May 31, 2009

All the News that Didn't Fit

California Smog Testing for Motorcycles
Senator Fran Pavley has introduced California Senate Bill 435 that "would mandate motorcycle smog testing for all model year 2000 and newer class III bikes (over 280cc)." The AMA is launching a campaign to oppose this "unwarranted proposal."

Minnesota “Fail to Yield” Bill
As of this writing, the Minnesota “Fail to Yield” Bill (House HF45 and Senate SF639) is progressing through the congressional system. In March, three more State Representatives have joined the list of authors (Brown, Scalze and Newton joining Emmer, Kohls, Morgan, Brynaert, Kiffmeyer, Gardner, Tillberry, Bly, Slocum, and Urdahl) to provide a little more clout to the bill. If you want to see this pass, contact your state representatives and let them know how you feel.

Polaris Joins with Bobcat
Polaris and Bobcat have announced a “long-term strategic alliance that will leverage the complementary strengths of both companies to penetrate work related market segments globally.”

“We are thrilled about the long-term implications of this alliance.” said Richard Goldsbury, President Bobcat Americas. “Bobcat’s and Polaris’ long tradition of innovation, product passion, and similar cultures complement each other very well. We are combining the strengths of the #1 compact construction equipment manufacturer with those of the #1 off-road vehicle manufacturer to deliver innovative product solutions for our customers. This alliance will enable both companies to extend our customer bases and provide profitable growth.”

Fly Australia Biker Style
On a late March Sunday afternoon, three Hells Angels motorcycle and three Comancheros bikers found themselves seated on a Qantas 430 from Melbourne to Sydney. They, apparently, called ahead to have more of their gang meet the plane and, on arrival, began a classic biker battle that resulted in dead Hells Angel and an injured Comanchero. Airport bystanders were given credit for chasing off the rioting bikers, calling the police, and attempting to assist the dying biker. The Sydney Daily Telegraph called the event, “the passenger manifest from hell.”


Anonymous said...

I wear, and like my helmet. I'm thinking about an upgrade, mainly for comfort reasons. The only reasons I'm opposed to a mandatory helmet law is the same reason I'm opposed to any law like seatbelts that restricts individual freedoms that won't affect others freedoms. I don't buy into that crap from the health nazis and politically correct police about lack of helmets costing the taxpayers. That's how they got smoking banned in the prison system and recently in all public places. Issues I always struggled with when I was a lot younger, and we had a helmet law in Minnesota, was getting my lid stolen and having a hard time of getting my machine home, or picking up a passenger and not having two lids, or having to drag around a lid and playing mother hen over it everywhere I went. Like the old bumper sticker said "Helmet Laws Suck"


Anonymous said...
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T.W. Day said...

I had the same problem monitoring my helmet in CA during that state's helmet law period. If I don't carry it, someone steals it. If I carry it, I'll forget about it and leave it somewhere. Damned if I do . . .

I don't know how to argue that the impractical motorcycle crash, injury, and death rate and the cost to the public of providing health care for that risk doesn't give the public some right to expect a minimum of care from motorcyclists. Now that Minnesota has a mandatory seatbelt law, the only reasonable argument we had against helmets laws is gone. A lot of this argument isn't political correctness, it's simple risk modeling/management. When less than 0.1% of the highway users contribute to 8-13% of the highway deaths, obviously, something has to change.

Some reference links: (this is about bicycles, but it is a pretty interesting alternative argument that might apply to motorcycles)

Motorcycles are an inconvenient, marginally-practical two-person transportation system, at best. That problem is probably where a lot of my solo tendencies came from. Come to think of it, I might like a helmet law because it eliminates the "can I have a ride?" discussion. Unintended consequences?

Thomas Day
Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly Magazine