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Florida - Kill someone on a bike, get a $52 fine

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Kaer, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060319/NEWS0110/603190446/1085/NEWS0110

    Local bikers gather to address safety concerns
    Group criticizes fines for vehicle drivers

    By Joan D. Laguardia

    Motorcyclists met in Fort Myers on Saturday to launch an education campaign and a protest against vehicle drivers who get what they say are insignificant fines for causing accidents that kill motorcycle riders.

    "We're concerned with why a motorcyclist is allowed to be killed by a driver who made a mistake and only get a ticket," said David "Surfer" Bowlby of Cape Coral.

    "There should be more than a $52 ticket for failure to yield the right of way," he said. "Is that what a life is worth?"

    About 40 people attended the regular meeting of local chapters of ABATE of Florida and other motorcycling groups at the American Legion Hall in downtown Fort Myers.

    Much of the meeting dealt with the growing danger for motorcyclists on Southwest Florida's roads.

    Six motorcyclists have been killed in Lee County this year, and 18 were killed in 2005.

    A record 20 motorcyclists associated with Bike Week in Daytona Beach were killed this month.

    Some of those deaths were caused by cyclist error, said Susan Huttman, a member of the Southwest Chapter of ABATE, but too many are caused by inattentive vehicle drivers.

    She said motorcycle groups should push for stiffer punishment for vehicle drivers who cause motorcycle accidents while also working to keep reckless cyclists off the roads.

    "To be taken seriously, we have to be serious," she said. "We have to learn to police ourselves."

    The issue, the bikers said, is not about wearing a helmet. Bikers wearing helmets are among those killed in accidents caused by vehicle drivers, said Frank Kennedy, president of Southwest ABATE.

    Drivers who cause accidents involving bikers are being cited by police, but they are not getting fines or sentences as tough as drivers who kill passengers in other vehicles or pedestrians, bikers claim.

    The problem will continue to grow along with Florida's population and traffic congestion, Huttman said.

    According to Florida ABATE, she said, the number of registered motorcyclists in Florida more than doubled from 195,000 in 2000 to 473,000 in 2005.

    "That is a lot of political power, friends," she told the gathering.
  2. Still with the "No Helmet" issue too. :roll:
  3. Hmmmm..
    Not sure which way to go with this one.

    Should the penalty for not following a road rule be different based on the outcome? I mean the action is the same.
    What about when the rider decides to not wear protection that could save their life, should the penalty be different then?

    But at the same time, you can apply the same logic to cases in Aus - to a degree.
    If you get caught drunk driving the penalty is less than if you then go on to kill someone in an accident, yet the action is the same.

    I think an approach of each case on it's merrits is required.
  4. "The issue, the bikers said, is not about wearing a helmet."

    Guns don't kill people
    People kill people

    after the coolumbine shooting the NRa held a gun rally in a nearby town.
    All these organisations really are there to push their own agenda.
    If they were fair dinkum the first thing they should address is helmet wearing then worry about other factors.
    fcukem the penalty is right if the rider wasn't wearing a helmet.
  5. Only relevent if the rider dies of head injuries. A helmet will do jack if their chest, organs etc. are crushed.
  6. you snipped the most important bits
    The people jacking up are more concerned about helmet laws than anything else.
    It's in their agenda no different to when a school shooting occurs and the NRA jacks up about guns.
  7. Helmet or no. The loss of a riders life (hell, anybodys life) should bear closer examination then "Heres the standard Failing to give way fine and don't do it again". That sounds a little harsh. If the not wearing of a helmet is legal then it shouldn't enter into it. I do think it's a pretty stupid law but it's like the Bali 9 + whats her name. I don't agree with the laws but It's still the law (over there).
  8. They have helmet optional.
    If the rider was killed because of head injuries because they were not wearing a helmet then the rider has also contributed to his/her own demise.
    the fact that the spokespeople raised the helmet issue means to me at least, that the death may have been due to lack of helmet and their concern is more about their "rights" to not wear a helmet.
    Typical yanks bleating about their rights and not about their responsibilities.

  9. More like their right to hurt themselves and blame someone else. :roll:

    *not relating to the specific accident as I don't know what happened there. Aimed at the "blame the cafe cos I slipped on the mess that my child just left on the floor" people.
  10. Smee,

    If thats the reason they are jumping up and down

    eg. Optional helmet is my right blah....

    and not:

    Car driver fails to give way and kills biker, gets slap on the wrist.

    Cause I would probably get a little pissed at the second option but wouldn't really care about the first.

    Wind in your hair riding is fun but 1 little fall and ------------------. Plus bugs and stones and grit etc hurt so even if you don't stack a helmet is still useful.

    Sometimes (nah most of the time) politics suck