Lawmaker Says Motorcycles (or bicycles) don’t belong in his County

Lawmaker says bikes and motorcycles should not be allowed in Suffolk Co New Jersey

Lawmaker says bikes and motorcycles should not be allowed in Suffolk Co New York. (previously incorrectly identified as New Jersey)

Thomas F. Barraga (R-West Islip) says people should ride bikes at all in Suffolk County New York because “Suffolk County is a suburban automobile community — drivers expect to see other drivers on the road, not bicyclists and motorcyclists.”  

The anti-motorcycle/bicycle legislator made those remarks in response to a high school senior who wrote to him as a part of a government class assignment.  The 17 year old, Matthew Cutrone, wrote to Barraga requesting “some sort of bike lane or maybe even warning signs in certain areas of the county” after his mother was hit by the driver of a van turning left in front of her.

After Barraga’s callous response lit up social media and prompted a ton of angry responses, the legislator said he’s standing by his remarks.  “I’m not going to tell them what they want to hear, a lot of fluff,” he said in an interview. “I tell them the truth.”   Barraga said he advises all his constituents not to take up bicycling because of the risk. “They usually do not listen — 90 percent of these people eventually were hit by an automobile, many like your mother with serious physical injuries,” Barraga wrote in the letter to Cutrone.

His office could not provide the source for the statistics Barraga cited.  The text of the letters are below.

*in an earlier version of this story, Suffolk County is incorrectly identified as being in New Jersey.

 

Matthew Cutrone’s letter to Legis. Thomas Barraga

Letter to Matthew Cutrone

 

Virginia May Ban Children on Motorcycles

photo from www.ourfriendjack.com

Richmond VA:   A bill sponsored by Chris Stolle, (R) from Virginia Beach would make it illegal for children under 8 years of age to ride on a motorcycle, either as a passenger or as an operator.  House Bill 1850, which has the support of some law enforcement officers, has outraged motorcycle enthusiasts and motorcycle rights groups.

On www.pilotonline.com Matt Danielson, legal counsel for the Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists said,  “I don’t look at this as a governmental issue. I look at this as a parental issue.  I think the parent can make a better decision about whether their child is ready to ride than can some legislator in Richmond.”

Other motorcyclists say that Virginia is trying to create a law where none is needed.

According to statistics, more children in Virginia are hurt or killed riding bicycles.