Category Archives: Helmet Laws

Articles related to helmet laws

The California Highway Patrol gets ready to Roust Bikers as Angeles Crest Highway Re-Opens Today

Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway

Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway

As the California State Department of Transportation is poised Friday to re-open Angeles Crest Highway, a curvy mountain road beloved by bikers, the CHP will step up enforcement.

The Crest’s sweeping turns and steep cliffs demand motorcyclists navigate the road with care and at a controlled speed, and the California Highway Patrol plans to help folks remember this through the Motorcycle Safety Coalitions grant, the agency announced Wednesday. CHP Public Information Officer Ming-Yang Hsu declined to release the amount of the grant.

The grant, which provides enhanced enforcement effort by CHP officers through September 30, will focus on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, according to a CHP press release.

“Angeles Crest has one of the highest accident rates in the state,” Hsu said, adding the CHP waited to make the grant announcement until Caltrans’ announcement of reopening the road.

According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 164 motorcycle-involved collisions occurred on Route 2 from Starlight Crest Drive to state Route 39 in Los Angeles County between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. Among the collisions, eight were fatal, seven of which were the result of unsafe speed. Of those, speed was the primary collision factor for 98 of the accidents.

Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved fatal and injury collisions along the 38-mile stretch of highway patrolled by the Altadena Area office, the CHP will establish a task force and develop and implement a public awareness campaign by working with local agencies and community members.

Funding for this grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Basically what this grant does is give the CHP more money to put more officers on the Angeles Crest to roust motorcyclist and bikers.

You have now been warned, take it easy out there!

California Biker Lawyer

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Watch out for Counterfeit DOT Certified Helmets – Look for Revised DOT Labeling.

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Novelty and/or Counterfeit DOT motorcycle helmets may look the part, but many, if not all, fail to meet federal safety standards.

These dubious novelty and/or counterfeit helmets feature a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved label, but most are counterfeit, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In other words if you buy a cheap helmet that you think is DOT certified because it has a DOT label, you may be buying nothing more than junk.

It is important that if you want to wear a DOT helmet for safety purposes while riding your motorcycle that you ensure you are buying a helmet manufactured by a reputable helmet manufacture.

To help combat counterfeiters, the NHTSA has revised the DOT labeling for motorcycle helmets that now reads “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” which is an acronym for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.

Effective May 13, 2011, all new motorcycle helmets must have one of these new labels in its interior, which show that the lid met federal standards for “Impact Attenuation,” “Penetration” and “Retention System,” such as the strap.

Besides reading “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” the label will also identify the motorcycle helmet manufacturer, precise model designation and also month and year of manufacture.

According to the FMVSS No. 218, “Each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly, in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part.”

And of course, the DOT logo sticker must be present at the lower rear of the motorcycle helmet.

The NHTSA says these new labeling requirements will enhance overall motorcycle safety based on the following statistics:

  1. A motorcycle helmet that meets the DOT FMVSS No 218 requirements drops the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent, the NHTSA reports; and
  2. If fewer helmets are created that don’t meet the federal standard, the NHTSA reports that between 22 and 75 lives may be saved.

It is good to see the NHTSA trying to save the lives of motorcyclists by attempting to weed out scumbag helmet counterfeiters. However, there is a good chance that the new labels will also be counterfeited.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

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California Highway Patrol to crack down on bikers and motorcyclist along Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Riverside County – California

Motorcyclists committing traffic violations on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County will be the target of a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol, it was announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County. Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

I am very concerned when I hear that law enforcement is going to single out bikers and motorcyclist for selective enforcement, especially in California.

I would like to hear from anyone who is the subject of harassment as a result of this announced policy by the CHP.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

Ortega Highway Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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Basic explanation of Motorcycle Related Laws in the State of California.

California Motorcycle Related LawsLicense Requirements

A motorcycle license (M1 endorsement) is required for any rider who rides a motorcycle 150cc’s and above.

If under age 18 you must be at least 16 years of age, have a permit for six months, have proof of driver ed. and driver training, and complete a motorcycle training course.

If you are 18 and older you must pass the written motorcycle test, and either take a certified motorcycle rider training course, or make an appointment to take the motorcycle driving test at the DMV.

Safety Helmet

All operators and Passengers must wear an approved safety helmet when riding on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter in California.

Eye Protection

Eye Protection is not yet required by California Law, but it always recommend that you wear good eye protection when riding your motorcycle. You do not need a law to tell you that a rock in the eye at 50mph will ruin your day and possibly your eyes.

Daytime Use of Headlight

Daytime use of headlight is required by law on all motorcycles. Modulating headlight is permitted. Most new motorcycles automatically have the headlight on when the motorcycle is started. It is best not to screw around and disable this function because you will get a ticket if your light is off.

Passenger Seat

A Passenger Seat is required on all motorcycles if you are carrying a passenger.

Passenger Footrest

A Passenger Footrest is required on all motorcycles if carrying a passenger.

Helmet Headphones / Ear Buds

Helmet Headphones / Ear buds should only have one single earphone only. It is illegal to have dual earphone headphones or ear buds on while driving a car or operating a motorcycle in California.

Muffler / Exhaust

A Muffler is required by California state law. No muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device (VC §27150. Adequate Muffler Required).

Maximum Sound Level of Motorcycle

Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurements taken at a distance of 50 ft from center lane of travel: 1)Pre-1970..92dba; 2) After 1969, and before 1973…88dba; 3) After 1972, and before 1975…86dba; 4) After 1974, and before 1986…83dba; 5) After 1985…80dba (VC §27201-27202. Motorcycle Limits).

California State Insurance Requirements

Compulsory Liability Insurance (Minimum Limits) (10/15/30) – Financial responsibility required. A driver involved in an accident who fails to prove existence of financial responsibility at time of accident shall have driver’s license suspended for 1 year, face a hefty fine, and potentially have their vehicle impounded. Plus if you have an accident without insurance you cannot recover general damages. (you are screwed) Don’t be a fool; you must at least have minimum liability insurance when you ride.

Motorcycle Handlebars

A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting or riding between cars on the lane divider is not prohibited by California law so it is therefore legal. However, there is a recognized speed limitation that a rider should go no more than 15-20mph faster than the flow of traffic. If you go too fast while splitting lanes, you could face a ticket.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

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Some Simple Motorcycle Safety Tips – They Can Be Life Savers!

Califonria Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Califonria Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable motorist on the road. A motorcyclist who is involved in a collision with a four wheeled motor vehicle such as a car, pickup truck, etc., it at a severe disadvantage.

Often times motorcycle accidents result in the death or disability of the motorcyclist. It is not hard to lose a limb, seriously damage internal organs, or to become paralyzed in a motorcycle crash if you are not careful.

Therefore unlike with other motor vehicles, bikers and motorcyclist must adhere to strict safety measures to prevent motorcycle accidents, and to ensure survival if they are in fact in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Safety Tip # 1: Wear a DOT Helmet

I know, I know, many in the biker community say “bullshit” I am not wearing a helmet, yada yada yada. Others wear toy novelty helmets in States where helmets are mandatory.

Research has clearly shown that serious brain injuries and death can be avoided by wearing a good helmet. A very common motorcycle accident scenario is that a rider is thrown off of the motorcycle, landing on, or hitting his or her head. For those wearing a good helmet, a serious head injury can be avoided by simply wearing a helmet. Hell you might have a severe headache if you land on your head in a motorcycle accident, but at least you are still alive!

Low impact head injuries can also be fatal. A recent case was reported when a stationary motorcyclist lost his balance in the driveway, his motorcycle fell over; he struck his head on the concrete driveway, and later died of his injuries a few days later. He died because he did not have a helmet on. The result was tragic and could have been easily averted by simply strapping on a helmet.

A helmet is certainly not an iron clad guarantee that an accident or serious injury won’t happen. However, wearing a motorcycle helmet will certainly improve the chances of survival in a motorcycle accident.

Tip 2: Wear Proper Protective Motorcycle Clothing

Motorcyclists should always wear the proper equipment while riding their motorcycles for protection. The goal is that you not only want a protective layer between you and the elements, but you also want to be clearly visible to other motorist.

Motorcycle accidents can be quite horrendous on the skin. Bikers and motorcyclist can be thrown off of their motorcycles and skid or slide along the pavement. Without protective clothing or footwear, your body can slide unprotected against pavement, concrete, stone, glass, and other dirt and debris on the road, which will literally peel off your flesh, or embed into your flesh. This can have disastrous consequences for you, and cause severe pain and suffering that could have easily have been avoided.

I will admit, in the old days I was not so smart. I would wear a t-shirt with a vest. Now, I am not willing to take a chance simply because I was too stubborn or egotistical to wear proper riding attire.

Tip 3: Stay Sober and Well Rested

Dahhhh. If you are too tired or shit faced drunk, and/or on other mind altering substances, your reflexes and ability to react while riding your motorcycle can be severely impaired.

Motorcyclist should avoid riding when very tired, and regularly take short breaks. Alcohol and Other Drugs can also seriously affect your ability to ride, and should be avoided when riding a motorcycle.

If you think drunk driving in a car is dangerous, drunk riding is at least ten times more dangerous for you on a motorcycle. At least in a car you have some protection. On a motorcycle, there are no second chances. You need to be on your game.

Stay off of the mind altering substances while riding a motorcycle, even one beer can impair you on a motorcycle. Also take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.

Tip 4: Adhere to Traffic Laws

A significant number of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents are riding without a proper motorcycle license or endorsement. Motorcyclists should ensure that they are properly licensed, and always up to date on their knowledge of local traffic laws. You should obey all traffic laws whenever possible.

Tip 5: Motorcycle Equipment Safety Check and Planning

Motorcyclists should inspect their motorcycles before each ride for loose screws or bolts, tire wear, etc. Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of mechanical problems.

Plan ahead when riding in a group. Determine your route in advance and ensure that it agreed with the other riders. Review group hand signals, formations, etc.

Tip 6: Continuous Learning and Improvement

A large percentage of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents have had no formal motorcycle rider training. Enrollment in a certified motorcycle training class is a good way to develop basic riding.

Once the basic techniques have been acquired, motorcyclists can improve accident-avoidance skills by taking an advanced motorcycle rider course or advanced program for motorcyclists that teaches defensive riding on your particular motorcycle.

Motorcyclists and bikers have the responsibility to protect themselves as much as possible.

By following these basic safety tips things can and will go a whole lot better for you if you ever go down!

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2010

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News Alert; The City of Long Beach is Beefing Up Enforcement Against Motorcycles With Loud Pipes!

california biker lawyer norman gregory fernandez discusses the city of long beach, california cracking down on motorcycles with loud pipesLONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – Long Beach police said on Friday they will be beefing up their enforcement of motorcycle noise, particularly on Ocean Boulevard.

It is illegal in California to modify a motorcycle’s exhaust to make it louder; the citable limit for noise in the state is 95 decibels.

Cmdr. Jay Johnson of the Long Beach Police Department’s South Division said more complaints have been reaching police in the past few weeks and some residents are doing noise-detector readings that show illegal motorcycle riding.

“This is not a new problem, particularly on Ocean Boulevard,” Johnson said. “But as there’s more development and as more people move into that area, the more complaints of noise come. And it becomes a quality-of-life issue.”

Johnson will be deploying some officers during peak motorcycle riding times to listen for noise and write citations.

“My hope is that people will know the law and not come rip-roaring up Ocean Boulevard,” Johnson said. “If they do, they will be cited.”

So there you have it, Long Beach is the latest Southern California city to begin discriminating against bikers and motorcyclist.

I have no reason to believe that Commander Jay Johnson is playing around, and that they are going to go after what they consider to be loud motorcycles.

In my experience, the Police use the excuse of so-called loud pipes, and/or loud motorcycles to justify pulling any biker or motorcycle rider over that they want. Even motorcycles that have not been modified. It is not right. Many big rig trucks are much louder than motorcycles. Why are they not being singled out for enforcement?

Heck, Long Beach is the largest port in the nation. Everyday thousands upon thousands of big rig trucks pick up and deliver from the port of Long Beach. The noise that they make is deafening! Why not go after them?

I would like to hear about any real enforcement that the City of Long Beach is doing with regards to citing so-called loud motorcycles. If they in fact are citing regular motorcycles just for the sake of filling the cities coffers, then I will call for a total boycott of the City of Long Beach by all bikers and motorcyclist.

Any city that wants to single us out does not deserve our money.

By Long Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., 2008

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Well Some Things Just Really Piss Me Off!

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses people who are apparently against bikers and motorcycle riders!This article is an opinion editorial and rant piece. If you do not want to hear me rant about what I will call idiots against bikers then do not read this article.

First off I will talk about a moronic woman named Melissa Arrington, age 27 who was sentenced to 10 and ½ years for negligent homicide and aggravated drunk driving, because the judge in her case found out that she was laughing about running over a bicyclist in her car, and dragging him 800 feet to his death. No one apparently warned Melissa that her calls in and out of jail were monitored, and when she was caught laughing about killing a bicyclist, it was turned over to the Judge. She could have received less than 4 years on the charges, but I guess the Judge got pissed off when he heard the tape of her laughing! You can read the original article by clicking here now.

I will just say this. Everyone who knows me knows I am into Bikers Rights. The way I see it a person on a bicycle has the same rights to share the road as a person on a motorcycle. The victim in this case was a 45 year old man who simply took his bicycle out for a ride one evening and was the victim of a homicide at the hands of a drunken cager named Melissa Arrington. Kill a biker go to jail, this applies to bicyclist too!

The next winner I am going to talk about is a personal injury lawyer whose bullshit rantings were brought to my attention by Biker Law Blog readers. His name is Stephen D. Lombardi of Iowa. He apparently advertises on Injuryboard.com which is a service that charges attorneys big bucks per month to be listed on their site for exclusive areas. In other words when you go to injuryboard.com or most other lawyer directories you are going to find lawyers who pay big bucks to be listed there. Just because a lawyer pays big bucks to be listed does not mean you are getting the best lawyer in town if you know what I mean. Read some of my articles on selecting a motorcycle lawyer, or other personal injury lawyer.

Now I am not in anyway impugning Mr. Lombardi’s abilities as a lawyer. I do not know him or his work. He may be the best personal injury lawyer in Iowa, I have no clue. But I will say this; by his own writings he is no friend to bikers and motorcyclist. If you read his article that is posted here you will see full well that Mr. Lombardi supports discrimination against bikers and motorcyclist. He is endorsing mandatory helmet laws for bikers as well as mandatory insurance requirements for bikers. He might as well work for the insurance industry! Then, on his own website, he states that he represents people in motorcycle accidents. Click here and you will see what I mean. To cover himself he then wrote another article which you can read here. Apparently the biker community has caught on to his articles because they have been sending me links to this Mr. Lombardi.

All I can say is this; it is not good business to attack your own clients, or to endorse discrimination against those that you mean to represent.

I will let the biker and motorcycle community decide and make their own decision on this issue. I for one am a straight shooter. I am not one to bite the hand that feeds me. I am sure that Mr. Lombardi would appreciate comments from you bikers and motorcyclist in the biker community telling him what you think about his articles!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2008

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The California Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of the California Highway Patrol on Helmet Law Requirement!

Califonria Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez comments on recent ruling regarding California Helmet Law.I wrote an article about a California Superior Court ruling which found in favor of a man who has been challenging California’s mandatory helmet laws. You can read that article here.

The case was appealed by the California Highway Patrol. The Court of Appeals of California, 6th District, San Jose, overturned the previous California Superior Court ruling and found in favor of the California Highway Patrol.

You can read a newspaper article about the ruling by clicking here.

I have not had a chance to read the entire decision. The bottom line is that everyone who rides a motorcycle in the State of California is required to wear a DOT approved helmet.

Until I read the actual Court ruling, I will not offer my commentary with respect to the Court’s reasoning. Although I am still for a bikers right to choose whether to wear a helmet or not; the law in California requires everyone riding on a motorcycle to wear a helmet, or face the piper.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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A Good Article on the Freedom of Motorcycling.

California Biker Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez reviews an Article on the Freedom of Motorcycling.I just read an interesting article on the freedom of motorcycling that was written by a life long biker from the great State of Arkansas name Barry Tudor.

I may not agree with everything that he wrote in his article, but nonetheless, it is a good article and deserves to be read.

I do agree with Barry that bikers should have the freedom of choice on Helmet issues, and that the powerful insurance lobby is doing everything they can to take away our freedom to ride as we choose, and to limit the horsepower on our motorcycles.

As I have stated in many of my articles; it is very hard to articulate in words, what it is like to ride a motorcycle, and to be a biker. The only way to really know is to get on a motorcycle and do some miles on the open road.

Barry’s attempt at articulating what it is like to ride Motorcycles and to be a Biker is good. I give his article my thumbs up, and recommend that you read it.

His take on helmet laws, and other attempts to legally limit our ability to be free in the wind also deserves to be read.

Without further ado, you may read Barry’s article on the Freedom of Motorcycling by clicking here now.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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How to Select the right Motorcycle Helmet for You; Does Price Really Matter?

California biker motorcycle injury accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez on selecting the right motorcycle helmetA Biker Law Blog visitor named Randy read my article titled “Helmets and Face Protection; You Decide!” He posted the following question;

“I am looking for a full face DOT helmet. There are so many. How do you know if you are buying a good DOT helmet or one that is not as good as another one? I have seen prices from $ 59.99 to $ 700.00 dollars. I realize that one gets what he pays for but, why the tremendous difference in prices and they are all DOT?

Randy”

I thought that this would make an excellent article because if you do decide to wear a helmet, you want to make sure that the thing is actually going to protect your head. A quick caveat; this article is not in anyway related to your decision to wear a helmet or not, it is about selecting a proper helmet if you decide to wear one. I have already covered this issue in a couple of articles that you can read by clicking here, or by clicking here.

I have found an excellent article on the subject by Art Friedman at Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine that you can read by clicking here now. This is probably the best article that I have seen on the subject. Rather than trying to regurgitate his article in a nutshell, I highly suggest that you actually read the article. Again, you can read his article by clicking here now.

There is a huge point that Art makes in his article; buying the right helmet can often take more time than finding the right motorcycle. I agree. I myself started our wearing no helmet at all in my early days of riding. I then switched to the novelty beanie helmets when California made wearing a helmet mandatory. After doing enough motorcycle cases and seeing my clients really jacked up in motorcycle accidents, I opted to go with a full face helmet. Another reason I went with a full face helmet is that they make certain rides more enjoyable. However, that is not the subject of this article.

I now wear a Modular (Flip Up) Helmet. You can read some reviews of Modular Helmets by Motorcycle Cruiser magazine by clicking here now. As for me, I like the modular helmets because I can flip it up at a Gas Station while getting gas; to take a swig of water or a bite to eat, or to have a smoke. You do not have to remove the helmet to do these things with a modular helmet, and they arguably have the same protection as a full face helmet.

Per Art, the safest helmets are of the full face variety. I must admit, a full face helmet does have less wind noise, and feels more comfortable than my present modular helmet.

I suggest that everyone read Art’s article, and take the time to find the right helmet for you. Think about it; you spend tens of thousands of dollars on your motorcycles, customization, and accessories. Is your helmet that contains your brain and your face as important as those aftermarket pipes?

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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The Great Helmet Debate Continues………

Califonria Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have recently read newspaper articles, statistics from various governmental entities, and from other sources about motorcycle death rates increasing in States that revoked their mandatory helmet laws. I am not going to post all of the links here. If you search for helmet law debate on Google you will get tons of hits. Read to your hearts content.

This debate as far as I am concerned will never end, especially amongst bikers like me that grew up riding with no helmets.

I feel that the choice should be up to the individual biker. There are valid arguments for wearing helmets and not wearing helmets, but the law should give Americans the freedom of choice. That is my issue with helmet laws.

As I started doing motorcycle accident cases, and have had my own incidents of going down, I made the choice to wear a helmet for my own personal reasons. There is no doubt as to what happens when a human head hits the pavement; the pavement wins everytime. However, I must make an admission; I sometimes still ride with no helmet in States where it is legal, because I love the wind in my hair on the open road. My friends and brothers who have ridden with me on out of State rides know this to be true.

America is about Freedom; being a Biker is about Freedom. Freedom of choice is what makes America great. I say let us decide whether to wear helmets or not.

I know I will probably get many comments on this short article about the pros and cons of riding with helmets.

The purpose of this article is to make a point about personal freedoms, and to advocate the freedom of choice. Can you imagine some lunatic legislators enacting laws requiring Motorcyclist to wear seatbelts?

Where does government intrusion into our personal lives end if we do not stand up for ourselves and make a statement?

How do we make a statement that our government will listen to? Simple; write your congressmen, State legislators, and vote for candidates that advocate freedom.

The trouble with freedom is this; if you let it go, it is very hard to get back!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , © 2007

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What is a real Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer?

Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have been asked by many people what is the difference between a biker lawyer and a normal personal injury lawyer.

The main difference is that a biker lawyer actually rides motorcycles and is a biker himself. A biker lawyer has a unique insight when dealing with motorcycle accident cases that a normal personal injury lawyer does not have. Why, because we also ride motorcycles.

Frankly I know of only 2 other biker lawyers in the State of California that actually ride motorcycles besides me. There may be more; I don’t know. I do know of several other lawyers that ride, but they do not do personal injury. I even know of one Judge who rides motorcycles.

What ticks me off is a bunch of normal personal injury lawyers pawning themselves off as biker lawyers. You see them advertising in the biker rags, you may see them at events. Have you ever seen any of them actually riding?

The next time you come across a so-called biker lawyer, why don’t you ask him to take a ride with you? The proof is in the pudding so to say.

I am a real biker lawyer. I am a biker and I do personal injury. My practice is not just limited to motorcycle accident cases; I also do car accidents, truck accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, and other torts such as slip and falls, assault and battery, etc. However, my passion is prosecuting injury cases for other bikers. Don’t get me wrong; I aggressively prosecute all cases for my clients. If you are the victim of a car accident, I will treat you no differently than any of my other clients.

If you are a biker you have probably heard comments made by cagers such as: “we are the best organ transplant donors;” “we are crazy for riding motorcycles because they are dangerous,” etc.

In a personal injury case there is a general bias against bikers and motorcycles amongst potential jury pools. It is my opinion that only a biker lawyer himself can explain to a jury during trial, that bikers and motorcyclist have the same right to share the road as everyone else.

It is much easier for me because I feel what I say. There is no act; I feel a kinship towards my biker clients.

There is a general bias amongst jury pools against bikers and motorcyclist. They automatically think that it is our fault when we get hit by a cager, because we are engaged in a dangerous activity. This bias has to be addressed at trial in Jury Selection, and during the trial.

Bottom line; if you have had a motorcycle accident, get a real biker lawyer. If you are in California, give me a call at 818-584-8831 extension 1, or go to my biker lawyer website by clicking here now.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. ,©2007

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Basic Motorcycle Laws By State

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.If many of you like me, like to ride your motorcycle in different states, you would be surprised at the differences in the various laws of each state when it comes to riding your motorcycle.

Obviously, you should at least know the basic laws pertaining to riding your motorcycle in your home state.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has on their website, a simple method by which you can find out the various laws pertaining to riding your motorcycle in the various states.

Please note that the link I am about to provide only provides the basics with respect to the motorcycle laws of each state. As you probably already know, the laws are much more complicated than the simple charts provided on the AMA website; however, it is a good reference chart, and starting point to find out the basic laws of each state.

I highly recommend that if you plan on riding out of state to check out the chart. For instance in California lane splitting is legal. I found out the hard way that in Nevada it is not.

To check out the AMA website, index of motorcycle laws for each state, click here now.

If you have any doubt as to the accuracy of the chart, you should always consult with an attorney.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, ESQ. , Copyright 2006

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Helmets and Face Protection; You Decide!

Norman Gregory FernandezThis subject is probably one of the most controversial topics in the motorcycle world. There are those that demand the right not to wear a helmet, and there are those who always wear helmets. Many states have laws requiring you to wear a DOT helmet, and some states allow riders to choose as to whether they want to wear a helmet or not.

When I started riding motorcycles or I should say mini bikes at the age of five, I thank my father for putting a helmet on my head. To this day I will never forget that day in 1968 when I first got on a mini bike and promptly crashed into a drainage ditch. When I hit my head on the pavement in the crash there was no damage to my head whatsoever because I was wearing the helmet. Who knows where I would be right now if was not wearing a helmet at that time. Thank you Dad.

Later on in my adult life I rode probably hundreds of thousands of miles wearing no helmet all. When laws were enacted in the state of California which required you to wear a helmet, I wore a novelty beanie helmet because I had to, not because I wanted to. As you all know these beanie helmets are just for show and are worthless in an accident.

Later on, I picked up a full face helmet to wear in bad weather, or on long runs through the desert at night when bugs are particularly nasty. However, I still wore either a beanie helmet, or no helmet all depending upon the state I was riding in.

This all changed for me when I started handling motorcycle accident cases as a lawyer. I have seen the horrible and grotesque results of motorcycle accident injuries which involve riders with no helmets.

After one of my good friends went down on the San Bernardino Freeway and was seriously injured, I decided to switch to a full face helmet for protection.

After much inner contemplation, I decided that I would rather have a face, then look cool. If you have ever seen someone who has lost their face in a motorcycle accident you would probably change your mind too. For me, I made the conscious decision to go for safety because I was not willing to live with the ramifications of going down knowing that I could do something to protect myself.

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Caveat Emptor “Let the Buyer Beware.” Picking a lawyer to handle your motorcycle accident case.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.I just gave a free consultation to a biker who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. He suffered severe injuries in his motorcycle accident and his life has been permanently altered.

This biker told me that he already has a lawyer but is not satisfied with the service the lawyer is providing to him in his case. Further, I was told that this lawyer advertises himself to be a motorcycle accident “specialist.” He also told me that this guy seemed to have no clue about riding motorcycles. He felt like he was getting the runaround.

You have probably heard the term Caveat Emptor which is a Latin term meaning “let the buyer beware.” Caveat Emptor rings true when you are selecting a lawyer to handle your motorcycle accident case.

California State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct 1-400(D)(6) states that: No attorney may state that a member is a “certified specialist” unless the member holds a current certificate as a specialist issued by the Board of Legal Specialization, or any other entity accredited by the State Bar to designate specialists pursuant to standards adopted by the Board of Governors, and states the complete name of the entity which granted certification.

Currently the State Bar does not certify Personal Injury or Motorcycle Accident’s as a specialty.

What this means in plain language is that beware of any lawyer that is running around holding him or herself out to be a “certified personal injury or motorcycle accident specialist,” because it is flat out unethical for them to do so, and is a blatant violation of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. You can always check with the State Bar to see if a lawyer is a “certified specialist.”

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If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident ANYWHERE in The State of California, call me now 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation at 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), Extension 1

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