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I would first like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are getting very excited for December as there are a ton of charity rides and toy rides for the kids and people in need this time of the year. We start with the Bert’s Toy Run that is always one of the biggest toy rides of the year next to the Suncoast Brotherhood Toy Run. Both events usually have over 1000 bikes on them and both go to great charities. Then We here at Full Throttle Host our Annual Teddy Bear Toy Run December 14th starting at Tampa HarleyDavidson and goes over to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Please look at our cruising calendar and on our Facebook page for all the great toy runs happing in December! Remember, if you are more fortunate than others, please try and give back. Tis the season of giving! The Florida Motorcycle Expo & Bike Builder Invitational is going to be February 5th – 9th 2020 and is at Bert’s Barracuda and this year we are working together with Quaker Steak and Lube! There will be some bike parking at Bert’s, but most bike parking will be over at Quaker and the Police will be helping people crossing 49th street like last year. Car parking will be at the Sears lot on US 19 & 110th and at the Calvary Chapel Church on US 19 with free shuttles to Bert’s! THE VENDOR AREA WILL


BE 100% FREE TO ATTEND, that will be the front of the property, the parking areas in front of Bert’s Barracuda on 49th street. The Riders Training course is where the concerts will be held and there is a $20 per day ticket ($45 3-day special) price to see the concert! We are diligently working on the NATIONAL BANDS for this event as this magazine is going to print and they will be announced ASAP and tickets will be available on Eventbrite and day of at the event. The SPECIAL 3-day passes, and VIP will only be able to be purchased on Eventbrite in advance. VIP Passes will include FREE BEER and FREE FOOD for Thursday – Saturday at the Expo and during the National Band Concerts. Vendors are selling very quickly, and tickets will be on sales as soon as the bands are completely booked! I promise you that the bands will be nothing you have ever seen at Bert’s before! We are booking bands that you can hear on the radio now with current hits! This means they are much more expensive than the older bands! That is why there is a ticket charge this year! We have heard you ask us to bring in bigger bands numerous times, but it costs a lot more to bring in those types of bands. I know some of you will not be happy about this, but we want to bring you the biggest and best possible event we can with great music!!! We have also increased the Bike Builder Invitational has been increased from $20,000 to $30,000 this year and every winner will also take home a Full Throttle custom watch, $1,500 for 1st place, $1000 for 2nd Place and $500 for 3rd place! Bikes are being invited from all over the United States and Canada! This will be the biggest Expo and Bike Builder Invitational yet! For more info visit the website of Facebook event pages. Feel free to also call Full Throttle Magazine at 727-935-4875 to sponsor or to set up as a vendor, but I warn you vendor space will sell out! We work all year to make this the biggest and best event for the motorcycle community that we love!


DECEMBER 1ST - BERT’S 3RD ANNUAL HARLEYS FOR HEARTS TOY RUN - Join Bert's Barracuda for Bert’s 3rd Annual Harleys for Hearts Toy Run on December 1st 2019! This police escorted toy run STARTS and ENDS at our all-new 49th Street location, with KSU at 9:30 AM. This years route is bigger and badder than ever, being a scenic hour and a half long! Upon return, we have SWFL's favorite arena rock band Maiden Cane ready to turn up the volume for a great cause! Day of Prices: $25 Rider, and $15 Passenger All proceeds benefit families of Athletes for Hearts. We are also encouraging everyone to bring a toy (NOT in lieu of tickets) to benefit the Pinellas Park Community. WED DECEMBER 4TH - BOBBY FRISS BENEFIT CONCERT - At Quaker Steak and Lube 6pm - 10pm featuring Tampa Bay's Best Musicians benefiting The Children's Home Network DECEMBER 6TH - TOYS FOR TAILS - The Skull Dogs RC's 2nd annual Holiday Party. At Bert's Barracuda 10525 49th street N. in Clearwater. $10 cash donation at the door. Raffles, baskets, auctions, food and drinks, starts at 8pm. Music by the Vittoria Rose Band. DECEMBER 7TH - DMVT'S 3RD ANNUAL BIKER BASH - Come out and join us for a great time and enjoy some food from the Surly Mermaid Food Truck and Peachey's Baking Co. If you haven't bad food from either one of thse food trucks, you haven't lived! We'll have beer from none other than Big Top Brewing Company! Give your ears a treat with music from Ted Stevens and the Doo Shots and Nobody's Fool! We'll be doing a raffle and one kick ass tire sale you can't miss! Come early for the Poker Run benefiting Brothers in Arms. There's a 10am registration at DMVT. First Bike out at 10:30 and last bike in at 2:00. Dan's Mobile V-Twin Service LLC 2001 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34232 DECEMBER 7TH - IMOTORSPORTS RIDER TIP COURSE - Another exciting event lined up at iMotorsports of St.Pete! Whenever we go on group rides we notice that there is a fair amount of riders in the area that ride around with a loose chain, dry chain, flat tire, bald tire or whatever else may be going wrong with their motorcycle. iMotorsports, Bay Area Riders and the Fran Haasch Law Group have partnered up to bring you a rider tip course that will be coached by a former riding instructor and well known local rider Jeff Smith. We will be going over pre-ride inspections, group ride signaling, basic maintenance and things to do in case if an emergency. Lunch will be provided by The Fran Haasch Law Group and raffle prizes can be won just by attending an event to learn more about your machine. Looking forward to seeing alot f you all there. Imotorsports St Pete 555 34th Street South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33711


DECEMBER 8TH - VIETNAM VETS/LEGACY VETS M/C TOY RUN - Rain or Shine, on December 8th the "D" Chapter of the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets M/C invites you to join them at their 35th Annual Toy Run. This run starts at 9:00am KSU noon Derby Lane Dog Track in Tampa and ends at American Legion Post 138 5535 W. Prescott St. Tampa, FL 33616 $15 per person $20 couple unwrapped gift appreciated. Door prizes, $500 in cash prizes, 50/50, great food, kill the keg, live music by Southern Road Dog Band. info: 813-285-8895 or 813-215-7743 Sponsored by The Fran Haasch Law Group and Knowtow 24hr Motorcycle Towing DECEMBER 14 - WCFR CHRISTMAS PARTY Merry Christmas to all...We all wish you a happy holiday season. Our sincere thanks for your goodwill and loyalty throughout the past year. We look forward to spending this joyous day together. First 140 members wearing swag will receive a $10.00 coupon @Rivers Edge Bar and Grill "must be used same day" TWO FANTASTIC BANDS: Jezabelle: 2-6 Nobody's Fool: 7:30-11:30 Thanks to our sponsor The Fran Haasch Law Group 866-LawFran. Huge thanks to Lisa at Rivers Edge for allowing us a centralized location to host our annual Christmas Party. DECEMBER 14TH - FULL THROTTLE TEDDY BEAR TOY RUN *** DATE CHANGED to DECEMBER 14th Due To a scheduling issue (Buc's Game on the 8th) Full Throttle Teddy Bear Toy Run Starting at HarleyDavidson of Tampa with line up and registration from 9am till 11am. Kickstands up at 11:15am with a short ride to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital where we will drop off the toys to the kids and the hospital. Please bring an unwrapped toy and/or CASH donation for the hospital! Harley-Davidson of Tampa 6920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33614. Call Full Throttle 727-935-4875 DECEMBER 15TH - SCBH TOY RUN! Join us for the safest, longest running Toy Run in Pinellas County! That's right folks, it's time for the 39th Annual Suncoast Brotherhood Toy Run & it's going to be fabulous! Signup is from 9am-Noon at the Clw Walmart (U.S 19 & N.E Coachman). KSU shortly after noon for a police-escorted ride thru Downtown Dunedin & ending at Amer Legion Post 275 in Dunedin. They'll be live music, vendors, food, kid-friendly events & a special visit from Mr & Mrs Claus. All of this while donating to Pinellas County children in need. It's truly a win-win Everyone is welcome so pls mark ur calendars & join'll be glad u did!

DECEMBER 29TH - 4TH ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE RALLY WITH THE BUCS - December 29th against falcons Attention all Bikers! Join your fellow bikers and invite your friends for a fun-filled day at Raymond James Stadium as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, December 29th at 1:00 p.m. The Bucs are excited to offer all bikers an exclusive gameday package PLUS $5 per ticket will go back to Wounded Warrior Project®. Details below! Motorcycle Rally Package Includes: Special savings on Falcons vs. Buccaneers game ticket · Exclusive Pregame Tailgate in Publix Lot 14 from 10AM-12:30PM *Food will be provided, but you must bring your own beverages · $5 per ticket will go back to Wounded Warrior Project® · Free Bike Parking - $25 value! *Free parking only applies to those arriving on a bike. All other vehicles must pay for parking.To order your tickets, please visit or contact Keaton Kovacs at 407-412-7549 or Once you complete your purchase, directions on how to access your tickets through the Buccaneers mobile app will be sent to your email address provided. JANUARY 4TH - TWINKIE'S 2ND ANNUAL "AROUND THE BAY POKER RUN & BIKE RALLY" Twinkie's 2nd annual poker run is 100+ miles around Tampa Bay and across the beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the bike rally at Quaker Steak & Lube. Let's bring in the new year with the first big bike event of 2020! Happy New Year! $10 per hand or 3 hands for $20. Cash prizes based on hands purchased for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best hands. Jezabelle will be rocking the stage @ Quaker Steak from 3pm-7pm.Florida Full Throttle Magazine 10-Class Bike Show. Awards at 6pm.Sponsored by The Fran Haasch Law Group SATURDAY JANUARY 11TH - NEW VISION FOR INDEPENDENCE POKER RUN AT GATOR HARLEY-DAVIDSON. Starting at the American Legion Post 35 * 920 S Highland St, Mt Dora and ending at Gator HarleyDavidson * 1745 US HWY 441, Leesburg with live entertainment, full bar, food, raffles and exciting happening inside the dealership. Visit Thank you to our Sponsor Fran Haasch Law Group for more info FRIDAY, JANUARY 24TH AND SATURDAY, JANUARY 25TH - LAKE CO FIREFIGHTER CHARITY & GATOR HARLEY-DAVIDSON PRESENT THE ANNUAL BBQ COMPETITION & CHILI COOKOFF. Friday the fun begins at 4pm with vendors, full bar and the Youth Competition. Hypersona takes the stage from 5pm-9 pm. Saturday get ready to have FUN! Vendors, chili and bbq tastings, live entertainment with Bobby Friss and more. See ad in this months issue for more information.



SWAP-O-RAMA (WEBSTER) First Sunday, 630am- 4pm, Cycle and Auto Swap Meet and Show, Car and Bike Show, Vendor Booths available. See Website for Details: CYCLEMEET.COM GATOR - HARLEY-DAVIDSON “Ride in the New Year” Bike Night Friday, January 3, 2020 6-9pm MUSIC, FULL BAR, FOOD & BIKE GAMES DEALERSHIP OPEN UNTIL 9pm 1745 US HWY 441, LEESBURG TARPON SPRINGS FIRST FRIDAY First Friday, 6-10pm, Historic Downtown Tarpon Springs, vendors, food, music, beer and wine and a different theme each month! 111 East Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689.

BAY AREA RIDERS BIKE NIGHT EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT 6PM - 10PM Peggy O'Neills Irish Pub and Eatery, Oldsmar/ Tampa 13910 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, Florida 33635 Slow race and Fran Haasch give-a-way every Tues. THE LIQUID THERAPY BAR (THURS NIGHTS) FREE Bike Show, Top three prizes and trophies, everyone welcome, drink specials all night, top local bands live! 1385Belcher Rd. S. Largo FL OLD TOWN BIKE NIGHT Every Thursday Night 5pm till 11pm Live entertainment by the Big Dawg and Paul Show, Shopping, Bars & Restaurants 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy (US 192) Kissimmee, FL 34746 407-3964888 QUAKER STEAK AND LUBE (Wed.) Every Wednesday Night - Full Throttle will be set up on the Second Wednesday of every month! 10400 49th St N, Clearwater, Florida 33762

THROTTLE THURSDAY @ H-D OF NEW PORT RICHEY 2nd Thursday, 6-9pm, Bikini Bike Wash, Vendors, 10 Class Bike Show, Beer, Food, Live Music, Emceed by Tony C and Mongo. BRANDON HARLEY-DAVIDSON BIKE NIGHT 3rd Thursday, 6-10pm, Live Music, Great Food, Beer, Vendors, Bike Show. 9841 E. Adamo Dr., Brandon, FL 33619. 888-328-0960 KICKIN’ WINGZ Last Tuesday, 6-10pm, Live Music, Vendors, Drink and Food Specials, Burnout Pit, 5-Class Bike Show. 8702 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34667. 727-233-3369 KICKINWINGZ.COM FINAL FRIDAY @ HARLEY-DAVIDSON OF TAMPA Last Friday, 5-8pm, Vendors, Harley Girls, FREE BEER, Burnout Pit, Used Bike Specials, Live Music. 6920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33614




Cold Weather Riding: Finally, winter is upon us and the Hurricane Season is over. While it’s true that winter in Florida is more like early Fall to Northerners, if you’ve lived here for a number of years, 45 degrees seems quite cold, especially when riding a motorcycle. The wind chill factor is off the charts. At 60mph and 45 degrees, it can feel more like temperatures in the teens and that’s cold in anyone’s book. Hypothermia can happen very quickly if you’re not dressed properly. What happens is your body senses the core temperature drop and begins cutting off blood supply to your hands, feet and your head. When the blood flow to your brain slows down, your decision making abilities start to slow down as well. Just like an intoxicated person has problems performing two tasks at the same time, as in clutching and braking, so does a person with the beginnings of hypothermia. You would usually first notice your hand getting numb then your feet and last but not least, your forehead, which can even make you feel like you’ve eaten too much ice cream too fast. If you’ve got all these symptoms, I guarantee your judgment has become impaired. If you prepare for a cold weather ride, you should never have to worry about or suffer from hypothermia. First, start with a good pair of insulated gloves. Cold numb fingers can make for a miserable ride. I’ve got 3 pairs of gloves, lightweight, uninsulated medium leather with thinsulate and a somewhat bulky leather pair with heavy insulation. If using the bulky type gloves hurts your throttle clutch and braking abilities, get yourself some heated grips. Heated grips work wonders and here in Florida, may be enough with just a pair of light leather gloves. The warmest thing you can put on your hands are electric gloves but they can be a little bulky. For your feet, the best boots I’ve found ones that are waterproof. Boots that have a special waterproof insulation which not only keeps your feet warm in the winter, but they’ll keep you cool and dry in the summer plus, they’re extremely comfortable. To keep your face and head warm, a Balaclava or ski mask will do the trick especially when combined with a full-face helmet, a 3/4 or at least ear wraps zippered on to a half helmet. To keep the wind from getting inside your jacket, there are many types of neck wraps available from fabric to leather, even a bandana helps. Your main concern is the jacket. When your chest is warm it’s much easier to keep all your extremities warm. A thick leather jacket or one made of GORE-TEX which is also waterproof along with a couple of layers underneath, is the way to go. An electric vest will keep you warm as toast in even the coldest weather and eliminates the layers you’ll otherwise need. If you’re ever caught without all the necessary gear and find yourself shivering, pick up a newspaper and a plastic bag. Shove the paper down your jacket and wrap your neck with the plastic bag and grab a hot cup of coffee. That should make the ride home at least bearable. Till next month, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and enjoy the best riding time of the year here in Florida. Remember, all it takes is a little practice. Good Luck! Motorman



December 21st FREE D FOO



330 CATTLEMEN ROAD, SARASOTA, FL 34232 * PH: 941-951-6103 *





















50/50 Door Prizes Great food and Kill the KEGS

Starts at Derby Lane Dog Track. Gandy Blvd Saint Petersburg, Fl Registration Starts at 9:00 AM Kickstands up at noon . Ending at American Legion Post 138. $15 per person or $20 per couple on bike. Unwrapped gift appreciated. Vendors welcome please call Beetle 813-285-8895 Or Ranger 813-215-7743 Benefit Tampa Bay VA Hospitals Rain or Shine 34











Welcome to the Back Yard and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ya’ll. I do wish each and every one a very special holiday season and may all your Christmas Wishes would come true and best of luck sticking to those New Year’s resolutions. If you are traveling to family, please be safe. To all the guys that are putting up Christmas lights please make sure you don’t plug 10 sets of lights in to 1 outlet and ladies please make you have the fire department on speed dial just in case. December is a wonderful time of year and I love all the toy runs we are a part of. It all starts with the Bert’s Barracuda Toy run along with the


Suncoast brotherhood ride, The Vietnam Vet ride and so many more. All for wonderful charities. But make a note the Full Throttle Christmas toy run is now on for DEC 14th in Tampa. Check out this month’s Full Throttle Add for all the times. Well that’s all from the Back Yard. Got to get them Christmas lights hung so I can let the electric company know I’m about to fire them up so they can start that backup generator. Ride safe everyone and remember ladies. If You Don’t Find Your Man Hansom, At least Find Him Handy. Merry Christmas. MONGO

Happy Holidays once again it's that time of year that we all spend time with our families. I hope yours will be great. What a month we have had. With St. Pete Bike Fest and all the big bike nights we have been so busy. We here at Full Throttle love this time of year. The great riding weather and all our friends out having a good time, it doesn't get any better. With December here it's time for all the toy runs. Let's open our hearts and wallets to help those less fortunate families. We all know bikers have the biggest hearts around. Let’s really step it up and show this

community what we are all about. I would also like to take a moment to remember Ron Lantz. We lost him last month. He was such a funny guy. Loved his wife and worked hard every day. He knew a lot of people. He also worked for Moto Tow and was always there when you needed him. He will be missed. My condolences go out to his wife and family. The EXPO is coming. Keep a look out for more coming every day. We also brought back our live Facebook show on Fridays. Stay tuned every Friday at noon to keep up with all we have going on. Like always. Be free and ride safe. Les Tolliver - Sales manager and event organizer Cell Phone - 7275344447 43

As a young boy, I got my first Honda Z 50 R at the age of 5 years old and have been on bikes my entire life. At the age of 16, I got my motorcycle license and was on a Honda Rebel 250. I went to join the US Army at the age of 18 but learned at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) that I had an inguinal hernia that required surgery. After surgery the Army required an 18 month recovery period before I could return and try once again at enlistment into the Army. It was after my 18 month recovery, at the age of 19 I find myself as a Forward Observer for Field Artillery. I was honorably discharged as SGT with a promotable status under medical conditions. Currently, I am 100% total and permanent disabled through the VA and I am a former Land Surveyor. I spent six years total in the Army and I loved the hell out it! I spent one year in South Korea in the 2nd Infantry Division, two years at Ft. Riley, KS in the 3rd Armored Division and the rest of my time with the 3rd Infantry Division out of Ft. Benning, GA. I landed my feet in the sandbox of Kuwait on January 11, 2003 and was a proud member of the Invasion of Iraq the following March. I am the recipient of the Combat Distinguishing Device ‘V’ and forever a “Long Rider”. SGT(p) Kory “K-Wizzle” Wilson



My name is Al Grella and I'm the proud father of Sergeant First Class Nadine M. Grella, US army. She enlisted at the age of 21 and she is now at the age of 45. Nadine did approximately 25 years of service. She served two tours in Iraq and was awarded the bronze star and the Audie Murphy award. Both of these awards are of the higher ranking awards that you can receive, for this I cannot say enough of how proud I am of my daughter/Soldier. Nadine, your exemplary service does not go unnoticed. Who was Audie Murphy you ask? Audi Murphy is the most decorated Army Soldier of World War II. Audie received the Congressional medal of Honor!! He protected his wounded soldiers, comrades in the field of battle and climbed up on an Army tank and used 50 caliber machine gun and shot hundreds of German soldiers until help arrived. To date Audie Murphy is still one of the most decorated Soldiers in U.S. history, and at that time he was the most decorated soldier in the world!!! While I am writing on behalf of my daughter Nadine, I'm not just talking about my daughter, I'm talking about all women that have served our country. My hat is off to all of the women in our country who are veterans/active duty. Women are no longer just serving in garrison positions, they too are serving on the front lines of defense in combat. Like my daughter SFC Nadine Grella, women in our military services are leaders within their ranks. God bless America, God bless all the veterans, especially the women and men that serve and protect our country.




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Saturday, FebRUARY 22 Motorcycle Poker Run Through Pasco County Proceeds Benefit Continental Breakfast at Start Location - Harley-Davidson New Port Richey Cash Prizes, Auction & Music at Post-Run Celebration in Zephyrhills Wings & Wheels Award for Top Fundraising Team

For information and registration, contact Leesa Fryer at 727-845-5707. 53

As we come into the holidays, I hope that everyone is doing well, and that everyone has a wonderful holiday. The holidays are a time of giving so please do not forget the ones that really need your help. You will never know how much they appreciate your generosity and care. Whether young, old, homeless, or just down on their luck we all know it is the right thing to do. Most everyone one at some point needs a helping hand, it could be as simple as a few cans of vegetables, to a full dinner. Unfortunately, times are hard for many people within our community so that's all they may need to move in the right direction. So please help the ones that need it this holiday season. Our motorcycle community has never failed to deliver, and I certainly do not expect that to be the case this season. I know all of you will be coming out for our toy drive to help the kids at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. It’s all about the kids that are fighting cancer, and other horrible diseases that children should never have to suffer. We all know how great it is to do something so special as it’s always puts a smile on the children's faces. There is simply nothing like it, so hopefully everyone can bring lots of toys for them, and if you would like for the older kids you can even donate money for them. We all love hearing the rumble of motorcycle pipes coming down


the street, so imagine being a sick child and hearing these pipes in mass rumbling towards the hospital. The level of excitement is through the roof. Again, help us put a huge smile on the children’s faces on December 14th. Come on over to Tampa HarleyDavidson and bring toys or cash for the kids at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and show the kids the love as we do all the time Now let us turn our attention to the biggest motorcycle show on the west coast of Florida, the Florida Motorcycle Expo and Bike Builder Invitational. February 5th - 9th, 2019 Full Throttle Magazine will once again bring the motorcycle expo to Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson. There we be all kinds of things going during this event. We will have a ride-in bike show, a slow race, we will give away $100 dollars an hour, tons of vendors, great food, great bands, a bike builder invitational that someone will take home $10,000. So many things are going that you certainly do not want to miss. If you are interested in winning a custom motorcycle, we have tickets on sale $10 for a single ticket, or $20 for three tickets. So, come out and enjoy all that the Florida Motorcycle Expo and Bike Builder Invitational has to offer. I hope to see you all there it’s going to be a good time. In closing I would like to wish happy holidays to everyone, and as always live life Full Throttle ERock out!!!










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Yup, that’s what I said “I’m a safety guy” or more importantly I am becoming a safety guy and you should too. As part of my ongoing involvement with the CUTR team at USF, and the folks at the FDOTs Motorcycle Safety Coalition my situational awareness when riding has improved greatly. Not only that but I am being exposed to some of the safety issues I have not really thought of and what we riders can do to help influence policy in making the roads of Florida safer for all of us riding on them. When any group sits down and starts talking about motorcycle safety the number one hot button topic that always comes up at the top of the list for motorcycle safety is HELMETS. Well I am here to tell you that’s not what this article is about. I have said this before and will say it again, I think helmets are a personal choice and needs to be handled on an individual basis. There will be a time and a place to discuss this issue and how I (We) see its role in the overall pursuit of motorcycle safety in the State of Florida, but that’s an issue for the future. I believe that the powers that be are starting to see that there are other areas of motorcycle safety that we can focus on that will improve safety without a state wide fight that will take years. One of the issues that appears so simple it is almost ludicrous that it is not a law already on the books is the issue of an age limit for motorcycle passengers. Currently there is no minimum age for passengers on a motorcycle, scooter or moped and as a result of this between 2011 to 2018, 151 children age 10 or younger were injured or killed as passengers in crashes in Florida with some victims being as young as 5 years old. In contrast state and federal laws dictate children five years of age or younger are required to use crash-tested, federally approved child restraint devices in motor vehicles in Florida, yet there is no child motorcycle passenger protection law. In 2016, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes per vehicle mile traveled (NHTSA, 2018), yet the Florida Statutes do not set minimum age requirements for passengers of motorcycles, scooters or mopeds traveling on Florida roadways. Can we please use some common sense here folks and say as a passenger on a motorcycle you need to be a minimum of 10 years of age and as equally important be able to reach the foot pegs or running boards on the motorcycle, scooter or moped they are riding on. Currently the states of Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas and Washington have age requirements for passengers, and I think its high time that Florida joins this list. The next big safety issue I think that we along with our partners is the state’s legislatures should tackle is how Motorcycles, mopeds,


scooters, autocycles (slingshots and other 3 wheeled vehicles) are defined differently in Florida Statutes as they pertain to operator licensing, training, and laws governing helmet use. In Florida, motorcycle riders are required to have an endorsement on their license and complete formal training to operate on Florida’s roadways. Also, motorcycle riders ages 16–21 are required to use a helmet. Current statutes make an exception to these requirements for mopeds and scooters based on engine size (under 50cc) and speed (max 30 mph). While motorcycle riders are governed by the protective Statutes, anyone can ride a moped or a scooter with no license, no prior training or experience, and no helmet even if the rider is under 21. Worst case scenario is when a 15-year-old is allowed to ride the family scooter with his 8 year old sibling on the back and the thinking is “Its OK because it’s just around the block” With recent technology advancements, mopeds/ scooters under 50cc can easily exceed speeds well over 30mph. In addition, moped/ scooter riding has grown significantly as a primary means of transportation, especially around college campuses and for those who have had a DUI and have lost their licenses, who are at times are still operating these scooters while impaired. Mopeds and scooters face the same dangers and driving conditions encountered by all motorized vehicle operators on public roads regardless of engine size. Endorsement and mandatory training to reduce crashes and fatalities for motorcycles as well as mopeds and scooters are necessary for consistent public policy. As a member of the board of SunCoast Brotherhood I (we) feel it is time for MROs and similar riding groups to start very real conversations with our legislator as to problems that need to be fixed somewhat easier than the “Big” safety issue with Motorcycle safety. Its time we stop relying on National Motorcycle organizations whose goal and mission are supposed to be Motorcycle Safety but seem to have lost their focus. We are allowing theses organization on the state level to attempt to dictate and demand from our states legislators what they believe are the safety concerns of riders in Florida when in reality their focus does not seem to be in line with mainstream riders. We want to form a long-lasting partnership with organizations such as the CUTR group, FDOTs Motorcycle Safety Coalition and the Motorcycle Safety Federation along with our state legislators to bring about long lasting constructive dialog about Motorcycle safety in Florida and what we as riders can do to effect legislation to bring about these changes to make riding safer for all of us.



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