New York Freedom Riders
June 10, 2010

New York State and Local Law Enforcement Forcing Motorcycle Helmet
Manufacturer Standards onto the Consumer

New York State law enforcement agencies have started their motorcycle
only checkpoints and one of the main things they will be looking for is
non-compliant helmets. New York State Police Acting Superintendent John
P. Melville stated in a press release that ".We know that the primary
cause of a motorcycle fatality is a head injury, therefore we will seek
to ensure every rider, every time, has a proper DOT compliant helmet."
(1) Currently Chief Peter Miller and Lt. James Halvorsen are training
local law enforcement agencies on motorcycle laws along with how to
identify compliant helmets. New York State law enforcement can not
determine if a helmet is compliant just by looking at it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Department of
Transportation does not approve helmets or have the authority to certify
helmets.(2) The Department of Transportation is only authorized to
determine if a helmet meets manufacturer standards by randomly
purchasing a helmet from the marketplace and having it tested at
independent test labs. The DOT does not test any helmet after the point
of sale because once a helmet is sold to the consumer it becomes the
private property of that person and is no longer subject to federal
manufacturing requirements. If DOT does not have regulatory authority
after the point of sale, it can not pass authority to any state or local
governments to determine if a helmet meets manufacturer standards.

The New York Freedom Riders contacted over thirty police and sheriff
departments requesting if they had any motorcycle helmet recall notices,
any laboratory tests for motorcycle helmets or any NHTSA formal
certifications on non-compliant motorcycle helmets. We were unable to
find one police department in possession of this information. (3)

The New York Freedom Riders feel New York State Law Enforcement does not
have the authority to force manufacturer standards onto the consumer and
should cease pulling over motorcyclists because they feel the helmet
worn is illegal. Motorcycle helmets do not have to have a DOT sticker,
a certain amount of padding or labels inside the helmet. If the
consumer chooses to remove any of these items, they have that right
because it is their private property.

We would like to remind all motorcyclists never to consent to a
voluntary search of your person or bike, or take off your helmet. If law
enforcement requests to look at your helmet, ask them for a search
warrant. Many times an officer will persist or will say to you something
similar to "if you don't have anything to hide, why object to a
search?". This should be met with the response that you do not consent
to any searches of your private property. (4)

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New York Freedom Riders
Riders Against Constitutional Erosion
"Freedom Is NOT A Spectator Sport"