A.B.A.T.E. has been working on getting a bill passed for two years now. It isn't a repeal of the mandatory helmet law, but it is a step in the right direction. Working with the system to get results, and building relationships with the legislators. Just what a good lobbyist should be doing.
Well, as of yesterday, we got this one passed. The Governor signed the bill, and as of June 12, if a light controlled by a sensor doesnt 'detect' the bike, and it goes through one complete cycle, you can ride your motorcycle through the light. Even if it is red...as long as it is safe to do so. In other words, make sure there isnt a Peterbilt screaming down the highway before you make that left turn.
As we began to gather at the Capitol. At first i didn't think there would be much of a turn-out. There were only a few friends there. But we welcomed each other warmly and headed off to get things done.
You should have seen all of us crammed intoa hallway waiting to come in for the Governor to sign our bill. It must have made for an amusing sight. Thirty or so bikers, as many "suits", and a bunch of followers of Islam all packed into this one hallway in front of the Governors office. And riding back and forth through it every few minutes were a small herd of people with disabilities on electric wheelchairs. Its all good, quite the diverse crowd.
While we were waiting for the Governor to sign the bill, he did sign a Proclomation. It proclaimed that May would be, in Washington State anyway, "Motorcycle Awareness Month". After the Governor signed it, 'Mr Breeze' A.B.A.T.E. of Washington Legislative Affairs Officer read the decree off to us on the steps of the capitols rotunda.
When they called our bill number, we all walked in and stood around the Governor as he signed the bill. He signed it, and after a few more minutes of pictures and expressing our gratitude, and telling the Governor that he should join A.B.A.T.E., (you don't need to ride to be a member), we headed out towards the door.
I got home, and got word that there were a bunch of pics of us on the state website for the bill signing. The very last one posted, was a surprise to me. It was of me shaking the Governors hand, but the photographer had changed positions and it was a cool pic. So naturally I snagged it.
It looks like this will be a good year. One less hassle to deal with as we ride. Now if we can just swing the repeal of that damned Mandatory helmet law in Washington, I can take that damn coconut off my head.
Catch ya on the road sometime...