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New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -2/05/10

February 5, 2010

New York Freedom Riders New York Legislation and news -2/05/10

Motorcycle, helmet, gang, rights: no updates

February 2, 2010

Statement From Speaker Silver And Minority Leader Kolb
Regarding Governor’s Veto Of Ethics Legislation

We are greatly disappointed that the Governor has vetoed important
legislation that would have significantly strengthened ethics laws. Our
legislation would expand public disclosure of outside income for state
officials, strengthen oversight of our ethics and campaign finance laws,
address reporting of independent expenditures in campaigns and create a
truly independent oversight body for each branch of state government.
This measure would be a crucial first step in restoring the people’s
faith in their government. That is why the legislation received
overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Assembly and Senate, as well as
from key good government groups, including NYPIRG, the League of Women
Voters and Citizens Union.

NoiseOFF: City Sounds – Noise in New York City

Richard Tur, Founder of NoiseOFF, will be among the co-panelists at a
forum on noise pollution hosted by Fordham University.

“How are New Yorkers impacted by the sounds of city life?” This panel
brings together five diverse experts to review different aspects of this
issue. The main topics include: Environment and Behavior, Impacts of
Urban Din, The NYC Noise Code, Reducing Noise Pollution, Music in The

Date and Time:
9 February 2010, Tuesday 6:00 – 7:30pm

Fordham University
113 West 60th Street; Room 1004
New York City

Students and the general public are welcome to attend. Beverages will be
served. This forum is hosted by Fordham University, in cooperation with
its Psychology Association, Psi Chi, Urban Studies program, SPSSI-NY,
and the UN Committee on Human Settlements.

NY/NJ: Little Italy Motorcycle Ride May Go Ahead Without Approval
February 1, 2010 12:04pm

By Nicole Breskin
DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LITTLE ITALY – The Blue Knights Motorcycle Club was barred from hosting
its annual “Gooch’s Garlic Run” children’s benefit on Mulberry Street in
June by Community Board 2, but the bikers plan to ride anyway.

The philanthropic event benefits children with severe illnesses – such
as brain tumors, leukemia, multiple sclerosis – and sees hundreds of
bikers, who are active and retired law enforcement agents, ride into
Manhattan from New Jersey.

“We’re going to appeal the decision,” said Jeff Hunker, Blue Knights
Goodwill Ambassador. “This is our 23rd year, and we’re not going away.”

Community Board 2 denied the Blue Knights a permit last week to close
the street for their festival.

“The main reason the application was rejected was because the
organization does not have an indigenous relationship with the street
being closed or the community affected,” said Evan Lederman, Community
Board 2’s Street Activities and Film Permits chair.

“Also, there was an outpouring of complaints about the noise and
pollution caused by the thousands of motorcycles.”

The community board’s vote is just a recommendation, and the group plans
to meet with representatives from City Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s
office as well as Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office to get the
necessary permits so the event can move forward.

Last year, the Blue Knights narrowly received approval from the
community board after they pledged to give money raised through the
event to two local children. But due to a mix-up, only children from New
Jersey benefited.

The mayor’s office will render a decision in the upcoming weeks.

Either way, Hunker pledged the Blue Knights will ride in June.

“We’re going to pay the toll to go into city, and we’re going to go to Little Italy for dinner,” he said. “You can’t stop us from that.”


ME: LD1575 – An Act To Reduce Noise Caused by Motorcycles and Improve
Public Health
Referred to Committee on Transportation on Jan 7, 2010.
Latest Committee Action:
Committee Report: Not Reported Out
Public Hearing List * Feb 2, 2010, 0100PM, Room 126 State House
Bill text:

NE- LB200 – Change motorcycle and moped helmet requirements
LB200 ABATE of NE Call to Action Updates and debate summaries:

NH: HB1162 – relative to the wearing of motorcycle protective headgear
Status Date: 2/3/2010 -TRANSPORTATION
Date Introduced: 1/6/2010
Due out of Committee: 2/18/2010
Floor Date: 2/10/2010
Bill Text:

NH: HB1261-relative to motorcycle noise emission controls
Status Date: 2/3/2010 TRANSPORTATION
Date Introduced: 1/6/2010
Due out of Committee: 2/4/2010
Floor Date: 2/10/2010
Bill text:

NOTE: Transportation Committee Hearings Videos
WA: HB2511-Addressing motorcycle profiling
Jan 4 Prefiled for introduction.
Jan 11 First reading, referred to Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness.

Feb 2 Public hearing and executive action taken in the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness at 10:00 AM.
(Committee Materials)
PSEP – Executive action taken by committee.
PSEP – Majority; do pass. (Majority Report)
Minority; do not pass. (Minority Report)
Feb 3 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
Bill text:


Wednesday, Feb. 03, 2010
SC : State’s high court hearing Myrtle Beach helmet cases (with video)
Lorena Anderson

NOTE: I reversed the order. K

2:45 p.m. | The parties are gathering in the South Carolina Supreme Court courtroom for the two lawsuits against Myrtle Beach’s motorcycle helmet law.

About two dozen motorcycle rally supporters, the organizers of Business Owners Organized to Support Tourism and media are taking up a portion of the audience benches as the attorneys make last-minute preparations. Attorney Thad Viers, representing his brother, Bart, and BOOST, will be heard first when court convenes at 3 p.m.

He will argue the court should not allow Myrtle Beach to impose a local helmet law.
3:08 p.m.: The five Supreme Court justices have not arrived to begin the hearings yet.
3:18 p.m.: The justices have arrived and Viers has begun his arguments.

The simplest case against the city’s helmet law is its prohibition under the state’s Uniform Traffic Act, he is telling the court. Any action not authorized in the act is forbidden, he said.

He argues the helmet law is unconstitutional because helmet regulations rest with the state.

He says the legislative intent behind the current state law, which dictates that people younger than 21 wear helmets, was freedom of choice for those older than 21.
3:30 p.m.: One justice is asking Viers if he is arguing that travel throughout the state could be impacted by “a morass of little pockets of local law.”

Viers said yes, that is exactly what he’s saying.

Chuef Justice Jean Toal is asking how he distinguishes this case from others in which the high court has upheld local laws such as the smoking bans.

Viers said uniformity is not critical in those cases, but that the Uniform Traffic Act was written for a reason and that traffic laws in are are designed to be uniform.
3:35 p.m.: Attorney Mike Battle, representing the city, is making his arguments. The justices are arguing that the city cannot make ordinances to chase groups of people away. Battle is saying the city never put up barricades to keep people out.
3:50 p.m.: Justice Costa Pleicones is asking Battle why this isn’t a law that needs to be uniform, and Battle is asking how to weigh the adverse affects of the helmet law on the visitors versus the benefit to the city and to the riders who have to wear the helmets.

“What is the burden on the person wearing the helmet? I think everyone agrees it’s safer for them, just like when you have to strap on a safety belt,” Battle said.

Justice John Kitteridge is asking Battle what happens if people refuse to pay the $100 helmet fines.

Battle is saying the crime is not appearing in court, but Kitteridge says “if it’s civil, I can never be forced to come into court.”

Battle is telling the justices how there are scofflaw rules that are still civil, but can accrue penalties.
4 p.m.: Viers is making his rebuttals. Justice Pleicones is telling him the city has a legitimate interest in regulating noise, lewd acts, and controlling nuisances. “You’re not trying to say that’s not legitimate, right?” the justice asked.

Viers said he’s not trying to argue that, he’s simply saying that it’s not right for the city to try and regulate helmets for people 21 and older.

The justices have recessed as the arguments are ended in the Viers case.

In the next hearing, titled Aakjer et al vs. City of Myrtle Beach, attorney Tom McGrath is arguing against the helmet law, as well, but the focus of the discussion with the justices — when they return — is that the city’s municipal court should have no jurisdiction over the helmet ordinance violations because they are civil infractions and the municipal court is for criminal matters only.

Check back for more updates when the justices return.
4:20 p..m.: McGrath has begun making his arguments. Does the local government have the power to pass a law that’s in conflict with state law? he asked.

He argues that the state amended the 1967 statewide helmet law specifically to give people older than 21 the right to choose whether to wear a helmet.
4:25 p.m.: Justice Donald Beatty is asking McGrath about the safety specifications of helmets and the federal, state and city regulations.

McGrath is telling the court the city’s safety specifications directly conflict with state law because they outline helmets that are not allowed to be sold in South Carolina.

4:30 p.m.: Attorney Ballard, whose first name has not been stated, an associate of McGrath’s, is beginning her arguments against the municipal court’s jurisdiction over helmet ordinances.

Justice Toal is asking how Greenville is enforcing the smoking ban the high court upheld. The justices and the attorney are discussing whether those bans can be adjudicated in municipal court, either, and considering the idea that maybe they cannot.

Mike Battle, representing the city, is now making his arguments in this case. He’s saying that the statute that sets up municipal court gives out the right for the court to try all cases that arise under city ordinances.

In fact, seatbelt violations are civil infractions, and they are adjudicated in municipal court in Myrtle Beach.

Battle is wrapping up his arguments and McGrath’s team will have time for a rebuttal.

Ballard is arguing that the entire chapter creating municipal courts is talking about criminal law, not civil law.
4:50 p.m.: The justices have recessed. No opinion was given, and there is no time frame for when it will be issued.



Counting Motorcycles
Record Type: RiP [Research in Progress]

Motorcycle safety is receiving increased attention because of dramatic increases in motorcycle ridership and crash rates are increasing significantly. As transportation safety professionals increase their focus on motorcycle safety, questions about the quality of data related to state motorcycle miles traveled (VMT) are arising. Off-the-shelf vehicle classification systems often are unable to capture motorcycle traffic accurately and equipment vendors have traditionally not addressed this deficiency. The final report that identifies cost effective practices to produce acceptable motorcycle traffic counts.
Start date: 2009/4/29
End date: 2010/2/1
Status: Completed
Contract/Grant Number: Project 8-36, Task 92
Total Dollars: 50000
Source Organization: Transportation Research Board
Date Added: 02/02/2010

NOTE: Counting Motorcycles Final Report
PDF 65 pages:
Testimony of Bill Gossard, NTSB, Before the Transportation Committee New Hampshire House of Representatives, On House Bill 1162 – Motorcycle Helmets
Concord, New Hampshire
January 28, 2010

Highway Loss Data Institute
News Release | January 29, 2010

Laws banning cellphone use while driving fail to reduce crashes, new insurance data indicate

Press release:
Full report: Hand-held cellphone laws and collision claims frequencies
“Do Bans on Driver Cellphone Use make Safer Drivers?”: presented by Adrian Lund, Institute president, at the SAE Government/Industry Meeting, Washington, D.C, January 29, 2010

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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