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NH – House kills bill proposing tougher motorcycle helmet, exhaust laws

February 2, 2010

House kills bill proposing tougher motorcycle helmet, exhaust laws

By Elizabeth Dinan

NORTH HAMPTON – A pair of proposed bills that would have required all
motorcyclists to wear helmets and all motorcycles made after 1982 to have noise “emission systems labels” died in state House of Representatives Tuesday.

According to the House Transportation Committee, the proposed bills were
dismissed after being found “too inexpedient to legislate.”

State Rep. and North Hampton resident Judith Day sponsored both bills
and previously told the Herald, “People using public roads should have
to be responsible riders.”

She advocated for the helmet law saying head injuries cost everyone
through increased hospital, rehabilitation and loss of employment costs.
The emissions sticker law would have proven all motorcycles adhere to
federal noise standards and was motivated by complaints from Hampton
constituents, she said.

Seacoast motorcyclist Jason Page applauded the death of the bike bills,
following his Jan. 28 appearance at a State House hearing on the
matters. He told the Herald he took the floor and made his own personal
pitch to lawmakers.

“I said, ‘I’ve been married for 27 years, so I don’t get to make many
choices. Please don’t take this one away from me.'”

Al Contois, a Stratham resident and president of Seacoast
Harley-Davidson, said he too was pleased to see the bills die in
committee. Like Page, he attended Thursday’s hearing when, he said,
about 150 people attended in opposition.

“It was intimidating to be there,” said Day. “That’s a lot of Harley

Contois said he emailed his staff “to be sure we’re all doing the right
thing and to respect the sport because we all have a stake in it.”

“We don’t have to worry until next year, but I’m sure it’s going to come
up again,” he said.

Contois estimates 60 percent to 65 percent of all customers at the North
Hampton motorcycle dealership arrive on bikes while not wearing helmets.

“Customers coming up from Massachusetts take their helmets off at the
border,” he said. “We have a motto here, ‘Live free and ride.'”

Day said she’s undecided whether she’ll seek reelection in November, but
if she returns to the House, “certainly would bring a bill again”
legislating helmets and motorcycle noise.

She said many motorcyclists at the hearing told her they wear helmets,
but don’t want to be forced to.

“I think it’s a philosophy,” she said.

The state rep said she also supports legislation which would allow
individual communities to craft their own motorcycle noise ordinances.

Last year she introduced a bill that would have lowered the allowed
decibels from motorcycle exhaust pipes. That bill was killed after much
testimony about how hard it is to accurately measure noise levels on the

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2010 10:31 pm

    They aren’t dead yet. The full House could theoretically overturn the committe’s reccomendation on February 10. But that is unlikely: the bikers did a great job of lobbying the House.

  2. February 24, 2010 12:28 pm

    I really think we have to keep bringing in new electric bikes and lower the emissions.. there are too many old hot rods running on the road and increasing gas consumption and emission

  3. goldiron permalink*
    February 24, 2010 12:41 pm

    The electric technology is still novelty. Overall range, recharge time are vehicular problems. Recharge stations are commerce problems. Generating the electricity and making it available are infrastructure problems. The solutions to these problems will not be solved by government and in fact, this is a problem created by government.


  1. Does anyone know what the motorcycle laws are in Kentucky? | Ride Things

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