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LEGISLATIVE REPORT JANUARY 2012

The ABATE of Ohio, Inc. 2012 Seminar is next month. Please come help plan ABATE’s legislative agenda. I would like to have input from the organization to plan our direction. The seminar is 2/4/12 at the Embassy Suites (same hotel as last year). The room rates are 104.00 for the seminar. The rooms are suites (living and sleeping areas, complete with microwave and refrigerator) and sleep six people. Occupants of the hotel have a free full breakfast, including an omelet station, and a complimentary happy hour. Reservations can be made by calling 614-790-9000. I’m still working on our handlebar bill. The decision was made to amend the bill to make Ohio’s handlebar requirements identical to what Indiana’s legislators passed 3 years ago, which is handlebars are not permitted to be higher than the rider’s shoulders while the rider is seated in the driver’s saddle. This is a limitation that has already been successfully adopted by several other states. The amendment has not been introduced at the time I am writing this article, but I spoke with Rep. Rosenberger’s aid and plans are to introduce this during the committee meeting the week of Dec. 12. We had sponsor testimony on the handlebar bill, back in November. Rep. Cliff Rosenberger and Rep. Al Landis both gave sponsor testimony on the bill. There were a few questions from the Transportation Committee after the testimony. It became very clear that the original bill would not pass but the shoulder high amendment would resolve all objections. I am working now on trying to get some proponent testimony from bike shop owners that would benefit from the change. Please contact me at legislativedirector@ abate.com if you know any bike shop owners that would be willing to provide written testimony, or come to the State House in person and give testimony on the handlebar bill. On the ROW bill, we have proponent testimony on Dec. 14. We are working on an amendment to this bill that also has not been introduced. The amendment would change the fines of all traffic related minor misdemeanors listed in section 4511 of the Ohio Revised Code that involve serious injury and death to the same penalties that we are asking for in our ROW bill. This amendment is being considered due to a recommendation by John Murphy of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association. I’ve had a few questions after last month’s article pertaining to vertically mounted motorcycle plates. If you would like to do a little research of your own 10

on Ohio’s requirements, it is in section 4503.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, which can easily be accessed online. To summarize license plates on motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and semi-trailers have to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. They can not be displayed behind an object that may obscure the visibility of the plate. We discussed this issue at the last board meeting. It is our belief that at this point, tickets being issued for improperly mounted license plates are isolated incidents. If the issue becomes more prevalent we will consider supporting legislation that clarifies the law. It is the beginning of a new year. It is also an election year. The candidates will soon be campaigning. I would like to encourage everyone to get out and meet the candidates. Read your newspaper and find out where the candidates are appearing. Put an ABATE product on and introduce yourself to the candidates. Shake their hand, say “My name is (your name) of ABATE of Ohio”. Chances are they will thank you for all the charity work the organization has done to help the community in the past. We could use a show of numbers in the legislator’s eyes. Last but not least, PLEASE COME TO OUR SEMINAR! Call 614-790-9000 today to make your reservation. I need your input. Scott “Woody” Wood Government Relations Director ABATE of Ohio, Inc.

Thunder Roads® Magazine OHIO


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