Iowa Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in Traffic Incidents, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The United States is a very large country, full of sprawling metropolises and countless rural towns sometimes hundreds of miles from a major city. Because of this, the States have a huge network of highways and roads, and most people drive personal vehicles every single day. Of course, with everyone out on the roads, car accidents are going to happen every day. It is an oft cited statistic that you are more likely to die in a car accident than any other mode of transportation, and this is why car companies have invested millions in all sorts of safety features. Unfortunately, the safety features of motorcycles are limited, but they remain a very popular way to get around.

According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa state senator Chaz Allen lost his brother in a motorcycle accident in 2011, and just this year he also lost his father to a motorcycle accident. His father was killed in early June at the age of 75, and the accident almost cost the life of Allen’s mother, who was clinging to her husband as they hit a deer that had bounded into the road. The funeral, bikers from around the city showed up to pay their respects to the song of their people: the hum of a motorcycle engine. The statistics in Iowa are concerning. There are around 40-60 motorcycle fatalities every year, and most of these deaths afflict riders who did not wear helmets or take the proper safety precautions. Iowa is just one of three states that do not mandate that motorcycle riders wear a helmet, the other two being Illinois and New Hampshire. One reason it is difficult to get these laws passed is that bikers have a strong sense of freedom, and the main reason they get a bike in the first place is to feel the wind in their hair and really connect with the world while riding.

There has always been a sense of community among bikers, and even after tragic deaths, there are few who give up riding completely. In Iowa especially, where riding culture is big, there are Biker Lawyers who are dedicated to protecting the rights of motorcyclists around the state. It is important that specific lawyers exist to address these issues, as even the smallest accident can be fatal. Of course, in order to prevent more deaths, the Iowa State government ought to implement some sort of helmet law. Even though it may cost the state money in order to enforce this new law, it will surely bring down the motorcycle death toll.

Traffic accidents and deaths are an unfortunate inevitability in the United States, and it will be impossible to bring the death count down to zero. Even so, it is important that there are protections in place for motorcyclists, the most vulnerable population of drivers. Even if it takes away a feeling of freedom, a push to mandate helmet use will help immensely. Even if that is not attainable, an education campaign for helmet use and taking proper safety precautions should become the norm.

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A Motorist, Who is Issued a Traffic Ticket, may Make a Plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or “Nolo Contendere,” or May Request a Mitigation or Contested Hearing

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Traffic Incidents | 0 comments

A motorist who will be caught violating any traffic law will be issued a traffic ticket by the law enforcement officer who caught him/her. A traffic ticket is issued to cite either a moving violation or a non-moving violation.

A moving violation, which is violation of a traffic law by a vehicle that is in motion, includes, but is not limited to speeding, driving under the influence (DUI) of illegal drugs or alcohol, running a stop sign or red light, turning into the wrong lane, failure to use turn signals, and driving a car with burned-out headlights. A non-moving violation, on the other hand, is any type of traffic offense that involves a non-moving or stationary vehicle. Examples of non-moving violations include: parking in a no parking zone; parking in front of a fire hydrant or at an expired meter; parking without a permit at a spot reserved for handicapped individuals; staying too long in a parking area that has a time limit; broken or missing mirrors; and, excessive muffler noise.

A traffic ticket may serve as a notice to a driver or owner of a vehicle that a penalty, which may take the form of a fine or deduction of points, has been or will be made against him/her (failure to pay the fine may result to prosecution or to a civil recovery proceeding for the fine). In some states, however, a traffic ticket simply represents a citation and a summons to be present at traffic court; the determination of guilt is to be made in such court.

If the motorist wishes to contest a traffic infraction, a hearing can be set by the court upon proper request. The hearings are before a magistrate or judge depending on the state or city. Hearing dates can often be continued and witnesses or police officers can be subpoenaed. At any point, the motorists may retain an attorney to represent them in a traffic infraction. Retaining or consulting an attorney may be beneficial to the motorist because an attorney would better understand how to contest an infraction in any given state or municipality. Attorneys offer anywhere between full representation in court, taking a case from inception to disposal and potentially appeals, to low-cost online consultations explaining legal options, highlighting important defenses, describing court rules and recommending the best direction for the client.

A motorist, who is issued a traffic ticket, is usually given ten to fifteen days to mail to the court that has jurisdiction over the case his/her plea of guilty, not guilty or “nolo contendere,” which is a plea of no contest (this is neither a denial nor an admittance of a charge). Instead of making any plea, a motorist may also rather request either a mitigation hearing or a contested hearing. In a mitigation hearing, a ticketed driver admits to having committed the violation; what he/she wants, however, is to be given the chance to explain to the judge the circumstances that made him/her commit the violation. Though a judge may reduce the amount of fine, he/she will not dismiss the ticket. A driver who would want the ticket dismissed should rather request for a contested hearing.

Before paying any fine, making a plea, or requesting either for a mitigation or contested hearing, it may be wise for a ticketed driver to retain or consult a traffic attorney, who knows how to contest an infraction. Along this same line of thought, the law firm Truslow & Truslow says “If you have been cited for a traffic offense . . . before you ignore the ticket or pay the fine, be sure to consult with a law firm that understands how certain traffic offenses can impact your driving privileges, record, and insurance. The fact is you may not be guilty, or the circumstances may have been exaggerated or misunderstood by law enforcement.”

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