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COUNTYWIDE : Helmet Law Appeal Filed

Motorcyclists opposed to the new mandatory helmet law filed an emergency petition Monday asking an appeals court to delay the law’s scheduled Jan. 1 enforcement date.

Wendy C. Lascher, the Ventura lawyer who represents four bikers from throughout the state, said she hopes the 4th District Court of Appeal will act on her request today.

Last Friday, Lascher asked a Superior Court judge to block the law, contending that it violates motorcyclists’ constitutional rights, but he refused.

Without such an order, all motorcycle riders will have to wear helmets beginning Wednesday. A first offense carries a $100 fine, a second offense $200 and a third $250.

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The California Highway Patrol initially planned to allow a 90-day grace period in which violators would receive only warnings. But it changed its mind and now plans to ticket helmetless riders beginning one minute after midnight, on New Year’s Day.

“We just thought if it’s something that is going to save lives, it’s better to begin enforcing it right away,” said CHP spokesman Greg Manuel.


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