Real Fake Newz

February 16, 2017

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Real Fake Newz

In March 2016, a month after its creation, a fake news site named Associated Media Coverage announced that eleven states were implementing motorcycle curfews with stiff penalties for violators.

Around the same time, the merry pranksters at AMC also announced that the Food and Drug Administration was about to ban vape pens; that politicians in Texas, Arizona, and Missouri had passed laws that would limit people to a maximum of two pets and mandate the killing of the extra ones; that a transgender woman in Colorado had been shot and killed in a department store bathroom; that the Obama Administration intended to restrict hunting for minors; that an Idaho woman was being sent to prison for breast feeding; and that Jodi Arias was getting out of prison after some sort of “incident” with multiple prison guards.

The motorcycle curfew claim had a little more staying power than the other bogus news stories. About six weeks after AMC’s claim, the story had taken on a life of its own. In May a site called Iron Demons was reporting that “28 states working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation have agreed to implement an ordinance requiring motorcyclists to adhere to a mandatory curfew between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.”

Ha Ha!

Hilarious, right?  At least until an almost identical proposal made it all the way to the agenda of the February 6 meeting of the Quincy, Massachusetts City Council.

Quincy, founded in 1625, is an historic city just south of Boston. It was the birthplace of two early Presidents and John Hancock and it was once a hotbed of libertarian zeal but apparently that was then.

An appointed city councilmen named William P. Harris, who is also the chairman of the city’s Environmental and Public Health Committee introduced Order Number 2017-20 which read, in full:

“Be it ordained by the City Council that the Quincy Municipal Code is hereby amended as follows: In Title 10 Vehicle and Traffic, Section 8.0 Rules of the Road is hereby amended by adding the following new section: 10.08.400 Operations of Vehicles — Motorcycle Restrictions

“A. Licensed motorcycle operators are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless exempted from the restricted driving hours for employment or emergency situations.

“B. Enforcement of said ordinance shall take place 30 days after public notification.

“C. Minimum penalty for first offense $250.00 repeat offenders $500.00

“D. Law enforcement or rescue vehicles excluded.”

Not Yet

The new law was not voted on by the Council, let alone passed. Harris pulled the measure for “further study” when it came up for discussion and vote about 20 minutes into the meeting. As of this morning, Harris’ new law was not on the agenda for any future city meetings and appears to be dead.

But it was a close call and it raises some questions that should probably be on somebody’s agenda. Like do politicians really know the difference between fantasy and reality? And should they know the difference in an age when new laws and regulations fall from the sky like hail? And, if Harris’ regulation had passed, would it have been a real law enforced by real police?

Harris is the United States Postmaster in Woburn, Massachusetts. The Aging Rebel was unable to reach him this morning to ask him where he got the idea for his motorcycle curfew.

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5 Responses to “Real Fake Newz”

  1. Iron Rider Says:

    One of those times when you think you have seen everything and then something like this comes along..

  2. brianF Says:

    From the Mass. Motorcycle Assoc.
    MMA ALERT – Quincy midnight motorcycle ban FALSE
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Social media can be a wonderful tool for sharing news, or a horror when scaring people into believing false reports. Circulating these past few days is a report indicating that the City of Quincy, MA, has instituted a ban against any Motorcycle being ridden between the hours of Midnight and 5am, unless exempted for work or emergency purposes. This report is NOT correct.

    The report being circulated is from quincy.com, an independent news provider, not the City of Quincy. When asked, Chris Walker, Director of Policy and Information for the City of Quincy responded, “It’s not going to be heard; it’s not going to be discussed, it’s not going to be debated because it’s not legal.”

    And it isn’t. It’s not legal to ban any legally registered vehicle from any byway except for safety purposes, for example limiting the size of certain trucks over roadways that can’t handle their weight.

    Although such a proposal was indeed filed, which no doubt prompted the original posting, the council member who filed it “immediately asked that it be withdrawn” after learning that such a proposal would not be legal, according to Mr. Walker.

    The basis for the proposal is, of course, the ongoing saga of Motorcycle Sound. Your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association has reached out to the City of Quincy with regard to its “When in Town, Throttle Down!”© Campaign, and reminds riders to ride with respect, mostly in densely populated areas, and especially at night.

  3. xplor Says:

    In the old days the last gas station closed at 11 pm. If you had a 3 gallon gas tank
    your travel was limited.

  4. Cookie Says:

    Sieg, I think they have their own reality!

    Cookie

  5. Sieg Says:

    Do politrixians know the difference betwixt fantasy and reality…is that a trick question?!

    FTF / FTP
    TOSIAR

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