Swinton and southbound Federal Highway, a corridor lined by shops and bistros."I believe that this is entirely in the best interest of our downtown," the mayor said tonight before discussion began.City commissioners Woodie McDuffie and Brenda Montague, however, said they would rather work with bikers toward a solution than ban them from the popular throughway, which runs from Interstate 95 to A1A.

McDuffie said the city had a noise problem, not necessarily a biker problem."What I would like for us to do is not single out one group of people, one motor vehicle," said McDuffie, addressing the motorcyclists who packed the audience and spilled out into the lobby. "We are willing to work with you."In the end, the city commissioners decided to follow a suggestion of city police Chief Larry Schroeder, who recommended the city survey business owners to get a better sense of what was causing noise problems on Atlantic. He also proposed waiting 90 days after the survey to see whether the corridor quiets down.

The city commission voted 4-0 to approve the ordinance option that omitted a ban on motorcyclists, pending results of the study. The bikers, who had gathered in the parking lot 2 1/2 hours before the issue came up, cheered the decision. Backs were slapped. Graying ponytails swished against leather vests."For now, it appears we have prevailed," said Rosco Sessa, national president of the Enforcers motorcycle club, who helped organize protests of the proposal. After the vote, the jubilant bikers poured out of the commission chambers, hopped on their hogs and roared away in the rain.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

MRF Call to Action RE: NTSB



For the past several weeks the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been actively working on a multi-tiered strategic initiative to counter the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) program to pressure states into enacting mandatory helmet laws. We are prepared today to launch the program beginning with a Call to Action to our State Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SMROs).

The MRF's Call to Action is to encourage our SMRO partners to send their top lobbying teams to Washington D.C. in late October and early November to visit with their members of Congress to voice opposition to the NTSB's lobbying efforts. It is our position that the NTSB is proposing to directly lobby the states with federal tax money based on poorly-drawn conclusions, using a very narrow scope, and not employing the rigors of research to which they normally hold themselves. This is simply not acceptable to the MRF and our SMRO partners. A clear message was sent by the Senate in the 109th Congress when they voted 69-28 to defeat the Lautenberg Federal Helmet amendment, which would have pressured states into passing mandatory helmet laws, based on the fact that this issue is clearly a State's rights issue. Accordingly, we will be asking members of Congress to write a letter to the NTSB reminding them of this fact.

During these SMRO visits we will also be presenting a bullet point statistical fact sheet developed in conjunction with the MRF Legislative, Motorcycle Safety, and Statistics Committees that clearly shows that the answer to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities is, in fact, an aggressive approach toward CRASH AVOIDANCE and NOT safer crashing. In addition, we will be educating members of Congress on the many points contained in our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan, pointing out to them that states with the highest reductions in motorcycle fatalities and states with low fatality rates per registered motorcycle are not those with mandatory helmet laws, but rather states that utilize the many tools in the motorcycle safety action plan. Additionally, we will thank many of them for their belief in motorcycle safety shown by the creation of the 2010 motorcycle safety grants and the creation of the Motorcycle Advisory Council in TEA-LU. We will take advantage of this time to inform them as to how these programs are being used effectively.

The second phase of the MRF's strategic initiative involves the MRF holding a press conference in the first week of November in one of the office buildings of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The press conference will feature a prominent member of Congress. Expect another Call to Action encouraging our members, our SMRO partners, motorcyclists in general and other concerned citizens to attend.

At that time we will be issuing a formal letter to the Chairman of the NTSB asking him to reconsider their proposed lobbying of the states and asking that he consider the statistical facts related to our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan and its effectiveness with regard to Crash Avoidance and NOT Safer Crashing as the goal.

For strategic reasons, third phase of our initiative will be announced once we complete the necessary research and sufficient discussions have taken place. We will go on record, however, as stating that we will not rule out asking Congress to take action against the NTSB, as we have done with NHTSA in the past, should they continue to ignore the spirit of previous congressional mandates against federal agencies lobbying states on mandatory helmet laws.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Monkeys on Motorcycles

Thanks to Splatt the Harley Rat,

"Stick a monkey on a motorcycle and he will crash. Stick a helmet on the monkey and he will still crash."