Here is where the rubber really meets the road, where we show that we are out there tracking legislation and want things moved forward. This Friday the legislature will cease moving bills out of committee and begin the frantic process of bringing things to the floor and passing the last bills of this session. The difference between life and death for many bills may come down to the amount of constituent traffic they get asking for something to go to the floor for a vote. Everyone needs to get off their wallets and contact their representatives as soon as possible.
The message is simple: “Please urge the Rules Committee to move our bills to the floor for a vote.” When speaking to your senator’s staff ask for HB 1328, HB 1543, and HB 1833. When speaking with the staff at your representatives’ offices ask for SB 5185, SB 5141, SB 5242, and SB 5800. Get the message out to your phone trees and get the phones ringing.
In the event that you have forgotten, to locate your legislator follow this link.
Here is the capsule view of all of the bills, along with my commentaries:
HB 1328 and SB 5185, AKA the “Parade Bill.” The only difference between these two measures is that the senate is proposing adding the ability to get specialty plates, such as Purple Heart, to the underlying bill. Either version is fine for us. The bottom line is that people in a parade should not have to ask permission from WSP to make helmet usage optional. Riding in parade formation without a helmet is much less hazardous than standing on a flat bed truck at the same speed.
HB 1543 and SB 5141. These two bills both eliminate the loophole where riders get an inordinate number of learners permits without bothering to get endorsed. IMHO the Senate version would be preferable, as it sets the standard as 3 permits in three years as opposed to capping lifetime permits at 3. The Senate is proposing to restore the 3 in a lifetime language. Either one does the job, but SB 5141 gives a bit more leeway for the rider who is re-entering the market after several years absence.
HB 1833. This bill ensures that the Motorcycle Safety and Education Advisory Board meets no less than quarterly, to ensure that we have a continuing venue for access to the agency that safeguards our funds. This is the only surviving version of the bill, so the choice is easy.
SB 5242, AKA the “Profiling Bill.” In short, law enforcement needs better probable cause to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search someone than because they are riding a motorcycle or wearing motorcycle related apparel. If you don’t think this issue might be relevant to you because you ride a sport touring bike and full coverage technical riding gear you need to remember the whole NHTSA funded motorcycle only “safety” checkpoints.
SB 5800. This bill provides an avenue for those riders who have off road only motorcycles to bring them into compliance with all of the federal motor vehicle safety standards so that they can license them so that they can use them on road. This way they can go from trail to trail or from trailhead to town and back without loading up and trailering. It isn’t a traditional “road” issue, but many of our members ride on and off road, so this can have an effect on them.
Now, quit staring at the computer and hit the phone line. Get those calls made today, and then follow up in about four (4) days for a status report. This is a time critical operation.
We all know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so START SQUEAKING!
Until next time, Ride Safely and Legislate Well.