January 1998

There are at least four adverse bills proposed at this time. We are expecting a few more before this legislative session ends. One of the reasons for bad bills to be brought up this year is a lot of legislators are through this year due to term limitations, so they are making a last ditch effort to get Helmet Laws, Seat Belt Laws, Insurance Laws and other crappy or adverse laws in before they are gone for good. The Helmet Law attempts are due partially to the press on a Kennedy and Sonny Bono being killed in ski accidents. Here is a list and brief description of the laws and who to contact:

Colorado abate Lemon Law

Most of the motorcycling community does not want this law. It is yet another intrusion into the lives and businesses of people who sell, operate and love motorcycles. Technically the law and related suits are against manufacturers, but the dealers will of course be dragged into the suit. The Colorado Motorcycle Dealers Association is adamantly opposed to this law. Not only will the law unduly burden dealers, it will also burden the consumer. Costs incurred by retailers have to be passed on to their customers. Any claims filed will need to be in District Court, causing both parties to hire attorneys, which eats up thousand of dollars in a hurry for both sides. It also takes several years of court time to reach a final decision. The motorcycling community is a small but fairly tight segment of our society. When a dealer or manufacturer exhibits unscrupulous practices the word gets out very fast and they lose business until they clean up their act or close their business. This bill will make relationships between the dealers and their customers somewhat strained. It will also cause a problem with the manufacturers and the dealers. If too many complaints (however invalid) are filed against a dealer, the manufacturer is likely to pull their franchise. If you are opposed to this law call, fax, e-mail and write the following list of committee members objecting to it. The sponsor of the bill is Representative Alice Nichol representing abate of Colorado.

There is one Helmet Law proposed by Representative Bob Bacon, D Fort Collins. This bill is an attempt to put helmets on people under the age of 16 riding bicycles, inline skating and skiing. This bill could, of course, be amended to include motorcycles and people of all ages. It is also a precedent setting bill. This law bodes for a future Helmet Law for all of us.

There is primary offense Seat Belt Law proposed by Representative Gotlieb. Again, when primary seat belt laws are enacted a Helmet Law follows, with the theory that if the legislators have to wear seat belts why shouldn't we have to wear helmets. Even though the Colorado Highway Patrol and some Sheriff Departments are currently treating the secondary seat belt law as a primary offense, they still want more power.

There is another law proposed that could help most people or be a real hassle bill. It is called the Suspension Law by Senator Powers. The current law was unanimously voted down by our Colorado Supreme Court. However the police are enforcing it because it gives them probable cause and most people will not contest it, just as they don't contest seat belt tickets. If the law as introduced stays as is you will not be able to alter the suspension of any vehicle, such as using a different tire size, different shocks, different springs, or even change bumpers. It looks as though we will be able to make some changes in the bill and maybe cancel out the current law for one of lesser consequence.

If pro is the opposite of con,
what is the opposite of progress?

We have retained the lobbying firm of Armstrong and Associates to help us again, so it will be necessary to raise a considerable sum of money. If each one of our current members recruits a new member we will be in better shape to lobby against these proposed laws and pay the Lobbying Firm. Some way we need to recruit some of the younger generation. Attending something such as Young Republicans may be a start. A cheerleaders convention would be more fun for me though. That would only apply to those of us that if we retain water, its in a canteen. We do not have the time, place or volunteers to put on a fund raiser on the front range right now. We may be able to do it after the legislative season slows down.

We still have a lot of T shirts left. We will bring them to the CWCC/RFJ benefit party in Clifton on Jan 24,1998 and to the meeting at the Colorado Feed & Grain on Jan. 25, 1998.

If you have a problem with traffic lights that do not change under the weight of your motorcycle, write us with the location of the intersection, County etc., and also if there is a serious road hazard. We can then notify the sheriff. If nothing is done about it and someone gets a ticket for running the light, it should be enough for a dismissal. If someone is injured due to a road hazard that is not fixed, that could be grounds for their liability.

I wonder if Sonny Bono's last words were "I got you babe"?