Caution to Motorcyclists - Regional Police Targeting Us

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HighMileJon
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Caution to Motorcyclists - Regional Police Targeting Us

by: HighMileJon on
Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:42 pm

This is just a caution to all motorcyclists: I recently found out this month that Regional police forces have been explicity told to target motorcyclists for safety requirements, speeding, and other legalities. They have been attending special meetings regarding "cracking down" of motorcycles on Ontario roads. This is directly from the mouth of a Waterloo Regional Police Officer.

Here is the story:

Both of my motorcycle helmets are DOT approved there is no question of that. I purchased this helmet, a HJC CS R1 (link to website: http://www.hjchelmets.com ), brand new from Royal Distributing in Guelph, Ontario at the beginning of this riding season as my old helmet, which I was also carrying on my helmet holder, was getting old and I felt I needed a newer better performing helmet.

When I was pulled over the officer immediately got out and told me the reason I was pulled over was that he noticed that I had a "DOT" approved helmet in my helmet holder but did not think I was wearing a "DOT" approved helmet on my head. (A very strange accusation in my opinion, why would I purposely endanger the safety of my head?) I reassured the officer that in fact my new helmet was a "DOT" approved helmet and showed him the DOT symbol on the back of the helmet. Granted I will say this, the helmet is black but has a white striping design on the helmet which I do agree with the officer is hard to visually recognize at a distance further than 2-3 feet away because the white striping on the helmet makes the DOT symbol less visible at a distance.

The officer also told me that he was in an important meeting recently on motorcycle safety and that this was a concern brought up during the meeting; a tactic of carrying a DOT approved helmet on the helmet holder but not wearing a DOT approved helmet on the riders head, a concept I have trouble believing especially considering both helmets are full-face helmets. I care about safety, when I ride and I wear "all the gear all the time" and was wearing my heavily armoured riding jacket, my riding pants, and riding gloves.

After I reassured the officer that indeed both helmets were DOT approved and I visually proved that fact to the officer he asked if he could still take my helmet back to his car for a closer inspection and upon which time asked routinely for my license, insurance, and registration.

He reassured me saying that if the helmet "checks out" that I have nothing to worry about. I agreed that he could take my helmet to inspect further because not allowing him to inspect the helmet further would be pointless and just make me look guilty when in fact I was not guilty and knew that this helmet was DOT approved. I was a little disappointed that he had to take my helmet and make me wait out in the cold (temperature dropping rapidly, was about 5 degrees celcius) without my gloves/helmet on and the wind increasing in speed making riding conditions worse for me to return to the north end of Waterloo.

I did not understand what more he could do other than research the helmet online to see the listing from the manufacturer showing the helmet is in fact DOT approved.

So after all that time, over 30 minutes total freezing on my bike, his investigation never lead to a true cut answer of whether my helmet was a DOT approved helmet even though it was properly labelled on the helmet and is clearly listed on the HJC website as a DOT approved helmet.

It took me 2 minutes when I got home to type into Google "HJC CS R1" and see the complete specs listing of said helmet from the company.

*edited post * by HTA Moderator

Take care guys.


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Simon Borys
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by: Simon Borys on
Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:52 pm

The officer doesn't have internet access in his cruiser, so he can't look it up. Also, the reason for taking the helmet is to do a detailed visual inspection of it. You can be charged for failing to wear a helmet if your helmet is DOT approved but doesn't meet certain criteria or is damaged. Putting DOT stickers on non-DOT approved helmets is nothing new in Waterloo Region or elsewhere.

Fortunately for MC riders in the region, most WRPS officers have no idea how to enforce MC equipment violations so you needed worry about getting stopped every time one sees you.
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HighMileJon
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by: HighMileJon on
Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:31 pm

The officer had a blackberry smart-phone so I can only assume he had access to 3 or 4 G coverage to do a quick search.

I understand about the visual inspection and that makes sense to me and I didn't think of it at the time, although the officer knew my helmet was brand new. I still can't understand who in their right mind would ever put a fake DOT sticker on a full-face helmet, I am pretty sure you can't even find adult sized full-face helmets for sale at any retail store/online store that isn't DOT approved or at least you would have a hard time finding one.

The whole point of this post wasn't to rip up on officers but rather caution fellow riders about the potential for situations and to warn people to be patient and understanding because as you stated Simon a lot of these WRPS officers do not have the knowledge/training to enforce MC equipment violations. I have a lot of respect for them and I am still considering a career in law enforcement as I am taking quite a few law courses at my University.


viper1
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by: viper1 on
Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:43 pm

Back in the day HeHe
I used to wear a open-face with a full-face shield.(at cold times or bug time)
So I have been there and done that.

The reason that they want your helmet off is to smell your breath.

It is nothing to do with DOT.
But use it as excuse.

Cheers
Viper1
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use at your own risk"


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