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Bikers will Lobby Opening of SC's Legislative Session

Article by FastFred Ruddock

This year our opening lobby day is more important than ever. Be sure to attend and gather in the lobby of the statehouse early to make the maximum impact and to assure you get your lobby day patch and scavenger list handout. I will be in the lobby by 9 AM near Calhoun’s statue. A large crowd of bikers in the statehouse lobby prior to the opening of the new session will help augment the on going daily efforts of Dennis and others at the statehouse. Please do your part and arrive in the lobby of the statehouse at 9 AM on Tuesday January 9th. There is a lot to do and you’ll need a few hours but don’t worry you will have fun too. If you choose to spend the night in Columbia remember Lexington has a meeting Monday evening.

The safety nannies funded by greedy insurance companies are still hammering away at our freedoms. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety AHAS has just issued a 72 page “2006 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws.” Take careful look at the graphic on the cover that resembles a monopoly game board. The robber barons of the insurance companies have some interesting new squares on their game board one is called “SAFETEA-LU FUNDS” and another is named “MOTORCYCLE HELMETS.”

From the cover of the AHAS 2006 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws

The opening remarks of AHAS President Judith Lee Stone on page two seem to confirm South Carolina and helmet laws are on their radar:

“South Carolina was the only state to pass a primary enforcement seat belt law. No states adopted an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, despite record increases in motorcycling fatalities. Fortunately no repeals occurred.” (Stone 2,

Pages 14, 15 and 16 are a direct assault on biker rights and call for “Adult Occupant Protection Laws.” AHAS cooks the stats of a few choice states in an effort to mislead members of state legislatures. I suggest the sunbelt has more impact upon motorcycle death rates than laws.

“…motor vehicle crashes impose a significant financial burden on society. According to NHTSA, the cost of motor vehicle crashes exceeds $230 billion annually. The costs to society are dramatic. Motor vehicle crashes cost each American an average of $792 annually…”
(AHAS 11,

Page 67 of the AHAS Roadmap clearly lists an All Rider Helmet law as a top priority in South Carolina but don’t take my word for it get a copy of the “2006 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws” and read it for yourself.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has recently created a Motorcycle Safety Task Force. ABATE of South Carolina now has two seats at the table of this task force. Public Safety’s stated reason to create this task force is “Motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in South Carolina and nationally.” They also provide a lot of statistics concerning this year’s dead motorcyclists such as 36% were speeding. Dead bikers were also 31% more likely to be drunk than dead cagers.

Amazingly the statistics given out at the November 15th task force meeting were current as of the previous day November 14th. The statistics given at that date were 95 dead motorcyclists: 86 were male while only 9 were female; 80 were white, 14 were black, and one was Hispanic; 60 were over 35 years old; 47 were single-vehicle crashes, 76 were not wearing helmets. 48 motorcyclists died in accidents involving another vehicle of those 21 involved failure to yield right-of-way by either the biker or cager. It would appear based upon these stats that the average biker is more twice as likely to die at his own hands rather than those of another.

You can rest assured our opponents will see that your legislators see these statistics in a light they hope will lead to new safety laws. It is up to you to help your legislator see our side of the issues currently facing motorcyclists. Such as South Carolina’s grant request for SAFETEA-LU funds was rejected because rider training is not available in the majority of South Carolina Counties. You may wish to ask your legislator to increase funding for rider education to make it more available.

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