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Old 07-20-2016, 06:06 AM
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Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

House Resolution 831 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 13, 2016 to “Promote awareness of motorcycle profiling and encourage collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”

The non-binding resolution defines motorcycle profiling as “the arbitrary practice of law enforcement using 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 United States Constitution,” and cites complaints surrounding motorcycle profiling in all 50 states.

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is working with other state and national motorcycle organizations to address profiling legislatively, and with Washington enacting the first anti-profiling law in 2011, followed recently by Maryland, a national motorcycle anti-profiling measure would advance the efforts in every state.

H.Res.831 specifies that the House of Representatives:
(1) promotes increased public awareness on the issue of motorcycle profiling;
(2) encourages collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement to engage in efforts to end motorcycle profiling; and
(3) urges State law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcycle profiling in written policies and training materials.

H.Res.831, introduced by Congressmen Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI), has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, and concerned motorcyclists are encouraged to contact their federal representatives to support the bill.

“Open and visible association with supremacist, extremist, or criminal gangs, to include outlaw motorcycle gangs, by individuals aboard Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton (Calif.) poses a criminal and security threat; inhibits the mission of MCB CamPen; interferes with the loyalty, morale, good order, and discipline of MCB CamPen personnel; and discredits the reputation of the installation and the United States Marine Corps,” states MCIWEST-MCB CAMPEN ORDER 5530.2 dated 30 June 2016, and orders that “…the wearing or displaying of supremacist, extremist or criminal gang colors and symbols by any person aboard MCB CamPen is hereby prohibited.”

Effective upon the date of signature, the order from Brigadier General Edward Banta, commanding general of Camp Pendleton, is pursuant to an earlier directive in which “the Secretary of Defense was directed to prescribe regulations prohibiting active participation by members of the Armed Forces in a criminal street gang.”

In compiling their “list of ‘outlaw’ motorcycle clubs/gangs whose conduct is prohibited,” among the twenty enumerated clubs named are the Legacy/Vietnam Vets, Boozefighters and Iron Order, and “Therefore, wearing identifying gang symbols or colors of clothing (to include motorcycle vests) associated with these organizations is prohibited.”

In a July 18th e-mail feedback from internet business review giant Yelp, the Yelp Support Team in San Francisco informed the elder of a Christian motorcycle group that his review of a coffee shop had been removed after it “was brought to our attention by the Yelp community, and we found that it fell outside our Content Guidelines…” which were attached.

The offending post? “Removed Content: The Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry is a Christian clean and sober group. We meet there (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) because they just serve great coffee with a great group of baristas, and a clean and neat facility and no political agenda like Starbucks.
Pastor Tom
State Elder”

Despite lobbying efforts launched by ABATE of the Garden State, the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly disregarded input from motorcyclists and approved a bill that will register so-called “Autocycles” (typically a 3-wheeled vehicle with a steering wheel and cockpit) as motorcycles. As states across the country legislatively define Autocycles as a separate class of vehicle, and similar federal regulations loom, Trenton bucks the trend.

“Both Houses have approved a version that will register Autocycles as Motorcycles,” writes ABATE of the Garden State in an e-mail request for legislative action, further disseminated through the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) to NCOM Member Groups; “The only hope is to convince the Governor that this is an inappropriate action so that he vetoes the bill.”

Please address your concerns to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at, and ask that he veto S-1155 (Regulates autocycles as motorcycles), because “Autocycles bear no resemblance to motorcycles and have more in common operationally with two-seater sports cars,” and in addition “NHTSA is currently in the process of issuing a nationwide regulation that would mandate a completely new class of vehicle called ‘Autocycle’,” so “if S-1155 is enacted it will have to be repealed to comply with the new federal regulation.”

ABATE further explains; “This will cost the taxpayers of New Jersey a lot of unnecessary expenditures, and allow the misclassified Autocycles to avoid vehicle safety regulation in the interim.”

Royal Oak, Michigan is making it easier for police to ticket revving motorcycles, noisy cars and loud music. City Commissioners recently approved a new ordinance making it a civil infraction with a fine of up to $100 for vehicles to emit music, vibrations or noise that can be heard from 50 feet away or more.

The Police Chief requested the ordinance amendment under the city’s disorderly conduct code that covers disturbing the peace and noise. Previously, such violations were a criminal misdemeanor, which have a higher burden of proof for police.

The new measure adopted July 13, 2016 makes the noise violations a civil infraction with no criminal penalties and a lesser burden of proof to make violations stand up in court. With noise tickets being handled as criminal misdemeanors and requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt, police have had a challenge stopping violators.

“It’s above a seat belt violation but below a moving violation,” said the Chief of the civil infraction penalty, adding that the new local law will help police address public noise problems from motorcycles and other vehicles with after-market upgrades and louder mufflers.

Officers writing tickets for noise violations before the new change in the ordinance had to carry devices to measure decibel levels at the time the violations happened. Under the new measure, the City Attorney said it would be sufficient for officers to use the patrol vehicle cameras and outside microphones when issuing noise violations.

A person with a beginner’s permit in South Carolina is only allowed to operate a motorcycle solo between the hours of 6am and 6pm, and under the new traffic code changes “A permittee may not operate a motorcycle at any other time unless accompanied by a licensed motorcycle operator twenty-one years of age or older who has at least one year of driving experience.”

S689, signed into law on June 7, 2106 by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a staunch supporter of motorcyclists’ rights and safety, further requires that the supervising driver must “be within a safe viewing distance of the permittee when the permittee is operating a motorcycle or a three-wheeled vehicle.”

As promoted in the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Operator Manual, it is recommended to motorcycle operators that they temporarily flash brake lights when stopping in order to increase visibility to other motorists. There are aftermarket products available that will automatically flash the brake lights up to five times, but such strobes have been illegal in the Delaware Code under the prohibition on flashing lights.

House Bill No. 114, signed into law by Governor Jack Markell on June 9, 2016, amends the traffic code to now allow bikes to be equipped with this safety equipment “when included in a motorcycle, Moped, or Motorized Scooter brake light system in which the brake lamp pulses rapidly for no more than five (5) seconds when the brake is applied, and then converts to a continuous light as a normal brake lamp until the time that the brake is released.”

The results of a new research study in England finally validate what we all know to be true: motorcycle riders are more attractive than car drivers.

The study, by U.K. insurance specialists Carole Nash, asked over 1000 adults to rate the looks of the opposite sex when dressed in normal attire and riding kit. The aim of the experiment was to try and change perceptions of motorcyclists and overturn any negative stereotypes.

In five out of six cases, members of the public dressed as motorcyclists were voted as more desirable than when dressed as drivers. It’s not just levels of attractiveness which came out in the bikers’ favor, because riders are also seen to have more positive personality traits - people who own a motorcycle are viewed as adventurous by a third of the opposite sex (34%), closely followed by daring (28%) and fun (26%).

The research also revealed that “one in four blokes would pretend they owned a motorbike to impress a woman and almost a third (31%) said they’d go the whole way and learn to ride one if they knew it would impress a potential partner.”

Recall, after recall, after recall, one thing has remained constant in the Takata airbag quagmire: The disaster has been confined to the four-wheeled realm. Not any longer, as the Honda Goldwing, the first and so far the only motorcycle equipped with an airbag from the factory, has now been recalled.

The gist of the recall is the same, two wheels or four -- Takata's airbag inflators can rupture, potentially propelling shards of metal shrapnel at the vehicle's occupants. Or in this case, the motorcycle riders.

A total of 2,701 motorcycles are involved in this recall, spanning the 2006 through 2010 model years, and only in certain regions. Only Goldwings sold or operated in areas with high humidity or frequent temperature cycling are being recalled at this time.

Another European capital city has committed to hitting riders of older motorcycles with a fee in an attempt to improve EU air quality.

Recently, Paris announced a ban on motorcycles made before 1999 from certain parts of the city during the day. Violators of the ban face a €35 (US $40) fine. The French capital has some of the worst air pollution in the world, and the thinking behind the new law is that older motorcycles will not have been built to meet Euro emissions standards and are therefore inclined to pollute disproportionately.

London, too, is desperate to reduce its pollution levels, which are consistently in violation of EU regulations. Within the first week of 2016, London exceeded its pollution limit for the entire year.

The British capital has long had a daily congestion charge -- currently set at £11.50 (US $17) -- to discourage cars from entering the heart of the city. Motorcycles and scooters have hitherto been exempt from the charge, but plans are in the works to start charging two-wheeled vehicles made before 2007, when Euro 3 emissions standards were first applied to motorcycles.

London motorcyclists have known about this and were expecting to see the charge applied when London introduces its new Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2020, but it is now being reported that the charge could be implemented as soon as next year, and concerned riders have expressed anger at the possibility of a sped-up schedule.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it! If you do not, I shall repent it in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it!”
~ John Adams - April 26, 1777
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