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New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -1/29/10

January 29, 2010

New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -1/29/10

Motorcycle, gang, rights: no updates


Bill Number: A01453A [No same as] – on Judiciary agenda February 2, 2010
Assembly Sponsor: Wright
Amd SS18-102, 18-105 & 18-106, add S18-105-a, Gen Ob L; amd S867, add
Lab L

Prohibits a skier or snowboarder from skiing or snowboarding in any area
unless he or she is wearing a protective helmet; applicable to skiers
and snowboarders between one and fourteen years of age.
Assembly status:
01/07/2009 referred to judiciary
06/08/2009 amend (t) and recommit to judiciary
06/08/2009 print number 1453a
06/16/2009 reported referred to codes
06/16/2009 reported referred to rules
06/17/2009 reported
06/17/2009 rules report cal.398
06/17/2009 ordered to third reading rules cal.398
01/06/2010 referred to judiciary


New York State and County Traffic Safety Data Reports for 2008 are posted.

New York State 2009 Highway Safety Annual Report
PDF: 100 pages. NOTE: Motorcycle safety and enforcement on pages 27-32.

Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Award Listing for FFY 2010 [Grants]
PDF: 19 pages

Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee “Safety Matters!” Winter 2010
PDF 8 pages

Press Release: January 24, 2010
“Check Twice” rights transferred

(Amesbury, MA) Bob Doiron, originator and worldwide promoter of the famous “Check Twice – Save a Life, MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE” motorcycle safety and awareness bumper stickers, has transferred and assigned his copyright and trademark to his longtime associate, Paul W. Cote of Amesbury, Massachusetts.

“It was time for me to retire,” said Doiron, longtime Massachusetts resident and now living in Moultonboro, New Hampshire with his lovely wife, Cheryl.

“Paul has demonstrated in our motorcycle world his genuine concern for reducing motorcycle accidents, and his volunteer work with helping families of riders injured in accidents through the Survivor’s Fund help helped set up 10 years ago and in the political arenas on behalf of motorcyclist issues,” said Doiron.

“I’m proud of the work Cheryl and I have done the past 35 years, now it’s time to sit back a bit.”

Although Doiron and Cote knew of each other for years, in 2005 they connected with Cote adding “Check Twice” lawn and roadside 2′ x 8′ signs to the bumper sticker motorcycle safety program, for greater awareness of motorcycles on the roads. Over 3,000 of these roadside signs have been erected since 2006.

Cote claims he will continue offering a free bumper sticker when people send in a request and a self addressed stamped return envelope, while selling stickers in 3, 10, and 15 packages, as well as the customized stickers in 250 and 500 lots, as well as the lawn and roadside signs. He intends to add “Check Twice” patches, pins, and t-shirts also, for riders to wear and display the motorcycle safely message.

Those interested in these products can order securely on line at or send a self addressed stamped return envelope to Check Twice Signs, P.O. Box 516, Amesbury, MA 01913.
— end ————

Motorcyclists ask Legislature for fair treatment legislature: Riders say law enforcement harasses them; bill addresses issue

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 selective 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.

But 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.

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.”

NOTE: videos


What We Learned From the Stimulus

Smart Growth America has released a report that explores data on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending on public transportation, and the impact that these funds had on creating jobs.

PDF 13 pages:

Visit our website for the full list of New York Legislation
New York Freedom Riders
Riders Against Constitutional Erosion
“Freedom Is NOT A Spectator Sport”

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