MMA Call to Action (CTA) - S.1797 Right of Way Bill Public Hearings scheduled

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6/6/2011 6:22:18 PM
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MMA Call to Action (CTA) - S.1797 Right of Way Bill Public Hearings scheduled

 

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation has scheduled Public Hearings on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 1 PM at the State House in Boston in Room B-1.   Listed to be called is Senate Number 1797-An Act to Increase Fines & Penalties of motorists who violate the right of way of other motorists.   Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, this bill already has 14 formal co-Sponsors and is referred to as the Massachusetts Motorcycle Asociation (MMA) Right-of-Way (RoW) Bill.

The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) is urging ALL RIDERS to immediately write a letter to their State Senator and State Representative asking them to SUPPORT S.1797, the MMA ROW Bill.   Letters are highly effective, a FAX is a very close second, whereas e-mails are largely ignored or lay buried in inboxes.

Please write your letters today and also send copies by mail or FAX to the Joint Committee on Transportation Chairs, Senator McGee and Representative Straus, and e-mail to the MMA’s Legislative Director.

Currently, any motorist who causes an accident in Massachusetts resulting in injury and\or death of another routinely receives nothing more than a $35 “Failure to Yield Right of Way” moving violation.   All too frequently a motorist will turn left in front of oncoming motorcyclists leaving the motorcycle riders with no place to go, usually with injuries.

As recently as May 29, an 18 year old driver turned left in front of 2 motorcyclists in Orleans Ma, causing them to crash.   Med-Flight was called but due to fog conditions, the female victim had to be driven all the way to Massachusetts General Hospital where she still clings to life.   Her Husband was not so badly injured and has already been treated and released from Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis Ma.

The 18 year old driver received his $35 Failure to Yield Right of Way Citation and walked away completely unharmed.

MMA Board Members will be on-site to testify in-person to the Committee in support of S.1797.   All riders looking to join us can contact us using the information below.   Even if you chose not to formally testify, a strong show of support would send a very hard to ignore message to these Committee Members.

The MMA is the Nationally-recognized Motorcycle Rights Organization for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.   Founded in 1975, the MMA has been fighting to defend and protect motorcyclists’ rights for more than 35 years.

 For further information, visit www.MassMotorcycle.orgor contact LegislativeDirector@MassMotorcycle.org.   Let’s make sure the Transportation Committee hears our collective voices loud and clear and knows we are serious about stopping motorists from harming us and our fellow riders.

 Joint Committee of Transportation Committee Members here
Senate MembersChair Thomas McGee, Room 109C, (617) 722-1350, Thomas.McGee@masenate.gov
Vice Chair Jennifer Flanagan, Room 410, (617) 722-1230 FAX: (617) 722-1130, Jennifer.Flanagan@masenate.gov
Karen Spilka, Room 511C, (617) 722-1640 FAX: (617) 722-1077, Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov
Michael Rush, Room 213A, (617) 722-1348 FAX: (617) 722-1348, Mike.Rush@masenate.gov
Brian Joyce, Room 109D, (617) 722-1643 FAX: (617) 722-1310, Brian.A.Joyce@masenate.gov
Marc Pacheco, Room 312B, (617) 722-1551 FAX: (617) 722-1074, Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov
Robert Hedlund, Room 313C, (617) 722-1646 FAX: (617) 722-1028, Robert.Hedlund@masenate.gov

 House Members
Chair William Straus, Room 134, (617) 722-2400 FAX: (617) 722-2387, William.Straus@mahouse.gov
Vice Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Room 134, (617) 722-2400 FAX: (617) 722-6575, Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov
James Miceli, Room 446, (617) 722-2460, James.Miceli@mahouse.gov
Carl Sciortino, Room 472, (617) 722-2013 FAX: (617) 722-0127, Carl.Sciortino@mahouse.gov
Denise Provost, Room 473B, (617) 722-2263 FAX: (617) 722-0548, Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov
Timothy Madden, Room 167, (617) 722-2810 FAX: (617) 722-2846, Timothy.Madden@mahouse.gov
Marcos Devers, Room 146, (617) 722-2011 FAX: (617) 722-2238, Marcos.Devers@mahouse.gov
Mark Cusack, Room 134, (617) 722-2400 FAX: (617) 626-0159, Mark.Cusack@mahouse.gov
Michael Finn, Room 134, (617) 722-2400 FAX: (617) 626-0189, Michael.Finn@mahouse.gov
John Mahoney, Room 155, (617) 722-2450 FAX: (617) 626-0247, John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov
Chris Walsh, Room 39, (617) 722-2014 FAX: (617) 626-0291, Chris.Walsh@mahouse.gov
Donald Wong, Room 542, (617) 722-2488 FAX: (617) 626-0299, Donald.Wong@mahouse.gov
Steven Howitt, Room 237, (617) 722-2305 FAX: (617) 626-0211, Steven.Howitt@mahouse.gov

 S.1797 Bill Text
SECTION 1. Section 8 of chapter 89, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out in the last sentence the words “thirty-five” and replacing it with “two hundred.”

SECTION 2. Section 8 of Chapter 89 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding at the end of said section the following new paragraph:

Any person who is found guilty of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of the provisions of this Section shall be subject to the following penalties:

(a) If the violation results in the injury of another person, the offender shall, in addition to any other penalties, be fined two hundred dollars and have their driver's or commercial driver's license or permit or nonresident operating privilege suspended for a period of not less than thirty days, or both.

(b) If the violation results in the serious bodily injury of another person, the offender shall, in addition to any other penalties, be fined five hundred dollars and have their driver's or commercial driver's license or permit or nonresident operating privilege suspended for a period of not less than ninety days, or both.

(c) If the violation results in the death of another person, the offender shall, in addition to any other penalties, be fined one thousand dollars and have their driver's or commercial driver's license or permit or nonresident operating privilege suspended for a period of not less than one hundred eighty days, or both.

(d) For purposes of this Section, "serious bodily injury" shall mean a bodily injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.

Sample Letter

Honorable Senator Wolf:

The Joint Committee on Transportation has scheduled Senate Number 1797 for Public Hearings on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 1PM in Room B-1.

As a constituent and concerned motorcycle rider within your District, I am asking that you prepare and submit a letter of Testimony in Support of this proposed legislation directly to the Joint Committee Chairs Senator Thomas McGee and Representative William Straus.  

This is a very important Public Safety Bill that can help deter accidents and reduce injuries and deaths on the roads within the Commonwealth.   Here on Cape Cod on May 29, an 18 year-old driver turned left in front of 2 motorcyclists causing them to crash and suffer severe injuries: one rider is still clinging to life at Mass General Hospital.   The motorist who caused this accident walked any unharmed after receiving a $35 “Failure to Yield Right of Way” Citation from local Police.

I also ask that a copy of your letter be sent to me for our files.

I thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,
Rick Gleason (my address, telephone number, e-mail address)   

 



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