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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Neveda - Las Vegas - Helmet law enforcement lawsuit gets tossed..........


A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging how Southern Nevada police departments enforce the Nevada motorcycle helmet law.
A dozen motorcyclists filed suit in September against Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite and Boulder City. They complained police were regularly issuing tickets without probable cause to motorcyclists for failing to wear helmets.
Their suit sought to represent more than 40,000 motorcycle riders in the county.
As the suit progressed, it became clear that the riders believed they could wear "skull caps," "novelty helmets" — including some that look like crowns — and even what police describe as a 3- or 4-inch ceramic disc worn on the top of the head and equipped with a chin strap.
The riders argued police departments failed to specify what exactly is a "helmet" under Nevada’s law requiring the use of helmets, and had failed to train officers in determining what is a legal helmet and what is not.
Some police agencies, however, say they follow guidelines spelled out in a U.S. Transportation Department brochure called "How to Identify Unsafe Motorcycle Helmets."
The brochure says helmets should weigh about three pounds and meet standards for thickness of the inner liner. It says they should have a sturdy chin strap and appropriate labeling showing they meet federal standards. Unsafe "novelty helmets" typically don’t have the preferred full-face design, the brochure says.
After September’s lawsuit was filed, attorneys for the cities and Clark County asked that it be dismissed because it was so vague the defendants couldn’t understand what they were accused of doing that would violate the riders’ rights.
U.S. District Judge Philip Pro agreed and dismissed the suit Tuesday.
"Defendants correctly argue that plaintiffs’ complaint is void of factual allegations of specific conduct by particular defendants, but is instead a 'conglomeration of generalized allegations of legal violations,' without specific allegations of a single event, on any identified date, in any jurisdiction, by any named defendant,” Pro wrote in his dismissal order.
Here is the link to Cycle Source