Are you a dog or a biker?
If you are a dog, then your life is worth more to North Carolina's legislators than if you are a biker. That is also true in South Carolina.
In North Carolina, killing a police service dog is a Class I felony punishable by at least three months in jail. The penalty for killing a police service dog in South Carolina is currently $5,000. The penalty for running over a motorcyclist with your car and killing him (her) in NC is $25. I wonder if someone ran over a police dog by accident and said "I just didn't see it" whether they would reduce the penalty to $25? I really doubt it. In fact I know they wouldn't because those are minimum penalties for killing service dogs. While I love dogs and feel for anyone who loses one, the value of a dog's life should never be higher than the value of a human life.
How can this happen? Why are these laws so "broken"? Why isn't anyone doing anything about it? Why don't bikers get these laws changed?
The truth is that there are people doing something about this. They call themselves "Bikers' Rights Activists". Usually about one percent of the motorcyclists in any state are bikers' rights activists. They usually belong to state level and federal level Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (MROs). Unfortunately, since their numbers are so small, they don't get these broken laws fixed very quickly. It usually takes many years of them lobbying and writing letters to their legislators to get a law changed. They fight like hell every day to get these laws changed. They are a dedicated, motivated, tenacious bunch of bikers. But nevertheless, too small in numbers to get the job done quickly.
This is where YOU come in. It's a good chance that you are one of the 99% of riders who don't get involved in bikers' rights. If you are not already one of those tenacious bikers, then you should get off your "seat" and start being one.
The Concerned Bikers Association (CBA) in North Carolina has been fighting this $25 penalty issue for several years. They are trying to get these penalties increased now. Unfortunately, the CBA consists of only about one percent of North Carolina's motorcyclists. Question: Why are CBA members doing all the work here when the benefit will be to all NC riders?
you care about your friends and families? How will your friends and family
feel if you are killed by a negligent car driver and the police officer tells
your parents, your spouse, and your children, that your killer will get off
with a $25 fine and no driver's license suspension? The pain they feel over
your loss will be magnified when they find out your life is only worth $25
to the state of North Carolina. The person who ran you over will walk with
a $25 ticket, and be driving the following day. "Oops, Sorry, I just
didn't see him." will be their response. Your family will be puzzled.
They will be madder than hell, and they will probably contact their local
MRO and find out how this could have happened.
If you have never attended the funeral of a biker friend who was killed by a car driver, then maybe you don't have any emotional connection to these issues. Hopefully, you won't have to attend one before you get involved, join an MRO, and help to fix these broken laws. It doesn't take a lot of money or time. It just takes some desire. You can join a state MRO like ABATE of SC or CBA/ABATE of NC for about $25 a year. Then you can join a federal MRO like the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) for $25 (www.MRF.org) a year. That will be the best $50 you have ever spent. It will also get you the newsletters and the contacts to keep you informed and involved in the efforts to fix these broken laws. For more info on MROs, please see the MRO page.