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Sunday, January 31, 2010

New pleas for gun rights

Lyle Denniston | Friday, January 29th, 2010 11:45 pm
The final briefs seeking to shape the Supreme Court’s coming decision on the reach of the Second Amendment’s protection of gun rights suggested Friday that states might be free to violate other parts of the Bill of Rights, if too narrow a view is taken of the constitutional liberties that state and local governments must respect. If gun rights are singled out as the only constitutional rights unshielded from states, counties, and cities, then no other rights are safe, according to the new briefs.

A group of Chicago and Illinois defenders of the “right to keep and bear arms,” along with the National Rifle Association, filed closing briefs to answer a Dec. 30 filing by the city of Chicago and the village of Oak Park, Ill., that had urged the Supreme Court to leave state and local governments out of coverage of the Second Amendment. The petitioners’ reply brief is here, and the NRA’s is here. The combined Chicago-Oak Park merits brief is here.
The case of McDonald, et al., v. Chicago, et al. (08-1521) tests whether the Court will limit the reach of the Second Amendment to federal laws, or those passed for the District of Columbia, or will extend it to limit gun control laws at the state and local level. The Second Amendment remains one of the few provisions of the Bill of Rights that remain unextended to states, counties, and cities.
Chicago and Oak Park contended that broadening the Second Amendment’s scope should be avoided, because this would intrude deeply on state and local governments’ powers to defend their citizens from gun violence. The right to keep and bear arms, that brief argued, was a unique provision in the social risks it poses.
Replying, the McDonald and NRA reply briefs asserted that the method of interpretation that Chicago and Oak Park would have the Court apply could just as easily undercut the Court’s past series of rulings requiring state and local governments to obey other clauses in the Bill of Rights. if the Chicago-Oak Park test were correct, all of those prior rulings were wrong, and there is hardly another right that would not be swept away at the state and local level.
The Court is scheduled to hear oral argument on the issue on March 2.
"The 2 enimies of the people are criminals and goverment, so let us tie the second down with chains of the Constitution so the second wil not become the Legalized version of the First"
Thomas Jefferson

South Whittier bikini bar loses bid to renew license

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News
By Bethania Palma Markus, Staff Writer
The Hideout Bikini Bar on Telegraph Road in Whittier is known for waitresses who work wearing bikinis, lost its food and beverage license this week. Authorities claim the bar attracted a bad element and became known for assaults, fights and other criminal activity. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Eric Reed)
SOUTH WHITTIER - A bar known for bikini-clad bartenders lost its food and beverage license this week, officials said.
Residents and authorities said the Hide Out bikini bar, 13456 Telegraph Road, was known for fights and criminal activity, creating a neighborhood nuisance.
At the request of county officials and neighbors, the county's Business License Commission on Wednesday denied the public-eating business license of the bar, which means it can no longer operate.
"We were looking at the public safety and quality of life aspects," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Al Reyes. "It was very violent. There were a lot of assaults and disturbance calls there."
The bar is owned by Micropaladin Inc. at 989 W. San Bernardino Road, Covina, which is the site of The Well bikini bar, according to state records. Douglas Slavinski is listed as the company's president.
Employees who answered the phone at The Well said the owner of bar would not comment.
In a report prepared in the bar's defense, security consultant Robert Feliciano Associates wrote almost all of the reports of crime at the bar were unfounded. He also pointed out that the bar had security surveillance and a good record of notifying deputies when problems occurred.
Robert Feliciano is a Criminal Justice instructor at Rio Hondo College and also runs a security consulting company.
Motorcycle-riding patrons wore jackets bearing the insignia of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, a neighbor said.Sheriff's deputies had responded to the business 33 times in the last two years for things like fights, assaults and a non-fatal shooting last year, authorities said.
Neighbors said they hoped The Hide Out would close soon.
"There are fights on a daily basis," said a man who lives nearby. He asked his name be withheld for fear of retribution from a biker gang that hung out at the bar. "It's a public nuisance." This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
562-698-0955, ext. 3028
Original article...

Three Reported Missing After Animal Rights Activists Take "War on Leather" to Motorcycle Gang Rally.

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News Alright Folks... this ain't real... but it is REALLY f*&k'in funny! I wonder if Hammerin' Hank wrote this.
Courtesy of
Johnstown, PA: Local and state police scoured the hills outside rural Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after reports of three animal rights activists going missing after attempting to protest the wearing of leather at a large motorcycle gang rally this weekend. Two others, previously reported missing, were discovered by fast food workers "duct taped inside several fast food restaurant dumpsters," according to police officials.
"Something just went wrong," said a still visibly shaken organizer of the protest. "Something just went horribly, horribly, wrong."
The organizer said a group of concerned animal rights activist groups, "growing tired of throwing fake blood and shouting profanities at older women wearing leather or fur coats," decided to protest the annual motorcycle club event "in a hope to show them our outrage at their wanton use of leather in their clothing and motor bike seats." "In fact," said the organizer. "Motorcycle gangs are one of the biggest abusers of wearing leather, and we decided it was high time that we let them know that we disagree with them using it... Ergo, they should stop."
According to witnesses, protesters arrived at the event in a vintage 1960's era Volkswagen van and began to pelt the gang members with balloons filled with red colored water, simulating blood, and shouting "you're murderers" to passers by. This, evidently, is when the brouhaha began.
"They peed on me!!!" charged one activist. "They grabbed me, said I looked like I was French, started calling me 'La Trene', and duct taped me to a tree so they could pee on me all day!"
"I... I was trying to show my outrage at a man with a heavy leather jacket. And, he... he didn't even care. I called him a murderer, and all he said was, 'You can't prove that.' Next thing I know is he forced me to ride on the back of his motorcycle all day, and not left me off, because his girl friend was out of town and I was almost a woman."
Still others claimed they were forced to eat hamburgers and hot dogs under duress. Those who resisted were allegedly held down while several bikers "farted on their heads."
Police officials declined comments on any leads or arrests due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, however, organizers for the motorcycle club rally expressed "surprise" at the allegations.
"That's preposterous," said on high ranking member of the biker organizing committee. "We were having a party, and these people showed up and were very rude to us. They threw things at us, called us names, and tried to ruin the entire event. So, what did we do? We invited them to the party! What could be more friendly than that? You know, just because we are all members of motorcycle clubs does not mean we do not care about inclusiveness. Personally, I think it shows a lack of character for them to be saying such nasty things about us after we bent over backwards to make them feel welcome."
When confronted with the allegations of force feeding the activists meat, using them as ad hoc latrines, leaving them incapacitated in fast food restaurant dumpsters, and 'farting on their heads,' the organizer declined to comment in detail. "That's just our secret handshake," assured the organizer.
Original article...

Pagan charged in scuffle with police

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News
By Andrew Clevenger
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Kanawha school bus driver facing a conspiracy charge as part of the 44-count indictment against members and associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club was arrested over the weekend and charged with battery on a police officer.
Corey Charles Hinkle, 30, of Charleston, was one of 55 defendants named in a sweeping indictment unsealed in October. Hinkle is accused of conspiring with other bikers to carry guns as bodyguards for Pagans national vice president Floyd B. "Jesse" Moore, 64, of St. Albans.
Federal agents arrested Hinkle on Oct. 6. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary E. Stanley released him on a $10,000 unsecured bond, which included the standard condition that Hinkle "must not violate any federal, state or local law while on release."
At about 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 23, Charleston police responded to a report of a disturbance at the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Kanawha City, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court by Charleston Police Cpl. H.W. Doss.
"Hinkle refused to comply with numerous requests to step away from the front door of the restaurant," Doss wrote. "[He] took a fighting stance at this time [pepper] spray was used."Doss also struck Hinkle several times in the leg with a baton, according to the complaint.
Doss charged Hinkle with two counts of obstructing a police officer and one count of battery on a police officer.
"Hinkle grabbed [me] by the wrist, ordering me to never touch him," Doss wrote in the battery complaint. "Hinkle was secured after a brief altercation."
The scuffle came hours after Hinkle's 30th birthday ended at midnight on Jan. 22. Kanawha County Magistrate Tim Halloran arraigned Hinkle, and set his bond at $5,000 with a 10-percent cash option.
If convicted on the new charges, Hinkle faces up to three years in jail.
Original article...

Hell's Angel Member Loses 3rd Appeal to Nebraska Supreme Court

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News
A Hell's Angel member who was sentenced to life in prison for the 1975 murder of a 19-year-old woman has lost his third appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Now 63, Thomas "Red" Nesbitt was convicted in 1986 of first-degree murder in the death of Mary Kay Harmer, who disappeared in 1975. Her skeletal remains were found nine years later in a manhole near Omaha's Eppley Airfield.
On Nesbitt's 2002 appeal, the state Supreme Court rejected all of Nesbitt's claims but one: The court agreed that he was entitled to present evidence that his trial attorney was ineffective.
In a ruling issued Friday, the high court said it reviewed evidence presented at a hearing after Nesbitt's conviction and concluded that the attorney's performance was not ineffective.
Original article...

State of Discrimination - Part One

New York Rider Magazine article.
State of Discrimination - Part One
81 Americans
by Hank McGrath
On a sunny September 2009 afternoon Don, his wife, Diane,daughter and friends walked thru the NYS fairgrounds for several hours as happy and free-spirited Americans & NYS citizens. They had paid the $75.00 per person tickets in support of New York State to enjoy the Kid Rock concert while visiting fair vendors prior to the show. As show time grew near they noticed they were being followed by NYS Police. As they got closer to the concert entrance they were agressively pursued, suddenly stopped and surrounded by NYS Police and security as if they were fugitives...frisked for weapons, intimidated with threatening remarks and advised by a detective that if they did not leave the premises the "agents of the state" would create charges to arrest them...because Don is a Hells Angel - A member of a legally NYS registered club/chapter, a respectable patch wearer of the club/chapter, a tax payer and citizen of New York State. His wife,daughter and friends are respectable citizens of New York,as well. Yet,they were all treated as suspects of ficticious offenses at a NYS Fair by NYS Police... because Don refused to discard his colors and make believe for the govt. that he is somthing he is not - a coward, a non-patriot, dishonorable to the freedom's of the constitution!
"This treatment by state officials rips at the heart of my american spirit",Don said sadly. "It's another example of gestapo-like behavior by patch wearing agents of the state".
Two interesting factors derived from comments made by police & investigative research highlights how NYS police seemed to represent the interests of a fanthom rival MC involved in a security segment of Kid Rock concerts and the alleged potential conflict between that fanthom rival MC and the Hells Angels. Keep in mind, govt agents are prone to benefit from the creation of conflict between MC's and this case is an excellent example of how they create such conflicts and bad blood,unnecessarily. But, it also reminds us of how govt agents safely escorted Bin Laden's family, or a saudi sheik who financed terrorism, protect undercover killers or even drunken judges and politicians while they drive home so they dont get stopped and arrested - not to mention their active involvement in the world wide drug trade and daily deceit of the american public...all under the guise of "the better good" while wearing state/govt. seal & patches.
I mean,really, since when has 81 financed terrorism, protected terrorists and conspired with those of unamerican interests?! Hmmm...Deception is an art taught so that agents can betray elements of society - those their leaders choose to be the "enemies of the state" (which is now practically every veteran,gun owner,church,caucasion leader in the community,the average hard working joe and the American Biker - all labeled "extremists" {see: Homeland Security Report,Rightwing Extremists,2009 in google}.
Picture this: On one side of NYS a cop puts on his suit,patched shirt & jacket,guns,badge,emblems of authority while developing an attitude taught necessary for work - "Ive got to go out there and stop the bad and if there aint no bad we will find it anyways" his wife guzzles the last of the vodka and puts make-up on her bruised & beaten face. On the other end of NYS a hard working biker and patch wearer puts on his vest of colors with honor,integrity and spirit; kisses his wife goodbye,raises his granchild into the air with smiles and heads out the door aware of the danger... of being an American.
{Mr. McGrath was raised by govt agencies and the "system" & has developed a keen understanding of the acts & deeds of govt. agents and the investigation thereof. Opinion herein is that of the writer and not this magazine/entity.}

Guilty Till Proven Innocent PT1,by Hank McGrath "What's Your Number?"

Hammerin' Hank's Editorial.
Contrary to common belief,the style of American Justice thrives on the authoritative approach of certain members of society being stereotyped and singled out to be considered automatically with the presumption of guilt rather than of innocence as is guaranteed every citizen through the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution.
Paramount in this systematic process of discrimination is the belief that certain members of society , like "lone wolves" and "bikers", are not protected by rights and are instead victims in a game of chase. Rights become points and based upon how you live will influence how many points you will lose. This "point system" which derived from the Feds and is used in their sentencing process actually considers your lifestyle (past & present) when deciding how many points you get which call for a longer sentence of imprisonment...The theory of this point system as a discipline used by authorities in profiling has great merit when you consider "3 strikes and youre out" sentencing within NYS courts.
So,through a govt. perspective, from the beginning at birth YOU ARE A NUMBER and throughout your life certain people of power will attach numbers to you like pinning the tail on a donkey. This number/point process is also used on machines and cattle...OTB and the stock exchange. Its real!
I, for instance, having no family and being raised by the government, started out as 0 (my ssi number had no bearing on me as an incarcerated child) - because I was too young, had no representation in society and was a bastard irish rogue! Now I managed to escape from time to time and as a result of that lifestyle I earned myself some notoriety, recognition and points! New numbers were given to me each time,too! And,of course,you are told nothing else matters but the number. You have no name, no coat of arms - just a number (the same applies for all citizens from a govt perspective). So,you would memorize it just like a citizen would their ssi number. You would even compare numbers with others imprisoned and experienced the seniority over others simply because your number was older than the "new jack" arriving in prison. Like one of mine was 75-B-1194. When I started seeing others with a number like 80B201 that told me I was already in 5 years(the first number is the year you were imprisoned. The letter is from what area you were processed and the last number is how many that year). On my first stint I met an old man,the last man in the state to have an X for a letter in the prison number - Thats death penalty! He died in prison. His number ran out. You will find behind every aspect of the system of government there will be a number/point system as prevalent as depicted in the 2007 Jim Carey movie called "23". Think out of the box for a second - Although everyone is issued a govt. number at birth, some members of society are considered for new numbers on a daily basis. These new numbers are like license plates for those chosen to make license plates and other products for private industries contracted with the Dept. of Corrections.
You may think it has something to do with the crime - notwithstanding those caught for serious offenses - a large portion of society is chosen for the game, the pursuit, the catch and release...based solely upon your classification in society. If you are a large group within society with potentially great energy and power and your existence threatens the control of government you will be labeled an opponent of that government and the game is on, as in the case of biker MC's. It does not matter if anyone does anything wrong in any given group or MC. The govt. will create laws which make you seem wrong in order to initiate their control over any group in society.
Draw the diagram in your head: Drug Stores on one side of the street,police on other,court and govt on other side and corporate figureheads. Also add govt indentured slaves like state workers, factory workers and small local govt workers - That's society! (Churches have lost their higher level in society). Drug stores can sell the drugs, drugs which kill, injure,maim thousands each year. Police can don a uniform over themselves while covering up criminal activity they themselves witness or may commit, courts keep the wheels turning for the second largest industry in NYS: PRISONS(govt jobs is the largest NYS industry);government will continue to protect the corporate figureheads interests and the citizen slave is compelled to work for survival under the foot of the system...where does that leave a free spirit, a patriot, a lone wolf, a biker or MC's and Groups? NoOne should be compelled to be like someone else in order to be accepted. That's how the govt initiates the numbers game. They depict themselves so far from the likes of certain people so they can demean, victimize and judge that segment of society. Until bikers become government officials and judges and as long as the govt is based upon plutocracy and elitism negative numbers will be issued against the bikers in an attempt to extricate them from society. That is called "American cultural genocide" - because the american biker is a part of an integral cultural fabric of America! Its actually as simple and yet complex as that. How many have been actually told "your number's up"? During hard economic times the govt will seek expansions in govt. and its industries. Trickle down govt instruction will activate the discriminatory point system and the authorities will begin harvesting stereotyped citizens for new numbers. That requires the passing of new laws which restrict lifestyles and freedom and those who rebel will be eligible for new numbers. A large portion of individuals arrested under this purge are not guilty as charged but guilty of a lesser degree. Nonetheless, they will cop-out by the thousands thereby fulfilling the needs of the govt. to cleanse and control society. Those who take their case to trial will succeed ONLY IF they are willing to lie more than the prosecutor and police WILL. Its true, the innocent are compelled by the system to lie in order to avoid being renumbered! That is because a jury is the prosecutors greatest enemy! The authorities do not protect our constitutional rights - We do!
Without our constitutional rights and a jury trial to challenge the acts and agressions of the govt. we would live under martial law in a police state. Remember the Principle: "In a court of law, whoever tells the best story wins. Innocence really has no bearing".
Spirit of Biker Brotherhood
Bikers Against Discrimination
Promote Bikers Rights

Govt. Gangs Envy Motorcycle Clubs

Hammerin' Hank's Editorial
As each day passes we find the govt.gang attempting to web the biker & common man into necessary services which require taxation, dues/fees from each of us or we cannot peacefully survive. They have agencies (sub-gangs) which extort, threaten, monitor and punish bikers & citizens who neglect their duties to the govt. gang. If you do not comply with the sub-gangs compelling influence the police-gang are called in to harrass, annoy and arrest you after careful classifications are made through the media to insure the rest of the slaves in society believe you are unworthy of freedom.
I recently did a random survey involving 150 citizens (ages 17 to 72) who I asked : "Are motorcycle Clubs illegal"? A shocking 7 out of 150 stated MC's were a legal entity in some way licensed by the state. 143 people stated that motorcycle clubs are illegal and most went on to in some way say that is why police are always harrassing or arresting members of MC's. I asked the same 150 if the Eagles Club or Kiwanis Club is a legal club. 148 said yes (without hesitation) and 2 shrugged saying "I think so".
I tested another question: "Do police & firemen have motorcycle clubs?" 124 stated yes,9 stated no and 17 scoffed how that would be funny when motorcycle clubs are illegal...I then asked those 17 if they have heard of Rolling Thunder and they said yes (seen them on tv or thru media)and they got quiet feeling stupid.
How is it possible that the common citizen is unaware of somthing as simple as the legality of motorcycle clubs and associations?
The answer: Citizens have been trained to inwardly believe organizing in any way is an act against the govt. gang and that training derives from the intentional media-fed biased and discriminatory misinformation against bikers provided by the govt. gang to surpress a particular group in society like motorcycle clubs and bikers and as a way to segregate, attack and disfranchise that group of americans from their civil & constitutional rights. The Govt. gang envies the spirit of the American Biker-the brotherhood, discipline,honor, respect,family structure of the motorcycle clubs and the power they possess with their machine/motorcycle.
The MC represents freedom and liberty - an American ideal betrayed by career govt gang members who,themselves,live an entirely different lifestyle than all of whom they claim to represent. They cannot live up to the ideals and dreams of an American and so are simply jealous of any breed of people in society who are closer to the natural flow of life - its conflicts,its struggle,its creations - like the American Biker. All week the headlines read "Obama meets with the "Gang of 6" - To convince 6 Congressmen in charge of Finance to help pass the Health Care Bill. Everything "up there" is "gang of 8","gang of 6","gang of 4" and they smile with glee over cocktails how they are really a "gang" running shit. AND THEY ARE! While true americans are struggling against the demands of the govt. sub-gangs structured solely to keep the biker & citizen subservant to the will of the Govt. Gang. While they negatively classify us their acts and deeds clearly classify them as the true illicit "Gang"!
Hank McGrath is Director of Spirit of Biker Brotherhood & Exec. Dir. of Bikers Against Discrimination (B.A.D.)

'Hogettes' make mark to boost Harley-Davidson sales

(News From Down Under)
Off the Wire News - General News
WOMEN RIDERS: Cathy Barry (left) and Sue Van Den-Ende are two of Rockhampton's Harley riders. Pic: Rob Maccoll
Mark Solomons
FEMALE riders are boosting the flagging fortunes of Harley-Davidson in Queensland as increasing numbers of women buy the luxury machines in a quest for independence and self-expression.
Harley-Davidson dealers say the number of sales and inquiries from women is up and owners' groups report rising female membership.
"We sell one in three of our bikes to females," said Geoff Trewin, owner of Rocky Harley-Davidson in Rockhampton.
"A lot of husbands are buying them for their wives. And divorced females is a big market for Harley."
Customers would spend an average of $27,000 on a bike, another $3000 or $4000 on accessories and $2000 on clothing, he said.
Last year was a dismal one for Harley globally, with sales 40 per cent lower in the December quarter giving the company its first quarterly loss since 1993. In Australia, sales in Queensland fell by an estimated 20 or 30 per cent last year, making it the worst-performing state.
But dealers report that sales have improved in January and an established trend of rising female interest has continued. "Sales to women are fabulous," said Phil Beaumont, sales manager at Morgan & Wacker in Brisbane.
Cathy Barry, 44, a Rockhampton nurse, spent $38,000 on a Harley in 2007 following an initial contact with the local Harley Owners Group through its charity work.
"I had breast cancer in 2003 and the Harley chapter took me on a ride and they were so warm and welcoming and I loved being on the bike so much," she said. "I decided that once the chemotherapy was over I would get my own bike."
Ms Barry is now the head of Ladies of Harley in Rockhampton, the female branch of the Harley Owners Group. She says women – mostly in their 30s and older and including a number of divorcees – account for about a quarter of the local HOG membership of 110.
Original article...,20797,26647073-3102,00.html?from=public_rss

Alpha Biker dot Com

Below is 1 of our Support Show`s
January 31, 2010 Edition

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The New Year is on its way and we here at are getting ready for the new season. We are committed to bringing you the best news and information from the American Biker world. We will provide you regular updates on what is happening via this newsletter and our social networking sites (myspace & facebook).

"The Daily Rider" - Recent Headline News
New Hampshire politician proposes new helmet law... Authorities "Down Under" demand MC clubhouse fence be torn down... Sturgis annexation continues... Code citations shut down clubhouse... Buffalo Chip gears up for 2010 rally... MCs come to blows with hammers and crowbars... Am-Jam bikers say bye-bye to Cobleskill... Nebraska makes another attempt to repeal helmet law... MSU develops tattoo matching technology... Washington Motorcyclists ask for fair treatment.

This is just a sample of what you can find at in our "Daily Rider" virtual newspaper.
Biker Lowdown Radio Show - Show Happenings
During the past few weeks we have covered a number of biker rights issues across the country, as well as interviewed some cool characters in the American Biker world. In our recent shows we talked with members of Bikers of Lesser Tolerance (B.O.L.T.), ABATE, Massachusetts Motorcyclists Association (MMA) and other rights organizations. Biker Celebrities include Johnny from Strip Club Choppers, comedian Daryl Makk, musicians Geneva & Baker, female custom bike builder Athena from Vagabond Choppers, poet Sorez the Scribe,and author of "Bikers are Animals" Paul Jamiol... just to name a few.
Alpha Biker dot Com - Website Updates
Version 2.0 rolled out without a hitch... and his been growing content each week. We have completely renovated our "Link Library" so that you can easily access any content on the web related to American Bikers. Our Latest addition, the Alpha Biker "Known Associate Network" is growing quickly. We thank everyone who has participates and helps us grow... this is going to be a fun ride. We have also just expanded to include a section for "Bikers Against Discrimination". Many more updates on that section and topic to follow.

Peace & Motorcycle Grease,
Preacher Chuck D.
Co-Host, Biker Lowdown Radio Shows

New Jersey Motorcycle Helmet Law.htm

Sent to to me by 1 of our Freedom Fighters,Very good reading.!!!!

Title 39. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations. Subtitle 1. motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws. Chapter 3. Motor Vehicles. Article 3. Equipment. Section 39:3-76.7. Protective Helmet of Proper Size To Be Worn By Operator and Passenger . . . :
"a. No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a securely fitted protective helmet of a size proper for that person and of a type approved by the director. . . ."
"NJ statute dictates a fine not exceeding $25 for violation of the helmet "law". And, as you know, no points are issued. As a matter of fact, basically all statutes that fall under Article 3 of the Motor Vehicle code in NJ are non-moving violations and are NOT subject to points." --Dave DeCillis
Thanks Dave. I gotta tell you, though; there are a lot of places around the country that would see $25 as not much of a deterrant to riding without a helmet, and I'm frankly surprised that New Jersey isn't one of the more active areas of the United States in the fight to get rid of the law . . . particularly since your statutes call for a "list", and there will never be a "list" of helmets "approved by the director". (see below)
Title 39. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations. Subtitle 1. motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws. Chapter 3. Motor Vehicles. Article 3. Equipment. Section 39:3-76.7. Protective Helmet of Proper Size To Be Worn By Operator and Passenger . . . :
"The director is authorized and empowered to adopt rules and regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder. For the purposes of this section, motorcycle shall not include any three-wheeled motor vehicle equipped with a single cab with glazing enclosing the occupant, seats similar to those of a passenger vehicle or truck, seat belts and automotive steering.
b. The director shall not assess motor vehicle points for the failure of a motorcycle operator or rider to wear a protective helmet.
See the update below.
From our beginning in 1993, it has been the position of the Helmet Law Defense League that all helmet laws are unconstitutional , in the absence of clear guidelines on how to comply with the statute -- like with a list of "approved helmets."
If a state, any state, cannot answer the question:
"How can a motorcyclist comply,
with certainty ,
with the provisions of the helmet law?"
that state's statute(s) requiring the wearing of
a "helmet," "safety helmet," or "protective headgear"
is unconstitutionally vague.
Although the New Jersey Legislature may believe that they can authorize the "director" to establish and maintain such a list, the director is confined, by law, to adopting only those standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE MAKING OR MAINTINING A LIST OF APPROVED HELMETS!
If the director has exceeded his authority and adopted anything other than Federal Motor Vehicle Standard (FMVSS) 218 -- including compiling and maintaining a list -- the New Jersey helmet law can be successfully challenged on that basis alone, and removed. (see Juvenile Products v. Edmisten, 568 F.Supp. 714 (1983))
If the director had adopted FMVSS 218, which the law insists that he ultimately must, the New Jersey helmet law is thereby rendered unconstitutionally vague and can be challenged on that basis, and removed. (see Washington v. Maxwell , 74 WASH.APP. 688, 878 P.2D 1220 (1994))
We believe that if you will write to the "director" for New Jersey and ask for the list -- tell them you are attempting to determine how to comply with the helmet law, "with certainty" -- someone can take whatever answer (or, more likely, a refusal to answer) to the courts, and New Jersey bikers will be 100% FREE of the helmet law!
The Helmet Law Defense League is looking for a volunteer from New Jersey who knows the history of the helmet law in New Jersey (going back at least 15 years) to write that history down in article form and get it to us so we can post it here.
In a victory for motorcyclists, the law firm of Jerry Friedman, Esq. has succeeded in having New Jersey's helmet law declared unconstitutional!
On Friday, October 26, 2001, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge William Gilroy banned the enforcement of New Jersey's motorcycle helmet law in the case of Buist v. State of New Jersey.
Mr. Buist and his passenger were issued tickets on July 1, 2001 in the Boro of Manasquan for wearing illegal helmets. New Jersey's helmet law only allows motorcyclists to wear helmets from a list approved by the Director of New Jersey's Division of Motor Vehicles that meet certain specifications. In the lawsuit, Mr. Buist claimed that Motor Vehicles has never created such a list and that New Jersey's helmet specifications are contrary to those adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Mr. Buist and his passenger were represented in the case by Jerry Friedman, a Marlton attorney, who specializes in representing motorcyclists. According to Friedman, Motor Vehicle's failure to adopt the federal helmet specifications renders the helmet law unconstitutional. The federal helmet specifications were adopted in 1973 under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which provides for uniform national regulation of motor vehicle safety equipment. Judge Gilroy found that the federal standards pre-empted the New Jersey's specifications and banned the enforcement of the helmet law pending adoption by Motor Vehicles of helmet specifications consistent with the federal law.
The Judge banned the enforcement of the helmet law until Motor Vehicle adopts helmet specifications consistent with the federal law. That could take 6-8 months during which you can ride without a helmet, if you so choose.
Be advised that police departments around the State may not hear about the decision right away. Although the Judge entered his decision on October 26, 2001, a formal Order memorializing the decision will not be available for about ten (10) days. The effective date of the ban will be the date of the Order. If you ride without a helmet before the Order is signed, you may be issued a ticket. You would then have to go to Municipal Court and make the legal argument contained in the Memorandum referred to below and inform the municipal Court Judge that enforcement of the law has been banned by Judge Gilroy in Monmouth County.
If you receive a ticket after the Order is signed, you would then have to go to Municipal Court and produce a copy of the Order which will be available through my office.
I am requesting the Judge to order Motor Vehicle to advise all police departments, municipal courts and the State police about the ban in order to lessen the issuance of tickets after the ban takes effect.
However, Judge Gilroy did not ban prosecution of helmet tickets issued prior to his decision. If you are waiting to go to court on a helmet ticket, you should make the legal argument contained in the Memorandum referred to below and inform the municipal Court Judge that since the issuance of your ticket, the enforcement of the law has been banned by Judge Gilroy in Monmouth County.
In the lawsuit, Buist requested that the court certify the Complaint as a class action seeking the return of monies paid as fines by individuals in municipal court on tickets for wearing an "illegal" helmet since adoption of the federal specifications. Unfortunately, the Judge denied the request. However, those individuals may still be entitled to a return of their money for the fine and costs.
If, since 1973, you received a ticket under New Jersey's helmet law, N.J.S.A. 3:76.7, and either plead guilty or were found guilty, you can make an application to the municipal court in the township where you received the ticket for "Post Conviction Relief" under New Jersey Court Rule 7:10-2.
The steps and forms that follow will assist you if you want to seek a return of the money you paid in fines and costs.
New Jersey Court Rule 7:10-2 requires that you file a "Petition for Post Conviction Relief" with the municipal court in the town where you received the ticket. The Petition must contain certain information. If you do not have all of the information, you may obtain it from the municipal court clerk's office. You will need the following information:
(A) the date and summons number of the ticket you received and the name of the town where you went to court;
(B) the date you plead or were found guilty, the amount of the fine and costs you paid, and the name of the municipal court judge;
(C) If you took an appeal from the municipal court, the docket number of the appeal, with a copy of the appellate decision attached;
(D) any prior post conviction relief proceedings you may have taken relating to the tickets, including the date and nature of the claim and the date and nature of disposition, and whether an appeal was taken from those proceedings and, if so, the judgment on appeal;
(E) the name of counsel, if any, representing you in any prior proceeding relating to the tickets, and whether you had you own attorney or the public defender; and
(F) whether you are presently in jail as a result of the tickets.
Once you have all of the information, you must prepare a Petition. Here is a sample of a completed Petition. A blank Petition follows which you may print-out and fill in with the information for your case. You do not need to type in the information. You may hand write it if you so choose. Mail the Petition along with the Memorandum that follows to the Municipal Court where you received the ticket with a cover letter like the one that follows the Memorandum.
After you file, the municipal prosecutor has 30 days to file an answer or move to dismiss your petition. If he moves to dismiss, he must give you ten days notice before the hearing date of the notice to dismiss. The judge will hear the motion to dismiss in open court. Be there to assert your position. If the prosecutor does not move to dismiss, he will file an answer and the court will schedule a hearing to decide on your petition.
At the hearing, the prosecutor may argue, or the judge may ask, why you didn't bring up the constitutional argument about the helmet law when you were in court on the ticket. Your best response would be that you were unaware of the constitutional issue at the time and that you now know the helmet laws is no good because it was recently struck down in court. Besides, your not a lawyer who would understand the nature of a constitutional issue.
Rule 7:10-2 provides that the Petition for relief should be granted if:
the grounds for relief could not reasonably be asserted at the prior hearing (the argument in the paragraph above); or
denial of the relief sought would result in fundamental injustice; or
denial of the relief sought would be contrary to the Constitution of the United States.
You should argue that all three of these apply and any one of them would be enough.

If you win, the court will return your fine and costs paid on the ticket.

Study: Distracted driving laws don't stop crashes

AP Technology Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new insurance industry study has found that state laws banning the use of handheld devices to make calls or send text messages while driving have not resulted in fewer vehicle crashes.
The study, released Friday by the Highway Loss Data Institute, examined insurance claims from crashes before and after such bans took effect in California, New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.
The organization found that claims rates did not go down after the laws were enacted. It also found no change in patterns compared with nearby states without such bans.
Adrian Lund, the group's president, said the finding doesn't bode well "for any safety payoff from all the new laws."
Six states and the District of Columbia ban talking on a hand-held device for all drivers, while 19 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
The Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said its findings "don't match what we already know about the risk of phoning and texting while driving" and said it is gathering data to "figure out this mismatch."
It said one explanation could be an increase in the use of handsfree devices in places with bans on handset use while driving.
Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the governors association, said the new study "raises as many questions as it answers." The group is concerned that bans on handheld devices simply encourage more drivers to use handsfree devices, which, it says, are just as risky.
The governors association is urging states to pass texting bans, but hold off on banning other cell phone use while driving until there is more data. The National Safety Council, meanwhile, supports a total ban on cell phone use while driving, including the use of handsfree devices.
In the Senate, Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey have introduced a bill that would reduce federal highway aid by 25 percent to states that don't pass laws banning texting by all drivers.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also has been campaigning against texting and cell phone use while driving. In a blog post Friday, LaHood dismissed the new study's conclusions as irresponsible and said the study will lead people "to wrongly conclude that talking on cell phones while driving is not dangerous."
"At this early stage in our work against distracted driving, no one should be discouraging strong nationwide efforts to make our roadways safer," LaHood wrote. "Unfortunately, a study released by the Highway Loss Data Institute casts doubt on the reality of this epidemic."
Earlier this week, the Transportation Department banned truck and bus drivers from sending text messages on hand-held devices while operating commercial vehicles of more than 10,000 pounds. Federal employees are also prohibited from texting while driving government-owned vehicles or using government-owned equipment.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010


I have heard several reports recently of riders being pulled over, and had their bike and papers inspected. The reason given for the pull-over, is that "they had no rear reflector on their bike".

Many people who rebuild their bikes neglect to replace the rear reflector....and yet the law requires one.
(a) Every vehicle shall be equipped with at least one reflector
so maintained as to be plainly visible at night from all distanceswithin 350 to 100 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of the lawful upper headlamp beams.So
the law ( CVC24607 ) does not say how big it must be, just has to be seen from 350 to 100 feet.

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Officials want more money from L.A. speeders, parking violators. Is this a good way to balance budget?
January 27, 2010 | 8:38 am

State and city officials are turning to traffic violations in their effort to balance budgets.
Earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan to give cities and counties the green light to install speed sensors on red-light cameras to catch -- and ticket -- speeding cars. Those whizzing by the radar-equipped detectors at up to 15 mph over the limit would have to pay $225 per violation. Those going faster would be fined $325. The state estimated it would generate $337.9 million through June 2011.
Now, Rick Orlov is reporting that Los Angeles "is quietly seeking a change in state law that would allow the Department of Transportation to put the Denver boot on cars that have three outstanding tickets instead of the five now required." This could generate $61 million in revenues for the city.
What do you think? Should the city and state try to get more money from parking and traffic violators?

Share your views below.
-- Shelby Grad
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

More in: Talk back

Biker convicted of leaving passenger who fell off

Off the Wire News - General News The Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A Minnesota man has been found guilty of leaving behind a passenger who fell off his motorcycle and died in Volusia County.

Prosecutors say 42-year-old Donald Floyd Deeble Jr. was convicted Friday of leaving the scene of crash involving death.

Authorities say Deeble was going about 70 mph through South Daytona in December 2008 when the bike veered left into a guardrail, throwing 36-year-old Joanna M. Ratzlaff into the oncoming lane. Witnesses say Deeble restarted the motorcycle and rode away.

Ratzlaff was pronounced dead and the scene, and Deeble was arrested later at a Port Orange home where he had been staying.

Deeble faces up to 30 years in prison.
Original article...

U.S. Department of Defense Engages Motorcycle Safety Foundation to Conduct Focus Groups

Off the Wire News - General News IRVINE, Calif.--As the popularity of motorcycling and motorcycle registrations continues to rise among military service personnel, so does the number of fatal motorcycle crashes. That is why the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to seek out aggressive countermeasures in the campaign against two-wheel Private Motor Vehicle (PMV) mishaps among military personnel, and military sport bike riders in particular.
“We’re honored to be part of the Department of Defense’s ongoing efforts to make motorcycle riding safer for military service personnel”
To that end, the DoD has engaged the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to conduct four focus groups for the Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) PMV Task Force. The focus groups will take place at different locations across the United States in close proximity to military installations. The participants will represent the dominant motorcycling culture in the military that is statistically at highest risk, primarily sport bike riders. Officers and commissioned personnel will be sampled separately to ensure that command structure perspectives are also considered. The initiative is being implemented through the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE), operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC).
“This initiative falls in line with the PMV Task Force’s strategic plan for the overall reduction of PMV mishaps across the Department of Defense,” said Major General Fred Roggero, DSOC PMV Task Force Chair. “These focus groups have the potential to identify core issues, target initiatives and ultimately save lives.”

In 2008, a small focus group was conducted by Al Hydeman, MSF’s director, research, design and development, with service members who were sport bike riders.
“That focus group was successful in identifying the habits, behaviors and attitudes inherent to this population,” said MG Roggero.
The projected team for the new series of focus groups will be led by Hydeman, and will include MSF’s Director, Quality Assurance and Research, Dr. Sherry Williams and Quality Assurance Specialist, David Crouch. Building on the results from the 2008 effort, the MSF team will plan, coordinate and conduct the four focus groups in order to identify attitudes toward motorcycling and motorcycling peers, effectiveness of current countermeasures, barriers to change, and other relevant feedback.
“We’re honored to be part of the Department of Defense’s ongoing efforts to make motorcycle riding safer for military service personnel,” said Hydeman. “Conducting focus groups is an effective way to get past the stereotypes and focus on core issues and solutions.”
The project’s expected outcome is to provide guidance to the DoD in identifying the most effective means of reducing military motorcyclist fatalities and mishaps for all branches of the service – through technology, education, enforcement, and other areas as illuminated by focus group participants.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes rider safety through rider training systems, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been internationally recognized since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations, call (800) 446-9227 or visit
Original article...

Man accidentally lights himself on fire in Newark cleaning motorcycle parts

Off the Wire News - General News First...
By Sharon Adarlo/The Star-Ledger
January 16, 2010, 1:57PM

NEWARK -- A man was in critical condition Friday night when he accidentally lit himself on fire with a cigarette while cleaning motorcycle parts and unintentionally splashed himself with gasoline, authorities said.
The incident occurred at 7:57 p.m. at a residence on 14th Avenue near South 19th Street where a man was cleaning motorcycle parts when he splashed himself with gasoline, said Newark Fire Chief Michael Lalor.
Google Maps14th Avenue near South 19th Street in Newark, where the incident occurredHe then lit a cigarette and accidentally lit himself on fire, Lalor said. Relatives rushed over and put the flames out.
The man suffered second and third degree burns to his fingers, arms, legs and stomach and was rushed to the burn center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Lalor said.
Original article...

Harley-Davidson unveils new motorcycle, the Forty-Eight

Off the Wire News - General News
Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight
Related links
WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson unveiled a new motorcycle Friday; a motorcycle that is part of the Sportster lineup. It's called the Forty-Eight and is part of Harley's Dark Custom series.
There are a few items which set the Forty-Eight apart from the rest of the Sportster lineup. There's the beefy, 16-inch front tire. The mirrors on the bike hang below the handlebars. And the gas tank is a 2.1 gallon peanut-style tank.
Why is the bike called the Forty-Eight? Harley put the first peanut-style gas tank on a 1948 edition motorcycle.
Original article...,0,1801601.story?track=rss

B.O.L.T. (Bikers of Lesser Tolerance) Chapters

B.O.L.T. (Bikers of Lesser Tolerance) Chapters

B.O.L.T. USA : National Website : Excellent forum for staying on top of rights issues (Biker Lowdown Guest)

B.O.L.T. : California (Biker Lowdown Guest)

B.O.L.T. : Nevada

B.O.L.T. : North & South Carolina (Biker Lowdown Guest)

Hells Angels: Police Confirm Partnership & Cost

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News Some commentary... more news from down under on the clubhouse fence issue...
Police have confirmed today that they will partner the Wanganui District Council in making an application to the Wanganui District Court to remove the gang fortifications at the Hells Angels compound in Kaikokopu Road.
They will also share any financial costs 50/50.
Mayor Michael Laws today spoke with Central Districts Regional Commander, Superintendent Russell Gibson, and both men agreed that the costs of a legal application "are to be split and are unlikely to be expensive".
"We both employ in-house legal counsel and the new legislation is relatively precise. It is not a large sum of money involved to lodge an application. Certainly less than $5,000 in total and our cost is only half that."
Mayor Laws said that the council's 'no tolerance' policy with gangs "means that this issue will proceed sooner rather than later. The council's lawyer will talk to Police counsel within the next week".
Original article...

Fonda recalls 'Easy Rider' trip to screen

Off the Wire News - General News
No shortage of stories about classic road film

By Nina Metz, Special to the Tribune

When I rang up Peter Fonda at his home in Los Angeles last week, he asked me to call back in five minutes. "I'm in the middle of negotiating with these guys," he said. He later explained that he had been on the other line hammering out details for a role in what he described as a "family movie."

"I'm a lucky actor," he said, and a quick look at his Internet Movie Database page bears that out. Fonda, who turns 70 next month, has four films listed for 2010 that are in preproduction or post-production.

But on this day, our conversation was focused on perhaps his most famous movie, 1969's "Easy Rider," which is being screened in multiple showings this weekend at the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema in Woodridge and the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville.

Fonda is flying into town to introduce the movie at each screening and field questions from the audience. On the phone he proved to be an affable conversationalist. He is a '60s renegade not afraid to use a corny word like "jeepers," and he displayed a ripe sense of humor about some of his younger antics — he once attended a press tour barefoot (although the suit was bespoke and the tie Hermes).

No doubt he has told stories about the making of "Easy Rider" countless times, but there was nothing weary or rote about his anecdotes. Some 40 years after the fact, the film still has a hold on his imagination.

The beginning: During a 1967 visit to Toronto promoting his role in Roger Corman's "The Trip," Fonda retired to his motel room ("which was pretty seedy") to sign publicity stills from "The Trip" and his previous film "Wild Angels."

"I came across an 8-by-10 of me and Bruce Dern, and in the middle of it Dernsy and I are on my motorcycle from 'Wild Angels,' and we were backlit in profile, just a total silhouette of two guys on a motorcycle.

"And suddenly it came smashing into my mind: That's it. It's not about 100 Hells Angels on their way to a Hells Angel funeral; it's about two guys riding across John Ford's West and they're going to Florida to retire. And I started making the story up, and I started with the ending and worked my way back."

"This'll shake the cage," is what Fonda remembers thinking. "When I fleshed it out a little more I called Hoppy" — that would be Dennis Hopper — "and I told him the story and he said, 'Man, this is great, what do you want to do with it?' And I said, 'You direct, I produce, we'll both write and act in it to save money.'" Fonda was 28 when they made the film, with a shooting budget of $252,000.

The music: "Dennis chose all the music, and I thought it was a bit of genius," Fonda said. "It was both of our record collections. Not only were they great tunes, but it was traveling music. It wasn't abstract music over a scene. The lyrics were specifically commenting on each scene."

I asked Fonda how much they paid for the music rights. I had read a figure that cited a $1 million price tag, which he disputed. "We paid everybody a thousand bucks. Everybody in Steppenwolf got a thousand bucks. Everybody got paid and they were very happy." Fonda recalled running into some of the musicians at an airport, where they greeted him with a hearty: "Hey, Fonda, you kept us in pot all year long!"

Speaking of which: Those are real joints being passed around the campfire. "It never even occurred to me to pretend. I didn't like smoking cigarettes, I had quit three years earlier. And Dennis, Jack (Nicholson) and I all smoked pot, so I provided the pot. … And I'd roll it up and pass it on to Jack, and Jack got royally bombed. When you see that scene, he loses his line at one point. He was just puffing on the thing on autopilot and he was stoned. If we had said to Jack, 'We want you to give us a stoner moment,' he would have thought about it and it wouldn't have been half as good. It couldn't have been sweeter."

Peter Fonda will be at the Hollywood Palms Cinema on Saturday (screenings at 4, 6, 8 and 10 p.m.), and at the Hollywood Blvd. Cinema on Friday (screenings at 7 and 9 p.m.) and Sunday (screenings at 4, 6 and 8 p.m.). For more info, go to

Animation for adults
The New Animation Showcase at Chicago Filmmakers on Saturday includes 16 short films that run the gamut in terms of style and theme. It's a mixed bag, but I was bowled over by "Western Spaghetti," a stop-motion bit of whimsy about cooking that hilariously substitutes household items (yellow Post-It notes as a pat of butter, rubber bands as cooked pasta, etc.). Also a must-see is "Chicory 'n' Coffee," which brings to mind an Old World, sepia-toned version of the first five minutes of "Up." For more info go to

Bad movies and more
B-Fest, the 24-hour marathon of B-movies held annually at Northwestern University (from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday), is part sleep-over, part audience participation event in which the audience is encouraged to holler wisecracks at the screen. The lineup includes a midnight showing of "Plan 9 From Outer Space." If you go, the fest recommends you bring a pillow, a flashlight, a sleeping bag, a toothbrush, toothpaste and cash for meals in the cafeteria. For more info go to

Blast from the past
Not quite 20 years ago Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis set up camp in Woodstock for the filming of "Groundhog Day" (1993). The town's brief but enduring moment of celebrity (standing in for Punxsutawney, Pa.) has sustained its annual Groundhog Day celebrations, which include a walking tour of the movie's locations and free screenings of the film at the Woodstock Theatre at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more info go to or and click on "special events."

Nina Metz is a Tribune special contributor. Send items for Chicago Close-up to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Motorcycle helmet repeal issue returns to Legislature

Off the Wire News - Biker Rights Issues Like "Rocky" and "Saw," the issue of repealing Nebraska's motorcycle helmet law is back.
Senators likely will debate another version of helmet repeal legislation early this year.
On Tuesday, four members of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee voted to send the bill to the full Legislature. Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha was not at the meeting, but he is expected to cast the fifth vote needed.
"I anticipate the bill will move to the floor and get debate," said Valentine Sen. Deb Fischer, chairwoman of the committee.
Since 1989, when the state's helmet law began, there have been annual attempts to have it repealed, although not every bill made it to the floor for debate. This decade senators have debated a helmet repeal bill on the floor at least twice, most recently in 2008 when the repeal measure fell two votes short of getting first-round approval.
This repeal bill (LB200), introduced last year and carried over to this session, would eliminate the helmet requirement for drivers and passengers at least 21 years old.
The original version of the bill allows a younger driver to go without a helmet after passing a motorcycle safety course. But Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, sponsor of the bill, said he will seek an amendment that will limit the repeal to drivers 21 and older. That avoids an estimated $32,000 in programming costs so licenses of minors who passed the class would say, "helmet not required," Janssen said.
Janssen said he is not a motorcyclist. "I don't ride, and if I did I would wear a helmet."
But he believes that is a personal choice. Motorcyclists who supported him and rode in parades during his campaign had to wear helmets even at those low speeds, he said.
One argument he expects to hear -- that people not wearing helmets who are injured will cost taxpayers -- is a bad one and not true, he said.
Currently 31 states allow motorcyclists to make that decision, whether to wear a helmet or not. That's one more state than a year ago, Janssen said.
Reach Nancy Hicks at 473-7250 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Original article...

Helmet bill draws hundreds to hearing

Off the Wire News - Biker Rights Issues By TOM FAHEY

State House Bureau Chief A large crowd turned out yesterday to argue against a bill that would require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

More than 250 people took seats in Representatives Hall, almost all of them in protest of the bill. Helmet bills are filed nearly every year and have been regularly defeated. Sponsors of HB 1162 told the House Transportation Committee the bill would lead to fewer serious head injuries on the highways and save the state money on medical care in the long run.

New Hampshire is one of three states that do not require a motorcyclist to wear a helmet.

Opponents of the bill protested what they said is an effort to control their behavior.

"I don't believe it is your job to take care of me, to protect me from myself," said John Wilkins of Gilmanton. "A stupid driver or rider is just as stupid with a helmet on as with a helmet off." Katherine Dawson, chairman of the Tilton Board of Selectmen, was one of few members of the public to testify in favor of the bill. She and her husband were in a motorcycle accident several years ago, she said. She wore a helmet, her husband did not, and he ran up a $500,000 hospital bill after being airlifted, she said.
"He'll never walk again. He'll never speak again. He'll never be himself again," she said.
The state could face sanctions that would cost it federal highway dollars if it did not adopt a helmet law.
Dave Benson of Nashua, who said he drives more cautiously when he rides without a helmet, urged the committee to tell the government: "Let us keep our freedom, and you can keep the change."

Original article...

Utah Senate: No helmet flags for dirt bikers

Utah Senate: No helmet flags for dirt bikers
Associated Press - January 29, 2010 1:35 PM ET

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Dirt bikers and off-road-vehicle drivers won't be
allowed to attach a flag to their helmets in Utah instead of on a pole on
their vehicles when they're riding on certain sand dunes.
Democratic West Valley City Sen. Brent Goodfellow says long poles sometimes
hit people in a crowd and aren't always visible to other riders because they
bend down when they're in motion.
But Goodfellow's measure to allow the helmet option failed to gain enough
support in the Senate on Friday.
Senate Bill 19 fell two votes short shy of the number of needed to send it
to the House.
6 of the Senate's 29 members were absent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bikers of America/ The Phil and Bill Show

Upcoming Episodes
Bikers Of America/ The Phil and Bill Show
Bikers of America/Blog
Date / Time: 2/4/2010 6:00PM Pac/9PM Est
Category: Politics
Call-in Number: (347) 826-7753

Show Notes.
A hardcore biker rights talk show that hits like a bored and stroked big twin! Join us each week as we give you straight talk on what is happening to bikers on the left coast... and what YOU can do to join the cause! Show tune in Check Us Out!!!!

Upcoming Episodes
2/11/2010 6:00 PM - Bikers Of America/ The Phil and Bill show
2/18/2010 6:00 PM - Bikers Of America/ The Phil and Bill show
2/25/2010 6:00 PM - Bikers Of America/ The Phil and Bill show

Pittsburgh OKs $50K 'Middle Finger' Settlement

I found this from a previous e-mail,thought I would share with you!!!

Pittsburgh OKs $50K 'Middle Finger' Settlement
Posted: 3:02 pm EST November 23, 2009
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh City Council has tentatively approved paying $50,000 to settle a free speech lawsuit filed by a man cited for giving a city police officer the middle finger.Thirty-five-year-old David Hackbart, of Butler, made the gesture at a driver in April 2006, then did it again when someone yelled at him -- realizing only later the second person was a police officer.The American Civil Liberties Union sued saying Hackbart's gesture was constitutionally protected speech. A federal judge postponed a September trial indefinitely at the request of attorneys on both sides.Council gave initial approval to the settlement Tuesday, but must vote again next week to finally approve the payment.No court documents settling the case have been filed.

Lawyer urges probation or short jail sentence for Hell's Angels member

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News By Keith Fraser, The Province
A lawyer for Randy Potts, a member of the Hells Angels who pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking offences, says Potts should be sentenced to either a period of probation or a short jail term.

In December, Potts, a full-patch member of the East End chapter of the notorious motorcycle club, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce and traffic in methamphetamines and to trafficking in cocaine.

The Crown told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Leask thats Potts, now out on bail, should receive a jail term of 12 years, minus a year for pre-sentence custody.

But on Wednesday, Bonnie Craig, a lawyer for Potts, argued that the judge should consider the accused’s sentencing last year for gun offences when sentencing for the drug crimes.

Potts was sentenced to seven years but due to credit for pre-trial custody, he received a sentence of effectively time served. He has been out on bail since.

Craig told the judge he should also consider Potts’ guilty plea and his “significant” efforts at rehabilitation while in jail awaiting trial.

“How much more time does he need? In my submission, he does not need more time,” Craig said.

She suggested a sentence range of between a period of probation with strict conditions to a period of two years in jail.

The Crown earlier argued that John Punko, Potts’ co-accused, should receive a sentence of 16 years, with the defence arguing that Punko should receive time served.

On Wednesday, the judge told the court he had mistakenly indicated that he could pass sentence on the two men on Friday. He said it might be February or March before he can sentence the two accused.

The pair were arrested in July of 2005 following the RCMP’s Project E-Pandora crackdown on the Hells Angels. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Original article...

Hells Angels HQ Fortifications Will Come Down

Off the Wire News - MCs in the News Some Alpha Biker commentary... more bullshit from Down Under... pay attention... this is coming our way!

You think the state is going to reimburse the club for the fence and the damage that occurs to the property during its removal?

The Wanganui District Council yesterday resolved to partner local Police in applying to the district court for an order to remove the fence fortifications that surround the Hells Angels headquarters in Kaikokopu Road, Wanganui.

The meeting heard from a representative of local residents and from Inspector Duncan MacLeod before making its decision.

Inspector MacLeod reiterated that the Police supported the council's initiative, would partner the council in its court action, and that the fortifications directly impeded the Police from having ready access to the headquarters in executing search warrants and chasing fleeing transgressors.

On a number of occasions, the Police also reported that motorcyclists had evaded apprehension for traffic offences by entering the gang compound.

The council also resolved that Mayor Laws enter discussions with the Police Commissioner and Minister of Police with regard to financially contributing to the legal action.

"That would seem only fair. We want our Police to have the resources to do their job and we are actively assisting them. Certainly the gang patch legislation is already making a visible difference to our city. But this matter is likely to be a test case for the new gang fortification legislation, and a partnership suggests a financial contribution to our costs."

Original article...

Buffalo Chip gears-up for Sturgis 2010

Off the Wire News - Rally & Event News Despite the countless motorcycles still in hibernation in garages across the country, the countdown has officially commenced. Now only over six months out, the Legendary Buffalo Chip has already begun preparations for the 70th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2010. The epicenter and purveyor of the ultimate Sturgis experience; the Legendary Buffalo Chip has once again set out to provide rally-goers an array of entertainment, art, vendors, food, amenities and a myriad of raucous memories.

By bikers and for bikers, The Legendary Buffalo Chip has consistently proven itself as the best party in Sturgis. Synonymous with providing patrons a world-renowned assortment of musical acts, this year's lineup is sure to deliver. Locked, loaded and ready to grace the Chip's infamous main amphitheatre stage is rock and roll luminary, ZZ Top. That little ol' band from Texas is sure to deliver the familiar and intricate riffs that landed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in the hearts of fans the world over. The notoriously bearded blues-rock power trio will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary next year and is looking forward to ringing in this musical achievement with a rowdy crowd of Chipsters.

Another musical powerhouse booked for this year's festivities is hard-hitting American rock band, Disturbed. Since the band's inception in 1996 they have sold over 11 million albums worldwide, making them one of the largest grossing rock bands in recent years. They have also released three consecutive studio albums that have debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

An additional can't-miss attraction at this year's Sturgis Rally Week is Michael Lichter's 10th Annual Motorcycles as Art Exhibit. An internationally renowned exhibition showcasing the works of the most influential master builders and artists in motorcycling, Motorcycles as Art has become the token exhibition of the annual Sturgis Rally. The exhibit curated by legendary motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, has been successfully captivating rally-goers for the past decade and has effectively touched on a variety of relevant and significant themes within the motorcycle community.

Last year's 2009 exhibit entitled "Rebel Rousers- Motorcycle Icons that Inspired Us to Ride" inspired thousands of enthusiasts to come out and witness for themselves an array of revered images and sacred memorabilia central to the biker culture. Quickly becoming the most eagerly anticipated exhibition of its kind, the Motorcycles as Art exhibition provides Sturgis rally-goers with an unforgettable experience. This year's theme soon to be announced, is guaranteed to follow in the rich and unforgettable Motorcycles as Art tradition.

The Third Annual Legends Ride has also been confirmed for Sturgis Rally Week 2010. The Legends Ride is your ticket to join celebrities, world-class bike builders and over 500 riders on a stunning, 50-mile ride from historic Deadwood, SD to the Legendary Buffalo Chip. All proceeds from the ride benefit two local Black Hills charities including the Black Hills Children's Home and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. Within the past two years, the Legends Ride has quickly become the premier charity-celebrity ride of the motorcycling community and has raised nearly $100,000 for local charities. The ride is scheduled for Monday, August 9 with details still being worked out.

The Legendary Buffalo Chip offers visitors the ultimate Sturgis experience- there's really no reason to go anywhere else. The countdown has officially begun so visit now to secure your reservation for Sturgis 2010. Join ZZ Top, Disturbed, Michael Lichter and thousands of rowdy bikers at the Legendary Buffalo Chip for Sturgis Rally Week 2010 and join in the celebration. It's going to be a wild ride!

Original article...

Erik Buell Interview Exclusive

This an exclusive interview... below is a teaser... click the original article link to read the full story at

The demise of Buell Motorcycles shocked the motorcycle industry. Three months after the news hit, many questions remain. For answers MotoUSA asked the man that started it all 26 years ago, Erik Buell. Anyone who has spoken to Erik Buell knows his passion for motorcycles, and sportbikes in particular. Building the American sportbike has been his professional life’s work, and in spite of the crushing news this past October, Buell will continue to support his namesake sportbikes at the helm of Erik Buell Racing.

Original article...

Breed'em Out Campaign Launched

October 28,2009 - NY- Hank McGrath,head of B.A.D.,co-host of BikerLowDown Radio & reporter for NYRider Mag placed an ad in Craiglist seeking "a female of influence" who would exchange affections for political favors.

Hank McGrath,director of B.A.D. (Bikers Against Discrimination), co-host of Biker LowDown Radio and reporter for New York Rider Magazine placed an ad in Craiglist - Albany,New York,Misc Romance section - which read: "I will do anything for..." and went on to say "Mature & healthy biker rights advocate seeks well-connected female for lovin in exchange for political influence. Open to corporate wives,mates,escorts and secret lovers of NYS politicians. Discretion assured."

"I am quite sincere," McGrath said. "Besides being born elite the only way a common man can get into politics and government today or to influence legislation is through sex or money. I have little money," McGrath stated.

Bikers and motorcycle riders have campaigned for years to end discrimination, stigmas, stereotypes and biases against them in violation of their civil & constitutional rights. Unjust laws,policies and governmental propaganda cause bikers and motorcyclists to seem as second class

"Motorcyclists & bikers are not protected in NYS or anywhere else",McGrath stated. "They are unjustly ticketed to fill govt. coffers,harrassed by police,barred from establishments because of the bikers associations,1st Amendment expressions and lifestyle and killed on roadways by untrained reckless cage-drivers - ALL IN A SINGLE DAY! A little love here isnt asking for much",said McGrath.

For more information:
PO Box 211,
Caroga Lake,NY 12032 (518)773-0167

New Members of B.O.L.T

Respectfully They Are,
"Mr.Breeze" Donnie Landsman, Washington State
Phil Horne, North Carolina
John Funderburke, South Carolina
John Dalke, Northern California
Mark Temple wrote A letter like this to me and, I wanted to express those sentiments to you. I changed It some to Welcome Freedom Fighters As you Are!!!

Philip "aka Screwdriver" Heneghan
Proud to be A Member of,

Congratulations on becoming members of Bikers of Lesser Tolerance, USA.
WE appreciate every rider that makes the effort to keep informed of the cutting edge results we are consistently able to achieve, and without the help from involved riders we would not have been able to accomplish what has been done.

Your ability to stand up and prevent your Rights from being taken, results also, in the Rights of others becoming more secure.

More help is needed before Freedom is available for all Motorcyclists. Please help spread the information that is available on the BOLT website, at
The development of your abilities as they relate to BOLT action is our #1 concern.

This information, if widely used, can stop the unconstitutional enforcement practices of police officers in your state. Our recommendations: Teach all these principles to as many riders who will listen.

Push the envelope or the unconstitutional enforcement practices will expand to become a far worse problem.
Learn their rules, then beat them over the head with their own rules.

Thanks for deciding to take this as far as you can. You are all Heroes To Me and riders all over the states.

Congratulations, and thank you, all again. If I can help in any way call or
E-mail me.

Philip Heneghan,
BOLT of California

Erosion of Rights

Pan Editorial Columns - B.O.L.T.'s Editorial The continued erosion of our rights and ongoing interference by the federal government to coerce states to get in line is both perplexing and disgusting.

Whatever happened to the proud possession of State Sovereignty so eloquently proclaimed in 1776 and reaffirmed in 1781? Has the concept of state’s rights vanished and turned into dust? Remember, sovereignty like chastity cannot be surrendered in part. It is indivisible; it is the supreme power of the state.

What our forefathers declared in 1776 was not that we were a free and independent nation or a free and independent people. What they said was, “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”

Although the Declaration of Independence opened with what is termed the “human rights” enunciation, it concluded in the plainest of terms pronouncing the political powers of the newly created states. From the beginning, this was a government of the people and when that government moves away from the control of the people it becomes a great evil and greater restraint upon liberty.

The continued movement toward a centralized government is causing an obliteration of state’s rights. Gladly, some states are standing up and speaking out against such encroachments, specifically dealing with 2nd Amendment rights for instance. More states need to assert their sovereign rights on all matters of creeping federal interventions.

Our system of government was derived from English Law, which ruled by authoritarian rule. Simple men were ruled by and for the benefit of those of higher class distinction. Gentlemen at the top of the ladder still had to submit to the authority of the king, whose power was given by God. Thus you had nobles, gentlemen, tradesmen and finally the masses or common people. This structure was imposed against the will of the people who finally revolted in the 1640’s against King Charles. These were the first effective expressions of resistance against the authority of the crown.

What these civil disobedient commoners were saying was that certain aspects of life, conscience and property among them, were beyond the reach of authority. These were “natural rights”, and this philosophy came to America with dissenters who left England for a new life. Among the most prolific of orators of the time was Englishman John Locke. The conflict of the time involved King Charles and his followers who had formed a Church State, which was opposed by the Calvinists. Locke promoted a separation of church and state, and advised that the clergy attend to men’s souls and leave governing to the state.

Locke went on to write his Four Letters Concerning Toleration essays, which became the bedrock of American thinking. It was not Thomas Jefferson, or Benjamin Franklin or John Adams or any of them who devised the words that inspired our nation. They undoubtedly had read John Locke’s words, such as “Civil interests are life, liberty, health and the possession of outward things such as money and land. It is the duty of the civil magistrate to secure unto all the people in general the just possession of these things.”

Those words were written 86 years before the Declaration of Independence. In John Locke’s view, no person should be excluded because of a religious belief or for that matter for not subscribing to any religious belief. It set the foundation for freedom of religion in America. After the revolution in England in 1688, Locke wrote an essay on Civil Rights. This piece secured the heritage America acquired from England in 1690: habeas corpus, trial by jury and representative government.

It was then that the concept of higher law came to life, with beliefs that the law of God and nature was superior to laws emanating from human authority. We find that evident in the Declaration of Independence as our forefathers invoked natural rights and constitutional prerogatives. What did they borrow from Locke? His essay on Civil Rights contained these prophetic words: “In this state of nature all men are equal in the sense that they are endowed with certain natural, or inalienable rights which no other individual may justifiably infringe.”

Further, Locke wrote down the words that actually justify revolution: “And so, whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any commonwealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people. The social contract, out of which government emerges, therefore is no surrender of individual rights. The fact is citizens bind themselves to allegiance to the laws so long as these laws do not infringe upon the original purpose for which the society was established.”

The founders of our country surely had read John Locke and although they formed their opinions and words around his philosophy, a distinct American philosophy was emerging. Many early ideas were reborn in the Declaration of Independence, and later by other scholars and theologians, including Martin Luther King. Remember King’s letter to the clergy, wherein he proclaimed it a duty to resist unjust laws? Johnathan Mayhew, a pastor at West Church in Boston, wrote “To stand up to tyranny was not rebellion, but rather defense of liberty, and to do less than resist would be to fail in their duty.”

We who call ourselves Freedom Fighters revel in the delights of following in the shadows of such great men, although our sacrifices and the threats to our well being or fortunes are nowhere near the risks taken by these great men. It should be mandatory reading for every Freedom Fighter to take up Thomas Paine’s essay, Common Sense, written in 1775. It was a masterpiece of Whig propaganda, but the opening lines of his essay, The Crisis, ring true even today. “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

With those words of Paine’s in my mind, I cannot help but think of Quig’s constant attempts to lure police and DA’s into his web of judicial connivance. And continuing that legacy, Mark Temple and Dave Stilwell, among others in BOLT too numerous to list here. These Freedom Fighters are not acting as agitators to create disturbance or disorder but rather to secure and put things back in order. They act in the true spirit of the Freedom Fighter of the past, the Minutemen, the guardians of liberty and the bastions of freedom.

I still believe that among the things we cherish most, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that our rights to property and privacy are paramount. We, BOLT, will continue to move forward with our tiny militia, secure in knowing that we are doing the right thing and our cause is just. If it’s only us who understands the issues and are willing to take it to the battlefield, we still have them outnumbered.

- Pan

Anti-association laws defended

Off the Wire News - Biker Rights Issues, Some commentary... I know this is from down under... but pay close attention here... this is coming to a socialist state near you!
The Attorney General Christian Porter has defended the State Government's proposed anti-association laws, saying they will target criminal organisations.

The laws would give police the power to ban people from associating with certain groups, and from visiting some establishments

Perth lawyer Tom Percy QC was one of 500 people who attended a rally against the proposal yesterday, saying it would erode basic civil liberties.

But, Mr Porter has told ABC Local Radio the laws would only be used to combat organised crime.

"You have to show to the relevant standard that an organisation, in this case we say that there are criminal organisations in the form of bikie clubs, that they are a criminal organisation," he said.

However, Mr Percy says the laws are an attack on basic civil liberties and will not just target bikie gangs.

"It's about basic freedoms, but specifically the right to associate with whom you want to associate, it's also about whether the government has the right to take that freedom from us. I say, it hasn't," he said.

He says the laws are draconian and demonstrate the need for a Bill of Rights.

"The fact that this legislation could even be contemplated that we can even think about it in a civilised country in 2010, demonstrates the glaring need in Australia for a constitutional Bill of Rights," he said.

Original article...

Could the Hells Angels be considered a franchise under proposed laws in South Australia, wonders Simon Young.

Off the Wire News - Biker Rights Issues and commentary... Some more news from down under... read between the lines here... a government agency with investigative powers greater than the courts... and outside the courts... sound like some agencies we have here?... think they are learning from or partnering with the U.S. government?... read on...

Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the proposed South Australian franchising law introduced into that state's Parliament last month, one question being asked is whether the proposal will improve dispute resolution.

The franchising industry has undergone three separate inquiries in the past three years; by the Western Australian government, the South Australian Government and also by the Senate Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, whose report was presented to the Federal Government in December 2008.

All inquiries raised significant areas of concern about the industry and the Senate Committee made 11 recommendations to improve the franchise sector.

Enhancements to dispute resolution processes were recognised as being necessary by the inquiries but the Federal Government in its round of reforms in November last year did not specifically address this issue.

Part of the proposed South Australian franchise law involves the creation of a Franchise Commissioner who would be responsible for not only resolving many disputes, but also enforcing the law.

The most confronting element of the SA Franchising Law is the extraordinary powers to be granted to the Commissioner.

The Commissioner will have the ability to: require a person to answer questions or to produce documents (with a potential $20,000 fine); require a person to give such information under oath; require a person to provide such information regardless of whether the information would tend to incriminate the person or expose them to a penalty; and commence legal proceedings for breaches of the SA Franchise Law.

The only other organisations in Australia with powers even remotely similar are corruption commissions and intelligence services.

Is franchising in such a dire state that powers similar to those claimed necessary to prevent terrorism are necessary? (As an interesting aside, could the Hells Angels, for example, be regarded as a franchise caught under the SA Bill? One wonders…).

But that is not the full extent of the powers granted under the SA Bill - the Commissioner will provide a dispute resolution function as well; if a franchise dispute cannot be resolved by mediation, either party may refer the dispute to the Commissioner for determination.

A conference must then be called between the parties, facilitated by the Commissioner, following which (if a resolution is not reached) the Commissioner will provide the parties with a draft determination.

Within 14 days of receiving the draft determination the parties may make written representation why the draft determination should be varied or confirmed.

After considering any written representations the Commissioner must make a final determination of the dispute by varying or confirming the draft determination as the Commissioner thinks fit. The parties are then bound by the final determination – and the Commissioner or the other party can apply to the District Court for orders enforcing the terms of the determination.

There is no right to legal representation in the dispute resolution process, although representation may be available in certain circumstances.

There does not appear to be any right of appeal against the final determination of the Commissioner.

Although the Senate Committee clearly recognised the need for improvements to dispute resolution processes - and there is ample support for a low cost, practical approach when dealing with franchise disputes - potentially leaving the parties without legal representation in arguments of law (arguments that are currently not making their way before the civil Courts and are very technical by nature) appears to far exceed what is needed, or was contemplated by the Senate.

A further unexplained dynamic is how the ACCC – the regulator of the sector – would interact with the Commissioner’s determinative powers. The outcomes of disputes that are determined by the Commissioner before the ACCC took action under its own investigative and prosecutory powers are unclear.

Without appropriate checks and balances to the Commissioner’s powers there must be concerns about the independence of the Commissioner’s position; the role traditionally fulfilled by Courts or Tribunals has not been diminished, but rather reinforced, if a Franchising Commissioner is created.

Simon Young is the legal practice director of Cooloola Law Pty Ltd and practices extensively in franchising matters, acting for both franchisors and franchisees. He has been a mediator with the Office of the Mediation Adviser, member of the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee and holds a Masters degree in Law.

Original article...

Motorcyclists ask for fair treatment

Off the Wire News - Biker Rights Issues.
Donnie Landsman has grown accustomed to those fleeting looks of disapproval and trepidation.

When drivers pull up alongside his motorcycle on the highway, they grip their steering wheels a little tighter and tell their kids to look away. Landsman said he’s been denied service at restaurants for wearing a bandanna and a leather vest.

But Landsman, better known in the riding community as “Mr. Breeze,” isn’t in a gang. The husband and father of three has been riding motorcycles for about 40 years, and said he has yet to encounter anyone who belongs to one. As the man who heads up legislative efforts for the Washington chapter of ABATE (American Bikers for Awareness, Training, and Education), a motorcyclist advocacy group, Landsman works to fight negative assumptions about riders.

Such stereotypes are particularly grating when they come from law enforcement officers, who Landsman and others say target bikers for selec- tive enforcement and even harassment. In a word: profiling.

“Motorcyclists aren’t looking for special rights,” Landsman said. “We want the same rights that are afforded to every other section of the population as American citizens and as citizens of Washington state. We aren’t being given that.”

The group found a champion in Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, who introduced a bill that would force local law enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy designed to condemn and prevent the profiling of motorcyclists and to institute training to address the issue.

Police officials say such a measure would be unnecessary.

Capt. Jason Berry of the Washington State Patrol says that there are already policies in place that prohibit profiling of any kind. And anyone who wants to can call in or go online to report any misconduct.

“We do not profile any group according to what they ride or drive,” Berry said. “We stop for violations of the law and take the appropriate enforcement actions as a result.”


Biker advocates point to an incident last year as evidence that they are being singled out.

Last January, dozens of motorcyclists traveled to Olympia for an event called Black Thursday, an annual motorcycle rights lobbying day. They parked their motorcycles near the governor’s mansion, as directed by parking personnel.

In the meantime, the Washington State Patrol released a statement to the media announcing the motorcyclists’ arrival. Part of that statement read: “Approximately 25 Bandito organized motorcycle gang members have arrived on campus for the ABATE ‘Black Thursday’ event. They are showing their gang colors; however, we do not expect any trouble. WSP troopers will be closely monitoring this group.”

While the riders were inside the Capitol attempting to find sponsorship for a bill that would stop motorcycle profiling, the Washington State Patrol arrived and began taking down license plate numbers.

None of the motorcyclists would have ever known about the incident were it not for some video footage that was captured as the officers were working. Some officers are even shown ducking through bushes to record the information.

“That’s gang activity, to go see our legislators?” Landsman said. “I guess the idea is that if bikers come in, we’re shutting the door and beating them (legislators) up.”

ABATE leaders cite several other recent episodes of what they see as profiling. And they say they have evidence to show that law enforcement officials are not only aware of motorcycle profiling, but that they had as recently as eight years ago been circulating a training pamphlet that encouraged it.

legislature: Riders say law enforcement harasses them; bill addresses issue

In December 2002, a permanent injunction was issued by Thurston County Superior Court against the state and the Washington State Patrol from using a document called “Biker’s Basic – 101” as an outline for training troopers and other officers.


A copy provided by ABATE’s attorney outlines the three main motorcycle equipment violations in Washington state (helmet, noise and handlebar height); includes protocol for how to pull bikers over; directs troopers to legally impound the motorcycle and “book” the biker if possible; and tells them to talk to riders about their patches, to take pictures of their badges and bikes, and to be professional.

The first line reads: “Bikers are dangerous.”

“Now if that isn’t a statement of profiling, I don’t know what is,” Landsman said.

ABATE claims these protocols are still being followed and that the state’s helmet, handlebar and noise laws are being used as a false justification for pulling over motorcyclists.


Kirby, a South Tacoma Democrat, says he’s been intrigued by the topic for a while. He sponsored similar bills in 2003 and 2005, but they garnered little attention.

Lately, he’s been wondering whether his long hair and beard would make him a target if he ever got on a bike.

“I would be profiled too if I had a fancy enough machine,” Kirby said, also stressing that his measure has little to do with picking a fight with law enforcement.

“I think what you have is a limited number of people in agencies that have some sort of predisposition about bikers,” said Kirby.

Much of the language used in Kirby’s House Bill 2511 is borrowed from a measure passed in 2002 that required law enforcement agencies to initiate policies to reduce racial profiling. That law seemed to “work overnight,” he said.

Law enforcement officials, meanwhile, deny that motorcyclists are being targeted.

“What motorcycle profiling?” asked Don Pierce, executive director for the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs. “In traffic situations, here’s who we profile: people who violate the law.”

Original article...