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Thread: Don't get caught !

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Don't get caught !

    On my first night in Tennessee back in 2006 in the town of Savannah to be exact, I decided to ride the one mile trek from my motel to the local convenience store helmetless.

    No lectures please. Yes I subscribe to the ATGETT school of riding, however after riding over 9 hours from Dallas that day and all cleaned up on a balmy summer evening I was intending to grab something to eat and make an exception to get up there and back.

    When I pulled into the parking lot of the convenience store, a driver rolled down his window to tell me it's against the law in Tennessee to ride without a helmet. No sooner a squad car on the street puts on all the flashing lights and slowly heads toward me silently with no siren. Two cops get out and look me over as well as the bike. Conversation starts out with things like "Where you from?" I explain my helmet is in my motel room and promise to ride on home and never ride in Tennessee helmetless again. They tell me the problem is if anything should happen to me at that point, they could be held liable for making the exception. I then say I can just walk back down the road and bring it back. Not sure if maybe they didn't believe me or liked my charming personality , but the two patrolmen looked at each other and then said" How bout we give you a ride to get it?" I say sure and no sooner I'm put in the back seat of a squad car separated from the front seat by a mesh screen and no way to roll down the windows.

    They take me right to my motel door and I grab my Shoei for the ride back to my bike. We talk along the way back with them asking how the heck does someone ride a motorcycle to Nove Scotia. They have to open the rear door from the outside to let me out and with that, they wish me good luck. I apologize again and thank them as well.

    I have no idea how many states require a helmet, though Texas is not one of them.
    Tennessee definitely is, so if you're thinking of just riding across the street to get gas in the morning before loading up the bike and dressing out, think again.
    Last edited by RTRandy; 06-24-2009 at 05:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Don't care...

    Hmmmm....sounds like the start of a Pro / Con helmet discussion.

    Here in Wisconsin it's optional it wear a helmet and the mere mention of a helmet law gets people going.

    Well I don't care whether someone wears a helmet or not. I've personally seen that a helmet can save a head but if someone doesn't give a crap about their head it doesn't effect me.

    If you told me "Hey, I'm going to hit my hand with a hammer repeatedly until it's a bloody mess." I would say "Knock yourself out."
    "During Prohibition I survived on nothing but food and water." - W.C. Fields

  3. #3
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the "heads up".
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  4. #4
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Since I wear my helmet all the time, I can dispense with knowing which states require and which do not.

    But for those of you who go with 'the ebb and flow' of varying legalities when it comes to enclosing your brain in something more than a do-rag, here is a helpful site with some interesting tidbits of statutory obligations:


    http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp


    Ride Safe and ATGATT.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  5. #5
    Manfred
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    Sounds like you ran into some cops with brains and the ability to think and apply it their job. That's a wonderful thing!

  6. #6
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    I was out of my home state last week and we were heading into town for breakfast, about 2 miles.
    I went sans helmet. OK, guilty, so what, one corner off my Tote 'n' Chip?
    Anyway the point is I just jumped on the bike and I didn't even think about the laws in that state until someone said, "helmet law in this state?".
    Thank you.

  7. #7
    buckeyeclark
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    Okay I am not trying to get a rise out of anyone I just want to state my opinion on this whole helmet thing. A week or so ago I was in the garage working and ran out of something so I jumped in the truck to go 2 blocks to the local auto parts store. When I left the store I got pulled over and ended up getting a seat belt violation which costs me $101 here in the Buckeye state. My point of aggravation is not the ticket, although it did irk me that I didn't think to put the damn belt on. It is the fact that here in Ohio you can put on a pair of flip-flops and 1970's gym shorts with no shirt and ride a motorcycle all over the state; however, step into a car or truck , even if you are dressed like a Nascar driver complete with helmet, and drive 2 feet without your seatbelt you can be fined $101

  8. #8
    BMRDAVE
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    That Little Book

    Randy look in the Travel section of your Anonymous book.
    It list the helmet laws by state.
    BMRDave

  9. #9
    JAMESDUNN
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    A few days ago while traveling in my car I saw a group of motorcycles headed down the road. (Helmets not mandatory in Iowas.) Even from a distance I knew they were not Harley riders as helmets were much in evidence. This drew my interest, nothing against Harley riders but in Iowa they are much in evidence. Catching up I discovered a group consisting of one Concours, a Kawi. 650 KLR, BMW 800 GS and a Suzuki 650 V-Strom. Quite an eclectic bunch. I paced them for awhile just watching them ride and wishing I was traveling with 'em.

    My point? None really. Guess helmeted groups always get my notice as I know there will be some (to me) interesting bikes to see.

  10. #10
    DZIMBRIC
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeClark View Post
    here in Ohio you can put on a pair of flip-flops and 1970's gym shorts with no shirt and ride a motorcycle

    Eeeew, got a mental flashback of the guy we saw last year decked out in shower shoes and a speedo on his HD.

  11. #11
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Heads always hit!

    Its nearly impossible to keep your head from hitting the ground, when falling from a bike. Your head weighs about 15% of your body weight and your neck looses this battle, trying to keep your fat head off the pavement/dirt. Big "Ouch" everytime! I raced for years and have the helmets, all torn up to prove it. Still ride the dirt and find myself OFF the bike occasionally. Helmets,YES, but "keep" your laws requiring them, as I disagree with the gov't enforcing it....Randy

  12. #12
    67-year-old Teenager indygt's Avatar
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    Riding helmetless is a non-issue for me. I taught the MSF RiderCourse for 10 years and won't ride anywhere without a helmet.
    But it's nice to know the Savannah cops are so friendly and courteous.
    John M. Flora
    '03 K1200GT, '94 K75S
    MOA # 23538, RA # 16295, AMA Life Member
    Secret Squadron # SQ24418

  13. #13
    Roadster Rider sjbmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred View Post
    Sounds like you ran into some cops with brains and the ability to think and apply it their job. That's a wonderful thing!
    +1

    Let's hear it for the good guys.

    fwiw, when PA changed their law several years ago, I had to try it. Once.

    Riding without a helmet is the most aggravating thing ever. Every microscopic piece of road sand is a laser guided face missile. How people put up with that constant bombardment of facial road shrapnel is amazing.
    Sig? What's a Sig?

  14. #14
    Midnight Rider 41077's Avatar
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    Be aware of all laws

    It's not just helmets you need to be aware of, coming to the York rally the rider behind me got pulled over for NO EYE PROTECTION he has a windshield which made him legal in his home state (FL) but not PA. His argument that he had just lifted the visor on his full face helmet and taken of his sun glasses fell on over-zelous young officer ears. Ignorance of the law means you pay. So check all the states you will pass through.

  15. #15
    JAMESDUNN
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjbmw View Post
    +1

    Let's hear it for the good guys.

    fwiw, when PA changed their law several years ago, I had to try it. Once.

    Riding without a helmet is the most aggravating thing ever. Every microscopic piece of road sand is a laser guided face missile. How people put up with that constant bombardment of facial road shrapnel is amazing.
    Not to mention hard shelled bugs and bumble bees. Ouch!

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