Motorcycle riders across South Carolina should applaud recent reports indicating that Governor Nikki Haley has decided to sign a measure that would bring equal treatment to motorcycles in public spaces.
The measure, known as the Motorcycle Equal Access Bill, would require equal access for motorcyclists in any publicly funded space. This means that motorcyclists and their motorcycles would be allowed on all public highways, bridges, parking garages and any other public space that is open to other vehicles. The law not only mandates equal access, but would also require local governments to make changes to garages and parking lots that were not initially made to accommodate motorcycles.
The measure has garnered support from motorcycle groups not only in South Carolina, but from all across the country. Advocates for change say they approve of any attempt to create more equality for motorcyclists under the law. Until now, it’s been possible for cities and counties to erect publicly funded garages and then choose to discriminate against motorcyclists, prohibiting an entire group of drivers from using the very structures their tax dollars go to support.
The South Carolina Abate Motorcycle group has specifically said that its members long felt it was unfair to require taxpayers to pay for garages and other public spaces that local lawmakers would then selectively prohibit motorcyclists from using. The hope is that the bill, which will soon be signed at the South Carolina State House, will usher in a climate of motorcycle equality in the state. The bill is seen by some as an important step to attract more motorcyclists to visit and relocate to South Carolina.
Though exclusion from public spaces is one problem that the Motorcycle Equal Access Bill is designed to address, far more important is what many see as an institutional bias directed against motorcyclists. This bias is often reflected in interactions with law enforcement officials or the justice system in certain personal injury cases. Motorcyclists have long complained that they are unfairly targeted by police officers or the victims of bias in the event of an injury-producing accident.
The reality is that motorcyclists are no more likely than anyone else to disobey traffic laws or engage in reckless driving. Stereotypes of dangerous bikers are outdated and fail to reflect the reality that those who enjoy riding motorcycles today come from a variety of diverse backgrounds. Motorcyclists simply want to be treated equally by law enforcement authorities and fairly by insurance companies and others following a South Carolina car-motorcycle accident. When that kind of biased treatment is finally eliminated, South Carolina indeed will become a magnet for motorcyclists across the country.
We understand that motorcycle accidents can be scary, leaving injured bikers and their families with expensive medical bills and confusion over how to move forward. If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina motorcycle accident and have concerns, feel free to contact David Aylor today at (843) 310-4900.
Source: “Motorcycle bill aims to bring equal treatment in SC,” by Hannah Moseley, published at WMBFNews.com.