Legislative Update 2-15-12

Hello Freedom Fighters,
We have a full plate here so let’s dig in and call out the dogs.

There is a bill that would make it mandatory for all vehicles to drive with their headlights on 24 hours a day. This bill concerns us for obvious reasons, if everybody has their headlights on all of the time our motorcycle headlights will blend into a sea of headlights and we will lose some of our visibility. Please consider contacting your State Representative and ask him or her to oppose HF 478 and contact your State Senator (do not contact U.S. Senators Klobuchar or Franken) and ask him or her to oppose SF 256. Please explain our concerns in a respectful manner and request a response and forward that response to me.

The next bill is one we have been talking about for ten years now. We need to find a way to encourage the driving public to pay attention when they are behind the wheel and if they choose not to and they cause a death or injury they need to receive more than a slap on the wrist. Please contact your State Representative and ask him or her to support HF 277 and contact your State Senator and ask him or her to support SF 206. Let’s get this law passed, pour it on.

Last but not least, photo cop is back. This is a bill that would allow local jurisdictions to use red light cameras to hand out tickets for running red lights. Your ABATE of Minnesota Legislative team is very concerned about this bill. First of all, these laws when passed in other states have resulted in more rear end collisions at intersections and motorcycles rarely win in rear end collisions. This bill would also cause some problems for our “proceed through a malfunctioning red light law” which allows motorcyclists an affirmative defense for safely passing through a red light that will not change due to the small footprint of a motorcycle. Currently you can wait a reasonable amount of time and if the red light does not change, you can proceed through the intersection. And if an officer issues you a ticket you may go to court and offer an "affirmative defense", and the ticket will be dismissed. That’s if an officer is there. With photo cop the officer will always be there so if you have safely run a red light because it won’t change, you will have to take a day off from work to defend yourself every time. This bill could also have an adverse affect on our “Road Guard Bill”. Please contact your State Representatives and ask them to oppose HF 487 and contact your State Senators about SF 377.

Freedom fighters, we really do have a full plate. Your ABATE of Minnesota Legislative team and our lobbying team are all working hard to secure your freedom of the road and to make the road safer for you and we really need your help. Take action today – these bills will be entering the committee process soon (lights-on bill on Monday, February 18th and red light camera bill on the 20th and 25th).

Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Todd Riba
ABATE of Minnesota Legislative Director
toddriba@gmail.com 952-239-0929