SC Legislative Opportunities and Challenges
from a Biker's Perspective
Written by FastFred Ruddock, September 19, 2007
We are still looking forward to the second half of the current
South Carolina Legislative Session. Opportunities and challenges
await the bikers of South Carolina in the second half. Like
many football games the second half can make all the difference.
We need to stay focused while executing our best plays and watchful
of the opposing team's best plays and special teams. Please
use the two lists below to be come familar with our plays and
their plays before the big game.
A glaring problem is lack of funding for South Carolina's
Rider Education Program. Rather than a special tax for bikers
I suggest we work our legislature and others for grants to cover
the expense. Cage drivers pay no special tax for driver programs
offered throughout the state and even in most if not all high
schools; bikers should be treated no different.
Additionally we would be wise to watch the federal efforts
underway to bring back federal mandates for all rider helmet
laws. It would be prudent to consider supporting the MRF
and joining the MRF's email alert list. We can overcome our
obstacles provided we all work together.
Handicap License Plates for motorcycles have long been available
Bills friendly to biker rights:
a bill to allow for vertically mounted license plates for motorcycles.
Sponsored by Grooms and currently in the Transportation Committee.
a bill to amend current gambling laws in to allow non-profit
organizations to using various games such as poker and dice
for the purpose of fundraising. This bill is currently still
stuck in a senate subcommittee and sponsored by McConnell. H3201
is a similar bill in the House but lacks the important protections
to be granted by S732 to organizations such as ABATE.
Reb’s bill to allow motorcyclists to treat defective traffic
signals as stop signs. This is the second legislative session
for this bill. Much as we would all like to pass this bill is
currently an excellent tool to address defective traffic signals
throughout South Carolina. This bill is currently stuck in a
senate subcommittee and sponsored by Leventis and Knotts. North
Carolina and Tennessee have passed similar bills.
is a bill to instruct the Department of Transportation to design
and erect along the state's highways traffic signs that promote
motorcycle safety at locations where motorcycle fatalities have
occurred within three years before the erection of the sign.
This bill is on life support and is currently unlikely to pass
because the lone sponsor has died.
is a bill to provide currently available special license plates
for motorcycles in addition to just cages. Currently in the
Education and Public Works Committee and sponsored by Brown,
Alexander, and Battle
is a bill that provides the Department of Motor Vehicles may
issue Military Veterans Motorcycle special license plates to
United States Armed Forces Veterans who own motorcycles registered
in their names. The requirements for production and distribution
of the plate are those set forth in Section 56-3-8100. The veteran
owning the motorcycle must also present to the department a
copy of his DD214. This bill has already passed both the house
and senate and is now currently listed in conference committee.
All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act is a bill to provide reasonable
ATV safety while respecting parental and property rights. Currently
resides in the Transportation Committee and sponsored by Grooms,
Campsen, Verdin, and Bryant.
is a bill that provides a person driving a motor vehicle which
is involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident must submit to
a chemical test of his breath for the purpose of determining
the presence of alcohol if there are reasonable grounds to believe
that the person is under the influence of alcohol to the extent
the person's faculties to drive are materially and appreciably
impaired. Currently in a Transportation Subcommittee and sponsored
by Martin, Ryberg, Richardson, Vaughn, Mescher, Knotts, Cleary,
Bills unfriendly to biker rights:
is a bill to allow for the use of cameras at intersections and
other locations for traffic enforcement. A similar law in Virginia
greatly increased rear-end accidents and was repealed as a direct
result. Motorcyclists are placed at great hazard to life and
limb by rear-end accidents. Currently stuck in Judiciary Committee
and sponsored by Hamilton.
is a bill that may encumber ABATE with more red tape and fees;
for example: "A political awareness organization which
receives or expends more than two thousand five hundred dollars
in the aggregate during a calendar year, within fifteen days
of incorporation, shall register with the State Ethics Commission
as provided in this section. Each political awareness organization
registering shall pay a fee of one hundred dollars."