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Motorcyclists' Rights Advocates to Make Noise and Sue City of Boston (Bikers' Rights)

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Motorcyclists' Rights Advocates to Make Noise & Sue City of Boston
Release Number 0137

IronBoltBruce on Bikers Rights, Motorcyclists Rights, MRO News Release - for Immediate Release (June 30, 2009)

For more info, contact:
Paul W. Cote, ClaimsCote@aol.com - 978-535-8222 (days)
Bill Gannon, billgannon2@hotmail.com -
Mike Longtin, mlongtin@comcast.net -
Vince Silvia, vsilvia@thesilvias.com - 987-852-3626 (cell)
Larry Cahill, webmaster@bostonbiker.com -

Subject: Motorcyclists' Rights Advocates to Make Noise ... and Sue City of Boston

Case Filing (.pdf)      WCVB Video (.wmv)

(Boston, MA) A group of motorcyclists' rights advocates and activists are putting the final touches on a lawsuit they expect to file this week in Suffolk Superior Court, asking the Court to restrain the City of Boston from issuing $300 tickets to motorcyclists and declare a recently rushed through "noise" Ordinance invalid.

Paul W. Cote of Amesbury, Bill Gannon of Quincy, Vince Silvia of Haverhill, Mike Longtin of N. Easton, and Larry Cahill of Medford, have joined together to rally riders and fight the City of Boston's Docket No. 0658 Ordinance, passed by the Boston City Council on June 3, and signed by the Mayor June 9th, which reads:

"(a)1) No person shall park, use or operate a motorcycle, within the City of Boston, manufactured subsequent to December 31, 1982, that does not bear the required applicable Federal EPA exhaust label pursuant to Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Volume 24, Part 205, Subparts D and Subpart E.

2) All violations of subsection (a)(1) shall be punishable by a fine of three hundred dollars and no cents ($300.00).

3) Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, or his or her designee, shall have the authority to enforce subsection (a) of this section.

Section 2, - The provisions of this section shall be effective immediately upon passage."

(see "http://www.cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/hearing/search.asp?id=21975" for more info)

Cote said the Ordinance was filed by Councillor LaMattina on May 6 and referred to the Committee on Government Operations. A public hearing was held May 26 and the Committee released the Ordinance on June 1 with an "ought to pass" recommendation. The full Council took up the matter June 3 and put it on the Mayor's desk which he signed June 9th.

"There was an obviously rush to keep this under the radar screen, - it is so flawed, abusive, and puts the safety of law enforcement in jeopardy, having to crawl under motorcycles looking for some stamp," claims Cote.

"The City of Boston, via their traffic enforcement division, has perfected procedures that rape the wallets of it's citizens and tourists alike, as well as hard-working commuters employed in the city." said Bill Gannon. "They're attempting to solve their financial crisis on the backs of law-abiding motorcyclists with $300 fines on legally inspected motorcycles, in conflict with a sufficient state statute."

Mike Longtin said, "an easy review of the referenced EPA standard shows its a 'manufacturer's standard,' not a consumer standard, that contains an "acoustic assurance period" that the exhaust standard meets the decibel requirements, that is only required for 1 year or 3,750 miles." So people are supposed to get rid of their motorcycles after a year or 3,750 miles? Someone didn't think this through."

"Its nothing by Government sanctioned theft," said Silvia. "I expect Boston Police to stand on their feet combating crime in the City, not get down on their knees or on their backs, looking for EPA labels on exhaust systems, this is crazy."

Several years ago Cahill, owner of the BostonBiker.com web site, encouraged riders to 'boycott' Newburyport businesses when its police issued over 300 noise citations to riders - who were later found to be in compliance, due to their flawed interpretation of state testing requirements and procedures.

"A lot of law abiding citizens spend money and lost time from work just to prove themselves right and law enforcement wrong. This Boston Ordinance is wrong. The City should use the existing state laws and procedures, and the boycott worked."

"If this Ordinance doesn't get declared invalid, I'll be recommending riders save the dollars they'd be spending in Boston's restaurants and other businesses to fight these tickets in a Court of law like we did in Newburyport."

Cote said an e-mail to the President of Boston's Chamber of Commerce sent ten days ago has gone unanswered. "I told him this Ordinance has the potential of affecting its business members, but he hasn't replied yet."

Gannon said the suit will challenge the City's authority to sidestep the state laws, which carries a $35 or $50 fine, not $300. "People shouldn't have to know what ordinance this city or town has or doesn't have - they should be free to ride the Commonwealth's roads knowing their bike is legal in every town or city after it has been inspected."

Collectively, the group of motorcyclists' rights activists and advocates don't support offensively loud motor vehicles but claim at least over 95% of the more than 180,000 motorcycles inspected this year complies with existing state requirements.

In a similar proposed Ordinance in New York City last year, local riders visited 6 or 7 shops and dealerships, looking for the EPA label on the exhaust, finding on 65% of the new motorcycles inspected the EPA label was not clearly visible or required dismantling equipment to find it.

Motorcycle riders interested in helping fight this Ordinance are encourage to contact Paul Cote at ClaimsCote@aol.com.

See also:

http://www.cityofboston.gov/cityclerk/hearing/
upload_pdfs/docket_pdfs/065805312009.pdf

###

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