Florida Motorcyclists To Get Screwed Again

Article written By Rogue, Freedom Fighter

“The Florida Legislature is in session and working on a budget that includes diverting funds, some of which clearly state that they can’t be used for other purposes.  During the 2008 session of the legislature the fee for motorcycle licenses were increased saying that the money would be used for education. My self and others were against this because no one had explained how the money previously collected was being used and why an increase was needed. Now there is a bill before the legislature FL HB 5007A: Proposes Changes: Motorcycle License Taxes: Florida Motorcycle Safety Program.
 Current Situation: Currently, s. 320.08(1)(c), F.S., provides that for each motorcycle registered in Florida, a $2.50 motorcycle safety education fee is collected and deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. These funds are used EXCLUSIVELY to fund motorcycle driver improvement programs implemented pursuant to s. 322.025, F.S., or the Florida Motorcycle Safety Education Program. This program was established in 1989 to provide motorcycle safety courses in Florida
PROPOSED CHANGES: The bill amends s. 320.08, F.S., to allow the $2.50 education fee to fund motorcycle driver improvement program and the general operations of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This bill also amends s. 322.0255, F.S. to eliminate certain potential reimbursements from the Department to motorcycle course providers.
 That means they are taking the money and Not Putting It Back! I also suspect that the motorcycle rider courses will look to raise their fee for their courses because of this and since in 2008 the Florida Legislature made it mandatory to take one of their courses motorcyclist will be screwed again.  Traffic fines will increase across the board by $10 and speeding fines will increase by $25. New reports from the Federal Government say that speed is only a small factor in crashes. One thing for sure though it is a money maker for the cities and state and is expected to raise $15 million this year and $60 million next year in Florida, a move that will spare the state courts system more cuts.  The Florida Legislators gave themselves a raise, free health care and party at the expense of taxpayers.

Governor Charlie Crist charged $430,000 for a trip to Europe in 2008 taking more than two dozen state employees, a photographer, and nine bodyguards.  The list goes on and on how legislators spend taxpayer money while wanting the citizens to continue to give up benefits and services. If they want to balance the budget they should start by setting an example by stopping waste in government.  Hopefully the motorcycle riders of Florida will say: Enough Is Enough. Start by contacting your legislator and telling them – To Vote No! on FL HB 5007A.  That money is collected to promote motorcycle safety and should not be used for any other purpose”


18 Responses to “Florida Motorcyclists To Get Screwed Again”

  1. 1 Fausto Simoes Jan 31st, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Don’t worry because you will get a special rebate if your motorcycle runs on oranges.

  2. 2 Fausto Simoes Jan 31st, 2009 at 7:26 am

    By the way here in Quebec a license plate for a full size sport bike will cost around
    $700.00 which is around $560.00USD.

    And since we can only ride around five months of the year (unless you want to install tire chains and wear a fully heated suit) it ends up costing around $112.00/month.

  3. 3 Mike Greenwald Jan 31st, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I am somewhat certain that Florida is not breaking ground with these actions.

    To sum things up in brief, the state placed a fee/tax upon motorcyclists that was intended for the perceived improvement of motorcycling. They are opening up this fund to be used for whatever they damned well please to cover there asses for overspending in other areas.

    I don’t like it one bit and wonder if these legislative and bureaucratic clowns can be held harmless for this.

    Any thoughts?

    Any other instances that this has happened in other states?



  4. 4 bruce arnold Jan 31st, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Too late…

    HB5007A and HB5003A were “laid on the table” (dropped):


    What was passed and approved by the Governor was SB40A, with similar provisions:


    This ship has sailed, and it’s too late for Florida bikers to stop it.


  5. 5 Rogue Jan 31st, 2009 at 9:26 am

    It should be noted that the House Bill was tabled BUT a similar action was put into a Senate Bill and has gone on to the governor for his signature.
    Though the governor has said he will remove some items from the bill on his desk the misuse of motorcycle education money is not expected to be one of them.
    Bottom Line is that Florida Motorcyclist Are Getting Screwed.
    It is expected that other items that are not favorable to motorcyclist will be coming up in 2009.
    Hopefully those interested in preserving our lifestyle and mature enough to make their own decisions will contact their legislators in person and voice their opinions.

  6. 6 rc Jan 31st, 2009 at 9:41 am

    The Governor has signed. As Bruce noted the ship has sailed.

    We wrote the Governor and the response received was a form letter that made it fairly apparent that our letter was either not read or given any attention.

    Unfortunately this is the is case with our legislators also I received a response from Senator BIll Nelson that was so far off target I would consider it an insult to anybody’s intelligence.

    They are more than happy to listen to you prior to election. After election it is the money they listen to.

    The days of writing legislators are over. Rogue is right when he says “talk to them in person”
    and by that I mean face to face. And slap the Blackberry out of their hands while talking. rc

  7. 7 Rogue Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Hopefully in the 2009 Legislative sesion a bill be introduced to remove the increase in licensing fees that was added in 2008.
    Since the money was not used for the purpose it was added to the licenses then obviouslly it is not needed.
    I know it is very unlikely the goverment will want to give money back BUT If they are taking money from me I want it to be used for what it was taken for, DONT YOU????

  8. 8 Boss Hawg Jan 31st, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Cyril,

    As a former Florida resident (grew up in Winter Haven) I could not agree more! If I lived there now I would be raising hell.

    Boss Hawg

  9. 9 Nicker Jan 31st, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    So is this stuff a surprise…???

    “… They are opening up this fund to be used for whatever they damned well please…”
    “… wonder if these legislative and bureaucratic clowns can be held harmless …”

    In general, if legislation is acceptable to the public at large, it’ll most likely stand.
    And if they don’t have-ta pay…….. well, bonus!

    Arguably, the fiasco over Bike Rally issues doesn’t help the public perception of “Bikers” a lick.

    The point is, what we do as a group and how we do it can come back and bite us in the ass.
    And just so, what the “Industry” promotes and how it’s “customers” conduct themselves with those
    products and venues directly impacts public perception.

    It’s a very simple proposition:
    It’s your industry. You have the power to influence your customers, simply by how your present yourself and your business.
    “…There’s nothing more powerful than the disdain of a mentor…”
    (Don’t remember who said that. And if no one did, someone should have)

    The TV show Along Came Bronson and this current 3patch TV series (can’t remember the title) are examples of “opinion making” entertainment. Guess which prompted a positive public opinion.

    The American public has always liked images of the “Rugged Individual.”
    What they don’t like is the image of “Annoying, Offensive Individuals.”
    And no legislation was ever reversed on behalf of the “Fat, Drunk, or Stupid.”

    Sorry. i just calls-em as i sees-em.


  10. 10 Nicker Jan 31st, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    “…They are opening up this fund to be used for whatever they damned well please …”
    “… wonder if these legislative and bureaucratic clowns can be held harmless…”

    Ya well, in general, the public has a way of influencing politicians. A good example would be
    Amnesty for Illegals. But they have to be motivated. There has to be a perception that their self interest is at stake. When the $$$ it’s being paid by them, it’s in their self interest.
    And “harmless”…??. Hell, most politicians are well out of our “legal” reach.

    So, the issue is the Public’s perception of motorcyclists at large….. and Bikers in particular.

    On it’s face, what ya have here is a very simple proposition.
    The American Public loves the image of the “Rugged Individual.”
    (remember all the cool cowboy shows of the 1950’s and 1960’s)
    So, where TV shows like “Along Came Bronson” generated a positive biker image

    What they don’t respond to is the image of “Fat, Drunk, Stupid, & Annoying.”
    (where’s that put the current 3pach TV series…???)

    Look, this is a very simple PR proposition.
    As an industry you-all (builders & Mfg.s) have a significant interest in that Public ‘Perception.
    How you present yourselves and your business goes a long way in promoting good PR.

    Moreover, how you interact with your customers goes a long way in influencing how they (the customers) behave.
    “… There is no greater influence on the admirer then the disdain of the admired…”

    Believe this, how the public perceives your customers will have an affect on your business.
    And the controversies raised over Bike Rally issues don’t help public perception at all.

    Sorry, i just calls-em as i sees-em.


  11. 11 Biker Lady Jan 31st, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Where was Florida ABATE?

  12. 12 lugnut Jan 31st, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Letters don’t work. Calling them names doesn’t work, excpet in reverse. Telephone calls don’t work. There just aren’t enough people on motorcycles for a politician to give a damn about what they think. Plus, of all of the people on motorcycle, most don’t care or worse, think this kind of crap is a good idea.

    So – what to do? Answer – you have to get a motorcyclist in the legislature. How? Team up with groups of a similar mindset. Go for groups that are larger and are more uniformly passionate about their cause. Conceealed carry permit holders would be a great place to start. These folks feel more strongly about individual freedom than most motorcyclists.

    Whatever it takes – join up and raise hell – in a good politically acceptable way.

    One more group that comes to mind that has had the sh#@ kicked out of them is cigarette smokers.

  13. 13 Mike Greenwald Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Lugnut, I see a few loopholes in your statements that should be addressed.

    Mary Peters was a motorcyclist in an important position within federal government that ran NHTSA right over motorcyclist rights.

    Letters, phone calls faxes and emails all work when directed at the right people. The people in government, for the most part, will continue to ignore them from individuals. The people that are not targeted with these communication campaigns are the motorcyclists and manufacturers themselves.

    Many motorcyclists are concealed carry permit holders.

    Politically acceptable way? Hell NO. It has been proven that the government has effectively fragmented and divided the motorcycling community through all sorts of devious methods.

    The only unification is the joy that riding brings to those that ride. The politicians have not removed that from riding as of this writing.

    Biker Lady, It is evident that Florida ABATE was no where to be found on this issue. It is not surprising that under the leadership that is currently in place that this has been a non-issue for them.

    Nicker, you are on target with your comments to the industry.

    Possibly, the perception that the ship has already sailed on this is conveying a feeling that nothing can be done. Generally, before a bill is passed , it is difficult to nail down how any legislator is going to vote or whose money is influencing how they vote. There is a greed within government for your money and they will go after it without ethic nor moral to get it and spend it as they see fit. The lies told to acquire the money do not matter as long as they get the money.

    Men and women of the legal profession have specialists within their ranks that can bring suit on this issue as a class action suit.

    The difficulty that arises here for the motorcyclists across the nation is one of unity. Unifying the motorcyclists is generally like herding cats. Crafting a marketable position that an overwhelming majority of motorcyclists will ascribe to and get behind may take some thought.

    Generally, I feel that most motorcyclists do not like thieves and especially do not like being ripped off. This is a rip off by deception. This is a rip off by government and I believe that in some countries they still cut off the hands of thieves. Metaphorically speaking, it is at this point that we, as motorcyclists, should cut off the hands of the thieves.

  14. 14 Crash Feb 1st, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    It all comes down to poltics and polticians screwing up and screwing the people no matter what state.

  15. 15 Mike Greenwald Feb 1st, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    What are you saying here? Are you saying that you let your politicians have there way with you?

  16. 16 rodent Feb 1st, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish” Wriiten in 1776. In other words throw the fuckers out. IMPEACH the pricks.

  17. 17 Crash Feb 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 am

    No I am not saying that I let politicians have their way with me. I am saying that polticians are liers and and they are screwing all of us in form or fashion. By the way Mike. I appreciate your coments on this blog.

  18. 18 customfighterer Feb 2nd, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    just ANOTHER reason for you all to stop attending all the bullshit motorcycle rallies in a state that doesnt want you.

    I will NOT ever attend any type of motorcycle rally in florida. if the state doesnt want motorcycles around, why be there? and more importantly WHY BRING THEM MORE REVENUE as they are attacking you??


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