Legislative Day 2011 Talking Points & Bills of Interest

Helmet Law: Last session SB1967 passed into law with the Texas helmet law included. It is the most comprehensive motorcycle safety education bill in the nation, a bill all bikers should be proud of. In the year of 2009 there was a 15% reduction in serious injuries and a 20% reduction in deaths for the first time in Texas history. The bulk of the PSA money won’t even be spent until spring of 2011 reducing motorcycle accidents even more. Please tell your representatives that you do not want this bill reopened for any reason this session because it is working.

Fusion Center Privacy Policy Bill-there will be a bill introduced-: We are asking Senator Shapiro to introduce the bill. There are approximately 60 "fusion centers" nationwide, with some focusing exclusively on criminal activity, others on both criminal and terrorist threats and some on very specific acts, such as human smuggling, gang activity, online predators or drug trafficking. Here in Texas there have been numerous reports of Law Enforcement stopping bikers, photographing their tattoos and patches and putting the information in the Fusion data base even if they are not suspected of a crime. To stop this, we want to introduce a bill which basically requires a privacy policy for all fusion centers in Texas that reads, “A project shall not collect or maintain criminal intelligence information about the political, religious or social views, associations, or activities of any individual association, corporation, business, partnership, or other organization unless such information directly relates to criminal conduct or activity and there is reasonable suspicion that the subject of the information is or may be involved in criminal conduct or activity.” We are in the process of working with Texans for Accountable Govt. (T.A.G) to make this happen so bikers will stop being harassed for no reason.

Motorcycle Rider Training Concern about dedicated funding, John Young DPS: While speaking with your Senator or Representative let them know that we want the rest of our Rider Training Fund that was dedicated to be spent by the Motorcycle Safety Division of DPS for rider training. Currently out of 2 million 200,000 that was dedicated to date only $997,775.28 has been released. We want to know why the entire amount has not been released from the state budget.

Share the Road Money: TxDot’s Traffic Safety Program is supposed to be implementing a motorcycle Share the Road campaign in the spring of 2011 (per sb1967). This will be a state effort using TV, radio, outdoor advertising, interactive media, social media and other outreach. The current planned budget for the campaign will be approximately $1.5 million consisting of about $1 million in federal funding and more than $500,000 in local match. Currently the bid for the PSA’s went to Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing http://www.sherrymatthews.com/. No other motorcycle groups or agencies were notified by TXDot that the bid was going to the Mathews Group. Nor does anyone outside of TxDot know how the money will be spent. Please ask you representatives to look into how much money has been received by TxDot for the Share the Road program. Why the bid was given to one company without allowing others to bid on the project and why was the money not spent in June of 2010 when TXDot said they would start the PSA programs. http://www.dot.state.tx.us/safety/tips/motorcycles.htm

HB 439 and SB288 Road Blocks/Check Points:
Road Blocks:
We are working to keep any such Bill from passing into law during the next session. The practice of setting up barricades on roads to stop and interrogate motorists suspected of no wrongdoing has been unlawful since a 1994 state appeals court decision ruled that a "politically accountable governing body at the state level" must first approve their use. The bill would add (literally) a new chapter to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure entitled “Sobriety Checkpoints”. This bill will authorize the police to stop vehicles without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Law Enforcement will be able to stop you for any reason or for no reason at all. They will then be allowed, after the fact, to “develop” probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed. In addition, once stopped at a road block or check point the officer is at liberty to charge anyone in the vehicle with any crime they choose. A drunk passenger could be charged with public intoxication despite the driver being sober thereby nullifying the designated driver plan.

Budget: Senator Kirk Watson has plans to clean up the budget. This directly effect’s our motorcycle safety bill because we already experienced problems now and in the past with dedicated funds being allocated then taken for other uses without the biker community knowing. Senator Watson will be introducing a bill that we ask you to support that states once the funds are dedicated to be spent on a certain project, then the funds can no longer be touched for any other reasons. Tell your representatives we want dedicated funds to be spent the way they were allocated.


AGAINST- SB288 Author Lucio-Border check points Relating to authorizing the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas to investigate the feasibility of and cooperate in the establishment of southbound checkpoints along the international border of this state. INTERNATIONAL BORDER CHECKPOINTS.

(a) To prevent the unlawful transfer of firearms and bulk currency from this state to the United Mexican States, the department shall investigate the feasibility of assisting federal authorities in establishing checkpoints along the international border of this state for the purpose of conducting inspections of vehicles leaving this state and entering the United Mexican States. If the department determines that assistance to be feasible, the department shall cooperate with appropriate federal agencies to set up the checkpoints.

h) A law enforcement agency may enter into an agreement with a corporation or other private entity to provide goods or services for the establishment and operation of a checkpoint or the S.B.ANo.288 to performance of inspections under this section.

AGAINST-HB 439 Author Smith of Tarrant Co.- Relating to the authority of the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas and certain local law enforcement agencies to establish a checkpoint on a highway or street to determine whether persons are driving while intoxicated.

AGAINST-SB315 Author Carona SECTION4. Article 61.10, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended by amending Subsections (b), (c) and (f) and adding Subsection (g) to read as follows: (b) The purpose of the task force is to form a strategic partnership among local, [between] state, and federal criminal justice, juvenile justice, and correctional [, and local law enforcement] agencies to better enable those [law enforcement and correctional] agencies to take a proactive stance towards tracking gang activity and the growth and spread of gangs statewide.

Under Review-SB231 Author Nelson: (i) Not withstanding any other law, if it is shown at the trial of a person convicted of an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, 49.07, or 49.08 relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated that the person has been previously convicted one or more times of any of those offenses, the court shall order the Department of Public Safety to permanently revoke the person ’s driver ’s license or permit or if the person does not have a license or permit, to permanently deny the issuance of a license or permit to the person. To the extent of a conflict between this subsection and Section 13, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, this subsection controls.

Under Review-HB473 Author Smith of Tarrant County: Relating to the consequences of an arrest for or conviction of certain intoxication offenses. The court shall require the defendant to obtain the device at the defendant’s own expense [cost] before the 30th day after the date of conviction unless the court finds that to do so would not be in the best interest of justice and enters its findings on record. The court shall require the defendant to provide evidence to the court Within the 30-day period that the device has been installed on the appropriate vehicle and order the device to remain installed on that vehicle for a period not less than 50 percent of the supervision period.

Under Review-SB232, Author Nelson: Relating to wearing a secure alcohol monitoring device as a required condition of community supervision for certain intoxication offenses.

Under Review-HB506, Amended bill Author Callegari: Relating to wearing a secure alcohol monitoring device as a required condition of community supervision for certain intoxication offenses.