Thunder Roads La/MS November TRLAMS_NOVW - Page 32

BIKER NE self-driving cars ny bans children baby boomers at risk bY: bILL bISH, ncom THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com. FIRST TWIN PEAKS CASE GOES TO TRIAL IN WACO Following more than two years of examining trials, hearings, motions to recuse judges and to disqualify prosecutors, appeals court rulings and a host of speedy trial demands, the first case in the Twin Peaks melee has finally gone to trial in Waco, Texas. Jacob Carrizal, President of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, appears before Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court on charges of directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity. Carrizal is the first to stand trial of the 154 bikers indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured while attending a Saturday, May 17, 2015 meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents, an affiliation of motorcycle groups. Many questions will hopefully be answered, at long last, including how much of the bloodshed was due to a biker turf war and how much resulted from law enforcement actions. Authorities tightened security measures around the McLennan County Courthouse, including a metal fence around the 115-year old building, and black curtains over the windows, while attorneys have whittled down a jury pool from nearly 150 prospective jurists to 11 men and three women, with two serving as alternates. “LOWEST FIGURES ON RECORD” FOR U.K. MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES In a promising message for motorcyclists, statistics recently released by England’s Department for Transport (DfT) show that U.K. motorcycle deaths are down by 13%, the lowest figure since records began in 2006, despite an overall increase in motorcycle traffic last year and amidst the highest total of overall road deaths since 2011. In fact, statistics from the DfT’s “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report” reveal that motorcyclists were the only road user to see a decrease in fatalities from 2015-16, even though they rode 2% more to cover 2.8 billion miles. AAA CLAIMS BABY BOOMERS AT HIGHER RISK ON A BIKE A new report from AAA claims that the baby boomer generation that made motorcycles cool are now more likely to sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries in a crash than younger riders. The organization, analyzing federal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says older riders make up a disproportionate number of motorcycle fatalities. The mortality rate for riders who are 60 or older is more than four times the overall increase in motorcycle deaths for 2015-16, says AAA, with motorcycle fatalities rising 5.1% while deaths among older baby boomers increased 22%. Important to note, the increase in overall motorcycle fatalities is partially the byproduct of a corresponding rise in the number of motorcycles on the road, increasing to 8.6 million motorcycles in 2015 compared with 8.4 million in 2014, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data cited by the organization. LIFE SENTENCES PROPOSED FOR KILLER DRIVERS U.K. drivers or riders convicted of causing death by dangerous driving could face life imprisonment if new Government proposals are adopted to increase maximum penalties. The move follows a public consultation in which 70% of respondents believed that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life -- the top penalty that British law offers. Under the same proposal, the crime of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also be increased to life. Currently, both offenses carry a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment, while the average sentence imposed is four years. The Government also proposes the creation of a new offense of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a prison sentence up to five years, a measure supported by 90% of those surveyed. The punishment for cases that involve mobile phones, street racing or speeding would carry a sentence equivalent to manslaughter. THE FUTURE OF THE ENGINE IN QUESTION Some world governments are already acting to curtail or eliminate gasoline-powered engines, and now the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has announced that he is also considering ways to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines. During a recent public meeting on U.S. Climate Alliance in New York, Brown stated; “We’re doing something in the face of inaction.” “Eventually, Washington will join with us, because you can’t deny science forever, you can’t deny reality. And the reality is climate change is occurring.” With a zero-emissions mandate currently in place, California is one of the U.S. states that is fully committed to carrying out the objectives of the Paris Agreement -- which is an ambitious project from the United Nations aiming to tackle the problems caused global climate change. Gov. Brown’s announcement follows a similar diktat from the British and French Governments, reflecting plans to move to electrically-powered vehicles within the next few decades. SELF-DRIVING CARS CLOSER TO HOME The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill called the SELF-DRIVE act, the first of its kind to drive the unmanned market forward by putting federal regulators in charge and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles or setting performance standards. 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