Helmet Laws, Medical Marijuana, and Insurance Among the Topics Discussed
It's always nice to get out into our community to share information and answer questions about motor vehicle crashes, insurance, the law and other important topics.
On Sunday February 26th, the members of the Peace River Chapter of ABATE motorcycle club invited Goldberg Noone Abraham attorney Elizete Velado to come to their regular monthly meeting and talk to their group. They were about to set out on a charity donation ride to benefit the Peace River Wildlife Center on a gorgeous afternoon for a ride.
Our personal injury law firm has been helping motorcycle crash victims for decades, and we see the massive devastation caused by severe crash injuries just about every day. We're proud to help sponsor the Peace River ABATE chapter in support of their love for riding, and for their efforts to promote safe, smart enjoyment of owning a motorcycle. These people – everyday folks from all walks of life throughout the Charlotte County, Florida area – do so many awesome, charitable things in our area, donating money, time and supplies to worthy local organizations.
Their membership asked questions of Elizete related to several topics, like the recently-passed medical marijuana law, the newly-proposed helmet law bill being considered by Florida's legislators currently, insurance laws as they relate to a biker or their passenger being struck by another vehicle, and several other topics.
All of the ABATE Chapters throughout Florida are rallying their members to fight the proposed new bill, known as HB 6009. This is the synopsis of the bill:
A bill to be entitled An act relating to motorcycle safety; amending s. 316.211, F.S.; deleting provisions authorizing certain persons over 21 years of age to operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear; providing penalties; providing an effective date.
This is the language that the sponsors of HB 6009 hope to DELETE from the current laws;
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.
This proposed new amended bill takes the choice away from individual riders about whether they wear a helmet or not.
There are countless studies that go into great depth about whether wearing a helmet prevents a more serious head injury in a motorcycle crash. The primary point of the position that ABATE is taking is that this new bill will remove the option to have the freedom of choice about wearing a helmet or not. (In Florida, the ratio of those who wear a helmet or choose to go without one is about 50/50).
The most recent activity on this proposed legislation was its submission on January 9, 2017, to the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Government Accountability, for review. If it passes, it would take effect on July 1, 2017.
If you would like to be kept informed on the progress of HB 6009, follow this link – you can create an account login, and check on any developments related to the bill:
Just for the record, the personal injury lawyers at Goldberg Noone Abraham do advocate for wearing a helmet. However, because this is America and we also believe in the personal freedoms afforded to us under the Constitution, we fully understand and respect the individual rights of those who choose not to wear one.
Thanks again to all the members of ABATE Peace River Chapter for having us out, and we hope we see you again soon.
For scheduling an attorney to speak at any group meeting or event, please contact our office at 239-461-5508.