December 11, 2008
From the "Everything old is new again" files

Reading this story about concerns over motorcycle safety rang a bell for me.

The rash of serious motorcycle accidents in Deer Park reflects a nationwide trend.

It prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Deer Park police and Harris County Assistant District Attorney Brent Mayr to call Tuesday for a multi-pronged effort to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities.


Deer Park police Lt. Bryan Magee said lobbyists for his department and others will press state lawmakers in the upcoming session to require motorcyclists to wear helmets and take a safety and training course.

I just have one question: Has anyone told Sputnik about this?

The most effective lobbyist in the Capitol this year is a guy who drives a Suzuki because Harleys aren't tough enough, he says, and who got his nickname from a Russian spacecraft that scared the heck out of the entire Western world.

He also sports a Mohawk hairstyle and five earrings.

But if Bill "Sputnik" Strain's appearance and background once gave state lawmakers pause, the 58-year-old biker today is regarded as one of the most effective lobbyists (he prefers the term "activist") this session.

His priority - a repeal of the motorcycle helmet law for adults - has passed the Senate and has a good shot at passing the House when it comes up for debate this week.

That 1997 law, which did indeed pass out of the House and was signed into law by then-Gov. George W. Bush, repealed a 1989 law that required motorcycle riders to wear helmets. And here we are about to head into 2009 with this effort to repeal the repeal. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm just not quite sure what it is.

By the way, for those of you who've been reading the Chron for a few years, here's a little trip down Memory Lane for you.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 11, 2008 to That's our Lege

Half-aXX reporting, Bill Murphy should know better. Ant the Chronic complains that they are going down the tubes because bloggers are stealing their quality reporting.

Car accidents are down because cars are being driven fewer miles. Motorcycle accidents are up because motorcycles are being driven more miles. How about motorcycle accidents per mile driven? Bill almost gets that right.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on December 11, 2008 12:57 PM
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