Mandatory Helmet Law Fight in California. A Message From Freedom Fighter John Rogue To Support Those Who Defend Your Rights.

DOTbisIt has been 19 years since the federal Judge agreed with motorcyclists that law enforcement officers had been writing helmet tickets without probable cause. But some police officers across the state of California didn’t stop writing tickets in violation of the injunction and federal case law, violating riders’ rights. Most riders honestly believe the federal government has approved the sale of certain helmets based on what they look like (though it doesn’t), and they think a DOT sticker is issued by the Department of Transportation (but it isn’t). In other words, many believe you must wear a “DOT approved” helmet. As a matter of fact The DOT does not issue the certification stickers, and the DOT does not stamp approval on any helmets, or even any other product. It’s hard to un-learn something you have believed so long…. Tickets can be based on recall notices or test results but not, like it’s often the case, because of the absence of a DOT sticker…

DOTFreedom Fighter and Sturgis Hall Of Famer John Rogue asks you to support the volunteers-based (Bikers Of Less Tolerance) for taking care of all legal matters to defend your rights. “I am requesting that all who read this go to the and read what is going on with the Mandatory Helmet Law Fight in California, and this whether or not you wear a helmet. Freedom Of Choice is a serious issue and singling out motorcyclists is very wrong. I realize that times are hard for many of you and that you do not have a lot of money, but I am asking you to go to this to donate to those who fight for your rights. It is important to send whatever you can and to also share this with your friends through whatever means you can, asking them to do the same.”

60 Responses to “Mandatory Helmet Law Fight in California. A Message From Freedom Fighter John Rogue To Support Those Who Defend Your Rights.”


  1. 1 Mike Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Way to go, in America we all should enjoy the freedom to ride without helmets, and also to ride with shorts and sandals if we please. Then, as free and reasonable Americans, we we wreck our bike (and get horribly injured due to wearing shorts, sandals and no helmet) we also like to enjoy the right to find some lawyer to assign blame to anyone but ourselves for our injuries.

  2. 2 stsn Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I’ve read the BOLT site. I still don’t fully get it.

  3. 3 Jan 13th, 2015 at 10:49 am

    “assign blame to anyone but ourselves for our injuries” Mike, you have direct experience with this?

    stsn – What do you need to fully get it?

  4. 4 MacBolt Jan 13th, 2015 at 11:56 am

    The helmet law in California is primarily used for harassment and income generation. In CA, helmet law is under Division 12 of the CA Vehicle Code book. Division 12 is the section for vehicle equipment, such as tail lights. In this division, equipment violations are to be written as CORRECTABLE, a $25 fine. Cops ALWAYS write them as non correctable a $200 fine. Even though there have been several court cases and an agreement with CHP Commission Farrow to write the tickets following the law, arrogant unprofessional cops write them as non correctable.

    Cops have hand cuffed riders for not wearing a helmet that was acceptable to the cop, made to stand on the side of the freeway and ordered the bikers wife to bring another helmet.

    On one case the courts deemed the riders helmet to be perfectly legal, but because the cops didn’t like the way it looks, the biker was arrested and thrown in jail simply because the cops wanted the rider to stop wearing that helmet. All 10 charges were NOT GUILTY.

    In another incident in Rancho Cordova, 4 cops cars and one motorcycle cop pulled a rider over for a helmet citation. On another, because the judge did not like the bikers club, he found the biker guilty and fined him way over the legal amount. On another, a cop didn’t like the bikers support stickers. The rider was wearing a store bought DOT helmet. The cop cited the rider for not having a DOT APPROVED HELMET CLASP! No such thing, Not Guilty.

    Helmet laws are not about safety (and the courts have agreed with this in CA); helmet laws are about control and income generation.

  5. 5 rebel Jan 13th, 2015 at 11:57 am

    here’s an idea pass a federal law that says if you wreck a motorcycle (above lets say 250 cc, am i discriminating against scooter and moped riders? your damned right I am) without a DOT “approved” helmet and don’t have sufficient insurance for your injuries you wave your right to life sustaining care and further wave your legal rights to place blame on anyone other than yourself, make everyone happy and you know who would protest this attempt? NO ONE THAT’S WHO !!!!!!! So just get you meddling nose out of my right to pursue my happiness, pretty please.

  6. 6 RASCAL IWMC Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The government doesn’t tell a woman how to protect her body when it comes to abortion. Don’t tell me how to protect mine.

  7. 7 RICH Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I agree that we cant make the Gov. responsible for these people who wreck and have no insurance cause then we the tax payers are footing the bill for them! I say that if you have health insurance then it’s your choice if you would like to wear a helmet or not. If you’re under 18 yrs old or do not have valid health insurance then you would be required by law to wear a helmet. Just my 2 cents.

  8. 8 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    My money will gladly go to riding organizations that put efforts to fight distracted driving as their TOP priority.

    There is too much work to be done on this topic & the effort can’t be side tracked with wasted money & time spent on anti-helmet laws.

  9. 9 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    it doesn’t matter if you have health insurance or not….since health care has become a business, the avoidable long-term healthcare cases (stemming from avoidable injuries due to lack of a helmet) cost everyone.

    Do you actually think health insurance magically makes these costs go away?

  10. 10 Rogue Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Fighting any law that is unjust takes many courses. They Best Way to do that is to Stop It Before It Becomes A Law. In the case of the Mandatory Helmet Law that was Not Possible because we did not have the structure we have today to know what laws are being proposed.
    For those not familiar with how the Mandatory Helmet Law came into being it was through a Threat from the Government to Withhold Highway Funds to states that did not pass 5 laws, the Mandatory Helmet law being one of them.
    This led to the forming of numerous motorcycle rights groups around the country and eventually in many areas the forming of ABATE.
    Those of you interested in finding out more about the forming of ABATE can check out an article on that in the February 2015- 500th issue of Easyriders Magazine.
    If a bill cannot be stopped and it becomes law it is then challenged in the courts. This usually starts with someone violating the law and going to court, plead Not Guilty and trying the case. If a favorable decision is made then members of law enforcement in that area should stop arresting the defendant. That usually is not the case because many members of law enforcement take it personally when they are beat in court and continue to arrest the same person for the same thing.
    When this happens it become harassment.
    If the defendant is found Guilty then he appeals to a higher court and continues to the Supreme Court if necessary.
    This is what members of BOLT Do. They fight the laws in court. Other groups lobby to get the law changed through the legislature. Others may have groups appear at legislative sessions and or hold what many call protests or Civil Disobedience. All of the actions are like spokes in a wheel and work together within the legal system to change laws or rulings.
    I hope this has helped answer some of the questions.

  11. 11 Rogue Jan 13th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I would like to Thank Rob Keller of Cycle Source magazine for sending me his article which I then sent to Cyril which generated this post.

  12. 12 Jan 13th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Statistics (manipulated by the Insurance industry and the government) created the illusion that wearing helmets have an injury preventative benefit. Without the math tricks they are so good at, it is clear that it is a wash; helmet wearers suffer injuries that riders without helmets do not incur – and vice versa. No measurable benefit.

    After all these decades, if you still have Faith and a Belief that forced helmet compliance is beneficial, and an omnipotent government has the Moral standing to Force us to purchase and wear an item that might reduce one type of injury, but increases the likelihood of a different type of injury, an intervention is necessary. Someone needs to shake you.

    Rights are supposed to trump cost, safety and government coercion every time. If it doesn’t – we have a constitutional crisis. A minority harassing the majority for political gain and increased government size and the illusion of complete relevance in our lives. Shame on anyone pushing government toward more control of a supposedly Free (We The) People.

    BOLT of California successfully forces government to stop violating the law. How can anyone think our mission is wrong or misguided? In Nazi Germany, that is what was missing from the citizenry – resisting out of control cops. When the People are afraid of the government there is Tyranny; When the government is afraid of The People there is Liberty. Look around, and tell me which part of that statement you resemble or promote. Are you the problem, or the solution?

  13. 13 MacBolt Jan 13th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Rebel, were you serious in that comment? If yes, you need to get better informed. No such thing as a DOT Approved helmet. Contact them direct and ask them. NHTSA only tests about 34 helmets per year, approx 30% fail. No helmet has to be “pre approved” or tested by NHTSA prior to sell. The DOT sticker is simply a manufacture’s statement that they believe should the helmet ever get tested under FMVSS218, it would pass.

    If a helmet actually does get tested and actually passes, Max impact protection appox 13.2 mph. In the DOT paid for biased Hurt Report, they state max 25 mph. According to the UK’s highly regarded testing facility SHARP; they state brain trauma can occur as low as 6 mph.

    When emergency room doctors were ed about motorcycle injuries, they stated approx 4% of the injuries were 100% due to brain trauma. Report after report, going back decades show that medical costs for motorcycle riders are about the same as auto accidents.

    It was the weight of the helmet that killed Dale Earnhardt and several other race car drivers. Wear if you want, they do add some protection. But the amount of protection that many claim simply give riders a false sense of security. And I believe false and inaccurate information on helmets is getting riders killed. Let those who ride decide.

  14. 14 TJ Martin Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Want to ride without a helmet ? Then agree to accept higher insurance rates for the privilege of doing so . Because in all honesty I’m getting rather sick of paying inflated premiums when I do use a helmet to cover the extensive and excessive medical and liability costs incurred by those who do not . At the point those of you against helmets are willing to accept the added financial responsibilities for doing so I’ll gladly get on board ! But until then . You’re costing me money in order to express your so called ‘ freedoms ‘ !

  15. 15 TJ Martin Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    MacBolt – Are you serious with that comment ? Hate to be the bearer of bad news but your information is ill informed at best verging on blatant propaganda put forth by those supporting no helmet laws ! Fact is there are zero , none , nunca , nada medical professionals in any aspect of the field that would support any of your claims . With each and every head trauma Nurse , MD etc contradicting every statement you’ve made [ including the misinformation on what caused DE’s death ] Get the facts .. not the hype . And then … either like I said above … accept higher premiums for the privilege of not wearing a helmet . Or grin and bear it when States demand that you do ! As to the last statement by the way . Thats called ‘ Freedom with Responsibility ” A little something most Americans of late seem to of forgotten about

  16. 16 Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    TJ Martin, You are missing the point. This is about what the government can tell you to do and what they cannot tell you to do.

  17. 17 Brad Davis Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Today helmets, tomorrow lime green vests and the day after motorcycles will banned altogether. Keep up the “I do not get it crap” and when all of a sudden you can’t go any where or do anything w/o some government official saying; “Show me your PAPERS!” maybe then you will wake up, and it will be too late, Bozo.

  18. 18 Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I refuse to piss and moan about about a device, I will however piss, moan, belch, and fart over MY right to Freedom of Choice.

    Thank you,
    That is All

  19. 19 BobS Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    First let me point out that I’m a helmet wearer. And not a cheap beanie because my main concern is wether or not I look cool wearing a helmet. I wear a 600 dollar Shoei for it’s features and comfort. Ask a rider with a cheap helmet if he likes wearing it and he says no. Ask a rider with a quality helmet if he likes wearing it and you’ll hear no complaints. I’m also a bicyclist and a snow skier. Those communities “policed their own” and the wearing of quality protective gear IS the “cool” thing to do. The actions of the participants pre-empted laws being made.
    Now about laws, the best way to keep power from being abused is too keep it away from anyone who would be in a position to abuse it. Yes we should join ABATE, the AMA, and any other organization that gives us strength in numbers. AND we should let our fellow riders know that they look stupid clasping a plastic beanie to their head. Come at this from all angles. Get your friends to spend as much on a helmet as they do a custom seat. If everyone is wearing them the “necessity” to protect us from ourselves becomes moot. Once it becomes moot it’s much easier to repeal.

  20. 20 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    @Mark Temple & @MacBolt – the CA law should be changed so it doesn’t give any wiggle room to groups like yours related to correctable vs. non-correctable nuances.

    I’m living proof that helmets work after hitting gravel that was so fine it was difficult to see. (this gravel also mysteriously started in the middle of a fun corner, so my vision was on the corner exit, not down at that point in the road).

    I’d be either dead or walking around without a nose and chin were it not for my helmet since I had a face down slide.. So, there’s no data manipulation. You are trying to manipulate the facts from the opposite direction.

    Forget about that isolated incident as many can care less. The big topic that most should care about is what dangers pose the biggest threat to our sport/hobby? Then, people should ask who is trying to resolve that threat & how are they combating that threat (i.e. with our money)? Distracted Driving is a more pressing issue than fighting helmet laws (and the delusion that helmet laws are an example of big govt infringing on rights. It is our right to forbid someone their right to talk/text/read email while driving)

    weight of the helmet –

    How much do you think helmets weigh these days? For you to imply race car drivers are at risk because they wear helmets should raise all sorts of questions about your role in your cause. Wasn’t it the lack of the head harness that killed Mr. Earnhardt?

    Indian Larry’s death is a harsh example that even a slow fall can have fatal consequences without a helmet.

  21. 21 Jan 13th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Doug,
    Indian Larry and your example of the experience you had, remind us that the Darwin Awards are given out and some only get honorable mention.

    I can’t imagine how drunk I’d have to be to do what Indian Larry did, and only my experience keeps me from going “too fast” in a turn. If I screw up, I don’t ridicule others who ride properly, or have a different view of Constitutional protection.

    TJ Martin seems to believe the smoke and mirrors of Big Insurance. I am very well insured. Statistically, motorcyclists are as well insured as car drivers, in many cases insured better than the car driver.

    So many excuses, so few solid facts. This is why we still have Freedom issues today. So many willing to sell out their neighbors for the belief in the perceived, while ignoring the Liberty principles our country was based on.

    We end up arguing amongst ourselves while Nanny-government makes progress against our sport and lifestyle.

  22. 22 MacBolt Jan 13th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    No insurance company has raised rates due to no helmet law and no insurance company has decreased rates when helmet laws implemented. The idea of “social burden” was dis-proven back in 1992. Who is the insurance company that claims to raise rates over non use of helmets? The largest increase or the highest cost in motorcycle insurance is un-insured and underinsured motorist…your agent can break it down for you.

    Doug, yes Dale died because of the weight of his helmet separated his skull from his spine. It is basic law of physics…the added weight of the helmet traveling at speed coming to a sudden stop. I din’t imply anything regarding the race car drivers. They actually did die and that is why they all are required to wear the HANS Devise

    Texting and distracted driving can cause injury to others. Not wearing a helmet doesn’t harm others. And factually (with a few exceptions) price has nothing to due with the helmets ability to absorb energy to stop trauma to the brain.

    Let those who ride decide. This is still America…at least I think it is. America only exist if people believe in the idea of America. Believing the government has right to tell us how to live our lives…

  23. 23 BigWave916 Jan 13th, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Seriously, I think you should leave Earhhardt’s death out of the argument here. It doesn’t apply to motorcycles other than an event where the rider’s body is held while his head accelerates causing a brain stem injury. Race car drivers now use the HANS device, a head and neck restraint system so the head is tied down to the shoulders. Again, not relevent to motorcycles.

  24. 24 stsn Jan 13th, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Mike Greenwald, Brad Davis, etc.

    What I don’t get from the BOLT website is a clear statement of their goals.

    Is it to repeal the CA helmet law, possibly by legally establishing the unimportance of the DOT sticker,
    or to implement consistent police practices, or to establish a realistic baseline for what CA should accept as a helmet, or to allow the individual to call anything on their head a helmet?

    Why do I think this should be clearly stated on the website’s home page?
    Because that page also has a PayPal button.

    I live in CA and was against the passage of the helmet law when it happened.

  25. 25 Jan 13th, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    stsn, B.O.L.T. is the “NO COMPROMISE” biker rights collective. It opposes discrimination against bikers and other motorcyclists. Known, primarily, for opposition to government-mandated motorcycle helmet laws, they lawfully fight discrimination on all fronts, including legislative buildings, courtrooms, and the streets. Membership is limited to proven freedom fighters who become known to them as a result of their actions, using a nomination and acceptance process.

  26. 26 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Mark Temple – your darwin award comment makes you look even worse considering you were not present in my incident. Your latest comments are in line with you trying to manipulate facts.

    MacBolt – the basis of your argument now is based on whether or not you have a right to do something b/c it doesn’t cause harm to others? Good luck

  27. 27 stsn Jan 13th, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    This being an emotional issue for most of us, I merely found the specifics unclear.
    I”m old enough to remember Bozo. He rode a Square Four.

  28. 28 MacBolt Jan 13th, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Bigwave, the only reason I comment about Dale is because some (actually a lot) don’t understand the basic law of physics in regards to a moving object. There were approx 12 race drivers that died of the same cause. And yes I agree, motorcycles rarely get stopped suddenly…and when they do, the cause of death is generally in the torso, severe trauma and including the heart being knocked out of its chest cavity. But neck injuries have occurred due to the weight of the helmet and sudden stops. But my purpose is definitely not to persuade others to go helmet less, just learn about that styrofoam bowl that they choose to wear for protection.

    My only purpose is to illustrate that those that ride should have the right to choose. In some states the helmet law has been proven unconstitutional…and it is. In CA, court cases regarding Richard Quigley agreed the laws was unconstitutional but only in regards to Quigs case. So if the law is found to be unconstitutional, would the riders still promote a helmet law?

    Our government was created to secure our (you and me) rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is not up to the government to decide nor is up to any one else, as long as I am not infringing on your rights.

    But it seems today, most don’t understand that. A lot of people don’t like motorcycles or motorcycle riders, a lot of people don’t like guns a lot of people don’t like a lot of things; but as Americans we should support the right of free Americans to live their lives as they see fit, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.

  29. 29 BigWave916 Jan 13th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    MacBolt, when I posted your comments weren’t visible. I wasn’t answering you just commenting about the Earnhardt citings in previous posts. I agree with your last post. I don’t always wear a helmet myself and if not required to do so by the state of NC, I’d probably ride a lot more without head gear. My biggest issue is the people that claim without a helmet your injuries are more severe and chance of death increase so you increase the cost of there insurance. It hasn’t been sufficiently proven to me.I believe we should let those who ride decide.

  30. 30 Jan 13th, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Science.
    Force = Mass x Velocity (squared)

    Mass is the weight of the helmet.
    Velocity squared is speed X speed.

    40 mph X 40 mph is 1600

    1600 X 2 lb helmet equals 3200 pounds of force when acted upon by a sudden stop (fender of a car that turned left in front of you, for example.

    Weigh your helmet.
    4 pounds in very common. So is 40 mph.
    4 pound helmet in the above crash scenario would equal 6400 pounds of force on your neck.

  31. 31 BobS Jan 13th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    And a human head weighs 8-12 lbs so impacting concrete at 40 mph equals 128,000 to 192,000 lbs of force being applied to your skull. I’d like a helmet on in that situation thank you very much.

  32. 32 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    BobS – Mark Temple missed that point in my earlier post and instead tried to belittle the point with Darwinism. To further your point, I described that in either case, a helmet did (and could have in the case of Indian Larry), allowed a rider to ride again. I’ve had my best days on two wheels since then….which also speaks to “let those who ride decide” about whether or not riding again is important.

  33. 33 Jan 13th, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    BobS, Would you wear a helmet if there were no helmet law?

  34. 34 BobS Jan 13th, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Mike Greenwald see my first post. I’ve ridden in temps as high as 113 and as low as 0. At 113 I thought it would be better without but there’s a HUGE difference between cheap and quality helmets. I’m more comfortable in my Shoei than I am without it under most conditions. Yes I have ridden without it and no I do not support helmet laws, but again my first post addresses that.

  35. 35 BobS Jan 13th, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Oh and I live in Iowa, no helmet laws whatsoever.

  36. 36 domino Jan 13th, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    …………………..A.B.A.T.E……………..

    American Brotherhood Against Totalitarianism Enactments

    Proud Member

    p.s. for those who are younger, American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education

  37. 37 Doug Jan 13th, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    It’s not as though I support helmet laws, but I’m not about to join or give money to ABATE, the AMA, etc. when they spend so much money on fighting these laws instead of combating distracted driving, poor road conditions, etc. that affect all riders, with or without helmets.

  38. 38 Jan 13th, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    BobS, I am glad that freedom of choice has worked for you. My issue is not with the quality of the helmets that you choose to wear. I have an issue with government that writes a law that is vague. I have an issue with government that has allowed lesser governments to utilize a manufacturer regulation as a basis for consumer compliance.

  39. 39 MacBolt Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    BigWave…thank you. I am with you. I have been in the insurance industry since 1978. At one time I worked for the largest insurance wholesale broker in the US. We represented around 250 companies. We basically worked on hard to place commercial risks; one being finding coverage for US made helmet manufactures. 99.9% are now made out of the US…but the distributors can be sued as the manufacturer. Lots of lawsuit on helmets failing to do what they claim to do. But I am not an advocate of not wearing a helmet, just trying to get people to understand what they can and cannot do. I believe the uneducated pro helmet advocate is causing a lot of real deaths and injuries to the unwary.

    Insurance companies use actuaries, real analyses to determine risk. The know what helmets can and cannot do. And that is why insurance premiums do not change with or without helmet laws. The companies, like AAA, who fight against freedom of choice, know that helmets do add some protection and they will take what they can get in case of a lawsuit. Highest cost to personal lines motorcycle insurance companies is uninsured and underinsured motorists….not hospital costs

    This is America, people have the right to choose. People who don’t believe that are not Americans; they do not understand the principles on which this country was founded…they do not understand the idea of America.

    This editor got fired for telling the truth:

  40. 40 Jan 13th, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Whoo-Weee !!
    Nothing starts the comments flying like a helmet law discussion
    Where i live I surrounded by 3 “choice” states & I’m very glad for that ..
    However as I have traveled across this great land of ours I have
    (As I’m sure all of us have) had to cross “mandatory” helmet states
    I strap on the the old Bell 1/2 helmet & keep on truckin till i’m out of there
    It gives me a headache after a period of time. I hate wearing the damn thing.
    But you gotta do what you got to do.
    But I always support the right to choose !!!!

  41. 41 Rogue Jan 14th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    This was sent me by a friend.

    good article
    would be nice if the gov’t would just step aside in matters of the ride….
    and let freedom of choice be the way…..
    just my thought….maybe in the gkids lifetime…

  42. 42 Tom D Jan 14th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Doug,
    What a piss poor argument for not joining ABATE.

  43. 43 Myke Jan 14th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Regarding Rogues article: first and foremost fighting the mandatory helmet law is fighting for freedom, period! I also agree with most of the comments about the false sense of security, but how much protection a helmet actually offers or doesn’t isn’t the issue. The issue is our freedom as Americans, the ever increasing size and the power of the government and the governments ability to ‘override’ our freedom. Regarding the comment about a women’s right to choose, that seems sacrosanct in this country, I often cite the rabbit supporters of unrestricted unlimited abortion as pro choice from the waist down. It’s really not funny though! My second comment however on Rogues article is about bolt and their PayPal link. Abate (and I like when it’s American Bikers Against Totalitarian Enactments!), is/are great organizations important in supporting our lifestyle in many more areas than just fighting helmet laws. Helmet laws however are important to defeat and prevent for reasons way beyond our motorcycle riding enjoyment. This is a battle for the very essence of what our individual rights and what freedom is all about and should be supported by every American who understands this crazy idea that’s sets us apart and makes the USA a special place! Bolt however is not the answer and their prophet, Mr. Quig, who passed away many years ago (so I have nothing more to say about him!) have collected way too much money from riders, in my opinion, to fight their individual helmet tickets. When I was State Director of Abate of California we had a lot more problems with, and because of bolt, but it’s the plea for funds that prompts my comments. Many of us have gotten and fought helmet tickets in court and I think it’s important to do so. But the law needs to be defeated because it’s an intrusion on our freedoms and that’s a political reality of which this law is mostly symbolic! The defeat of this law has nothing to do with the efficacy of the helmet or which helmet one may choose but because the law gives the government the power to tell us how to dress! Often we are instructed to wear goggles, etc. because of insurance regulations and that battle is between the insured and their insurance carrier. This is plain and simple fascism and nothing less and it should be understood that allowing this kind of governance to prevail undermines everything this great country stands for. Our freedom will be celebrated or denied at the ballot boxes and that’s where this battle needs to be joined by everyone. Courtroom victories are important but make sure you understand where your money is going. I’m not a fan of bolt and I think reading their comments to Rogues article is enough for me to reaffirm my feelings in that regard. I am a fan of the individuals like Rogue who continue to fight alongside abate and others, for all of the rights and ideals that every veterans has fought for. I didn’t go to war for a minimum wage or welfare checks or food stamps or free health care! I put it all on the line for freedom, the idea that fueled the founding of this country and is still worth fighting for!

    Sent from my iPhone
    Myke

  44. 44 Jim Boston Jan 14th, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Is my not wearing a helmet hurting you? if it’s not, then it’s no business of yours if I wear it or not…. it’s a simple rule to live by…. if anything your doing hurts or disturbes the rights of any others then you should reconsider it. If not then you should be free to do it….. The bull shit of the whole deal is that motorcycle crashes are what is making insurance premiums go up… that’s complete garbage. Premiums are on the rise because insurance is mandatory and the companies can charge you whatever they want. Because you haven’t got the right to refuse to buy it because it cost too much.. That is unless you want to be ticketed if your pulled over…

  45. 45 Stephen Jan 15th, 2015 at 6:19 am

    The BOLT site links to a memo sent to CHP officers, the memo states:
    Officers shall focus enforcement action on the following;
    a) Motorcyclists not wearing a helmet
    b) Motorcyclists wearing helmets which are obviously not motorcycle helmets, such as styrofoam bicycle helmets and football helmets.

    The memo also goes on to state:
    Officers shall not cite for hard shell beanie type helmets.

    Sounds very reasonable to me, providing the officers follow the guide lines. Being an Aussie I got to talking to a CHP motorcycle officer while I was on vacation in CA and I asked him directly about using my Australian Standards approved helmet in CA that does not have a DOT approval sticker but does have the Australian approval sticker. His reply was he did not care what certification sticker was on the helmet as long as I was wearing a “proper” helmet.

    As long as the CHP officers follow the guidelines I can’t see what the problem is. Virtually every country in the developed world have helmet laws, it’s really no big deal as you would want to wear one anyway.

  46. 46 Rogue Jan 15th, 2015 at 7:38 am

    There are a lot of good comments and differences of opinion here and I for one like it. As with most things in life not everyone will agree so sharing views is a good thing.
    In my opinion there are many laws and actions taken against motorcyclist that violate their rights and I am suggesting that all fight these injustices. Yes there are those laws and actions that violate the rights of all citizens but since this is a motorcycle site I am restricting my comments to that portion of society right now.
    It is up to all reading this to determine how and to what extent you become involved. You can your elected officials, get tickets and fight it in court, if you can find a motorcycle rights group that fights for the things you believe in join it or even start a group of your own. There will never be to many groups fights for rights.
    As far as motorcycle helmets go I am in favor of Freedom of Choice. My actions through the years make that obvious.
    No matter what your opinion on wearing motorcycle helmets is, it is very important to continue the fight for Freedom of Choice and the reason I say that is because groups of motorcyclist took on the Federal Government and Defeated Their Blackmail Threat of Withholding Highway Funds to states that did not pass Mandatory Helmet Laws. There are those in the government that are upset a bunch of Bikers kicked their ass in their own arena and they continue to try and force these unjust commands on us to this day.
    This has been going on back to the late 60s and early 70s and if the government ever wins this it will prove to them, if they keep after something long enough they will wear us down and eventually win. That will set a pattern for all laws against us in the future. The Mandatory Helmet Law is just where motorcyclist drew the line in the sand and said enough is enough No More Telling Us How To Live Our Lives. If you want to allow someone like the government to run your life then go there But if you want to be your own person and make decisions for yourself I suggest you get involved. For those of you already involved Do Not Give Up. We continue to win battles every day.
    RIDE FREE
    Rogue

  47. 47 Jan 15th, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Stephen,
    The uniformity of application of helmet law, by Law Enforcement Officers, on the State, County, or local levels is absent.
    It would seem, that many citations issued, are borne of ignorance of the law, intimidation, or harassment.
    You have stated, “As long as the CHP officers follow the guidelines I can’t see what the problem is. Virtually every country in the developed world have helmet laws, it’s really no big deal as you would want to wear one anyway.” CHP officers DO NOT follow the guidelines. Within the same sentence, you choose to relinquish your freedom of choice. Therein lies the “big deal.” The USA is not governed by laws, nor whimsy, that are written for the “rest of the world.” Your philosophy that, “it’s really no big deal as you would want to wear one anyway”, is a sly way to promote “group think”, that encourages lemmings to jump off of a cliff.
    One hundred years ago, the government encouraged heroin use as a painkiller. Yes, the same country that encouraged tobacco usage. Yes, the same country that encourages farmers to plant crops for ethanol production as use for fuel.
    Rather than hijack this thread to some other purpose, we must all protect our individual, “God given”, rights.
    Mike

  48. 48 stsn Jan 15th, 2015 at 9:28 am

    As a freedom loving atheist. I am amused.
    Freedom is not limited to hats.

  49. 49 Reyn Mansson Jan 15th, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Clearly the first answer is to develop and implement a Federal standard for motorcycle safety helmets. The self-testing scheme under the current rules that allows a manufacturer to certify that his gear meets a standard is useless. Look at the annual recalls of helmets found after they were sold to be unsafe. Institute a NHTSA-approval process of helmets for safety and integrity and then have all the states adopt that standard. That will end this “DOT doesn’t approve helmets” problem. Have a standard and enforce it. Your selling an unsafe helmet should be like selling fake medicine, a crime.

    When you have a crash at 40mph, it does not mean that your helmet will hit something with the same force. They do save lives, there is no peer-review evidence that helmets cause death or injury. It is not some malevolent plot by big government to subjugate your freedoms to require certain equipment for safety reasons. If people are not smart enough to grasp the obvious benefit then you must legislate. You can fix dumb.

    If it came to a choice between splitting lanes and mandatory helmets, like it did here in Texas once, then y’all will be needing to get a hat.

    Personally I can not see how and why one would even want to ride on the street without ATGATT. I am uncomfortable not wearing a jacket on hot days and only do go bare-armed at near 100º. I have ridden once as an adult any distance without a helmet. Around a rally in Texas about 10 years ago. Never do it again.

  50. 50 Jan 15th, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    The underlying premise is simply this: Are you, as a (presumably) free person going to allow a governmental entity to dictate what kind of hat you are allowed to wear to partake in some sort of motorcycling activity? Now if you agree to always wear this particular hat (whether or not it’s always suitable for this activity), just where will you draw the line on further dictates from said governmental entity? Would you, say, allow them to dictate that you must wear a bulbous vest which holds an airbag and then be tethered to said motorcycle in order that said airbag will activate if you become dislodged/launched from your motorcycle, thus leaving you bouncing down the road in a rather ridiculous looking cocoon? Or would you then say no, mutter under your breath and give up motorcycling out of frustration? If you are the type of person who’d agree to that one, would you also be inclined to agree to any other ludicrous schemes these same governmental entities find it in their hearts to concoct for your increased safety? Just where would you draw the line in reference to what you would allow them to impose upon you? This country was not premised upon the idea that safety is foremost in all considerations but rather that you should have your fair shot at happiness. For me, personally, those things that make me happy have, in many cases, a certain amount of personal risk in them. Therein lies the satisfaction that leaves me feeling like I’ve happily achieved something worthy of my time and effort! Life is not necessarily safe. Just ask any caveman who brought home the mammoth for his family. Just ask the soldier who came back from war with most of his fingers and toes still working the way God intended. Just ask the man who has given up all his freedom for a little bit of presumed momentary safety in order that he be allowed to ride down the road during his endeavors. Just ask the camel who has his schnoz stuck under your tent how far in he intends to come. If you give them that first inch, they won’t stop short of the proverbial mile-and you can take that to the bank. Whether or not you feel comfortable in a helmet is irrelevant, you must ask yourself if it’s OK for somebody else to force it upon you. For a free person, the answer must be that it is your decision and your decision only. So decide for yourself whether or not you are going to stand up and be counted or lay down and be mounted. Now go mutter under your breath for a while and make a decision. Because it matters…

  51. 51 Stephen Jan 15th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Mike Greenwald
    Thanks for your well written and reasoned reply. Although we will probably not agree regarding a law to force the use of helmets or not, we do agree that there is a problem with the way it is enforced. I am of the opinion that the most pressing problem is getting the police to enforce the existing law in a consistent and fair manor. After you win the battle to get the law applied in a uniform manor you could then mount a campaign to have the law changed. Having the law changed to allow a rider not to wear a helmet could be an almost impossible goal as lawmakers the world over tend to see what the other guys are doing before making a move locally. (I’m not saying the global justification excuse is a good thing, just that it happens all the time outside the USA and that MO is going to swamp your country sooner or later). You can’t trust a politician with either a law or a tax and that’s the same all over the world.

  52. 52 Jan 16th, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Stephen,
    Your opinion assumes that laws and law enforcement have anything to do with motorcycling. In my lifetime, law after law, regulation after regulation, and tax after tax have been applied to motorcycles and motorcyclists. All of it has been a false flag event. I do not enjoy safety nor freedom because of these incursions. I want NO special treatment nor notice. I want NO special education nor tax. I want NO uniformed, nor undercover, gangster extorting money from me at gunpoint.

  53. 53 Jan 16th, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Bravo, Mike! Well said.
    Stephen, your mindset seems to infer you’re from somewhere where a more defeatist attitude toward law enforcement is more prevalent than here in the State of Texas. Perhaps you call New Jersey home? If not, perhaps Australia or somewhere else where the people have already bowed down to authority (re: gun laws et. al.)? I say this because you seem to presume that police authority and such is a given. If I’m wrong, please correct me…

  54. 54 Stephen Jan 16th, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Nuke
    You are correct I live in Australia. Our government runs differently to the USA, here the government does what it likes and if you don’t like it, bad luck you can tell us at the next election…….in four years. We have much bigger problems than helmet laws to worry about, we have the state government in Queensland that made it illegal to ride in a group of more than three, Illegal to wear club colours and declared motorcycle clubs to be criminal organisations. It is also illegal for club members to associate. Sure the QLD state government was aiming at the outlaw 1%ers but they managed to take out all motorcyclists. Up in QLD you can’t ride with your buddies or the police will arrest you.

    I live in NSW (New South Wales) and we have anti biker gang laws as well but they are not as bad as QLD. The really sneaky thing about the “club” laws is that the government could declare any type of club a criminal organisation, could be the local tennis club, local scout group, even the old peoples chess club! Frankly we’re too busy trying to get a fair go to worry about much else and I won’t even go into the roadside inspections, random breath testing, fixed speed cameras, mobile speed cameras and radar speed traps. Try living with 1 KPH ( .6 MPH) over the limit classified as speeding. Yes you read it right point six or just over 1/2 MPH. So in Sydney doing 61 in a 60 zone will get you a $140 fine and 1 demerit point. With our “Fixed camera” system it is possible to lose your licence driving across Sydney. Heck my wife got 9 demerit points and $870 in fines in one week and all she was doing was taking the kids to school and going to work!

    The gun laws really did not do much, honest people handed their guns in, folks on the land kept theirs (although not automatics) and the criminals hung on to their illegal guns. Life went on the same as it always did.

    Perhaps you can understand why we say don’t sweat the small stuff.

  55. 55 Rogue Jan 16th, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Stephen
    One of the reasons I suggest people fight bad laws here in the United States is so that we do not become like Australia.
    Thank You for sharing what is going on in your country

  56. 56 Stephen Jan 16th, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Rogue
    You sure don’t want to end up in a police state like we have here in Oz.

    Here is a link to showing police harassing a biker (not a 1%er just a regular guy) while he is stopped at a gas station filling his bike. This is in Queensland…

    Check out the way these QLD cops search a guys bike and jacket

    You’ll get the idea.

  57. 57 Jan 16th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Stephen, Australia sure has changed since I was there back in ’72! Granted, I was only a sailor on liberty but I fell in love with the people and the savoir faire of your society then. The changes you’ve endured since that era only serve as a reminder that no matter how insignificant a legal imposition is, we must stand up to it and fight. It is through these minor matters that the state builds its power to then tackle the big picture, as you have obviously seen. Your narration serves as a testament to what we can expect if we do not stand up to each and every little “minor” imposition the state tries to saddle us with. Perhaps “by sweating the small stuff” we can maintain our freedom and you can someday come here and see what Australia could have been. Here’s hoping!

  58. 58 Milk Jan 17th, 2015 at 11:35 am

    The helmet law in Ca. will never be repealed because nobody there really wants freedom of choice bad enough. Every weekend in the land of fruits and nuts,there is some charity event going on. That is fine except that a lot of the beneficiaries don’t give a shit about bikers,just their bread and won’t support them in their fight of freedom of choice.Some of the $$ goes to worthwhile causes and some go to ridiculous causes.Most of the events aren’t fund raisers for MRO’s.If the majority of those event’s $$ went to fighting Pete Wilson/Dickhead Floyd’s helmet law then there might be a better chance.That’s my take on it and I’m stickin to it !

  59. 59 Rebel Ruthi Jan 22nd, 2015 at 12:06 am

    I am a retired trauma nurse practitioner educator. For 17 years I did CSI research st the scenes of motorcycle accidents and in every emergency room within the State of IL and northeastern IN.

    There ARE statistics regarding motorcycle injuries. Less than 1/5th or 20% of all motorcycle injuries are head injuries. Most other injuries are to the extremities and trunk of the body. Aortic Dissection causes instant death to riders who are dead at the scene of the accident where there is or is not head injuries. This is where the aorta tears apart from the rest of the heart. Thi happens when the body is still attached to the seat of the motorcycle, before the rider flies off of the motorcycle.

    My studies have been put into EMERGENCY Rooms around the country supported by ABATE OF ILLINOIS and used by physicians, nurses, educators all in both the Medical arena of the trauma field.

    If you find other statistics that show anything other than what I researched as a County CSI Trauma Investigator for Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties those statistics have been falsified for political use to keep helmets on your head.

    First of all organizations like ABATE, and MMA are trying to change the laws to FREEDOM OF CHOICE. They are trying to change laws to give you the right to decide for yourselves what gear you prefer to wear when riding your two or three Wheeler. They don’t have to use medical statistics to ask for Freedom of Choice.

    So many riders bitch about stats for why they should wear a helmet. But don’t take into consideration the use of seat belts, or talking/texting on cellphones while driving. The statistics for accidents go up higher now that so many individual drivers find it necessary to text and drive.

    So yes there are EMERGENCY ROOM statistics and yes you do hear in an ER complaints from medical personnel about the uses of helmets. Many articles written by physicians who believe helmets are constrictive and if not worn there would have been no head or neck injuries in any given accident.

    I am a former Safety and Education Coordinator of Chicago Chapter, ABATE OF IL (10+ years)
    I am a former President ABATE OF CA, LOCAL 25 (2 years)
    I am a former Member of MMA.

    I totally support what Bikers of a Lesser Tolerance (BOLT) Stand for. I still support the efforts of ABATE and MMA.

  60. 60 B. D. Mar 6th, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    There is no question that in certain accidents, helmets prevent or reduce injury. But because insurance rates remain constant whether or not riders are helmeted, obviously helmet laws do not significantly influence costs to insurance companies.

    Helmet laws are mostly backed by those who do not ride and think that riding is much more dangerous than it really is and think that helmets offer more protection than they do. These people actually believe that they are more concerned for the welfare of bikers than bikers themselves and do not understand that it is far better to learn to ride in traffic and thus avoid accidents rather than to dress for them.

    They may be well intended, but their ignorance is pathetic. They should learn to mind their own business.

    If they are really interested in saving money by reducing head trauma, they should require that every skier, every equestrian, and every elderly person using a bathroom wear a helmet, as statistics show that they are far more likely to incur such an injury than a motorcyclist and that requiring riders to wear helmets does not significantly reduce the number of head traumas.

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