An Epidemic of Stupidity

dont be stupidI have noticed a marked increase of persons contacting me to get advice on how they can represent themselves in their own personal injury case.

Some of these winners get on websites that allow consumers to ask questions of attorneys, then they go and try to handle cases on their own without an attorney.

Do these people realize why we personal injury attorneys exist? We exist because for profit insurance companies will simply not give you what you are entitled to 99.9% of the time without an attorney.

The first thing they teach us lawyers in law school is never to represent yourself in a legal matter because you are emotionally biased, and the emotions will adversely affect your ability to handle the case. It is always best to have an independent person represent you in a case.

Aside from the emotional aspects of representing yourself, do these people who want to play attorney and that try to represent themselves realize how complicated a real personal injury case is? Of course not they don’t. It would be close to impossible for an untrained person on their own, to prosecute a personal injury case through the court system without an attorney.

I have been practicing 15 years and I can assure you that I have seen some lawyers who need to go back to school, let alone an untrained person actually doing it.

Personal Injury cases are complicated and no self-help book is going to give you the knowledge you need to handle one of these cases.

I see non-lawyers in Court all of the time getting hammered by Judges and getting sent packing because they did not do their cases right. In some instances non-lawyers get dinged with monetary sanctions against them because they do not know the law.

Then there is the matter of the cheapskates. These are winners who figure in their mind, hell; I am not going to give an attorney a third of my case, so I will take all of the $2,000 the insurance company is going to give me.

They don’t realize that their case might in fact be worth $25,000 to $50,000, and even on the low end, they would have got two thirds of $25,000 or $16,675 with an attorney, as opposed to the $2,000 they got sucked into accepting by the insurance company.

One of my sayings is that it is better to get two thirds of something instead of all of nothing.

To me this is plain stupidity, and there is a lot of it out there lately.

It does not make sense to me why a person would try to handle their own personal injury case without an attorney, when an attorney like me can be retained with no money out of your pocket whatsoever until a recovery is obtained.

The insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for idiots who will accept the half payment of medical bills, or a token 1k to 2k to settle a case that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars, without an attorney.

Any insurance adjuster worth their weight in gold, loves talking to the stupid amongst us who for whatever reason, does not mind screwing themselves out of what they are entitled to by not retaining a personal injury attorney like me.

Don’t be stupid, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another call an attorney, heck, call me.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

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

No More After Market Pipes in California in 2013; We Did it To Ourselves.

No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013
No More Non EPA Approved Pipes in 2013

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed SB 435 into law which will require all motorcycles built after January 2013 to have EPA approved exhaust systems on their motorcycles.

Riders found without an EPA label certifying sound emission compliance will be issued fix it tickets, with additional infractions having fines up to $250.00.

Therefore, any motorcycle aftermarket exhausts or pipes that are not EPA certified will be illegal in California.

Many aftermarket motorcycle exhaust manufacturers will probably not have the money or inclination to get such a certification, so for all intents and purposes, after market pipes will no longer be legal in California.

If other States follow California with similar statutes then it may force manufacturers to comply with EPA regulations.

California will now basically enforce a 25 year Federal regulation which requires that all motorcycle exhausts be EPA certified.

I have been riding motorcycles for many years. I try to have exhaust systems that have some bark, but that are not too loud.

However, there are guys out there running open exhausts that are so loud that you cannot actually hear yourself talk as they drive by.

The State has now taken action to quiet our motorcycles down since we were unable to police ourselves.

What can be done to avoid SB 435? Keep your old motorcycles and do not buy anything new after 2013. Replace the engines, transmissions, and frames as needed.

Whatever you do, keep your stock exhaust systems just in case you do get a fix it ticket. Even if your motorcycle is not a 2013 or newer biker, we are still subject to noise laws here in California.

This bill will probably have an ominous effect on motorcycle sales in California. So again, we have do gooders enacting laws here that screw our economy.

What can we expect next, a motorcycle smog bill. I recommend that every motorcycle rider in the State of California join ABATE, so that we will have a voice in Sacramento.

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

After Market Exhaust’s and Pipes are About to Become Illegal in California.

After Market Motorcycle Exhausts will become illegal under SB 435
After Market Motorcycle Exhausts will become illegal under SB 435

Well, many of you have heard about SB 435, and many of you have not. California Senate Bill 435 will basically make it illegal to run with non stock exhausts on your motorcycles.

This bill passed the State Senate and is now sitting on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk as I type this.

Our only hope now to get this asinine bill stopped is for the governor to veto the bill.

Every one of you should call, email, and write to Schwarzenegger NOW to get him to not sign the bill. Schwarzenegger is a fellow biker. Hopefully he will veto the damm thing.

If Schwarzenegger signs SB 435, it will become law. This law makes all 2013 and newer bikers without EPA stamped exhausts subject to fines of between $50.00 and $100.00.

On a personal note, I have never had a stock motorcycle with EPA stamps, so I have no clue how the hell the State is going to force manufacturers to put Federal EPA stamps on their exhaust systems.

I think this law is discriminatory on its face.

They say that since this is a secondary infraction, that the Police will be unable to pull over a motorcycle solely for an apparent exhaust violation, but I know that many bikers are being pulled over now for supposedly loud pipes.

You and I all know how this thing will play out. There will be some officers that will pull over any motorcycle that sounds loud, and they will ding the rider with a ticket if they cannot see the EPA stamp on the exhaust.

Frankly, I am so pissed off about this bill that I probably should not write anymore about it right now.

All I can say is that this is what happens when you get legislatures in office making more money than most of the people in the State, and with too much time on their hands.

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

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

Police to hold DUI Checkpoints in Stockton, California

Police to hold DUI Checkpoints in Stockton, CaliforniaSTOCKTON – California

The Police Department will hold checkpoints tonight and Saturday to catch drunken drivers.

The checkpoint starts at 6 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m. It will be set up in the area of Roosevelt Street and Wilson Way. On Saturday, the checkpoint will be at March Lane and Holiday Drive during the same hours.

Staffing at the checkpoints is paid for by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety.

Police earn grant for traffic patrols

STOCKTON – California The Police Department again this year has been awarded a grant for special traffic enforcement, which will be carried out throughout the year.

The $352,000 grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety is to fight alcohol and drug-impaired driving, and to reduce fatal and injury collisions resulting from both.

This year, the grant will fund additional enforcement of motorcycle safety. In 1998, 204 motorcyclists in California were killed in traffic collisions; that number rose to 560 in 2008.

The Stockton Police Department’s efforts will include additional patrols and strenuous enforcement of traffic violations associated with collisions involving motorcycles.

Stockton California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer

The State of California’s Ridiculous Plan to do Smog test on Motorcycles.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses California proposed smog tests for motorcycles in California ** 6/2/09 Update: California State Senator Fran Pavley a few months ago made herself motorcycle public enemy number one in California after she introduced legislation that would have required smog checks for all motorcycles of model year 2000 or newer. The bill proposed to start enforcing the measure in 2012, but that has now been changed.

The proposal has been amended to authorize police officers to fine bikers who have removed catalytic converters, instead of requiring the emissions testing. The senate approved the amended bill which now goes to the state assembly. If it passes there, the Governors signature is all that will be needed to make it law..

In reality the cost of policing the original measure, in relation to the minuscule amount of pollution a motorcycle puts out, just did not make sense when the two factors were weighed out under the original plan.

So under the new proposal, the police will now be able stop and fine bikers with allegedly modified stock systems. This is worse then the smog bill proposal. How are we supposed to prove to a police officer that our smog system on the motorcycle has not been tampered with? This notion is absured and puts too much discrestion in Police officer hands.

Make sure you keep writing your state senators!

*** 5/27/09 Update: A California State Senator has informed me of the following: “Due to the fiscal costs associated with SB 435, it has been placed on the Senate Appropriations legislative suspense file.” It appears that this bill has been placed on the shelf for now!

Well leave it to the California state legislature’s to come up with another dumb idea that may cost many people their jobs, will have no significant impact on air-quality, can be easily skirted, and will serve as another way for the state to take our money through backend taxes.

Welcome to California State Senate Bill 435, (“SB 435”) our State lawmaker’s idiocy at its finest. You may think that as a Biker Lawyer I would embrace more laws; wrong, I embrace laws that are reasonable, not laws that are just meant to discriminate and unjustly tax a class of citizens. SB 435 is meant to do just that, unjustly tax and discriminate against Motorcycle riders and bikers. Don’t let anyone lead you to believe otherwise.

The proponents of SB 435 are selling the bill as a means to clean up California’s air and to ensure that motorcyclist and bikers do not modify their exhaust systems.

There are many problems with SB 435, namely; there are already laws that prohibit motorcyclist and bikers from modifying their exhaust. Therefore this bill is duplicative. Secondly, it is very easy for a motorcyclist or biker to simply put their stock exhaust pipes on for a smog test, and then remove them after the test. The bill is asinine. Thirdly, motorcycles make up a tiny fraction of gas powered motor vehicles on the road today. There is no valid evidence whatsoever that SB 435 will clean up the air at all. Hell if you want to clean up the air, why not force everyone to put catalytic converters over their cooking ovens and at restaurants? Actually I better not give the legislatures any ideas. They actually sit around on capital hill thinking up shit.

SB 435 is all about hype and further discriminating against motorcyclist and bikers.

With a State already in a budget crisis, the States plan under SB 435 would cost untold millions of dollars to implement, and ad an added tax by way of fees to motorcyclist and bikers who are already pay enough taxes. As the old saying goes, you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip.

Every Californian who cares about freedom should contact their State Representative and give them a piece of your mind, and tell them to vote no on SB 435. Our State is in fiscal crisis, we certainly do not need any more regulation that will put people out of jobs, cost millions to implement, cost motorist more money in a back end tax, with no real benefit to the people of the State of California.

It is easier to prevent a dingbat scheme like this from being signed into law, then to reverse the law once it is put into place, as we all learned with helmet laws in the State. Therefore it is imperative that we fight this proposed Senate Bill Now!

What if the law is enacted? Simple, put your stock pipes back on for the smog test. I will not give advice on what do after the test!
I am sure that many of you have sold or given away your stock pipes. Bad move. You should at all costs keep your stock pipes now. Hell why pay another 500-600 bucks to get another set of stockers simply to pass a smog test.

Smog test or no smog test, they will not get rid of us motorcyclist and bikers just yet! I just prefer not to have to pay a back end tax based on a law that has no demonstrative results and is useless.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Oakland, California Police modify their Mufflers to make them Louder!

oakland motorcycle accident attorneyOakland has spent $15,000 on mufflers to make their police department’s Harleys safer — and noisier than federal standards. Chronicle photo by Kat Wade

Over in Oakland they like it loud – so loud that all 45 of the Police Department’s Harley-Davidson motorcycles have been equipped with shiny new tailpipes, at a cost of $500 apiece, to rev up their roar.

It seems the cops just didn’t feel safe on toned-down bikes.

“There’s an old motorcycle adage that you are heard before you are seen,” said Deputy Chief Dave Kozicki, explaining the department’s decision to toss the bikes’ muted factory-issued mufflers in favor of the more high-volume pipes.

Kozicki cited an accident three months ago in which an Oakland officer riding a toned-down cycle was struck by a motorist who said he hadn’t heard the officer approaching.
But some City Hall insiders, as well as motorcycle cops elsewhere, said the safety argument is a stretch.

Even the folks at the national Motorcycle Industry Council, which represents all the big bike manufacturers, were unaware of any safety benefits from louder mufflers.

“We encourage all motorcycle riders to keep the original low sound levels that meet the … federal sound limit of 80 decibels,” said industry spokesman Mike Mount. “It would seem counterintuitive that a law enforcement agency would go against federal standards.”
Ironically, it was just a short time back that Oakland police were called upon to crack down on noisy motorists who had modified their auto mufflers to make a whistling screech. The “whistle tip” pipes were eventually outlawed under state law.

Oakland’s cops had a long tradition of riding their Harley-Davidsons with the modified, louder tail pipes, earning them the nickname “Rolling Thunder.” But after an officer complained about a loss of hearing and others around town questioned whether the police force was violating the very noise standards it was supposed to enforce, the department brass ordered a switch to the quieter stock mufflers.

According to Kozicki, the decibel drop sparked a chorus of complaints from other officers, who said they felt less safe.

So last year the department launched a $1,200 study in conjunction with the city’s risk management division to determine whether A) the louder motorcycles contributed to officers’ safety, B) were detrimental to their hearing, and C) complied with noise standards.

Kozicki acknowledged that whatever safety-related findings the study produced were largely anecdotal. Still, after everything was taken into consideration, the department concluded “it was in the best interest of the officers to put more-audible pipes back on,” Kozicki said.

Hence, all 30 of the department’s Harleys were sent down to the central maintenance yard for a muffler makeover, at a cost of about $15,000, according to City Hall insiders. Another 15 newly purchased motorcycles were ordered with the louder pipes, though at no extra charge.

Oakland officials acknowledge that the noisy pipes, when tested, averaged 93 decibels – well above the federal legal noise limit, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.
But city Finance Director Bill Nolan, who oversees the risk management division, isn’t alarmed.

“If they were riding eight straight hours, it would be a problem,” he said. “But they aren’t.”

Oakland California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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

It looks like Anaheim, California is the latest California City to go after Bikers for loud pipes!

California Motorcycle Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez comments on the City of Anaheims new crack down on loud pipes.It looks like Anaheim, California is the latest California City to go after Bikers for loud pipes!

Well here we go again. Rather than using law enforcement resources to go after criminals, drunk drivers, and the like, another California City is instead going after bikers with loud pipes.

If you are thinking about riding through the City of Anaheim, you better think again. They are going after bikers with loud pipes and writing tickets to fill the city coffers like crazy.

Click here to read a story from the Orange County Register on what is happening. It looks to me like this is becoming a nationwide trend and it also looks like it is not going away anytime soon.

I for one will take my money elsewhere. If Anaheim does not like my motorcycle, then they certainly do not like me.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

Certain towns in Southern California are starting to crack down on loud pipes!

California motorcycle lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses loud pipes on motorcyclesIt looks like the loud pipe crackdown is starting to spread across the nation. I have written articles about Malibu, California, and Denver, Colorado cracking down on loud pipes. I have now heard reports from people calling my office that certain cities in the Inland Empire are starting to crack down on loud pipes as well.

I have also heard reports from my brothers in Minnesota, that there is a crackdown happening in certain cities there too.

I will again reiterate my position that loud pipes on motorcycles do save lives, because it forces the cagers to notice you! I have received many comments on the Blog from readers who have differing opinions that mine and that is OK.

Free Speech amongst bikers will not be infringed upon in my Blog.

The bottom line is that the law requires that stock exhaust systems not be modified or tampered with. However, it is absurd that a biker or motorcyclist should have to buy OEM exhaust from the manufacturer of their motorcycles in order to be in compliance with the law. They should have a choice as to what pipes they want to put on! This is a free country right?

We all know that there are guys out there running open pipes and that things can get kind of loud. I guess there needs to be a happy medium otherwise we are all going to be screwed into having to run OEM pipes no matter what.

There are many aftermarket systems out there that come with baffles that will quiet the motorcycle down to a reasonable level.

Where I live it is biker valley. There are more registered motorcycles in the San Fernando Valley, California, than any other geographic location of the same size anywhere in the country. I just saw a guy riding down a street called Devonshire, whose bike was so loud that it really was ridicules. You know it takes a lot for me to say that because I advocate that loud pipes save lives.

Nonetheless it is guys like this that are and will cause the crackdown on all of us.

Imagine if cars were running open headers? I know, when I was a teen, I had a souped up Nova with open headers. I was promptly given a ticket and this was in 1979 or 80. I do not remember the exact year.

So what am I saying; let’s keep a happy medium. There is no reason to be running open pipes. You can still have a reasonably loud bike with baffles installed or tuned. Obviously I am not advocating breaking any laws.

For all of you guys with aftermarket pipes, you better do yourself a favor and keep your OEM pipes just in case you get stopped for loud pipes. It is cheaper to just re-install them on your motorcycle if you do get stopped, rather than having to buy a new set.

I kept my OEM’s from Harley Davidson and they are in my garage.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

I hear a rumor that a lawyer is challenging the Denver Noise Ordinance.

California Motorcycle Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the challenge to the Denver Noise OrdinanceI have been reading articles all over the internet about a lawyer who is challenging the Denver noise ordinance on the basis that Police Motorcycles that are Harley Davidson’s do not meet Denver’s 80 decibel noise standard, therefore the law as enacted is arbitrary and unduly broad.

The trouble with the article I have been reading is that no one has named the lawyer. It is almost like a rumor as far as I am concerned. If someone knows the name of the lawyer, please post a comment on this article so I can contact the lawyer.

I have a big problem with the basis for challenging the law. In most States and municipalities, law enforcement vehicles are exempt from ordinary traffic laws so that they can do their job.

Arguing that the Police stock Harley Davidson Motorcycles that the police in Denver use, do not meet the 80db standard seems almost ludicrous as a basis for setting aside the law. What the argument is basically saying is that no stock Harley Davidson’s would be within the law. This would give the police a basis for pulling over all Harley Davidson Motorcycles!

I do not like where this is going. If anyone has any information on the challenge to the noise law in Denver please contact me. You can also shoot me an email through the system by clicking the email icon next to my name.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

An Email from a Biker Law Blog Reader about the Denver, Colorado Noise Ordinance Situation and How it Relates to Custom Motorcycles.

California motorycle lawyer attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Hollister Motorcycle RallyI received the following email from a Biker Law Blog Reader named Patrick. I will let the email speak for itself because it is self explanatory. I have not edited it and it is in Patrick’s own words. Here it is……..

I have some information for you. There is a letter out from the EPA dated 7/25/2006. The letter is CISD-06-15 (MC). This is geared to builders of custom bikes where the builder builds 300 units or less. These bikes like Big Bear choppers, Big dog choppers meet all 2007 EPA rules. They have a stamp on the frame that states that they meet all EPA federal laws. I have a friend that built a 2007 EPA compliant chopper. The bike came with a Suppertrapp exhaust that is EPA compliant. The exhaust has no EPA stamp or marker plate. Big Dog chopper’s have Vance & Hines Q series exhaust that is EPA compliant, no EPA stamp or marker plate. The bikes I am talking about meet all federal EPA rules, but you can’t ride or have them in Denver. That’s crazy. Patrick

What Patrick is saying is that there are EPA compliant motorcycles that do not have EPA stamps on the pipes. I think that Patrick may have found a way for the ordinance to be legally challenged as unduly broad. Do we have a Colorado Biker Lawyer who will step up to the plate to challenge this new ordinance in Court?

Thanks for the email Patrick.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

NEWS FLASH: The City of Denver, Colorado, becomes the first Major U.S. City to basically Outlaw After Market Pipes on Motorcycles!

Biker Motorycycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses new noise ordinance in Denver, Colorado. **** 6/10/07 Update: SEE BELOW

*** 6/11/06 Update: SEE BELOW

The City of Denver, Colorado has enacted a municipal ordinance that will require all motorcycles in the city to have a Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sound-certification label on the exhaust systems of all motorcycles.

This modification of Denver’s existing sound law will “retro-actively” apply to all motorcycles manufactured since 1982, which was the first year EPA required all motorcycles sold in the United States to comply with EPA sound regulations.

This new ordinance is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2007. Any violators of the new ordinance would have two weeks to prove to a Judge that they have fixed the problem or they will be forced to pay a fine of $500.00.

Previously Denver had a noise ordinance based upon maximum decibels or sound levels, which set a limit of 80 decibels at 25 feet.

For all intents and purposes, this new ordinance will force all motorcyclists to use only stock pipes on their motorcycles, because most of the after market pipes made for motorcycles do not have the EPA sound certification label on the pipes.

The marks the first time that I know of where a major United States City has adopted, and will be enforcing “Federal Laws” which are discriminatory against bikers and motorcyclist.

What is disturbing is that this new ordinance is only geared towards motorcycles and not other vehicles such as big rig trucks and cars, which are not required to have strictly stock exhaust systems on them. It does appear that Denver, Colorado is exclusively discriminating against bikers and motorcyclist.

*** 6/11/06 Update: A closer look at this ordinance has brought to light another sinister issue. Now law enforcement in Denver, Colorado will be able to willy nilly pull over any biker or motorcycle on a whim just to check their exhaust pipes. Basically riding a motorcycle in Denver, Colorado will make all bikers and motorcyclist subject to arbitrary stops and harassment by law enforcement. Our freedoms are slipping away from us people.

Continue reading “NEWS FLASH: The City of Denver, Colorado, becomes the first Major U.S. City to basically Outlaw After Market Pipes on Motorcycles!”

Do Loud Pipes on Motorcycles Save Lives? I Think So!

Norman Gregory Fernandez and Sabrina on a Run

Based upon my own first hand experiences riding motorcycles, I can say without a doubt that Loud Pipes do save lives! I have been in many situations, particularly when I am splitting lanes, where revving my engine and making noise got cagers to notice me and make way.

I have been in other situations on streets and on the freeways where cagers have had their windows rolled up, talking on a cell phone, and it appeared to me that they would switch into my lane. Again, revving the engine and making noise got them to notice that I was there.

The key to not getting hit by a cager while riding your motorcycle is to be seen by the cager. In some circumstances you have to force them to see and hear you.

The reason I am putting this article in the Biker Laws section of my Blog is simple. The law as it currently stands, prohibits you from modifying the stock exhaust system of your bike and creates a maximum decibel (noise level) at which your motorcycle can run in most States. Some cities even have their own noise ordinances.

I recently read an article where some cager was bashing bikers with loud pipes, and that loud pipes are a nuisance. The problem is that most motorcycle accidents are caused by cagers who fail to see motorcyclist. Loud Pipes will definitely get the cagers attention.

With that being said the choice is up to you. As a lawyer I cannot ever advocate not following the law. However in this particular instance having loud pipes may save your life. You need to check your own local laws to determine what you can and cannot do with respect to after market pipes and maximum noise levels.

There are no laws that I am aware of that prohibit you from installing an air horn of the type that are on Big Rig Trucks! This may be a viable alternative to loud pipes. If you see a cager who is not paying attention and that may hit you, blast your air horn! That will get their attention.

It’s all about being legal on your motorcycle and being safe.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

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