FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MMA Members win fight for their rights and yours in Sterling
Monday, 22 February 2010
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) reported to its membership that “Motorcycle Only” checkpoints were initiated in the small Town of Sterling, MA last July 15th stopping any and all Motorcycles without probable cause for “safety checks”. These stops resulted in numerous citations issued for a range of violations including nonfunctioning lights, tire tread depth, helmets and exhaust systems. In October, 15 of those riders stood up for their rights and yours in front of a Magistrate and today, 4 more riders went before a MA District Court Judge and were found “Not Responsible” for all 6 charges.
The Sterling Police Department was joined by the Princeton Police Department and the RMV enforcement division out of Worcester and stopped all Motorcycles travelling at junction of Routes 140 and 62 for a “Safety Inspection”. Numerous Citations were issued, the majority of which were for after-market exhaust systems and non-DOT labeled helmets.
Appearing before Clinton District Court Judge Brennan, 4 MMA Members who did not have their cases dismissed during the October Magistrate Hearings were accompanied by MMA Gold Card Member, Attorney Paul Lancia. Mr. Lancia, working closely with the MMA agreed to represent these riders as a courtesy to the MMA in consideration for their time and lost wages in fighting these unjust citations. Today’s hearings consisted of Police Testimony, Testimony from the Riders, and Legal Arguments by Counsel and the Police. The MMA has collected much data and prior testimony from cases over the years, especially those concerning the Massachusetts General Law pertaining to Motorcycle Exhaust and Helmets.
Most of the testimony presented by Mr. Lancia and the riders centered on the fact that no sound test was done at the “Safety Check” to identify whether the exhaust was compliant with Massachusetts General Law, and no effort was made to determine if the exhaust was indeed modified beyond having been replaced. Regarding helmets, no effort was made to determine if the helmet was indeed legally compliant beyond checking if a DOT sticker was present.
Weighing all of the testimony, Judge Brennan issued “Not Responsible” findings on all citations.
Since all hearings are heard sequentially, time did not allow for all riders to be heard, and more hearings are scheduled for next Monday.
For More Information, see http://www.massmotorcycle.org or contact Chairman@MassMotorcycle.org