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This BOLTofCA  page was last updated  1/12/2014
If you were wearing a helmet, but
a police officer wrote a helmet
ticket to you anyway, scan and
send a copy of that ticket to the
BOLT webmaster.
It is important to realize your helmet
ticket is worth its weight in gold. If
you plan on paying it
or fighting it,
email a copy of the ticket to BOLT
of California.
There is a core group represented here that had vowed to do "whatever it takes" to
protect themselves against bad laws and bad cops. This began BOLT of California.

At this HLDL/BOLT Summit we also hammered out the well known
list of
12 questions for the NHTSA/DOT.
May 1993.    

Later, this jokingly became our salute.
Proceeds from this 3" x 5 1/2" patch go to the costs and fees for the
next legal challenge to help stop the improper enforcement of the
helmet law.  Quigley is Gone But Not Forgotten.

You may also simply donate to the fund to pay for the fees and costs of the law suit.
To do this, contact the BOLT of California webmaster, using the link at the top of this
BOLT appreciates the donations and support Freedom minded
riders in California and across the country have provided by
contributing to this fund.

Thomas Jefferson said the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
This website explains what that vigilance is, and what you can
do to BE vigilant.

How much of your own freedom are you willing to earn?
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Show your support by wearing the BOLT logo.  
Contact us for BOLT SUPPORT shirt prices
and availability.

All official
BOLT SUPPORT shirts are known for quality
because they are printed by
White Hawk Designs.
3"  x  10" bumper sicker  - $3.00
As a result of our 2008 legal action against the California Highway Patrol, Quigley v.
CHP and our case that became CHP v. Superior Court, the CHP has negotiated an
enforcement policy change with us.

Management Memorandum  08-071 represents one of three aspects of this negotiated

The CHP petitioning of the California Judicial Counsel represents the second of the three
aspects of this negotiated settlement.  
This resulted in the change to the
Bail & Penalty schedule. Helmet violations ARE
correctable. If a rider is wearing no helmet at all - it is not considered correctable.

The CHP dropping their demand for additional court costs was the third of three aspects
of this negotiated settlement.

Why did we sue the CHP?
Article by Don Blanscet

What does this mean for motorcyclists in California?
We don't know the future, but we can give our opinion.  
It is important to note that this policy change is by the CHP and only effects their
officers, but it does, in fact, reflect the changes to the Bail and Penalty schedule which sets
penalties statewide.  Therefore, we would expect all allied enforcement agencies to align
their policy with the CHP.

However, this new CHP policy ignores the ruling from
Buhl v. Hannigan, that says neither
an officer nor a consumer is expected to be able to determine compliance by visual
inspection, a proposition that the Buhl court said was
Note the reference in 08-071 to the phrase "obviously not a motorcycle helmet," which
assumes a visual inspection enables one to determine proper fabrication.  It assumes a
motorcycle manufacturer cannot fabricate a helmet that visually resembles another type
of headgear.  

Also ignored are the intent requirements (burden of proof on the people) established in

Bianco V. CHP
, which requires the following:
determination of non compliance and proof that the rider knows their helmet is
non compliant, regardless of whether LEO is writing a "fix it ticket" or a straight
 Buhl and Bianco are still in effect and no citation should be issued without  the
ability to meet the requirements of Buhl and Bianco.

While we have no doubt that the CHP is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it
comes to helmet law enforcement, we also see the good faith effort they are showing in an
attempt to legally enforce a vague and ambiguous law, both as written and applied.

The new policy does take steps to minimize Rights violations by LEO, but it does not fix
the problem.  The only fix in our opinion would be a
of compliant helmets;  thus we continue to say: No list? No Law!
The Judge in Quigley v CHP did not rule that the helmet law was not vague, only that we
had not presented ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO MAKE THE CASE.   The vagueness issue is
still viable.  The Judge stated that the law needs to be "cleaned up."  

Those requirements in Buhl and Bianco are reiterated by Federal Judge Napoleon Jones
in the EasyRiders v. Hannigan case.

On May 25, 1995, the district court issued its decision on Easyriders' request for a
permanent injunction.
Easyriders Freedom F.I.G.H.T. v. Hannigan, 887 F. Supp. 240 (S.D.
Cal. 1995). The district court found that under the California helmet law as interpreted by
Buhl and Bianco, a motorcyclist wearing a helmet that does not comply with Standard
218 can violate the helmet law in two situations:

(1)  where the helmet did not bear a certification of compliance at the time of sale, or
(2)  where the helmet did bear a certification but
(a)  the helmet has been shown, by failing a FMVSS 218 test, not to conform with federal
safety standards
(b)  the person being cited has actual knowledge of a showing of non-conformity with
federal standards.

Scan and send a copy of any and every helmet ticket
whether you want to fight it, or pay the fine without a defense.
The New upcoming California lawsuit:
It has been 18 years since the federal Judge agreed with
motorcyclists that law enforcement officers had been
writing helmet tickets without Probable Cause, violating
riders' Rights.

The 1995 Easyriders v. Hannigan federal lawsuit resulted
in an Injunction against writing helmet tickets unless the
citing officer has a recall notice from the manufacturer or
has test results proving non-compliance. This
documentation must be in the citing officer's hand before
he writes the ticket. It must be specific to that exact helmet
manufacturer, size, and model number. The officer must
have proof that the helmet wearer knew of the recall
and/or knew of the de-certification due to failure during
the testing process.

What has transpired since 1995?

Have police officers stopped writing tickets in violation
of federal case law?
Some have stopped the false arrests, but others have
forged ahead, violating Constitution and 4th Amendment
protections of motorcycle riders.

The two biggest problems that lead to the 4th Amendment
violations are:
1.)  Riders and officers alike misunderstand how federal
preemption and case law control the way a helmet is
determined to be legal, and illegal.
2.)  Most riders honestly
believe the federal government
has approved the sale of certain helmets based on what
they look like (though it doesn't), and they think a DOT
sticker is issued by the Department of Transportation (but
it isn't). In other words, many believe you must wear a
"DOT approved" helmet. The earth is not flat, but it's not
easy convincing some people who learned the earth is flat.
It's hard to un-learn something you have believed so long:  
does not issue the certification stickers, and the
DOT does not stamp approval on ANY helmets, or any
other product.

BOLT has learned how many tickets were written by each
police department in California in 2012. We are ready to
act on this information, because we also know those same
departments did not write any of those tickets based on the
recall notices or test results described above by the
federal court system as Probable Cause.
now to help support our lawsuit.