NORTH HAMPTON,PENNSYLVANIA — A pair of proposed bills that would have required all Pennsylvania motorcyclists to wear helmets and all motorcycles made after 1982 to have noise “emission systems labels” died Tuesday in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.
According to the House Transportation Committee, the proposed bills were dismissed after being found “too inexpedient to legislate.”
State Rep. and North Hampton, PA resident Judith Day sponsored both bills and previously told the Herald, “People using public roads should have to be responsible riders.”
Contois said he e-mailed his staff “to be sure we’re all doing the right thing and to respect the sport because we all have a stake in it.”
“We don’t have to worry until next year, but I’m sure it’s going to come up again,” he said.
Contois estimated 60 percent to 65 percent of all customers at the North Hampton motorcycle dealership arrive on bikes without helmets on their heads.
She advocated for the helmet law, saying head injuries cost everyone through increased hospital, rehabilitation and loss-of-employment costs. The emissions sticker law would have required proof all motorcycles adhere to federal noise standards and was motivated by complaints from Hampton constituents, she said.
Seacoast motorcyclist Jason Page applauded the death of the bike bills, following his Jan. 28 appearance at a Statehouse hearing on the matters. He told the Herald he took the floor and made his own personal pitch to lawmakers.
“I said, ‘I’ve been married for 27 years, so I don’t get to make many choices. Please don’t take this one away from me.'”
Al Contois, a Stratham resident and president of Seacoast Harley-Davidson, said he, too, was pleased to see the bills die in committee. Like Page, he attended Thursday’s hearing along with, he said, about 150 other opponents.
“It was intimidating to be there,” said Day. “That’s a lot of Harley jackets.”
“Customers coming up from Massachusetts take their helmets off at the border,” he said. “We have a motto here, ‘Live free and ride.'”
Day said she’s undecided whether she’ll seek re-election in November, but if she returns to the House, she “certainly would bring a bill again” legislating helmets and motorcycle noise.
She said many Pennsylvania motorcyclists at the hearing told her they wear helmets, but don’t want to be forced to do so.
“I think it’s a philosophy,” she said.
The Pennsylvania state representative said she also supports legislation that would allow individual communities to craft their own motorcycle-noise ordinances.
Last year, she introduced a bill that would have lowered the allowed decibels from motorcycle exhaust pipes. That bill was killed after much testimony about how hard it is to accurately measure noise levels on the streets.
By Elizabeth Dinan
February 03, 2010
This news is presented courtesy of Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney Lee D. Gaber, Esquire. I can be reached at 888-cycle-law with any questions about Pennsylvania motorcycle law. You may also want to view my motorcycle lawyers FAQ page.