Malorie's Law

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by glazier, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

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    Anyone heard of this yet???

    A new law entitled “Malorie’s Law” went into effect on January 1 in Texas which is causing serious confusion for thousands of motorcyclists across the state. A wide range of professionals from the motorcycling industry in the state were contacted to find out how the law would affect them and every single contact expressed concern about the woefully lacking details.

    Malorie’s Law was introduced by Texas State Representative Larry Phillips (R) of Sherman, Texas to address the loss of 19-year-old Malorie Bullock who was the passenger on a motorcycle in a one-vehicle wreck that took her life; her boyfriend was driving the motorcycle.
    The new law states the following:
    MOTORCYCLE FOOTRESTS AND HANDHOLDS REQUIRED. A motorcycle that is designed to carry more than one person must be equipped with footrests and handholds for use by the passenger.
    “We have been flooded with phone calls,” says Gene Slater, GM of Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas. “I’ve spent at least half a day re-reading the law and doing research to try to find answers and I am shocked at how vague this law is. We have received no advance notification from any agency that this was going into effect and the criteria so that we could plan accordingly.”
    Many industry professionals expressed dismay that Malorie’s Law passed to start with and went into effect with seemingly no advice from the Texas motorcycling community. This speaks volumes about how much the state riders need to band together to ensure their rights and avoid situations like Malorie’s Law.
    For motorcyclists – and dealerships/shops – just some of questions include:
    • What, exactly, defines a handhold?
    • Even though a motorcycle may be manufactured to hold two people, if the bike owner has it outfitted with a seat designed for only one person, will handholds still be required?
    • What year model bikes does this take effect with and/or does it affect vintage or custom motorcycles?
    • How does this law affect riders from other states simply traveling to / through Texas?
    Upon initial contact with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a spokesperson stated that the new law would “not be interpreted by just one agency; each agency may interpret it differently.”
    Follow up contact was made with both the DPS office and Rep. Larry Phillips for clarification with 10 initial questions. At the time of this writing, there has been no reply from Rep Phillips office and DPS has forwarded on the questions to their “subject matter experts” yet are vague when it comes to confirming whether their experts will reply with the requested answers in order to meet media deadlines.
    Punishment for not abiding by Malorie’s Law is considered a Class C Misdemeanor and punishable by a fine up to $500.
     
  2. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

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    While this law may have good intent, it is just probably a waste of the taxpayer's time and money, JMO.

    I am not aware of a stock bike built which may carry a passenger, that does not have pegs and some type of strap as either standard equipment or an option.

    The fourth bullet point is a very good question and should be addressed.
     
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I agree, the law obviously has good intent but is WAY too vague. I took the passenger strap off my seat fairly early because I felt it was an eyesore and it made removing the seat a real challenge. Besides, when my wife rode with me she was pretty much sitting ON the strap so it was utterly useless.

    I've read anecdotal stories that some crossing guards going into Canada would deny you entry if your bike didn't have the strap on it but I'm not sure how accurate this is.
     
  4. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I can only comment on out of state motor vehicles passing through states that have certain statutes/laws pertaining to equipment that is required in said state. If the state of origin (where the motor vehicle is registered) does not require that equipment, that vehicle is exempt. Theres always an exception to the rule but I'm sure it would pertain with this new law. I would think that motorcycles that came from the factory without the items described would also be exempt but all new ones will have to conform to the new law.
     
  5. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

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    From what I've read, out of state bikes, don't have to comply, but there is no grandfather clause in the law. All bikes registered in Texas must comply, unless the bike is set up for only one rider and no passenger.
     
  6. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Wow, whoever authored the law meant business. Usually when new laws are enacted and it affects something already existing theres a grandfather clause also written into the law. I guess they really mean it when they say, don't mess with Texas.
     
  7. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

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    As was mentioned, laws like this are well intended, knee jerk reactions to a bad incident. Here in the Garden State, we had such laws with our infamous "Assault Rifle Bill" and also "Megan's Law". What usually happens is the authors of the law listen to their constituents and folks who are experts and re write the law, or, someone gets nailed and it goes through the legal process where it'[s sorted out. In the immediate, it's a pain, in the long run, it'll get worked out.
     
  8. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    The issue I have is the wide interpretation of the law. So its any ones guess if and how it would be implemented let alone it sounding as a no win situation for law enforcement in court. So has the law been enacted as a favor to someone's campaign or was the person who passed came off a motorcycle that accelerated very hard from a stop and had no passenger accommodations. These are the points that John Q Public will never know why the law has been enacted. I am surprised that the law has not piggy backed another law like mandatory helmet law or some other law to give it more stature.
     
  9. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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  10. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Most laws like this are a kneejerk reaction to a tragic event. Loved ones find a sympathetic lawmaker to sponsor a bill, it gets media attention and before you know it it becomes law. This is a simplistic explanation of the process but in reality that's how it works.