11 states working in conjunction with the U.S Department of Transportation (U.D.O.T) have agreed to implement an ordinance requiring motorcyclists to adhere to a mandatory curfew between the hours of 11:00 PM – 6:00 AM.
The U.S Department of Transportation who admittedly placed pressure on state representatives to implement the ordinance within their respective states are hopeful that representatives across the country will take notice and agree to implement and enforce the curfew within their states by late 2016.
According to U.S Department Transportation representative Donald McCarthy, the ordinance was born out of a necessity. According to statistics published on the U.D.O.T website, approximately 7,342 motorcyclist fatalities occurred across the country throughout 2015. This is an almost 20% increase to the 6,120 fatalities reported in 2015. The statistics found on the U.D.O.T website indicate that roughly 47% of motorcyclist fatalities in both 2014 and 2015 reportedly occurred during the hours of 10:30 PM – 4:45 AM.
Representatives from the 11 states that have agreed to the ordinance (South Dakota, Florida, Washington, Arkansas, California, New Hampshire, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, & Kentucky), have said that their states will be implementing the ordinance as soon as early April 2016 and expect all motorcyclists to be in compliance immediately upon implementation. All states have agreed to implement the ordinance by July 3rd 2016.
The penalties motorcyclists will accrue for non-compliance of the ordinance may vary slightly from state to state, however most state representatives have indicated they will be following the below recommendations provided by the U.S Department of Transportation.
First Offense: $100 Penalty
Second Offense: $250 Penalty & Vehicle Impounded
Third Offense: $500 Penalty, Vehicle Impounded, 90-day Motorcycle License Suspension.
Fourth Offense: $1,000 Penalty, Vehicle Impounded, 182-day Motorcycle License Suspension
The U.S Department of Transportation is hopeful that the ordinance will drastically reduce the amount of motorcyclist fatalities in 2016, however the ordinance is seen as an inconvenience to many motorcycle owners. The most common concern voiced by motorcyclists within the impacted states is simple- they are responsible citizens who practice motorcycle safety and they don’t want the government to dictate their transportation decisions. Additional concerns include citizens who rely upon a motorcycle as their primary means of transportation to and from work within the hours of 11:00 PM – 6:00 AM and the multiple motorcycle rallies that will be impacted.
Many motorcyclists that attend popular motorcycle rallies are traveling via motorcycle for upwards of several days to attend their destination. Additionally – motorcycle rally attendees commonly need to travel on their motorcycle during the mandatory curfew hours. A few of the more popular motorcycle rallies that will be impacted by the ordinance includeSturgis, Daytona Bike Week, Bikes Blues and BBQ, Love Ride, Laconia Motorcycle Week, Indiana Boogie, Laughlin Run, Myrtle Beach Bike Week, & the Redwood Run.
According to U.S Department of Transportation representatives, the participating states will receive additional federally funded incentives for their participation and implementation of the ordinance.