FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MMA Update: Anti-Motorcycle Ban DEFEATED in Yarmouth!
May 2, 2015
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association is pleased to announce that the Yarmouth citizen-petitioned Motorcycle Rides Ban Special Articles have been defeated at today’s Yarmouth Town Meeting.
These hotly contested special articles were not favored by the motorcycle community within Yarmouth or the surrounding towns, and were also recommended not to support by the Yarmouth Board-of-Selectmen after a vocal and sometimes heated BOS meeting. The purpose of the special articles was to direct the town of Yarmouth to refrain issuance of permits for motorcycle rides “in and through” the town, as well as requiring that Law Enforcement report citations written for noise violations. Claiming that organized motorcycle rides are simply “an excuse to make noise”, the one Yarmouth resident who requested this special article lamented that these rides end up “inviting an element that engages in loud and excessive motor vehicle noise”, and this resident sought to stop all motorcycle rides in Yarmouth as the solution.
In advance of today’s events and the Board-of-Selectmen meeting, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association organized an information meeting in Barnstable County which was attended by over 50 riders. The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association also met with numerous town officials and business leaders to express our concerns and offer realistic solutions.
The petitioner testified at the Yarmouth Board-of-Selectmen meeting at the end of March in support of his proposed articles; his 24-minute testimony covered a lot of ground and prompted many questions from the board. Many motorcyclists also attended this Town Meeting to voice their concerns; this testimony from the Yarmouth riders was heard by those in the audience who voted against this proposed motorcycle rides ban, and the Board of Selectmen also voted to issue an “unfavorable, ought not to pass” recommendation, which was printed on the formal Town Meeting Warrant
It was also noted that many non-Yarmouth riders were also in attendance at the Board-of-Selectmen meeting. Knowing that there are only 2 motorcycle rides within Yarmouth and that both seek to raise funds for Veterans, First Responders, and other local charities, the riders spoke of the importance these motorcycle rides are to the community.
Today’s Town Meeting was a culmination of a long process, and attended by over 350 people, including nearly 100 on bikes, who rode respectfully to the meeting. The vast majority of those in attendance were concerned with the Motorcycle warrant articles. Three people, including Rick Gleason, the Legislative Director for the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, testified on behalf of the Motorcyclists, while the petitioner testified in favor of the articles. Only about 10 Yarmouth Residents voted in favor of the articles, a number similar to the signatures on the petition. Specifically, Article 35 of the Yarmouth Town Warrant was a proposed ban on the discharge of firearms in Yarmouth – while not motorcycle-related, it was another challenge to individual freedoms in the town of Yarmouth and was NOT PASSED. Article 36 was the proposed ban on motorcycle rides in Yarmouth and was NOT PASSED. Article 37 was the requirement for Yarmouth Law Enforcement to report citations written for Yarmouth’s 104-3 sound by-law and was NOT PASSED.
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association would like to thank all riders who volunteered their time to attend the Yarmouth town meeting whether they were a Yarmouth voter, or not. These attempts to restrict your “Right to Ride” are all too frequent, and riders are reminded that other communities across the Commonwealth are watching to see Yarmouth’s response to this motorcycle rides ban. Your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association has attended every Town Meeting where communities seek to restrict your “Right to Ride” and is happy to report a 100% success rate helping to defeat these bans.
Motorcyclists across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are reminded that Mass Motorcycle’s "When in Town, Throttle Down!"© program is a pro-active approach regarding motorcycle sound emissions that has been endorsed in Yarmouth and many other communities. Favoring education over legislation, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association has sponsored voluntary motorcycle sound checks and information sessions across the state to help riders learn where their motorcycle stands regarding sound emissions.
For more details regarding motorcycle sound emissions, community involvement, and to view the "When in Town, Throttle Down!"© documentation, please visit www.MassMotorcycle.org. Questions can also be directed to LegislativeDirector@MassMotorcycle.org.