Volunteers Needed

The Colorado Confederation of Clubs needs some volunteers to help with transporting guests for the NCOM meeting from The Airport to the Hotel in the Denver Tech Center.

We are looking for 15 volunteers to work a four-hour shift, during the 4 day course of the NCOM meeting.
Valid drivers licence is required.
If you or some one in your club is willing to Volunteer, please contact Diablo for more details, @ 720-318-4167 or Diablovf@comcast.net
Thank you,

AIM & NCOM Founder Richard M. Lester Inducted into Hall of Fame

By Richard Lester

Richard M. Lester is the only motorcycle attorney to be honored as a Sturgis Motorcycle Museum's Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame recipient

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. For more information, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit us on our website at www.ONABIKE.com.

Richard M. Lester, Founder of the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists program and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists

*** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE ***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2015

AIM & NCOM FOUNDER RICHARD M. LESTER INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) and affiliated & supported groups and organizations, extend Congratulations to founder Richard M. Lester on his recent induction into the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame has announced their 2015 inductees into the Hall of Fame and one into the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame. Lester, a California attorney who founded AIM & NCOM three decades ago and numerous subsequent motorcycle outreach groups, is the first national bikers’ rights attorney to be inducted.

“The Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame is designed to recognize individuals or groups who have made a long term positive impact on the motorcycle community,” said museum Executive Director Christine Paige Diers. “The Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame recognizes the commitment and sacrifices individuals across the nation, and world, have made to protect the rights of motorcyclists, and who have made a significant impact through their work in grassroots rights efforts.”

Richard became an attorney at the ripe age of 45. While in law school he realized that motorcycle riders were an unrepresented group who didn’t have a voice. His love for the sport prompted him to focus on the need of a voice in the motorcycling community. In 1982 after passing the bar, his work for motorcycling began. It took him a couple of years to organize a team of attorneys who rode motorcycles, and who also had an understanding of what was needed in the motorcycle community and how to go about finding the voice that was needed.

Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM) was founded in 1984, and is a legal protection program that is free for all motorcycle riders, providing free medical information and emergency contact of next-of-kin. To date, over 2 million cards have been distributed nationwide, with A.I.M. attorneys in every state providing legal services for riders and doing pro-bono (free) work within the motorcycle community.

The following year, in 1985 Richard Lester founded the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) to provide a much-needed voice for the motorcycling community. Today NCOM is a national organization with over 2,400 motorcycle groups and organization that joined together as a whole to tackle the legal and legislative aspect of motorcycle riding.

Today, more than 30 years later, Richard is still working hard for the motorcycling community. He has attorneys in every state, and has also founded three (3) additional organizations so that every motorcycle rider has a voice. One program is the Confederation of Clubs, which is comprised of motorcycle clubs, from 1%ers to family clubs. The Christian ministry sector came together in 2005 to form Christian Unity to improve networking with both secular and Christian bike groups. And the newest addition is the National Sports Bike Association, the sport bike division of NCOM to have a clear and unadulterated voice directly from the Sport Bike Community on issues that directly affect them.

“Richard has dedicated his life to the lifestyle of motorcycling and has contributed so much of his time and effort, not to mention the financial investment he has donated to the cause,” reads his nomination for the Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame. “He is the only attorney who has always, and continues to give back to the motorcycling community by creating five (5) FREE and useful national programs, and by hosting many conventions and seminars to educated and inform all motorcyclists of their right to ride.”

Individuals chosen for induction into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame and the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame will be honored at the annual induction breakfast ceremony on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, at The Lodge at Deadwood during the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This event is open to the public and tickets are available at

www.sturgismuseum.com/hall-of-fame/freedom-fighters, or by calling (605) 347-2001.

The post AIM & NCOM Founder Richard M. Lester Inducted into Hall of Fame appeared first on AIM & NCOM News.

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AIM/NCOM Motorcycle News Bytes – January 2015

By Richard Lester

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ONABIKE.com.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

MINNESOTA ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE INTRODUCED

A proposed anti-profiling bill before the Minnesota House would create rules to reduce perceived profiling of motorcycle riders and would require several law enforcement groups to draft anti-profiling practices when dealing with the riders.

Once drafted, law enforcement agencies would then have to train every officer and verify that with the state.

House File 59, “Motorcycle Profiling,” was filed on January 12, 2015 in the state House of Representatives and referred to the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee, and the bill stems from claims that police have been pulling over motorcyclists without reasonable cause: “Purpose. The legislature finds that the reality or public perception of motorcycle profiling alienates people from police, hinders community policing efforts, and causes law enforcement to lose credibility and trust among the people law enforcement is sworn to protect and serve. No stop initiated by a peace officer should be made without a legitimate reason; the fact that someone rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle paraphernalia is not a legitimate reason. Law enforcement policies and training programs must emphasize the need to respect the balance between the rights of all persons to be free from unreasonable governmental intrusions and law enforcement’s need to enforce the law.”

The measure defines “motorcycle profiling” as “(T)he illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related accouterments as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without a legal basis under the United States Constitution or Minnesota Constitution.”

HF 59 is co-sponsored by Rep. John Petersburg (R-Waseca) who said that he signed on to the bill in part because he heard claims of profiling on the campaign trail. In October, he attended a forum hosted by American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education, or ABATE. “Because they’re riding motorcycles and wearing motorcycle gear, they’re getting stopped,” Petersburg said.

A representative for ABATE of Minnesota told the Owatonna People’s Press that an anti-profiling bill was among the group’s top legislative priorities. Minnesota was the first and only state in the country to enact a biker anti-discrimination law; Minnesota Statute Section 604.12, enacted in 1998 states in part: “A place of public accommodation may not restrict access, admission, or usage to a person solely because the person operates a motorcycle or is wearing clothing that displays the name of an organization or association.”

S.C. Bill AIMS TO Require Child Safety Seats And Belts On Motorcycles

A bill that would require babies and small children to be secured to a motorcycle with seat belts is under consideration by South Carolina lawmakers.

S.C. state Rep. Joseph Daning (R-Berkely Co.) filed legislation (H. 3040) that would require a standard, rear-facing child safety seat to be used for motorcycle passengers from birth up to 1 year of age, and for a belt-positioning booster seat with both lap and shoulder belts for children younger than 7 and weighing 40-80 pounds. “We take care of our children in cars, but they’re so unprotected on the back of motorcycles” said Daning, who added that the bill was prompted by constituents who feared an ex-spouse would ride their children on a motorcycle.

Rep. Bill Taylor called Daning’s proposal “government overreach” and said motorcyclists are a safety-conscious community, but child-safety advocates support Daning’s efforts. Only a handful of states impose a minimum age for riders, and South Carolina is not one of them according to the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, pointing out that 25 children required emergency medical attention due to motorcycle injuries in the state from 2007 through 2009.

ABATE of SC state coordinator, Ralph Bell, emphasized that there have been no fatalities of passengers under 7, and said changing the law would hinder charity events. Dennis Welborn, the state legislative coordinator for ABATE told the Morris News Service that “Its passage would cause much more harm than good,” and in particular, mounting a child safety seat on a motorcycle would change its center of gravity, making it unwieldy, affecting its handling and braking abilities.

MSF CONTRACTED TO MANAGE INDIANA MOTORCYCLIST SAFETY PROGRAM

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has been awarded a four-year contract by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to provide motorcycle training, beginning March 1, 2015. The contract award marks the end of the state’s training relationship with ABATE of Indiana, which had been training riders since the 1970s. According to Jay Jackson, ABATE executive director, more than 125,000 students completed its courses during that time. The ABATE board of directors voted not to renew its contract.

The MSF will oversee Indiana’s statewide training locations, provide an Indiana-dedicated website and online class enrollment function and administer all aspects of training, including MSF’s extensive quality control program.

Indiana law requires would-be motorcycle riders to first obtain a learner’s permit, and then pass a motorcycle skills test or present a certificate of completion from a BMV-approved motorcycle safety course. After March 1, Hoosiers who pass the MSF Basic RiderCourse will not need to take Indiana’s on-cycle skills exam.

“We’d like to recognize ABATE of Indiana for their achievements in providing motorcycle training over the past several years through the state’s network of training sites and trainers,” said MSF Vice President Robert Gladden.

More than 7.5 million riders internationally have completed motorcycle training using MSF’s curricula in the foundation’s 40-plus year history.

Vehicle data privacy concerns VOICEd in montana

A Montana House panel recently heard a bill to give vehicle owners more control over the large stores of information now accumulated by newer cars and trucks, and motorcycles. House Bill 78, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Lynch (D-Butte), would give vehicle owners …read more

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AIM NCOM Motorcycle News – December 2014

By Richard Lester

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ONABIKE.com.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

WASHINGTON TARGETS DISTRACTED DRIVING IN MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS VIDEO

The Washington State Motorcycle Safety Program recently released a new motorcycle awareness video targeting inattentive drivers. Created with teen driver education students in mind, the eight-minute-long film starts by showing a teen driver cruising the streets in a car while eating and listening to loud music.

When he turns left into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, time stops, giving both the driver and rider a chance to exit their vehicles and talk to each another.

After some initial frustration, Randy the motorcyclist gets in the car with Ian, the teen driver, and teaches him the dos and don’ts of how to drive when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Randy’s lessons include looking twice before turning and giving motorcycles more space.

The two eventually return to their vehicles and the inevitable crash takes place.

“The video is meant to be a relevant and easily accessible tool for Driver Training providers to use as they fulfill the motorcycle awareness requirement of their curriculum,” states the Washington State Department of Licensing, adding that the WMSP is supported by motorcycle endorsement fees and is tasked with providing Public Awareness of motorcycle safety, Motorcycle Safety education programs including classroom and on-cycle training, and Improved operator testing.

The YouTube video “Motorcycle Awareness – A Second Look” has already been viewed over 100,000 times in the first three weeks (www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b3T7u4ZJ1Y#t=19).

TENNESSEE BANS BIG RIGS FROM DRAGON

A mountainous stretch of U.S. Route 129 (SR 115) from Tennessee to North Carolina famously known as “The Dragon” boasts 318 curves in 11.19 miles and is a beacon for drivers and riders alike, but semis are no longer welcome! Due to a “critical number of traffic accidents involving large trucks,” the state of Tennessee is following the lead of neighboring North Carolina in banning big rigs from US 129, on sections of highway known as Deals Gap or The Tail of the Dragon.

For years, navigation systems have pointed truckers to the Dragon as a shortcut across Blount County. That ends with the new year, and signs will be posted mid-January prohibiting commercial vehicles (longer than 30 feet).

After conducting a safety review, according to the Tennessee DOT there were a total of 204 crashes from 2010 to 2012 in Blount County — six of those resulted in fatalities. Only one of those fatal accidents involved a tractor trailer, but many of the other incidents with semis have blocked the narrow highway for hours and prevented travel for all motorists.

NEW MEXICO HELMET STICKER PROPOSAL OPPOSED

In response to a Senate bill draft creating a sticker riders would have to pay for in order to exercise their freedom of choice in helmet use, the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization (NMMRO) has authored a letter of opposition supported by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) and the NCOM Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), among others, it states:

Dr. Kurt B. Nolte, M.D., Office of the Medical Investigator;

“It has recently come to the attention of the New Mexico Motorcyclists Rights Organization (NMMRO) that a bill was drafted on your behalf by Clifford Rees at the New Mexico Legislature. If passed this bill would impose a $692 fee on motorcyclists who chose to ride without a helmet. As an organization we are interested in hearing your justification for placing this burden on the public and if you think that placing helmets on motorcyclists would decrease the number of motorcycle crashes.

Our organization would be pleased to share government statistics with you which show that 58% of all motorcyclist deaths are experienced by riders wearing helmets. We would also like to point out that it has been proven that accident prevention has a much bigger impact on preventing motorcycle injuries and fatalities. Helmets have not been shown to prevent motorcycle accidents and in some cases can increase the chances of an accident occurring. We have also worked with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to try to improve the awareness of drivers on New Mexico’s roads in respect to motorcycles as another method of accident prevention.

If in fact you do intend to proceed with your present actions we would like to spend some time with you looking into what affect this would have on the motorcycle riders of New Mexico and not just assume that it would be beneficial to their safety. The NMMRO and NM State Representative Rick Miera (a long-serving member of the NCOM-LTF) are available to meet with you to discuss this issue further.”

Thank you for listening to our concerns on this subject,

Annette Torrez, Chairperson NMMRO (and member of the NCOM Board of Directors)

LANE-SPLITTING LEGISLATION PROPOSED IN CALIFORNIA

From across Europe to throughout Asia, motorcyclists around the world routinely “filter” their way between lanes of slow-moving cars, but here in the U.S. only riders in California are allowed to “lane-split” through congested traffic — not-so-much because it’s legal, but because there are no specific laws addressing the issue. That may soon change, as Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) has introduced Assembly Bill No.51 to specifically regulate the practice.

According to ABATE of California, their lobbyist Jim Lombardo has contacted the author’s legislative staff who said the measure was introduced by their office because of the widespread newspaper and television coverage regarding lane splitting and the general public’s ignorance of the legality of the issue. The staff members are willing to accept amendments to improve the bill language but are seeking to “codify”, or write into California law, lane splitting legislation to ensure it is not completely outlawed after the CHP (California Highway Patrol) was forced to remove their “lane splitting guidelines” last summer.

AB 51 seeks to …read more

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AIM & NCOM Motorcycle News Bytes – November 2014

By Richard Lester

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ONABIKE.com.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

MOTORCYCLISTS GAIN SOME RELIEF FROM CONGRESSIONAL HELMET LAW EFFORTS

Driven by discontent, disillusionment and distrust, American voters saw red in November’s mid-term elections and whisked control of the Unites States Senate to the first Republican majority since 2006 and won additional seats in the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, as well as favoring the GOP in numerous statewide races and a majority of gubernatorial contests nationwide.

While most of the electorate is simply happy to see an end to a record $4 billion in campaign ads appearing incessantly on television, radio and newspapers, and in in-boxes and mailboxes everywhere, motorcycle riders should be especially glad to have won at least a temporary respite from helmet law threats from Congress and in states where Republicans have remained or gained in governance.

As recently as this summer, the Obama Administration included a thinly-veiled attempt to impose a national helmet law through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) surface transportation reauthorization proposal to Congress, but the measure was derailed by the Republican-controlled House. Three years ago, motorcyclists across America successfully opposed a proposed amendment to S.1449, the “Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011,” that would have called for a National Mandatory Helmet Law for all motorcyclists.

Although federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will undoubtedly continue to advance their pro-helmet law agendas, lacking a Democrat majority in either chamber will likely curb enthusiasm for helmet law mandates from Washington, for now.

PAY-TO-PLAY HELMET LAW PROPOSED IN NEW MEXICO

In a unique scheme to punish motorcyclists for exercising their right to ride without a helmet, a Discussion Draft of a Senate bill proposed for the 2015 52nd Legislature for the state of New Mexico would create a system of taxation for riders who opt not to wear a helmet.

Specifically, “The department [Motor Vehicles Division] shall make available distinctive motorcycle validation stickers that signify that any person age eighteen or older who operates a motorcycle on which that sticker is affixed are not required by law to wear a safety helmet. The department shall issue validation sticker when a qualifying person pays the fee as provided for.”

A standard validation sticker is just $15 annually, but it would cost $692 per year for the “distinctive motorcycle validating sticker” that allows the rider to go lidless…the additional tax revenue to be distributed as follows: $541.60 to the trauma system fund, $135.40 to the brain injury services fund, and $15 as additionally provided by law. Otherwise, the rider and passengers must wear a helmet, even though New Mexico law currently does not require helmet use for those 18 and older.

“My concern is this will turn into a helmet law in New Mexico,” said Annette Torrez, chairperson for the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization (NMMRO) and a member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) board of directors, who reported on the effort at a recent NCOM Regional Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. “We found out that a lobbyist in New Mexico asked a senator to draft the bill, and though it does not have a sponsor yet, we are currently researching who is behind it.”

TEXAS SAYS NO POLARIS SLINGSHOTS

The Polaris Slingshot, a brand new three-wheeled sports-vehicle now just arriving at dealerships across the U.S., lacks componentry necessary to be considered “a car” and in most states you register it as a motorcycle; but the Texas DMV says “Whoa pardner, not so fast.”

Though Polaris says they’d already received approval from the Lone Star State to sell their Slingshot there, according to a letter to Texas Polaris dealers posted on a Slingshot forum on November 4th they were notified by the Vehicle Titling and Registration Division of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles that the DMV is taking the position that even if dealers are licensed to sell it as a motorcycle, owners of the Slingshot will not be able to register it because it is not street legal as far as Texas “motorcycles” are concerned.

The conflict hinges on the wording used to define a motorcycle in Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Operator’s Manual says three-wheelers are defined by certain characteristics, one of them being “saddle seating,” meaning “seating in which the rider/passenger straddles the vehicle,” but the Slingshot’s seats sit side-by-side. Because it doesn’t have a “saddle,” the DMV ruling prohibits the Polaris Slingshot from being registered as a motorcycle, so they will not be sold in the state until this “VERY urgent matter” is resolved.

The Texas precedence has the potential to sway other states to define the Slingshot similarly, a scenario Polaris is surely hoping to avoid.

Polaris has fought hard for their not-car classification, and have used the fact that their vehicles are legally considered motorcycles to ease their passage through regulatory waters, but this gray area has led to some other unintended legal consequences, such as operator licensing, vehicle registration and applicable helmet requirements. Ultimately, it has everything to do with the way laws are written and how “motorcycle” is defined therein, which varies from state to state.

INDIANA SCOOTER RIDERS FACE NEW REGULATIONS

Indiana officials are warning motor scooter drivers that starting in January they’ll need license plates on those bikes. Legislators have approved Indiana’s first license requirements for scooters, and under the new law drivers of scooters with engines of 50 cubic centimeters or less will need to buy license plates and pass a Bureau of Motor Vehicles test involving road signals and signs. Operators of scooters with larger engines will be required to follow motorcycle requirements, including …read more

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AIM & NCOM Motorcycle News – October 2014

By Richard Lester

THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit http://www.onabike.com.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

CITY IN WASHINGTON SETTLES PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT WITH BIKERS

The city of Kennewick, Washington has settled with a Tacoma motorcyclist and a group of motorcycle clubs who accused the city of violating the state Public Records Act.

The city will pay $45,000 as part of the settlement of two lawsuits and will release some of the disputed records, City Attorney Lisa Beaton recently told the city council.

The city has not admitted any wrongdoing in the handling of the records requests filed by Edward Goehring and the Washington Confederation of Clubs (COC).

Both separately sued Kennewick after they claim they were improperly denied documents, including photos and videos, that Kennewick police took when they cited motorcyclists in separate incidents.

Goehring was one of eight motorcyclists stopped by Kennewick police and Benton County sheriff’s deputies in August 2012 and cited for traffic violations.

And in April 2013, authorities stopped some motorcyclists from the Washington Confederation of Clubs and cited them for traffic infractions during a gathering in Kennewick.

In both cases, Kennewick police pursued information about outlaw motorcycle gangs, according to Beaton.

The city, Goehring and the motorcycle club still disagree about some records. However, they agreed to have a third-party arbitrator review those records to decide which should be withheld or redacted and then released, Beaton told the Tri-City Herald.

The $45,000 will come from the city’s risk management fund. Insurance does not cover public record lawsuits, she said. About $12,400 will go to the WA COC, and Goehring will receive the remainder.

As part of the agreement, Goehring and the motorcycle clubs will dismiss their lawsuits with prejudice, which means they can’t be filed again, according to city documents.

Goehring and the Washington Confederation of Clubs are represented by the same attorney group, Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) Attorneys Marty Fox and Mike Meyers.

CHIEF OF POLICE CANCELS OCEAN CITY BIKE WEEK “NO COLORS” POLICY

A.I.M. Attorney addresses Ocean City’s No Colors Policy…

GOOD NEWS (Sept 12, 2014): The Maryland Confederation Of Clubs Attorney Mitchell Greenberg approached the Ocean City Police on Thursday, Sept. 11 to address the “NO COLORS” policy stated on the Chief of Police Bike Week Rules and Regulations page on the OCPD website.

The matter was brought to a quick and friendly close including a personal call to Mitch from Chief of Police Ross Buzzuro who assured the Maryland Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) Attorney that all Clubs and Colors are welcome in Ocean City. Mitch in turn assured Chief Buzzuro that the leaders of each Club share his hope for a Safe and Incident-Free bike week.

The OCPD also assured Mitch that the “No Colors” language will be removed as soon as possible and that Colors are welcome in Ocean City public areas.

NHTSA WAIVES BUY-AMERICAN REQUIREMENT FOR MICHIGAN RIDER TRAINING

Because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that American makers don’t offer a small and light enough motorcycle for a Michigan Rider Training Program, the agency has approved their request to waive federal Buy-American rules to allow the state to purchase foreign-made motorcycles for their courses.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning will now use government grant money to buy a fleet of 20 Suzuki training motorcycles, though so-called “Buy America rules” say NHTSA cannot award any funds “unless steel, iron, and manufactured products used in such project are produced in the United States.”

However, NHTSA is allowed to waive the rules if they are “inconsistent with the public interest” or such materials and products are not produced in the United States in reasonably available quantities or “the inclusion of domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project contract by more than 25 percent.”

Finding that “a cost waiver is appropriate for the twenty training motorcycles because domestically produced motorcycles would increase the cost by more than 25 percent,” NHTSA awarded Michigan grant funds to improve rider training.

VIRGINIA COPS SPIED ON MOTORISTS AT POLITICAL RALLIES

Documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia confirm that the Virginia State Police used cameras to track motorists attending political events. Automated license plate readers (ALPR) are used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country, ostensibly to fight crime by finding stolen cars. But a March 18, 2009 state police memo also documents the use of the “Help Eliminate Auto Theft” (HEAT) camera to identify attendees at 2008 campaign events for then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

It was not until 2012 that the state police chief asked for an official determination of the legality of the license plate reader program, and in a February 13, 2013 ruling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli blasted the “passive” use of recording the comings and goings of innocent drivers who are not part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

“Its future value to any investigation of criminal activity is wholly speculative,” Cuccinelli wrote. “Therefore, with no exemption applicable to it, the collection of license plate reader data in the passive manner does not comport with the Data Act’s strictures and prohibitions, and may not lawfully be done.”

TAG, YOU’RE IT

In a survey of 2,000 licensed adult men and women across the country, Carinsurance.com found that half or more of America’s drivers would support the use of special license plates to identify certain drivers on the road:

- 49.4% support license plates identifying drivers older than 70.

- 57.9% support license plates identifying novice drivers.

- 59.8% support license plates identifying those convicted of texting while driving.

- 69.1% support license plates identifying those convicted of a DUI.

ANTI-POLLUTION RULES IN SPANISH CAPITAL FAVOR MOTORCYCLES

New anti-pollution regulations in Spain’s capital Madrid exempt motorcycles during restrictive hours. Effective the first day of 2015, no non-resident will be allowed in …read more

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