By: Charlie Boone
On February 1, 2017 there was a gathering in Raleigh, NC of 27 bikers committed to affect legislation in the NC General Assembly. These men and women met for an informational session before taking the short walk to the Legislative Building to speak with their legislators. They had several issues to place before them.
First was HB28, a bill to require that any parking facility built with any public funds (taxes) must be made to accommodate motorcycles. Several representatives signed on as sponsors of the bill before day’s end. HB28 has now passed through the House Transportation committee and goes to the Regulatory Reform Committee.
The next item was the Freedom bill, better known as the helmet bill. This would allow freedom of choice on helmet usage for those over 21 and with $10,000 in medical insurance. In the weeks after Lobby Day, companion bills for this were filed. They are HB91 and SB 66. You can get more info on where these stand now at ncleg.net. If you really want to ride free, contact your legislators and ask them to vote YES on these bills.
Other agenda items that were discussed included our desire to have the “no texting” law strengthened. As this law stands now, it is almost impossible to enforce. We would like to see it made into a “no distracted driving” law that calls for a careless and reckless charge in the case of an accident causing injury caused by distracted driving of any sort.
The other issue is anti-profiling legislation. This would call for training for law enforcement on what constitutes motorcycle profiling, and would require all law enforcement agencies to put in their policy manuals a statement condemning such profiling. To keep informed on where these legislative issues are now, go to www.cba-abatenc.org. Better yet, join CBA and help us win the fight on these issues.
One other issue that we are working on is a resurfacing project on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As this is federal property, we are working with our Congressmen to try to modify the current plan to chip seal 150 miles of the parkway. This process would be the absolute worst option for motorcyclists. Check the website for more info on this.