A Breath of Liberty in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 279 by a 27-21 vote. SB 279 modifies the mandatory helmet law to allow freedom of choice for adult riders over 21 with 2 years riding experience or motorcycle safety course. The bill now lies on the desk of Governor Tom Ridge awaiting his signature. Under normal conditions the Governor has ten working days to sign or veto the bill. If he does not sign or veto the bill it becomes law in thirty days. It is somewhat unclear how the signature rule will be applied due to the lame duck session. The folks at ABATE of Pennsylvania figure the latest date for the bill to become law is December 31st. It would be a great way to start the new year.

The week of November 16 the Pennsylvania General Assembly reconvened for a lame duck session following the November General Election. The motorcyclists in Pennsylvania were hoping to revive their efforts to modify the mandatory helmet law. Their original bill, SB 279 stalled in the Senate Transportation Committee over the addition of an unrelated amendment. The alternate plan was put into action to attach the helmet language to an omnibus transportation bill on the House side. As the week progressed the alternate plan faltered as objectionable amendments were added to the transportation bill. Senator Clarence Bell (R - Dist. 9) rescued SB.279 from the transportation committee and got it assigned to the rules committee which refferred it to the Senate floor on a 12 to 5 vote. With strong vocal support from Senator Bell and Senator Afflerbach (D - Dist. 16) the bill passed the full Senate by a vote of 27-21.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation would like to congratulate all the Freedom Fighters in Pennsylvania on a job well done. The rights leadership in Pennsylvania is asking motorcyclists everywhere to write, phone or fax Governor Ridge and voice your support for his signature on SB 279. The deadline for contacting the governors office is December the 8th. You may contact the Governor at:
Governor Tom Ridge
225 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
717-787-2500
717-772-8284 (FAX)

Email - http://www.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

For further information contact Steve Zimmer at 202-546-0983 or by E-Mail at <steve@mrf.org>


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