Motorcycle News Headlines: Wild Week at Daytona Beach

Ranaway motorcycles, 2000-brest protest, cole slaw wrestling and helmet law questions.

A riderless V-8 motorcycle creates havoc. Plans for 1000 topless women to march down Main Street on Sunday. Florida motorcycling deaths rise after helmet law repealed. And don't forget the cole slaw wrestling.

Riderless V-8 Motorcycle Runs Away, Injures Two
When the throttle stuck on his Kannon V-8-powered motorcycle, the rider jumped off. As stunned onlookers did double-takes, the bike continued for four blocks, ricocheted off a truck and then plowed into a couple on another motorcycle, severely injuring them. The Kannon's front wheel ended up another quarter-mile further down the road. This why bikes have kill switches, and riders should be ready to use them.
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL
WGAL-TV, PA
AZCentral.com
Miami Herald, FL
Bradenton Herald, FL
WTVJ-TV, FL

**Topless Protest Called for Sunday **
"If it, uh, comes off, it would make Bike Week 2000 times better than the Superbowl," laughed one Daytona attendee, referring to call for 1000 women to march topless down Main Street on Sunday in protest of laws that prohibit women to go topless but not men. Liz Book, the organizer says that bare-breasted women are a part of biker culture, and she is outraged that women get fined $253 for flashing, but men can ride shirtless. She feels women should have the same right to develop skin cancer. Last year, 59 women were cited for it during Daytona's Bike Week, and Book was arrested six years ago. Though the March idea has upset some, including the Chamber of Commerce, police say that as part of a political protest, nudity is allowed and that they won't step in if the march is peaceful and there are no "lewd acts." Book and company have filed suit asking for an injunction to prevent police from interfering,
Miami Herald, FL
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL
Shortnews/com
Ananova, UK

**And Don't Miss the Cole Slaw Wrestling **
They need a tree shredder to make all that cole slaw for a Bike Week tradition -- women wrestling in slaw at the Cabbage Patch. We think Motorcycle Cruiser editor Jamie Elvidge, who is in much better shape than most of the participants, could moonlight and make big money in this arena while at Daytona, but she says she's too busy.
Ananova, UK
WESH-TV, FL

**Meanwhile, Motorcylist Deaths Up 42% in Florida **
Since Florida repealed its helmet law in favor of a law that allows riders to go helmetless with $10,000 worth of insurance, deaths of motorcyclist have increased by 42%. Anti-helmet activists say this is because more people are riding, although Florida's motorcycle registrations have increased by less than 20% in that period and crashes increased by just 16%. The rate of deaths per accident rose 21 percent from 4.0% of the accidents to 4.9%. However, a study of Florida riders before the repeal found that 40% of them were earing "novelty" helmets, which do not provide significant protection. Our own observations at Daytona indicate that a significant percentage of those who do wear helmets now still use those essentialy useless beanies. The study, commissioned by the state, did not track actual head trauma, however, so the findings are unlikely to settle the issue. It also does not address the issue of any change in the number of debilitating injuries unhelmeted riders suffer, which some doctors say have risen significantly since the repeal. These are potentially the most damaging kinds of injuries, since they often leave vegatative patients, who are effectively lost to their families and themselves and become a drain on health-care resources. At Daytona, howver, motorcycle deaths for Bike Weekas of Thursday afternoon are just three, about average and well behind Bike Week, 2000 when 20 died -- and before the helmet law was repealed.
The Lakeland Ledger, FL
St. Petersberg Times, FL
Miami Herald, FL

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If you have questions or comments about the stories referred to here, email _Motorcycle Cruiser's web editor at _ Art.Friedman@primedia.com _or at _ ArtoftheMotorcycle@hotmail.com.