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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by niceviewbehindbars, May 27, 2010.
Congrats on a positive outcome at least!
I READ SOME STUFF SOME GUY SAID ON THE INTERNET! IT MUST HAVE BEEN TRUE!
Glad to hear that!
Actually, I would take away something else - the cop made it clear to the judge that he thought the fine was ridiculous. I would consider writing to him, thanking him, and asking for him to write back with those exact words so you could use it to argue against the total fine.
He may have understood the statute and how to write it up, but not the penalties. So he may well strike again, but do a lecture, including descibing the penalties involved, rather than a citation.
Everybody knows you didn't exactly walk. You had to pay the lawyer.
Nothing to stop you from being an activist on the matter. Write your representatives, organize others. Get press on the issue whenever possible. etc. There is a problem in the stunting law and educating the people who made the law may get it fixed. But it will take a whole lot of letters to get it on their radar.
Hey, glad to hear this worked out like it did. Sounds like the officer realized the ridiculousness of this, at least to the extent originally involved.
Stop stunting now, ok?
Just wait until you see my new Youtube video series I have in production right now. It is titled "GSA Hooliganism Mega Blast" I am having difficulty maintaining the 1/2 mile long power wheelies but with some more practice I think I will have nailed down soon! I also got my boot stuck inside one of my panniers when I was standing inside them while facing backwards doing 90mph. I tried to jump out and get turned around fast enough before the curve in the road and ended up crashing into guard rail. I will have that one worked out soon too
I'm happy for you, being off the hook.
It still sucks for all the time, money and effort it took you, then get this as a result, more like a party pooper.
There is also a degree of unfairness in it.
Sugar the sour grape
:slurp a big one!
Sorry for all the trouble and expense you had to go through but CONGRATS on the outcome!
Does Florida have a state-sponsored motorcycle safety program?
If so, I'd write them with a tactful explanation of your ordeal.
Our state's motorcycle operators manual (MSF-based) specifically mentions "rising slightly off the seat with your weight on the footpegs..." as an accepted practice for handling "uneven surfaces and obstacles".
States are looking for ways to cut down on motorcycle-related accidents. Reminding them that standing safely on the pegs is not "stunting" but a normal and accepted riding practice that can counter rider fatigue could get a qualification added to some future publication of the statute...
I am glad to hear it got dismissed. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how or why or what the lawyer said to the Trooper. I know Troopers who would give their own mother a ticket and know of one in my county who issued his own son a ticket. They are glorified tax collectors. I have no respect for them as a law enforcement agency. It would have been more satisfying if it had ended with a Perry Mason kind of irrefutable argument of logic that the judge couldn't deny, but that isn't how things work. As a fellow Floridian, I would have liked to have heard you had a successful argument so that if the same ever happened to me I would have the ammunition to use. Glad it worked out relatively well for you. Sucks you had to stress over it and pay the lawyer. You had a lot of people cheering for you.
If you ever figure out who in the legislature we need to write to or call please post it up so we can try to get the law changed. I know the AMA doesn't do any lobbying (I talked to them at the A.I.M. show in Orlando), so who does? Who represents motorcyclists in Florida?
ABATE of Florida.
This is an interesting topic with quite a bit of meat for lawyers to sink their teeth into.
Stunting laws (anti-stunting more accurately) are not a bad thing. Standing on the pegs is not stunting (no risk, no expert skill, no display for public attention ~~~ thx Webster).
Glad you escaped criminal punishment, but what a HUGE hassle. ABATE or some other group advocating would be nice.
Also, NC uses MSF-based training and skills assessment and standing to clear obstacles (weight the rear...) is clearly outlined in the state motorcycle manual. So, it must be OK; however, you can't ever be sure due to the zealous behavior some coppers display.
I can understand the rant about the "glorified tax collectors" part (but they don't always have the choice) but you would be the first to cry of favoritism if a trooper or any other LEO did not issue ticket to his family members, don't you think?
I spent several hours reading up on this matter to better educate myself when I was waiting for my hearing date. I am in no way an expert and these are just my observations and opinions.
ABATE, the AMA and others voiced very strong opposition to this Statute as it was making its way thru it's approval process. Originally, the Bill was worded insanely and called immediate rider arrest and confiscation of the motorcycle if caught stunting. It got watered down thankfully but still left way too much overly general wording that leads to interpretation issues with the patrol officers. The internet radio show, Side Stand Up, once interviewed the Bills author, Florida State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The very subject of long distance riding and the occasional need for standing to stretch was discussed. Cantera went on record, so to speak, and stated that the Bill's intent was for true Stunting and that he himself did not consider standing in the manner that Long Distance riders do as being cause to be cited under the statute.
All that being said, the only way that I am aware that can get the statute --as it reads today--to be amended is finding an influential member of state government to champion it's revision. It would be much easier to bring those changes forward if cases identical to mine were brought to a true trial and ruled in the riders favor. This would then lay a good case-law foundation to stand upon when trying to get the statue amended.
I don't think letters to state reps from an army of ADV Riders will be enough unless one of those Gov officials really wants to take on this issue and has something with teeth to back it up when bringing it forward.
AIUI, Florida now has mandatory training for all new riders. MSF is the standard in all but two states.
Explain how "rise slightly" equates to "stand".
Recognize that despite their posturing, the MSF is not a government agency; merely the de facto source of training programs for most of the USA. Worse, quite a lot of state motorcycle operator handbooks contain information contrary to actual law, current state safety training, and/or common(sic) sense.
I'm not against it: personally I think any time a stupid law can be made to go away, the better off we are (yeah, like laws ever go away...) But recognize the numbers: it's "normal and accepted" on perhaps 15% of all street legal motorcycles, uncomfortable on another 15%, and not even possible on nearly half the bikes on the street in the USA.
Noting Oregon has a similar law- Oregon has a "Governor's Advisory Council on Motorcycle Safety", which is a peer group (Riders!) that, well, advise the governor (and legislature) on relevant topics. Maybe there's similar in Florida?
I know Oregon's just recently had "standing" on the agenda, but it takes forever to get the minutes published online, so I don't know what the discussion was.
Laws get repealed qute regularly.....but it takes people speaking up, and making a sensable argument for repeal, for that to happen.
Here's a list of a few repaled laws.
Simply get the court transcript. Every word is there.
You also have to understand the political process and get your legislators attention. lots of voters writing in on an issue gets their attention.
You need to feed them the words to use for the change you want, you need to cover the bases and you need to feed them the arguments to use with the other legislators in a particular discussion.
So it would help to look up as much as out can find out about the original law when it was passed. See if anyone voted against it. Contact them and find out why. That person may be your champion.
You might come up with wording to modify the existing statute like:
"It shall not be considered stunding to stand while riding provided both feet are on the regular operators foot pegs , Both hands are on the handle bars in the customary operators position, and the operator does not stand for more than 100 yards."
Then you can argue that it is not only safe but a usual and customary activity, performed as described. THEN you back it up with MSF nfo, stuff from the state motorcycle handbook and licensing exam, etc.
Bear in mind the legislator my not make a bill out of the change but quietly add it as a rider to some other bill. It's how they get things done. But they need really rock solid arguements in their pocket to quell objections.
One such objection is that LEOs have discretion to determine that some instance isn't stunting. If you bring up your own court case you blow it. The LEO DID consider it stunting, and worthy of a $156 fine (and some points, and your insurance hit, etc.). The counter argument is that LEOs may not be informed on the usual and customary operation of a motorcycle and that greater legislative guidance should be provided. But your legislator is clueless too, so you have to carefully educate them. Unlike a big company, you can't pay lobbyists to do it for you. You need to do it yourself.
If there is no one advocating for motorcyclists in Fl, maybe time you started an organization to do exactly that. When you have a membership roster of 15,000 voters from someones district, you get listened to, especially if the stuff you want is pretty easy to do and you can provide the info to get it done.