SC legislative Information
Chandlers Law is back. These folks just don't understand that SC citizens just don't want this bad bill.
It has been filed once in the SC Senate as S 448 and again in the House as H 3562.
If you've never heard of Chandlers law it will add draconian rules to ATV ownership and ridership, infringing on parental and property rights, all to fix a problem that doesn't exist. To read the House version of this bill follow this link.
To read the Senate version follow this one.
Please call or write to your representatives in Columbia and ask that they oppose this bill. You can find their contact info here:http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe
Ride Free, Ride Often
Recently I was talking about what or why ABATE would have any position on ATV bills. I had to go back several years to some discussion I had with South Carolina Off Road Enthusiasts SCORE. At their meeting of mostly middle aged guys that raced off-road dirt bikes they saw this as an infringement into their right to ride as most of them had started as young kids riding around in dirt fields.
Some weeks later we went to the subcommittee hearing and after testifying that this is parental responsibility and this law was overstepping into what we choose to ride or what we choose to allow our children to ride. Afterwards we talked with the Governors aide Justin Evans and the DNR representative who both felt this was a bad law. Wayne Wilkes who is the South Carolina Dealers Association spoke against it also as he was instrumental in getting the current ATV class that is free and told them that it is offered to everyone that purchases an ATV.
Now several years later we see this bill again. The stakes are higher with our new Governor. We have no idea how she will vote and the parents are on a full court press to get ATV’s outlawed for young riders. The parents have a team of experts including the insurance companies like Farmers and the South Carolina Children’s Hospital to testify about the dangers of kids riding. What is even worse is in the article below they have even included the word motorcycles in their safety stance.
A little history on Chandlers Law is the parents of Chandler want someone to be accountable since their child’s death. They could not sue the family and since ATV’s are not required to be registered to the owners they could not sue the owner. So this law would also add the provision that they would be registered so that you can also sue the owner.
So why would any free riding biker want something like this to be passed.
On the federal side we have been fighting the Consumer Products Safety Council on their ban on all youth ATV’s and youth motorcycles due to a lead ban for several years. Congressman Joe Wilson has just signed onto HR 412 on February 18th which is the “Kids Just Want to Ride Act”. This will make permanent the current two year exclusion to allow the sale of youth motorcycles and ATV’s. This bill currently has 44 Cosponsors but we need our entire South Carolina congressman to sign on so please ask them to sign on.
As you can see, while we are out riding free they are taking away our freedoms that many of us enjoyed as kids. I do not have an issue with the helmet, as it is illegal to ride a motorcycle in South Carolina if you are under 21, I do take issue with the right for kids to ride.
Ride free I did as a kid,
Midlands Area Coordinator
Without your membership we are nothing so please go to WWW.ABATESC.COM to sign up or e-mail me for more information.
See link for original story http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/feb/20/doctors-backing-atv-bill/
Doctors backing ATV bill'Chandler's Law' would require young riders to wear protective gear
By Renee Dudley
Sunday, February 20, 2011
A handful of Charleston emergency physicians, alarmed by the persistent rate of serious brain injury among children, plan to testify before the S.C. Legislature Wednesday in support of a new law that would put minimum age and safety requirements on all-terrain-vehicle riders.
Since 2007, the state House and Senate twice have passed the so-called "Chandler's Law," named for a 16-year-old Swansea boy who died from injuries in an ATV wreck in 2003. Both times, Gov. Mark Sanford vetoed the measure, citing infringement on parents' rights and residents' personal property rights. All but a handful of states have laws regulating ATV use.
Chandler Saylor, for whom the so-called “Chandler’s Law” is named.
The doctors, led by Keith Borg of the Medical University of South Carolina, will present data on traumatic brain injury when they address the Senate subcommittee on Fish, Game and Forestry, a panel that includes one of the bill's key opponents.
"We can fix broken bones, abdominal injuries and many other things," Borg said. "But brain injury has a very poor prognosis for recovery, and the best thing you can do is prevent it through things like Chandler's Law."
S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms is the voice of opposition on the committee. "You don't want law enforcement in your backyard patrolling what's going on," the Berkeley Republican said. Of the law's proposed helmet requirement, Grooms said, "It's a bit much. That's taking things too far. I'm very respectful of individual liberties and freedoms, and I don't want it going too far."
Supporters are optimistic that Gov. Nikki Haley will sign the bill if the Legislature passes it. She supported it in her former role as a state legislator. Haley, through her spokesman, declined comment until the bill reaches her desk.
The House version of the proposal passed through a subcommittee last week.
The legislative push coincides with the publication of an article in The Journal of the S.C. Medical Association that said accidents involving ATVs, tractors and motorcycles are among the top five causes of death for children between the ages of 5 and 14.
Borg and two colleagues, who wrote the article, examined a statewide database of reported pediatric brain and spinal cord injuries. The trio criticized the Legislature for being "slow to enact steps to protect children from these preventable injuries."
Statistics provided by the S.C. Children's Hospital Collaborative, a non-profit group that represents the state's four children's hospitals, show that about 450 children are injured in ATV accidents annually in South Carolina.
As ATVs become more popular, the number of fatalities in the state has risen, from five in 2005 to 11 in 2008, according to the data.
The proposed law would require children under the age of 16 to undergo safety training and wear a helmet, even if they are a passenger. It would ban drivers younger than 16 without valid licenses from carrying passengers.
Those rules might have helped Kayla Beczynski, who was 15 when she was riding on the back of an ATV driven by a neighbor. The vehicle plunged off a 15-foot embankment and landed in a canal in a wooded area near the Sawmill Branch Trail in May 2009. "Everyone should wear a helmet because you never know what could happen," said Beczynski, who remains in a wheelchair, unable to move her limbs or breathe on her own. She requires a full-time nurse and a portable ventilator. Beczynski's mother, Carrie Rhymer, said safety training is a reasonable requirement for young drivers.
"It's like getting a learner's permit before you drive a car," she said. "You should know the dangers and how to safely operate the vehicle."
Rhymer said she's been frustrated by the proposal's previous defeats.
"I hope to God they actually do it this time," she said. "This can save families from hurt. And unless you're living with someone with serious injuries, you have no idea how hard it is."
The rules also might have saved Pam and Steven Saylor's son Chandler, the law's namesake. Chandler, wearing no protective gear, was riding on an ATV with friends from church on the Saturday before Mother's Day in 2003. He lost control of the vehicle, suffered a brain injury and later died. "He was with other parents who we trusted," Pam Saylor said. "Nobody called us that day to ask if he could ride it. Nothing says they had to."
The Saylors reject critics' gripes about personal liberties. "We know there are parents out there who think this is another way that the government is telling them what to do," Pam Saylor said. "But anyone who could put themselves in our shoes would see ATVs in a different light."
Reach Renee Dudley at 937-5550.