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Thursday, August 19, 2010

MINNESOTA CLAIMS VICTORY FOR CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE BUILDERS by Bill Bish NCOM

The state patrol in Minnesota, like many other police agencies, use license plate scanners in their patrol cars that can read up to 1,000 plates per minute, but they are unable to read the vertical plates on some custom motorcycles. “It didn’t take too much to sneak a new law through and after the 2008 session vertical plates were illegal,” said Todd Riba, ABATE of MN Legislative Director, “but not for long.” ABATE of Minnesota’s lobbying team and State Coordinator started to work on the problem, and State Senators Amy Koch and Ray Vandeveer stepped forward to carry their bill. 

The state patrol didn’t want to give up its ability to read motorcycle plates, but ABATE didn’t want the custom bike folks to lose the right to trick out their rides. It took a lot of creative thinking to come up with a solution, but in the end that’s what happened. The bill passed and the Governor signed it into law, becoming effective August 1st. Here is how it works: the DVS will offer vertical reading license plates. You will be able to mount these plates in vertical license plate brackets and law enforcement’s scanners will still be able to read them. The plates can be ordered just like vanity plates and riders will have to pay an extra fee, but these new vertical reading plates should keep you out of trouble and if you sell the bike you can keep the plate for your next custom ride.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LOUD BIKES LOSE RIGHTS by Bill Bish - National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

Another wonderful article by Bill Bish of National Coalition of Motorcyclists(NCOM).  They just won't leave us alone with our pipes.  We have to being to stand up for our rights because there are a lot more things these so-called politicians need to be worry about, for instance jobs, education, housing, etc.  Is it that serious that this may become a National issue?  I've said before and I will say it again "Loud Pipes Saves Lives & My Pipe Is My Voice!"

Municipalities from coast to coast are giving motorcycles the silent treatment, and riders rights groups and industry analysts fear that a wave of ordinances aimed at muffling noisy bikes will create a confusing patchwork of laws nationwide and could turn frustrated riders away from the $12 billion motorcycle marketplace. Laws restricting motorcycle noise have been around for years and come in many forms; some are against certain types of products such as a New York City ordinance that subjects riders to a minimum $400 ticket for having an exhaust system that can be heard within 200 feet, while others are aimed more at the intent of the operator such as a Lancaster, Penn., ordinance that makes it illegal for riders to over-rev their engines. 

In Denver, which passed a unique muffler law three years ago that requires EPA labeling to be displayed on pipes to prevent bikers from installing louder after-market exhausts, Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) attorney Wade Eldridge was recently quoted in a local CBS-4 story investigating the controversial attempt to reduce noise emissions. Eldridge, who specializes in representing motorcycle riders in accident and insurance law cases and who is a rider himself, was quoted in the July 23rd interview as saying: “I think it (the Denver loud noise law) was something the city council passed that they knew was unenforceable,” and suggested that to fight back “those who receive tickets should demand trials.” Though rarely enforced since Eldridge won a key case against the Denver noise ordinance, with only 46 tickets handed out to date, police in Golden citing state law have issued 81 noise violations in the last 6 months. 

The city is using a Colorado state statute, C.R.S. 42-4-225 that requires that vehicles be equipped with an “adequate” muffler, and outlaws any “excessive or unusual” noise. According to Eldridge, "the law lends itself to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement -- the police can stop you for whatever reason." “The powers that be in the City of Golden have apparently made a political decision that they don’t want us in their city,” observed Eldridge, adding that; “The police department will continue stopping us, and writing these tickets, until enough people PLEAD NOT GUILTY AND INSIST ON A TRIAL… when the court is backlogged with these cases, we will see some official pressure to stop them.” In the meantime, further information on fighting such tickets can be found on the website of the Colorado Confederation of Clubs (www.colorado-coc.com), of which Eldridge serves as legal counsel.