Wednesday, August 31, 2011

75 years prison for video of traffic stop

For the crime of recording police during a citation and taking a tape recorder into the courtroom, 41-year old mechanic Michael Allison faces a life sentence in prison. The state of Illinois has charged Allison with five counts of wiretapping, each punishable by four to 15 years in prison.

Yet another example of criminal Big Brother and paid propaganda by Little Brother.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Highway Patrol sued in class action for FTP tickets

"Judge Russ Heldman dismissed the city's ruling that Harlie "Bill" Walker, 75, violated a Franklin ordinance on Aug. 14, when he flashed his lights at oncoming traffic to let them know there was a police car up ahead. In Tennessee, flashing headlights to warn oncoming traffic of a police car ahead is protected free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."
-The Tennessean, Flash your headlights for free speech, Nov 4, 2003

Class Action Suit Says Florida Highway Patrol Illegally Tickets Motorists Who Warn Others About Speed Traps

Mike Deeson
26 Aug 2011

Video - Class Action Complaint HCA3327

TAMPA, FL. -- When the Florida Highway Patrol pulls someone over on the highway, it's usually because they were speeding.

But Eric Campbell was pulled over and ticketed while he was driving the speed limit.

Campbell says, "I was coming up the Veterans Expressway and I notice two Florida Highway Patrol Cars sitting on the side of the road in the median, with lights off."

Campbell says he did what he always does: flashed his lights on and off to warn drivers coming from the other direction that there was speed trap ahead.

According to Campbell, 60 seconds after passing the trooper, "They were on my tail and they pulled me over."

Campbell says the FHP trooper wrote him a ticket for improper flashing of high beams. Campbell says the trooper told him what he had done was illegal.

But later Campbell learned that is not the case. He filed a class action suit which says "Florida Statue 316.2397" -- under which Campbell was cited -- "does not prohibit the flashing of headlights as a means of communications, nor does it in any way reference flashing headlights or the use of high beams."

However, the FHP trooper who wrote the ticket either didn't know or didn't care. "You could tell in his voice he was upset," Campbell says. "He was professional, he wasn't rude... but you could tell he was irritated."

However, the lawsuit says the FHP is well aware they are wrongfully applying the state law and they are doing it as a means of generating revenue. In 2005, a court order was even issued saying the state law doesn't prohibit the flashing of vehicle headlights.

Campbell isn't the only one. Since 2005, FHP records show more than 10,429 drivers have been cited under the statute.

In addition to seeking the refund of the $100 ticket, the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.

What's that costing you?

If each person illegally cited was awarded $15,000 that would be $156,435,000 in damages if the suit is successful. Then you would throw in at least another $1,042,900 in ticket refunds, all because it appears troopers don't like motorists warning others about speed traps.

Campbell says he felt as if the trooper thought it was a personal affront. According to Campbell, the trooper did not like the fact somebody was ratting him out.

The Florida Highway Patrol says it can't comment because of the pending lawsuit.

Campbell says FHP had no right to ticket him or anyone under the current law and he adds the agency is not being honest when it says it doesn't write tickets to increase revenue or punish people, but rather to get the motorist to slow down on the highway. If that were true, Campbell says the FHP should be delighted with him, because drivers did slow down before troopers could give them a ticket.

The suit evolved out the fact that Campbell says "I don't like what the government is dong especially now when most people have a hard time affording gas and now they have to defend themselves against a made up charge that doesn't exist."

The state will have to come up with the money for damages if the suit is successful, and guess where the money is coming from: your taxes.

Flash your headlights for free speech

November 5, 2003

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — A judge has dismissed charges against a driver who flashed his headlights to warn others of a police speed trap ahead.

Williamson County Circuit Judge Russ Heldman said Harlie “Bill” Walker’s actions were free speech protected by the First Amendment.

“It’s my constitutional right to blink my lights and the city of Franklin overturned that right,” Walker said. “I’m overjoyed this ended in my favor.”

Walker said he spent about $1,000 to take the case to court.

Last August, as Walker, 75, drove near his home in suburban Williamson County, about 20 miles south of Nashville, a police car that had been following him pulled off the road.

“As I proceeded on down the road I met a couple of cars coming and decided it might be advisable to let them know the policeman had pulled into the driveway, so I flashed my lights a couple of times,” Walker told the Associated Press after the incident.

Franklin Police Officer Chris Marlow saw Walker’s actions, caught up with him and pulled him over.

He cited Walker under a city ordinance making it illegal to interfere with a police officer in the course of his duties.

“I’d never heard of a law that said I couldn’t flash my lights whenever I wanted to,” Walker said.

On Sept. 25, Walker admitted he flashed his lights but pleaded not guilty to interfering with the officer. He was found in violation of the ordinance and fined $10, plus $65 in court costs.

“I was trying to be a good Samaritan and warn people and it got turned around,” Walker said.

Walker said he assisted the police officer by getting other drivers to slow down.

Franklin Police Chief Jackie Moore said officers should no longer issue citations to people who flash their headlights to warn others of speed traps.

“Any law we have on the books, the manner in which it is enforced is subject to review by the Court of Appeals,” Moore said. “I have no problem whatsoever with that system and support it 100 percent.”

Walker’s attorney, Joe Baugh, said the judge reached the right conclusion.

“Police have to err on the side of letting citizens communicate,” Baugh said.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New TN law bans 95% of redlight scamera tickets, allows ignoring remaining 5%

Do you want to know more about police shooting traffic scameras?

95% of redlight camera tickets are for alleged "rolling stops" before turning right (usually after a complete stop), so this new law bans bans 95% of redlight camera tickets in Tennessee. The remaining 5% of redlight camera tickets can also be ignored under this new law, which attempts to bypass mandatory due process NOTICE by bypassing PERSONAL SERVICE OF PROCESS of these frivolous civil lawsuits. As named in this new law, "First Class Mail" does NOT qualify as "notice", so this new "law" is a violation Knoxville Code, Rule 4 (see below) of TN Rules of Civil Procedure, US and TN Constitutions and centuries of caselaw, since no signature of the defendant is provided. All laws in violation of the constitutions are null and void and can be ignored from their inception, according to US Supreme Court and TN Supreme Court. Which is why 85% of citizens refuse to pay redlight scamera tickets.

Tennessee Code 55-8-198 - Any other traffic citation for failure to make a complete stop at a red signal before making a permitted right turn as provided by § 55-8-110(a)(3)(A) that is based solely upon evidence obtained from an unmanned traffic enforcement camera shall be deemed invalid.

"Using the data provided by the LAPD, we discovered that the percentage of rolling-rightturn violations averages 75% and at many intersection approaches in the City is significantly higher. The northbound intersection of De Soto and Roscoe has the distinction of having the highest percentage of rolling-right-turn citations of any red-light camera (RLC) monitored intersection approach in the City. Rolling-right-turn citations make up 97% of the violations at that approach. For the 9 month period, a full 1225 citations were given for rolling-right-turns and only 32 citations were given for straight through violations. For the southbound approach, the rolling-right-turn percentage was a comparable 95%."
-Safer Streets L.A., How Dangerous Is a Rolling Right Turn? March 2011

“A law repugnant to the Constitution is void.”
-Chief Justice John Marshall, US Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)

Knoxville Code, Section 8-1, Issuance of process.
The city judge shall issue process on the complaint of any person when it appears to the city judge that any provision of this Code or other ordinance of the city has been violated. He shall try no case until process has been regularly sued out, served and returned.

"It is extremely easy to beat this type of ticket in court. Your easiest defense is to simply throw the ticket away. If it does not come with a return receipt that requires a signature, there is no proof that you actually got the ticket."
-Norman G. Fernandez, attorney,, free ebook How to Beat a Speeding Ticket - Photo RADAR

"Your photo radar defense: Ignoring The Letter. When you receive a general post letter advising you of your photo radar citation, you have the option of just ignoring it. All states have guidelines on how the citation must be served. In effect, your payment or appearance at the courthouse is your acceptance of service. By not responding to the letter, you are refusing acceptance of service. In addition, none of the departments are making personal service to anyone that lists a PO Box as their mailing address on their vehicle registrations."
-Lt "Radar" Roy Reyer, Maricopa County Sheriff Office, Phoenix, Arizona,, Your Photo Radar Defense

75% of AZ Drivers Refuse to Pay Photo Traffic Tickets

85% of TX Drivers Refuse to Pay Photo Traffic Tickets

"Starting tomorrow, photo-enforcement-violation notices must finally state the truth about what's going on -- namely, that you don't need to respond or identify the driver in the picture. Cities and, for a while, the state of Arizona, have for years employed something of a ruse to help get speeders and red-light runners caught by the machines to pay up. They sent an initial notice of violation that has no legal teeth, yet contained a passive threat that blowing off the notice might not be in the motorists' best interest. A few years ago, we caught the city of Scottsdale lying blatantly in its notices, which it falsely called a "summons." The notice stated that those who didn't respond would be subject to fines, fees and driver's license suspension. An Arizona Department of Public Safety notice of violation that we published two years ago shows the more-typical trick. Appearing below DPS insignia, the notice states simply that the motorist should fill out the form and sent it back by the "respond-by date." While the DPS freeway cameras were online, (that program ended last summer), thousands of people likely responded like sheep to those notices -- even though they didn't have to. As numerous articles in New Times and elsewhere have pointed out, ignoring those notices only meant the possibility of a ticket being served at the offender's home by a process server. True, having a server come out meant an additional $25 added to the fine. But if the server never comes, or the motorist doesn't appear to be home when the server comes -- always a distinct possibility -- then the photo enforcement ticket becomes invalid. Now, thanks to a bill that Governor Jan Brewer signed, notices of violation must confess that: (a) the notice is not a court issued document; (b) the recipient is under no obligation to identify the person or respond to the notice; and (c) failure to respond to the notice may result in official service that may result in an additionally levied fee. The new law also mandates that $13 of every ticket goes to the "GITEM" task force, which has a mission of "strict enforcement" of immigration and gang laws."
-Phoenix News Times, Arizona Photo-Enforcement Notices Must Now State the Truth: Motorists Have No Duty to Respond or Identify Driver, Jul. 19 2011

FACT: "Lasercraft is a member of the Public Safety Equipment PSE group of companies. Public Safety Equipment (Intl) Ltd, Registered Office, Yeadon, Leeds, England. Beijing Mag Science & Technology Development Corp, Beijing, China."

"Redflex Group is based in South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Redflex Holdings Limited was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in January 1997. Redflex Traffic Systems Inc has contracts with more then 130 USA cities, and is the largest provider of digital red light and speed enforcement services in North America."

City of Knoxville pays $500,000 invoice to Redflex account at National Australia Bank (discovery research courtesy of Clifford Clark)

“The Constitution does not consider slaves to be U.S. citizens. Rather, they are constitutionally protected property of their masters.”
-Chief Justice Roger Taney, US Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)

Tennessee: New Law on Right Turns Sorting Itself Out

Dear NMA Member,

We sent an Alert to you back in May about the pending legislation to impose guidelines for the use of automated traffic enforcement in Tennessee. As you may know, the bill passed, and now Tennessee enforcement agencies are attempting to adjust to the new system.

A key component of the new law is the prohibition against using cameras to prosecute failure to come to a complete stop before turning right on red lights. (The new law, Tennessee Code 55-8-198, can be accessed here.)

There has been some confusion as to when enforcement agencies needed to begin following that prohibition. The City of Gallatin, in particular, found itself playing catch-up. (See the NewsChannel 5 story here.)

The bottom line is that if you paid a red-light ticket of this kind, issued by Gallatin since July 1st, it will be refunded.

Presumably, unpaid tickets will be ignored, since they are invalid.

However, Gallatin Police Department Sargeant Bill Storment cautions: "The law for stopping hasn't changed, and if a police officer sees you making that right on red without stopping, he can still stop and write you a ticket."

Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet are also currently using red-light traffic cameras. In Murfreesboro, the red-light cameras are only used to ticket drivers caught turning right on red at intersections that are clearly marked with "No Turn On Red" signs, which is an allowable enforcement practice under the new law.

Charles Walter
National Motorists Association

Knoxville red-light camera tickets fall sharply because of new state law

By Don Jacobs
September 7, 2011

15 — Knoxville intersections with red-light cameras

4,826 — tickets issued in June

1,308 — tickets issue in July, after law took effect

$1.4 million — ticket collections by city in first three quarters of 2010

$909,769 — ticket collections by city in first three quarters of 2009

KNOXVILLE, TENN. -- Knoxville traffic citations fell 73 percent from June to July as a result of a new state law regulating red-light camera use, figures show.

Beginning July 1, when the law took effect, the Knoxville Police Department stopped issuing $50 violations for improper right turns recorded by cameras at 15 city intersections.

KPD Capt. Gordon Catlett, who oversees the photo enforcement program, said violations decreased from 4,826 in June to 1,308 in July.

Catlett said KPD officers continue issuing violations for drivers captured on camera running straight through a red light or improperly turning left.

Only right turns on red are exempted from the cameras' $50 gaze.

"The real story is going to be in about four months when people realize they don't have to stop before making a right turn and we see an increase in rear-end collisions," Catlett said.

In Farragut, Traffic Enforcement Manager Ben Harkins deemed the new statute "a bad law." Farragut also ceased July 1 issuing $50 right-turn-on-red violations based on camera evidence.

Records show Farragut issued 2,504 red light camera violations in April, May and June, an average of more than 800 violations a month. Farragut has a contract with RedFlex Traffic Systems to provide eight cameras at four intersections.

"We're still sending out more than 300 violations a month on the left turn and straight-through violations," Harkins said Tuesday.

"We have reduced the number of people running red lights," Harkins said. "Now that the public knows we have to have an officer out there to enforce (stopping for righthand turns), we're going to be less safe."

The new law was the result of an outcry across the state about the cameras. Opponents of the devices argued the cameras were merely a revenue generator for cities and had little to do with safety.

Catlett spent time in Nashville testifying against a proposed right-turn-on-red restriction and thought legislators were going to include a grandfather clause that exempted cities from the new law until the old contracts with private vendors expired. Most cities in Tennessee have agreements to split money from the violations with the company that supplies and maintains the cameras.

The final version of the law , however, did not include a grandfather clause, forcing cities across the state to amend policies to comport with the new statute.

"That was a big surprise, especially since I was the one going to Nashville to speak with these legislators," Catlett said.

Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, who got involved in discussions about restricting the cameras, said he also thought the law he voted for included the grandfather clause.

"It was my understanding that it was to have a grandfather clause and I think most of the members voting on it thought so, also," Haynes said Tuesday.

He said he learned from newspaper reports that the grandfather clause didn't make the passed version of the bill, but that didn't sway his support for the bill.

"I would have voted for it even if I knew it didn't have the grandfather clause," Haynes said. "I think people realize we've made a reasonable compromise."

To comply with the law, Catlett said LaserCraft, the company that contracts with Knoxville to provide the cameras, established a special electronic "parking lot" to store images of the now-neutered violation. The right-turn violations stored in the special area disappear in 20 days.

"The reason for that is because civilians can't dismiss a case that by the letter of the law is a violation," Catlett said.

Making a right turn on red before coming to a complete stop remains a traffic violation, but a citation can be issued only if an officer witnesses the infraction.

Knoxville first began using the red light cameras in April 2006. The program grew until 15 intersections were monitored by the devices.

Even before the new law took effect, Catlett said city officials opted to disable the camera posted at the intersection of Chapman Highway and Moody Avenue once the Henley Bridge was closed for construction. A detour route funneled drivers to the intersection of Chapman Highway and Moody.

"We disabled that one because of the detour route that the Tennessee Department of Transportation set up," Catlett said.

The camera, which remains in place, was disabled Jan. 4, he said.

Catlett acknowledged that the camera would have had an increased traffic flow to monitor with the bridge closure.

"But it's not about the money," he said.


Any time someone says "It's not about the money" it's about the money.

end ALL Scammeras NOW

yea well, Prohibition was a stupid law just like these dam cameras

Gordon, please do not refer to us as "civilians", as if you were some sort of occupying soldier or something. We (all) are citizens, and you are a peace officer whose job is to protect and to serve. Thanks.

My husband and I had came to a complete stop and then proceeded through a right turn at one of those red light camera areas. Nowhere did it say at the time that you could not turn on a red light. The photos and everything showed we had stopped and then went. We still got one of those $50 tickets. We avoid those areas now and do not shop in those areas due to that one instance. So for the city to gain money, the businesses in that area lost money. So much for the economy.

is payment of the tickets enforced? i dont think so. No... trust me.

A speed limit sign near traffic cameras in Bluff City. (Press photo/Tony Duncan)

Bluff City shuts down speed cameras after inquires about state law violation

September 14, 2011

BLUFF CITY, TENN. — Bluff City has pulled the plug on its well-known speed cameras for now.

The city had been breaking state law for more than two months by not moving two posted 45 mph signs on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 11E at least one mile away from the devices.

Acting Police Chief Greg DePew, said Wednesday morning the city was going to take action regarding the signs, but he could not say when that might happen.

Later in the day, City Manager Judy Dulaney said the city was “actually in the process of turning off the cameras until we get this solved.”

“The cameras have been turned off, and I’ve sent the public works department out to take the sign down,” she said later Wednesday.

When asked why the city didn’t take the opportunity to make the changes when the law went into effect, Dulaney cited various reasons, including a change in leadership and personnel as well as immediate concerns over speeding and wrecks near a local flea market.

A little fire breathing by two state representatives earlier in the day may or may not have had something to do with Bluff City taking action.

“Every single ticket generated from that — every ticket written since July 1 — should be thrown out,” said State Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough. “Bluff City needs to abide by the law. That money should be returned. The cameras should be turned off immediately until that’s done. And if that’s not done, I will be speaking to the attorney general.”

State Rep. Dale Ford, R-Jonesborough, said if Bluff City did not move the 45 mph signs then “the county mayor (Sullivan County Mayor Steve Godsey) better get to it.”

“If he does not, he’ll be getting a call from the state level, Ford added. “That (the cameras) has nothing to do with people getting killed out there. It’s not about safety; it never has been. It’s about making money.”

State legislation that went into effect on July 1 does not permit traffic enforcement cameras to be placed on public roads and highways unless the reduced speed of 10 mph or more is posted within this parameter. In this case, the speed on the southbound lanes on 11E leading to the cameras is reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph, but the 45 mph sign is posted only three-tenths of a mile from the cameras.

New Red Light Camera Traffic Law Causing Confusion

Aug 22, 2011

GALLATIN, Tenn. - A new state law could very soon have red light camera citations come screeching to a halt. The legislation that took effect July 1 said the cameras can't be used to ticket a driver who fails to come to a complete stop when turning right on red.

In the city of Gallatin, the law has created some confusion.

"The intent of the bill was discussed repeatedly as not affecting agencies that have current contracts, so in other words we'd be grandfathered in," said Sgt. Bill Storment with the Gallatin Police Dept. "We were good to go as far as we knew, to continue enforcement as we had been."

Because the city did not think the new law applied to its red light cameras, 906 right turn citations were mailed out during the month of July.

"August 1st, I received notification from our city attorney that we're not to be processing these right turn violations," said Storment.

He said the city immediately stopped issuing those citations, and began working to track down those drivers who had already paid the $50 fine.

"They said I don't have to worry about it, it's taken care of," said Jules Pomeroy, one of many drivers now due a refund.

"It's an extra $50 I can spend at my store. I'm excited about it."

Storment said the city wasn't intentionally trying to violate the law. Instead, he believes the mix-up stems from a change in the language of the legislation.

"I would find it hard to believe that we were the only agency that interpreted the information the same way," he said.

"Somewhere along the line, the language about being grandfathered in was left out of the bill."

He's also concerned about how the nearly $45,000 in lost revenue will be received by American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based company that maintains the city's cameras.

"I just hope the vendor won't decide it's not worth their while to keep the cameras in," he said.

Drivers, on the other hand, said they won't miss the cameras at all.

"There should be an officer there. Let's take the technology and computers out of the situation for a minute and let's put someone there that can use common sense and good judgement when writing a citation," one driver told NewsChannel 5.

Storment said the department's officers will continue to do just that.

"The law for stopping hasn't changed," he said. "And if a police officer sees you making that right on red without stopping, he can still stop and write you a ticket."

Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet are also currently using red light traffic cameras.

In Clarksville, police officers said they made changes to their system so that they'd be in compliance when the new law took effect.

In Murfreesboro, the red light cameras are only used to ticket drivers caught turning right on red at intersections that are clearly marked with "No Turn On Red" signs.

The Tennessee Attorney General has already weighed in on the issue. In an August 8th opinion, he upheld the constitutionality of the new law, and said it in no way impairs the contracts that exist between cities and traffic camera enforcement companies.


Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-198


Title 55 Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 8 Operation of Vehicles--Rules of the Road
Part 1 Operation of Vehicles -- Rules of the Road

Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-198 (2011)

55-8-198. Citations based on surveillance cameras.

(a) A traffic citation that is based solely upon evidence obtained from a surveillance camera that has been installed to enforce or monitor traffic violations shall be considered a nonmoving traffic violation.

(b) An employee of the applicable law enforcement office shall review video evidence from a traffic light signal monitoring system and make a determination as to whether a violation has occurred. If a determination is made that a violation has occurred, a notice of violation or a citation shall be sent by first class mail to the registered owner of the vehicle that was captured by the traffic light signal monitoring system. A notice of violation or citation shall allow for payment of the traffic violation or citation within thirty (30) days of the mailing of the notice. No additional penalty or other costs shall be assessed for nonpayment of a traffic violation or citation that is based solely on evidence obtained from a surveillance camera installed to enforce or monitor traffic violations, unless a second notice is sent by first class mail to the registered owner of the motor vehicle and the second notice provides for an additional thirty (30) days for payment of the violation or citation.

(c) (1) Effective July 1, 2009, a state agency or political subdivision of the state that installs, owns, operates or maintains a traffic-control signal light located in an intersection that employs a surveillance camera for the enforcement or monitoring of traffic violations shall ensure that:

(A) The surveillance camera does not identify as a violation of § 55-8-110(a)(3), or any municipal law or ordinance that mirrors, substantially duplicates or incorporates by cross-reference the language of § 55-8-110(a)(3), any vehicle that legally entered the intersection during the green or yellow intervals in accordance with § 55-8-110(a)(1) and (2); and

(B) Appropriate signage is located not less than five hundred feet (500') but not more than one thousand feet (1,000') in advance of the intersection informing drivers as to the presence of surveillance cameras at the approaching intersection.

(2) If the state agency or political division of the state violates subdivision (c)(1), then any traffic citation based solely on evidence generated by the surveillance camera shall be deemed to be invalid.

(d) The following vehicles are exempt from receiving a notice of violation:

(1) Emergency vehicles with active emergency lights;

(2) Vehicles moving through the intersection to avoid or clear the way for a marked emergency vehicle;

(3) Vehicles under police escort; and

(4) Vehicles in a funeral procession.

(e) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (e), the registered owner of the motor vehicle shall be responsible for payment of any notice of violation or citation issued as the result of a traffic light monitoring system.

(2) An owner of a vehicle shall not be responsible for the violation if, on or before the designated court date, the owner furnishes the court an affidavit stating the name and address of the person or entity that leased, rented or otherwise had care, custody or control of the motor vehicle at the time of the violation.

(3) If a motor vehicle or its plates were stolen at the time of the alleged violation, the registered owner must provide an affidavit denying the owner was an operator and provide a certified copy of the police report reflecting such theft.

(4) An affidavit alleging theft of a motor vehicle or its plates must be provided by the registered owner of a vehicle receiving a notice of violation within thirty (30) days of the mailing date of the notice of violation.

(f) No surveillance cameras shall be permitted on federal interstate highways except for Smart Way cameras, other intelligent transportation system cameras or, when employees of the department or construction workers are present, surveillance cameras used to enforce or monitor traffic violations within work zones designated by the department of transportation; provided, that the cameras shall be operated only by a state entity.

HISTORY: Acts 2008, ch. 962, § 1; 2009, ch. 389, §§ 1, 2.

TN Rules of Civil Procedure


Rule 4.01: Summons; Issuance; By Whom Served; Sanction for Delay.

(1) Upon the filing of the complaint the clerk of the court wherein the complaint is filed shall forthwith issue the required summons and cause it, with necessary copies of the complaint and summons, to be delivered for service to any person authorized to serve process. This person shall serve the summons, and the return endorsed thereon shall be proof of the time and manner of service. A summons may be issued for service in any county against any defendant, and separate or additional summonses may be issued against any defendant upon request of plaintiff. Nothing in this rule shall affect existing laws with respect to venue.

(2) A summons and complaint may be served by any person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. The process server must be identified by name and address on the return.

(3) If a plaintiff or counsel for plaintiff (including third-party plaintiffs) intentionally causes delay of prompt issuance of a summons or prompt service of a summons, filing of the complaint (or third-party complaint) is ineffective.

[Amended by order filed December 10, 2003; effective July 1, 2004.]

Rule 4.03: Summons; Return.

(1) The person serving the summons shall promptly make proof of service to the court and shall identify the person served and shall describe the manner of service. If a summons is not served within 90 days after its issuance, it shall be returned stating the reasons for failure to serve. The plaintiff may obtain new summonses from time to time, as provided in Rule 3, if any prior summons has been returned unserved or if any prior summons has not been served within 90 days of issuance.

(2) When process is served by mail, the original summons, endorsed as below; an affidavit of the person making service setting forth the person's compliance with the requirements of this rule; and, the return receipt shall be sent to and filed by the clerk. The person making service shall endorse over his or her signature on the original summons the date of mailing a certified copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint to the defendant and the date of receipt of return receipt from the defendant. If the return receipt is signed by the defendant, or by person designated by Rule 4.04 or by statute, service on the defendant shall be complete. If not, service by mail may be attempted again or other methods authorized by these rules or by statute may be used.

TN AG: Constituton Not Violated If Traffic Camera Operators Lose Money Under New Law

A new state law regulating traffic enforcement cameras apparently does not unconstitutionally impair current contracts with camera operators, even though it may reduce their revenue, according to Attorney General Bob Cooper.

Two state legislators said a question had been raised because some contracts were based on "an understanding that a minimum number of traffic citations would be based on right-turn-on-red violations, according to the opinion made public today.

The opinion cautions that no specific contract was provided for evaluation with the questions posed by Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, and Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, sponsors of the new law now known as Public Chapter 425.

But as a general proposition, the opinion says the new law "should withstand constitutional scrutiny."

Both the state and federal constitutions prohibit enactment of laws that impair existing contracts and "several local governments" have executed contracts with vendors to install and maintain traffic camera systems.

Among new restrictions imposed by the new law is a ban on issuing tickets for right turns on red lights unless the intersection is clearly marked with a "no turn on red" sign.

The Cooper opinion says that courts have allow laws that impact existing contracts if the law is "remedial in nature" and/or involves exercise of a state's police power.


PO BOX 20207

August 8, 2011
Opinion No. 11-61

Constitutionality of Restrictions on Use of Unmanned Traffic Enforcement Cameras


Whether Chapter 425 of the 2011 Tennessee Public Acts is defensible against a challenge that it unconstitutionally impairs the obligations of contracts.


Yes. The opinion request received by the Office states that, prior to the passage of Public Chapter 425, several local governments executed contracts with vendors to install and maintain traffic enforcement camera systems to assist the local governments in the issuance of traffic citations. The local governments under these contracts would pay a certain percentage of revenues from all traffic citations issued by the traffic enforcement camera system. Per the opinion request, there was an understanding that a minimum number of traffic citations would be based on right-turn-on-red violations. Although this Office has not been provided with a particular contract against which to measure the impact of Chapter 425, compelling arguments can be made that Chapter 425 does not unlawfully impair any contractual relationship. Such arguments include that the passage of Chapter 425 is remedial in nature, represents a legitimate exercise of the State‟s police power, and is reasonable in relation to its purpose.


Effective July 1, 2011, Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-198 was amended as follows:

(g) Prior to implementation of any new unmanned traffic enforcement camera used to enforce or monitor traffic violations, the local governing body shall conduct a traffic engineering study for the area being considered. The study shall follow standard engineering practices as determined by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and shall be stamped by a professional engineer specializing in traffic engineering and licensed to practice in this state. A vendor of traffic enforcement camera systems shall not be allowed to conduct the traffic engineering study, or to participate in the selection of such traffic engineer, to document the need for a traffic enforcement camera.

(h) No citation shall be issued based solely upon evidence obtained from a traffic enforcement camera that has been installed to enforce or monitor traffic violations of § 55-8-110(a)(3), or any municipal law or ordinance that mirrors, substantially duplicates or incorporates by cross-reference the language of § 55-8-110(a)(3), unless the evidence collected shows the target vehicle with its front tire or tires before the stop line when the signal is red, and subsequently shows the same vehicle with its rear tire or tires past the stop line while the signal is red.

(i) A traffic enforcement camera system may be used to issue a traffic citation for an unlawful right turn on a red signal at an intersection that is clearly marked by a “No Turn on Red” sign erected by the responsible municipal or county government in the interest of traffic safety in accordance with § 55-8-110(a)(3)(A). Any other traffic citation for failure to make a complete stop at a red signal before making a permitted right turn as provided by § 55-8-110(a)(3)(A) that is based solely upon evidence obtained from an unmanned traffic enforcement camera shall be deemed invalid.

(j) No more than one (1) citation shall be issued for each distinct and separate traffic offense in violation of a municipal ordinance or a traffic offense as provided in this Chapter 8.

(k) A traffic citation that is based solely upon evidence obtained from an unmanned traffic enforcement camera shall be deemed invalid if the registration information of the motor vehicle for which such traffic citation is issued is not consistent with the evidence recorded by such enforcement camera.

(l) Unmanned traffic enforcement cameras that monitor speed shall not be permitted on any public road or highway within one (1) mile of a reduction of speed limits on such public road or highway of ten miles per hour (10 mph) or greater. Provided, this subsection shall not apply to unmanned traffic enforcement cameras within the designated distance of a marked school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation.

2011 Tenn. Pub. Acts, ch. 425 (to be codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-198(g)-(l)).

In essence, Chapter 425 places additional restrictions on how unmanned traffic enforcement cameras may be used as evidence to support the issuance of a traffic citation.

Since this Office has not been provided with a copy of any contract that might be affected by the passage of Chapter 425, we cannot provide a definitive answer to the question presented given that claims that a legislative enactment unconstitutionally impairs the obligation of contracts are necessarily fact-intensive. Cf., e.g., Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power & Light Co., 459 U.S. 400, 411 (1983) (“The severity of the impairment is said to increase the level of scrutiny to which the legislation will be subjected”); Von Hoffman v. City of Quincy, 71 U.S. 535, 554 (1866) (“Every case must be determined upon its own circumstances.”).

Nevertheless, based on the information set forth in the opinion request, this Office finds compelling arguments exist to support the position that the passage of Chapter 425 does not unlawfully impair any contractual relationship. The Tennessee Constitution and the Constitution of the United States both prohibit laws that impair the obligation of a contract. U.S. Const., Art. I, § 10, cl. 1; Tenn. Const., Art. I, § 20. The threshold inquiry under federal and state law is whether the challenged law has, in fact, operated as a substantial impairment of a contractual relationship. Energy Reserves Group, 459 U.S. at 411. The obligations of a contract are impaired by a law that renders them invalid, or releases or extinguishes them. Home Bldg. & Loan Ass’n v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 431 (1934). As the Tennessee Supreme Court recently recognized, a retrospective substantive legal change may not “take away or impair vested rights acquired under existing laws or create a new obligation, impose a new duty, or attach a new disability in respect of transactions or considerations already passed.” Estate of Bell v. Shelby County Health Care Corp., 318 S.W.3d 823, 829 (Tenn. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).

It is equally well established under federal and state law that a contract is not unlawfully impaired by the retrospective application of laws that are remedial in nature. Remedial legislation is intended to adjust the means or methods whereby a cause of action may be effectuated, wrongs redressed, and relief obtained. See Caudill v. Foley, 21 S.W.3d 203, 208 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999) (citing Doe v Sundquist, 943 F. Supp. 886, 893 (M.D. Tenn. 1996), aff’d, 106 F.3d 702 (6th Cir. 1997)).

Federal and state law further recognize that all contracts are subject to be interfered with, or otherwise affected by, subsequent statutes that are enacted in the government‟s bona fide exercise of its police power. Energy Reserves Group, 459 U.S. at 411; Profill Development, Inc. v. Dills, 960 S.W.2d 17, 33 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997); see also Shields v. Clifton Hill Land Co., 28 S.W. 668, 674 (Tenn. 1894) (stating that the contract clause of the Tennessee Constitution “does not inhibit retrospective laws made in furtherance of the police power of the state”). The police power “is an exercise of the sovereign right of the government to protect the lives, health, morals, comfort, and general welfare of the people, and is paramount to any rights under contracts between individuals.” Home Bldg. and Loan Ass’n, 290 U.S. at 437.

The enactment of Public Chapter 425 is both remedial in nature and a legitimate exercise of Tennessee‟s police power. Initially, Chapter 425 does not, by its terms, change the rights or responsibilities of the vendors with respect to any contract. Chapter 425 instead merely alters the rules of evidence to determine when a person has violated the traffic laws of Tennessee. The Legislature‟s changing of the rules of evidence is remedial in nature, and does not impair the vendors‟ contracts with local government. As the Tennessee Supreme Court recognized in Brewer v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., 490 S.W.2d 506 (Tenn. 1973):

It must be evident that the right to have one‟s controversies determined by existing rules of evidence is not a vested right. These rules pertain to the remedies which the state provides for its citizens, and, generally in legal contemplation, they neither enter into and constitute a part of any contract, nor can they be regarded as being of the essence of any right which a party may seek to enforce. Like other rules affecting the remedy, they must, therefore, at all times be subject to modification and control by the legislature; and the changes which are enacted may lawfully be made applicable to existing causes of action, even in those states in which retrospective laws are forbidden.

. . . .

Courts of high authority have held that mere rules of evidence do not form part of contracts entered into while they are in force, and that it is competent for the legislature to, from time to time, change the rules of evidence, and to make such change applicable to existing causes of action.

Brewer, 490 S.W.2d at 511 (quoting Marx v. Hanthorn, 148 U.S. 172, 181 (1893)).

Chapter 425 only changes the circumstances under which valid traffic citations may be sustained upon evidence obtained from unmanned traffic enforcement cameras and thus, as a remedial act, should withstand constitutional scrutiny. In any event, while Chapter 425 might arguably diminish the income received under a revenue-sharing agreement by reducing the number of traffic citations issued, any expected revenue stream was always necessarily contingent on the citizens of the State violating the law in certain numbers. That contingency tends to suggest that the parties have no “vested right” in a particular level of revenue.

Finally, notwithstanding the remedial nature of Chapter 425, the existence of pervasive State regulation on the subject of the operation of motor vehicles would likewise suggest that the vendors entered their contracts knowing that regulatory change was foreseeable, see Energy Reserves Group, 459 U.S. at 416, and hence that their reasonable expectations have not been defeated by the enactment of Public Chapter 425. Traffic enforcement is, in general, a matter within the police power. See, e.g., Sproles v. Binford, 286 U.S. 374, 379 (1932) (“Contracts which relate to the use of the highways must be deemed to have been made in contemplation of the regulatory authority of the state.”). Chapter 425 does not favor one vendor over another, nor does it favor local governments at the expense of the vendors (since both parties might lose income under a revenue-sharing agreement). Rather, Chapter 425 would appear to favor motorists who are charged with misconduct. It enhances their ability to confront a live witness, instead of photographic evidence, at any contested hearing on the matter. Moreover, by restricting the use of unmanned traffic enforcement cameras to intersections that are “clearly marked by a „No Turn on Red‟ sign,” Chapter 425 provides motorists better notice of when their conduct is likely to result in sanction. These considerations—each of which relates to notions of fairness in the administration of the law—amount to “significant and legitimate state interests.” Energy Reserves Group 459 U.S. at 416. The means chosen to implement these purposes would further appear likely to survive a reasonableness challenge. The State does not seek to “simply walk away from its financial obligations,” id. at 412 n.14, by the enactment of Chapter 425, but rather to impose conditions upon which traffic citations may be issued, when it is free either to proscribe or not to proscribe the underlying conduct of its citizens.

Although we again emphasize that it is impossible to determine the extent—if any—to which Chapter 425 adjusts the rights and responsibilities of contracting parties in the absence of a particular contract, we are of the opinion that Chapter 425 is defensible against a claim that it violates the contract clauses of the Tennessee or United States Constitutions.

Attorney General and Reporter

Associate Solicitor General

Assistant Attorney General

Requested by:

The Honorable Richard Floyd
State Representative
Suite G-24 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243

The Honorable Jim Tracy
State Senator
Suite 2, Legislative Plaza
Nashville, Tennessee 37243

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hit-and-run trucker arrested for firey truck crash on I40

Hi-res stringer video download





UPDATE: Tractor-trailer driver arrested, may be charged for I-40 crash, fire -- But no arrest, no charges for trucker who murdered biker on the Dragon Heck, Knoxville even renamed I-140 to honor the convicted hit-and-run killer of a biker tourist.

Update: One WB lane reopened following fiery I-40 crash

KNOXVILLE, TENN. -- One westbound lane of I-40 near the Watt Road exit was re-opened late Tuesday night following a tractor trailer crash that sent three people to the hospital. All eastbound lanes were open.

THP troopers said after the two tractor trailers crashed around 6:30 p.m. Debris from one of the vehicles hit a separate pick-up truck that was driving nearby. One tractor trailer caught fire as a result of the crash.

Ambulances took three people to hospitals; the driver of one of the tractor trailers and two in the truck were taken to UT Medical Center.

At last check-- two patients were in critical condition and one was stable condition.

Meanwhile, troopers were looking for a white tractor trailer with a red "M" on it that may be responsible for the accident.

"He did go westbound at last sight. We did have some witnesses and they're working with troopers on scene right now," said THP trooper Sgt. Randall Martin.

While crews were dealing with the crash, drivers were dealing with a large traffic back-up that included I-40 as well as Kingston Pike, since drivers were trying to avoid the mess on the interstate.

"We were sitting there for about half an hour and then people started coming back, the other way in the breakdown lane to get out and find another route," said driver Jeff Nation.

THP is investigating this crash. No word if the other tractor trailer has been found.

Update 8:30 pm I-40 is still shut down west of Watt Road as crews work to put out and clean up after a fiery crash. Traffic is being diverted off the interstate onto Kingston Pike and Pellissippi Parkway.

According to Kim Sepesi with Rural/Metro, they received a report of a semi hitting a truck and turning over at 6:31 pm.

The Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to help extricate at least one victim from the wreckage. Three patients were transported to the hospital, there is no word on their conditions, though one of them was a burn victim.

Update 7:25 pm: According to Sgt Randall Martin with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the crash involved a tractor trailer that may have been hauling salt and a passenger vehicle. At least one patient was pinned in the wreckage, which did catch fire. The accident also took out a portion of the retaining wall at the 370.2 mile marker.

Previous story

All lanes of Interstate 40 east of Watt Road are closed because of a tractor trailer accident.

The accident was reported at 6:30 pm in the westbound lanes. According to TDOT's website, there is a fire associated with the accident. Smoke could be seen rising from the scene of the accident.

Knox County dispatchers say they have no word on any injuries, but UT's Lifestar medical helicopter has been sent to the scene, as well as several ambulances.

Traffic is backed up in both directions. Westbound interstate traffic is being diverted on to Watt Road and to Kingston Pike.

A 10News viewer, Kelly White of Greenback, witnessed the accident and sent in a picture. He says "The truck burst into flames as soon as it hit the median, which happened right in front of me. I pray the driver is ok."

See also:

THP Hit and Run Video: Fiery crash shuts down I-40/75 at Watt Road

Driver of rig involved in fiery I-40/75 crash found in Crab Orchard

KNOXVILLE, TENN. -- A North Carolina truck driver is charged in connection with the fiery crash that shut down Interstate 40/75 on Tuesday night and sent three people to area hospitals.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol identified the suspect Wednesday as Eugene Moore, 42, of Charlotte, N.C., who is being held in Knox County in lieu of $5,000 bond on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injury, according to jail records.

Other charges are pending, said THP Sgt. Randall Martin.

Moore was found at a Cumberland County rest stop about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, some three hours after the crash near Watt Road. A trooper spotted damage to Moore's rig that was consistent with witnesses' descriptions, Martin said.

The Tuesday crash occurred when Moore allegedly sideswiped another westbound tractor-trailer on I-40/75, said THP Lt. Jessie Brooks.

"Apparently, they made contact, forcing one truck into the retaining wall," Brooks said. "The guy stopped, saw what kind of a mess he'd caused and got back in and drove off."

The rig carrying salt "was fully engulfed in flames," said Brooks, and closed all lanes of the interstate in both directions for more than an hour.

The driver of the burning rig was able to escape the wreckage [with help from other truckers], but he suffered severe burns, Brooks said. The unidentified driver was flown to Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville, where he was listed Wednesday in critical condition.

Debris from the wreckage also struck a passing pickup truck, injuring both its occupants, authorities said. Brandon Tiner, age unavailable, was listed in critical condition at the University of Tennessee Medical Center on Wednesday. His passenger, Melissa Piet, age unavailable, was listed in stable condition. Both are from Richmond, Va.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Banner of Truth in Blount County

Sheriff B Wrong ejects all citizens from secret budget conspiracy meetings

Here's the PDF for August's Banner FREE for all.

Banner of Truth is available for 25-cents from local outlets.

Listen to the Banner of Truth Radio Show Mon.- Fri. 4-5 pm and call in at 865-983-0891 or listen on your cellphone at 760-569-7754. Live stream at www.TruthRadio.TV.

Published by WBCR 1470 am
Alcoa, Tennessee

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ian Hutchinson crash interview at Isle of Men

Full 1-hour interview with 5-time/day IOMTT winner on HD Theater on Direct TV, with gruesome video of his Frankenleg. Holy crap, I've crashed on that same corner at Silverstone.

Excellent example of how to correctly apply contract law, when Hutch refused to sign the medical waiver to allow docs to saw his leg off. Even while doped to the gills, he kept crossing out the line that gave permission to amputate.

While he didn't race in 2011, 2012 is a probability.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Governor Rick Perry arrest video


Rick Perry likes little boys

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trucker murders another biker on the Dragon

NO TICKET FOR TRUCKER: Triumph RAT Ike Woodard KIA by truck blocking both lanes on the Dragon (yes we drive on the right in USA). See Fatality Map and Topo Map. Note gouges in pavement where truck dragged bike from corner apex. Northbound lane of truck is fed jurisdiction, southbound lane of bike is state jurisdiction, truck crashed in both jurisdictions. Click to enlarge photo by Iva Butler on front page of Maryville Daily Times 3 Aug 2011.


UPDATE OCTOBER 2011: The 48-foot truck that murdered Ike Woodard was illegally on the Dragon in Tennessee, after passing illegally through North Carolina which has a ban on trucks over 30-feet long
"I have seen the accident report. Ike was in his own lane, struck the trailer axle (Axle 4), and was run over by Axle 5 as was the bike. He was charged with nothing...not speeding, not left of center, not failure to maintain....nothing. "Driver's first action: None" According to the report, charges were "pending" for the trucker as the report is dated Aug 6th, 2011. It mentions "Driver's first action: Failure to keep proper lane" and "Driver's second action: Failure to Observe Warnings or Instructions. It... is... already.... illegal..... for... through.... trucks... with.... trailers.... over.... 30'.... feet.. .. to use.... the... sections.... of.... US129.... or.... NC28 in NC..... that.... leads.... them.... to.... "the Dragon." That... also.... makes.... it... illegal... for... trucks... to... come.... INTO... NC... on... US129 or NC28. That part of the discussion is decided and over. Period. Trucks cannot use that highway legally in either direction unless southbound rigs are turning around at the state line and buying their dragon sticker in Tennessee. Period."
-Creekdevil, ETR, drivin thru the Gap in a Road truck... 27 August 2011 -- NCDOT Truck Ban on the Dragon

"Heard one cruiser rider got a ticket on the Dragon for crossing the double yellow. He wasn't passing .... just cut one of the corners. THP will ticket you for such offenses if they see it. Also heard of some nasty tactics in north Georgia. Slow van pulls out in front of bikers, lets them pass on double yellow, and then radios ahead to have officers stop and ticket. Isn't there enough crime to chase without this BS !!, August 21, 2011 [Dragonater Note: Equal Protection doctrine under TN and US Constitutions requires immediate dismissal of all biker tickets for crossing a centerline, since a trucker was given immunity for killing a biker on the Dragon]

UPDATE: As of 23 August 2011, NO criminal charges have been filed in Blount County courts against Robert "Bobby" Coleman, the truck driver who crossed the centerline and completely blocked both lanes on US129 and murdered biker Dwight "Ike" Woodard on the Dragon. The crash report is classified Top Secret by THP, with public access banned (to protect the guilty and increase insurance profits). Anyone may appear to testify to a grand jury without approval of the attorney general, and anyone may contact a grand jury foreman (usually by mail) to provide evidence outside of a grand jury hearing.

Notice of Grand Jury Meeting (T.C.A. 40-12-105)

"It is the duty of your Grand Jurors to investigate any public offense which they know or have reason to believe has been committed and which is triable or indictable in this county. Any person having knowledge or proof that such an offense has been committed may apply to testify before the grand jury subject to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated. The foreman in this county is presently: Penny Piper."

"The grand jury will next meet on Monday, the 12th day of September, 2011, at the Blount County Justice Center in Maryville, Tennessee at 9:00 a.m. You may be prosecuted for perjury for any oral or written statement which you make under oath to the grand jury, when you know the statement to be false, and when the statement touches on a matter material to the point in question."

Tom Hatcher
Circuit Court Clerk

Note: The next Grand Jury will meet on Monday, the 3rd day of October, 2011.

Note that Blount County circuit court clerk Tom Hatcher illegally banned notice of grand jury meetings, until the Dragonater filed felony charges against him for doing so. The Dragonater had filed felony and misdemeanor charges in general sessions court against a Blount deputy caught on his own dashcam perping 6 traffic crimes in 30 seconds. The Dragonater won dismissal of that case, despite "losing" the probable cause hearing in sessions court and being bound over to the grand jury.

MARYVILLE, TENN. -- Even though the truck was completely blocking both lanes, the victim's family might only recover a verdict or settlement against the trucking company and driver if their lawyer can prove the speed limit on the Dragon is 65 mph. A TN Open Records Act Request must be filed immediately with TDOT in Strawberry Plains, for proof the mandatory Traffic Engineering Speed Audit does not exist, thus the 30 mph speed limit defaults to 65 mph as required by TN Code. Thus there is no contributory negligence by the deceased victim. Under TN law, if a victim is more than 50% at fault, there shall be no recovery of financial damages. Which is why the trucking company will try to settle very quickly for pennies on the dollar.

Rural Metro ambulance taxi service may also be legally liable, if they pulled another 4-hour "rescue". RM is so slow even Blount County deputies are loading crash victims into police cars at Deals Gap.

Actually, truckers cannot be lawfully sued/arrested/ticketed by police for crossing the centerline on the Dragon, under the legal defense of "necessity". It's 100% impossible for long trucks to not cross the centerline in 100% of 318 curves in 11 miles on the Dragon. When trucks are not banned by law from the Dragon (de facto immunity), then no other drivers/riders can be lawfully sued/arrested/ticketed for the same "crime" on the Dragon, under Equal Protection doctrine in the U.S. and TN Constitutions.

How do you REALLY solve the killer truck problem at Deals Gap? You BAN them under penalty of arrest, as the Dragonator told TDOT during its Dragon Safety Survey (that only banned bikers businesses from the Dragon).

Yes, tractor trailers have killed at least 2 and decapitated at least 1 biker on the Dragon. Ike is not the first biker killed by a tractor trailer on the Dragon. The parts manager of Honda of Alcoa was riding with his cousin who hit a truck blocking his lane on US129 at Deals Gap, underride style, killing him instantly. This was before TOTD made their Death Map.

Isn't Ike the 3rd biker killed on the Dragon in 2011, despite the Police State and 4-hour ambulance taxi service? BTW cops never carry first responder gear and never provide first aid to crash victims. They just stand around and try to arrest people, or shoot them to death.

RIP Ike Woodard

SIGN THE PETITION for Ike's Law: Restrict use of US Highway 129 to Non-Commercial Vehicles - Commercial trucks are already banned from federal jurisdiction in National Parks on Foothills Parkway in Blount County and US441 in Sevier County. Foothills has no 180-degree switchback hairpins, 441 has hairpins and tunnels but is still a much faster road than the Dragon.

"As most of you probably heard, we lost a good one last week...Dewight "Ike" Woodard. He was a regular from Nashville with a wife and two young daughters. The incident was the result of impact with a semi, and the wheels are finally in motion to get something done about this problem...for now there is a petition up here that you can sign if you haven't already. May not do much, so don't let it lull you into thinking "I've done my part.", there may be more work needed soon, but this is a start. And I want to take a moment to say thank you for not making it a distraction in an already tricky turn…probably one of the trickiest. (Lori got hit there head-on by a biker who lost it and blew out into the other lane.) You can't really see the memorial from the road, and I think that's a safer way of doing it."
-Killboy Weekly Update - August 10, 2011

"I run a trucking company in Virginia and I will tell you that what you are saying is far from what would happen. I don't know a single trucking owner or manager who would want their trucks on 129, not even once, much less would they fight for them to be on 129. The more likely scenario is that if the driver were caught over the line on 129 once he would be counselled, caught twice he would fired. A 48 or 53 ft tractor trailer cannot be on 129 without breaking the law by crossing the yellow line and crossing it often. From the look on the drivers faces who I have guided through there, they will not be trying it again. Trucking companies would not fight to keep 129 open to trucks. They would probably want to kick their driver's butt for being on 129 at all."
-Gap News

"Maybe so, but our local usual ConWay driver kind of braggs about having run the Hill, spouts a "no harm, no foul" line. I tend to think running over motorcyclists, running folks off the road, and generally causing chaos represents a foul, but he didn't agree. I suppose there's a divergence of opinion. The last time I had an issue I'd have been willing to torch the rig on the spot. Couldn't get out of my truck - the trailer tire was about 10" outside my window. And I didn't have any lane or shoulder left. I'm surprised there's not serious violence over this nonsense."
-Gap News

"Each State establishes the operating rules that determine which vehicles are allowed on the Interstate highways under their jurisdiction. Most States do not allow bicyclists on the Interstate shoulders, but bicycle use is permitted in some States, particularly in the west where there is less traffic and where good alternative routes may not exist for bicycles. Determining if bicycle access should be permitted is done only after careful study and consideration of how bicyclists and motor vehicle traffic can safely negotiate on- and off-ramps. The safety of all roadway users must be considered. In addition, some Interstate highways, mainly in urban areas, have been built with bicycle paths."
-US Dept. of Transportation, Federal Highway Adminstration, FAQ

TOTD Trucks Gone Wild on the Dragon - "OKAY ...... IT IS TIME TO BAN 18 WHEELERS ON THE DRAGON. Ike Woodard died on the Dragon when a flat bed big rig completely entered his lane in a curve. We have been fighting for years telling officials this was going to happen. The best we got were a couple of signs that truckers pay no attention to. These big rigs should be required to have front and rear escorts if they do have to cross US 129 and they should be limited to early morning or late afternoon. Want to see what we've been posting? Also look at the bottom of this front page ..... FLAT BEDS IN THE ONCOMING LANE. It's time for Tennessee and North Carolina to act !!!!"

Death at Deal's Gap -

Was target fixation and failure to countersteer part of the problem?

The Dragonater under arrest for allegedly crossing the centerline on Foothills Parkway in Blount County, where commercial trucks are banned. Park ranger Keith Gad admittedly perped the crime of crossing the centerline at high speed without the mandatory emergency lights and siren on as required for immunity under TN Code, then Gad destroyed his video and audio evidence, none of which showed any crime by the Dragonater.

If trucks want immunity to cross the centerline on the Dragon, they should be required to hire their own warning vehicle to precede them with flashing lights and orange flags. I'm currently appealing a 4-year-old bike ticket for allegedly crossing the centerline on Foothills, this week I file my appeal with the US Supreme Court. The lower court alleged cops can always cross the centerline and break every other law known to man, then destroy all video/audio evidence and ignore rules of court. The feds claim feds and truckers never have to obey traffic laws.

This is how bikers get decapitated at Deals Gap

"Yes, it was one of them. Dwight "Ike" Woodard. Always smiling and in love with riding. He and his group were down to memorialize the passing of their buddy at the Gap last year. Dwight was killed a year and a day after his friend. He and his lady rode two up quite a bit. Fortunately they weren't this particular morning. The rig ran over him. His buddies at the scene said he was conscious and alert albeit in a lot of pain. They were clearly in shock and had no idea how badly he was injured. The helicopter diverted from UT to Blount Memorial in the air. Sad day on the Hill."
-Gap News

"If he would of come back to the camper after his first run, I would of been on the back of that bike. God I miss that man so much. He was my everything."
-Twincult, Gap News

"This is Lacy, Ike's wife although never married we looked at each other as being gods children and as we lived together we shared the same respect for each other as those should do when they are married. Ike was the love of my life. I was there laying with him after the crash and held onto his hand talking to him telling him I loved him repeatedly. His spirit lives on in most of us and he will live on in me till the day I die. One day I will be back to that road, but until then he will be riding that road in the clouds above passing everyone up and laughing while doing it. Not many could pass us up on that road but when they did we both enjoyed trying to safely keep up. Thanks everyone for the time of our lives on that road."
-A memorial for fallen rider Ike Woodard

"Kristy and I passed through the accident scene several times. I was trying to use all the reference points painted on the road to imagine if, given the same circumstances, I could have avoided Ike's fate. At 37MPH on the Futura two-up, hard braking from where the surveyors said Ike gained a sight line on the truck, it was impossible to avoid the spot in the road the investigation said the trailer tires were. I likely set up for that decreasing radius turn a little differently than Ike did, but still, I would have been under that trailer, too. If I would have been cooking it on the Gixxer, it would have been even worse. So, let me ask you (all). Which is the bigger danger, a truck in the wrong corner at 37MPH or a cop in the wrong corner at 37MPH? And go ahead and tell me I was speeding."
-Gap News

"Just got back from chilhowee dam fishing. first a bcso went flying by, then about 10 to 15 minutes later here came the ambulance. another 15 to 20 minutes and i hear and see lifestar coming in on it's circular path to make it's landing. hopefully it was no-one from here. he was alive when they put him in the bird. got some video of lifestar lifting off from the phone as well. The man that went down was a guy from Indiana just passing through with his two brothers. He lost control and crossed into the oncoming lane and was hit head on by a dodge RAM pickup. It was the same turn where Ike was killed. Sti_guy and I were one of the first ones on the scene. Not that I needed another reminder, but it took about an hour and a half between the time the guy crashed and the ambulance was leaving not to mention the drive to the chopper and the flight. 20 leo on foothilis."
-Gap News

Friends of Ike on the Dragon

Crash on ‘Dragon’ claims biker after motorcycle collides with tractor-trailer

By Iva Butler
Maryville Daily Times

A motorcyclist died of injuries he suffered Wednesday morning when his bike collided with a flatbed tractor-trailer on a section of U.S. 129 known as “The Dragon.”

The accident was reported at 9:42 a.m. near Mile Marker 3 on “The Dragon,” which runs from Tab Cat Creek Bridge to the North Carolina line. Lifestar was called to fly the severely-injured motorcyclist to University of Tennessee Medical Center, but he did not survive the injuries, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher.

The name of the victim was being withheld Wednesday pending notification of family.

Motorcyclist Glenn Shilenberg, of Amburn, Pa., told a reporter he witnessed the crash, saying, “The trailer tires were on the other side of the white line.”

The motorcycle, which was traveling south, came around a curve three miles from the North Carolina line and encountered the northbound tractor-trailer. The back wheels of the trailer were over the white line on the motorcyclist’s side of the roadway, Shilenberg said.

“The poor guy didn’t stand a chance,” he said.

Motorcyclists who were riding with the man said he was from Tennessee, but did not know what city.

A logo on the driver’s side door identified the tractor as belonging to Thom’s Transport Co. in Blackbear, Ga.

On Wednesday afternoon a Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher confirmed troopers were investigating a fatality on The Dragon.

THP officers were still conducting the investigation Wednesday and could not be reached.

Also responding to the scene Wednesday morning were Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service.

99 Comments (Dragonater comment censored by Daily Times owned and edited by Knoxville News Sentinel (a member of Bohemian Grove homosexual nudist compound performing snuff kiddie porn to Satan)

This sucks. They really NEED to ban tractor trailers from that stretch of road. The picture shows everything you need to know. Why is it ok for the truck to take up THAT MUCH OF THE ROAD in an area where there are so many blind corners? And for those that don't know the area, it's very clearly marked that trucks should consider other routes, but they need to ban them entirely.

The problem for truckers not familiar with the Dragon is the maps don't show all the turns and once they get into it, there is nowhere to turn around. NC and TN need to post signs banning anything larger that a box truck from the Dragon.

Yes, this needs to be a wakeup call to ban tractor trailers off this road. It is much too dangerous as you can read many stories like this.

Tractor trailer trucks should not be allowed on that road.

The damn tractor trailer has no business being on that road! Throw the book at him, as he was over the white line! They do need to ban the jerks with tractor trailers that try to do the Dragon! It's just stupidity!

I rode the Dragon a couple years ago. It is virtually impossible to drive a tractor-trailer through there. And, they have signs at both ends telling trucks not to enter. don't see how anything larger than a pickup truck could navigate that road.

I know, I rode it in '04. It is impossible, but they still think they're cool and do it! Cause no one has barred them yet. On, there's a blue tractor...with trailer that jacknifed on there. Not sure what year, wanna say '06-'07???

As a truck driver, I agree. Trucks should be prohibited from the Dragon.
My condolences to his friends and family.

I've done the Dragon 4 times on different bikes but have almost always come around a curve with a truck or a pickup pulling a trailer on my side of the double yellow line. Therefor I ride on the inside line next to the curve. You can't go as fast but you are safe.

Rip ike. U were such a joy 2 b around& a great friend 2 us all.

See also:

Crash on 'The Dragon' kills motorcyclist - Let the biker bashing begin at Knoxville News Sentinel Police State Lovefest, where Free Speech and the Dragonater are banned forever. No mention that the truck was blocking both lanes, no crash photo of course, despite KNS owning the Maryville Daily Times. Typical lies that trucks cannot be banned from US highways, when trucks are already banned from federal jurisdiction in Blount County on Foothills Parkway and on US441 in Sevier County.

I'm Dwight's daughter, and he was a motorcyclist with 30+ years of experience. There should have never been a tractor trailer on The Dragon. It was definitely the truck's fault, it crossed into the other lane. This happened while his club took its annual trip to Deal's Gap. He was alone when the wreck happened.

So my post that included Youtube videos of tractor trailers crossing the center median on 129 was removed by the site staff (I'm assuming because they had a link to another website). That being said, you can go on the internet and find several videos of people driving tractor trailers on the dragon and crossing the center line. These trucks should not be allowed on this road. It is not physically possible for them to negotiate the turns without crossing over into oncoming traffic.

Technically, if he crossed over the center line and hit the rider...he committed vehicluar homicide. Vehicular homicide (also known as vehicular manslaughter) involves death that results from the negligent operation of a vehicle, or more so a result from driving while committing an unlawful act that does not amount to a felony. Crossing double yellow lines is an unlawful act that is not a felony.

I enjoy visiting & photographing the dragon whenever I’m home for vacations. Most bikers I witness are cautious and not driving recklessly. . I have experienced far more rude and reckless truckers than motorcyclist. The highway is clearly posted with signs warning trucks to use alternate route. But since most 18 wheelers believe they “own” the road, and can do anything they want, they ignore it. I hope the truck driver is charged with manslaughter for killing this biker.

Traveling at less than 10mph I doubt this tractor-trailer suddenly lurched across the highway immediately in front of the rider. The Last Clear Chance doctrine may apply here. Fortunately for the rider's family; the accident occurred in Tennessee rather than North Carolina. (a Contributory Negligence state) If in NC, there would likely be enough evidence already deny a liability claim and lawsuit triumph. In Tennessee, the family will have more of a chance to collect.

I wrote a research paper on motorcycle deaths and it was the older than 45 group who died at a ratio of 3.7/1 over the younger riders. Even scarier is the fact that the accident related deaths were single vehicle deaths with no other vehicles involved. You would think it was kids on crotch rockets dying but it is the people riding touring bikes that are dying at a much higher rate. These numbers are over all and not related to the Dragon's Tail. Here is a webiste I found on deaths on the Dragon. Even between sport bikes and touring bikes.

Trucks on the Dragon August 2011

Trucks on the Dragon August 2011

Trucks on the Dragon August 2011

Motorcycle driver dies on way to hospital after crash along "The Dragon"

Aug 3, 2011

The driver of a motorcycle died on the way to the hospital after his motorcycle hit a truck while driving along "The Dragon."

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a tractor trailer was traveling along the highway at mile marker 5 when part of the truck crossed over a center line in a curve.

The motorcycle, driven by 45-year-old Dwight Woodard, was traveling southbound and hit the truck driven by 47-year-old Bobby Coleman. The motorcycle and Woodard went under the truck and was run over by its wheels.

Officials transported Woodard to Blount Memorial. While he was alive and talking at the scene, he died on his way to the hospital.

According to officials, the accident happened close to 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning three miles from the North Carolina state line.

Charges for the incident are pending.

Previous story

Blount County dispatchers confirm a motorcyclist and a tractor trailer were involved in an accident on Highway 129, also known as "The Dragon," near the North Carolina state line around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office, Rural Metro, and THP were called to the scene.

Details are not being released on the extent of any injuries.



Crashes are big bucks for Butler's Police State WreckING Service Chop Shop at Deals Gap...lure em in and make em crash

Yes, trucks and truckers are essential to the survival of every person in USA. But most trucks on the Dragon are there by accident, since most maps show it as a straight road, and trucking companies won't warn their new drivers. Warning signs at each end of the Dragon warn truckers to turn around to avoid switchbacks.

There are many who PREFER the crash rate increase on the Dragon...and towtruckers run the cartheft rackets with police.

The Wreckers: A Story of Killing Seas and Plundered Shipwrecks, from the 18th-Century to the Present Day

Though Daphne Du Maurier made Cornwall Britain's most notorious region for wrecking, many other coastal communities regarded the "sea's bounty" as an impromptu way of providing themselves with everything from grapefruits to grand pianos. Some plunderers were held to be so skilled that they could strip a ship from stem to stern before the Coast Guard had even left port, some were rumored to lure ships onto the rocks with false lights, and some simply waited for winter gales to do their work.


Wrecking is the practice of taking valuables from a shipwreck which has foundered near or close to shore. Often an unregulated activity of opportunity in coastal communities, wrecking has been subjected to increasing regulation and evolved into what is now known as marine salvage. Wrecking is no longer economically significant; however, as recently as the 19th century in some parts of the world, it was the mainstay of otherwise economically marginal coastal communities.

There are legends that some ships were deliberately lured into danger by a display of false lights. John Viele, retired U. S. Navy officer and author of a history of wrecking in the Florida Keys, states that such tricks simply would not work. He points out that mariners interpret a light as indicating land, and so avoid them if they cannot identify them. Moreover, oil lanterns cannot be seen very far over water at night, unless they are large, fitted with mirrors or lenses, and mounted at a great height (i.e., in a lighthouse). In hundreds of admiralty court cases heard in Key West, Florida, no captain of a wrecked ship ever charged that he had been led astray by a false light.[1] A Bahamian wrecker, when asked if he and his crewmates made beacons on shore or showed their lights to warn ships away from the land at night, is reported to have said, "No, no [laughing]; we always put them out for a better chance by night".[2]

Legend maintains that the town of Nags Head, North Carolina takes its name from wreckers deploying false lights. The Nags Head legend states that in the 18th century, wreckers would hang lanterns from the necks of mules (colloquially called "nags" at the time) and walk the animals very slowly up and down the beach. The alleged intent was to fool mariners into believing that the slow-moving lights were ships drifting at rest or at anchor, prompting the ships to change course and subsequently run aground. However, despite the prevalence of the legend and the local assertion of its truth, no concrete evidence exists to substantiate the claim.

False Lights

If you can see a lighthouse, you know to avoid that piece of the sea, as someone has gone to a lot of trouble to build a tower with a light on it. However, if there are no lighthouses, then which direction is safe open water and which direction is dangerous coast? You don't know. However, suppose you happen to spot a ship in the distance, with its lights gleaming far away, there's a good chance that there's water inbetween it and you. Therefore, that is a pretty good guess as a direction to steer. If that is a real ship, with real lights, it's a good bet. But this is where "false lights" come into meaning...

At night, at sea, it's far from obvious that the distance is land or sea or sky. A ship in the far distance moves about in a particular way, and the lights move relative to the surface of the sea, which is itself moving. What ship-wreckers are alleged to do is to move hand-held lanterns about in such a way that they mimick far away ships. The wreckers' lamps are held on land and high up (sometimes on cliffs) so they appear to be higher-up in the picture, and in a false perspective, there is an impression that they are much further away, and on the sea.

Another thing which makes the idea of "false lights" have some credibility is the type of story where the wreckers would parade along the sea-front very slowly with a donkey and the lantern hanging from the donkey's neck. If it's all a made-up story, then why invent an idea that someone would go to the trouble of having an animal to carry a lamp? Also, why is it supposed to be going "slowly"? I would speculate that the nodding motion of the donkey walking along slowly would have a motion which to a distant observer would appear like a ship in the far distance.

Wreckers were some of the wealthier citizens in the Florida Keys during the Pirate heydays!

Wreckers refers to the people who would go out and salvage the crew, ship and cargo of ships that had ran aground on the reefs of the Florida keys. Some of this happened out of heroism and some out of piracy. A reward or payment was expected.

It’s believed that the Bahamians turned wrecking into an industry. They organized it so that a claim could be filed in Nassau or Havana . The claim could also be settled between the owner of the shipwreck and the salvagers. Many records exist showing that the whole ship, cargo, crew and passengers were saved from many ships.

After all was taken from the wreck, the ship would be set on fire. The wreckers didn’t want anything left that would warn other ships of the dangerous reef below the water. They would also move lights around or snuff them completely out to trick the ships into running onto the shallow reefs.

The Upper Keys had especially dangerous waters for the large overloaded ships. Many wreckers would hang out near Carysfort Reef and Tavernier while waiting on a wreck to happen.

In 1822 the West Indies Anti-Piracy Squadron was sent to get rid of the pirates in the Florida Keys Waters. The problem was that there were no written legal statutes concerning piracy.

The Federal Government didn’t concern themselves with this. The Territory of Florida set it’s own wrecking acts in 1823. The last law concerned the making or holding of false lights, devices, or anything “with the intent to mislead, bewilder or decoy the mariners of any vessel on the high seas, whereby such vessel may be cast ashore, or get aground...” “If convicted,... be deemed guilty of felon, and shall suffer death.”

Jamaica Inn is a novel by the English writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in 1936. It was later made into a film, also called Jamaica Inn, by Alfred Hitchcock. It is an eerie period piece set in Cornwall in 1820; the real Jamaica Inn still exists and is a pub in the middle of Bodmin Moor.[1] The plot follows a group of murderous wreckers who run ships aground, kill the sailors and steal the loot. Censored Posts on Crash Reconstruction and Survival Riding Tips - Most photos censored


Earlier in this thread I got pms beating me to a pulp for inferring that riders had adopted the Dragon for their private race track. That truckers have the same rights to use a US highway as any other vehicle. That Tenn. controls the road and there were little towns along the way needing services.

It is very satisfying that after 4-5 days of reading posts that the need for you tube fame, adrenaline causing speed limit breaking adventure, close call peg scraping, knee dragging, near death corner mis haps and the chance to be have your photo taken by Dragon shooters and maybe even have the bragging rites to a piece of your bike hung on the tree of shame proves my original contention. This entire thread turned from a safety argument about trucks being to big for the road to getting any truck off the road for the squids to be able to play their death cheating racer game on it.

The quoting of track day instructors directions was also a dead give a way that people paid their money on a track to learn how to drag a knee at the Dragon. A DEATH MAP? Give me a break.

As I said before, I had been riding that stretch of road before the general bike public knew it was there, I even have my stupid squid photos from several years of knee, peg dragging. But when the wanna be racer squids came I left. You want hair raising fun in the corners then stay on a track or go find a much less traveled road. Quit crying about bikers going to fast, missing the corner and finding some unexpected obstruction in the way. Yes, very sad for the family but it happens to riders going to work, coming home from a run every day and they try to be prepared for it. If we keep going this way maybe we will uncover a real conspericy.

Every road has a Death Map, but nobody cares except on the Dragon. Govt changes the name to Fatality Map.

If you want to learn how to ride safely on the street, you have no choice but to go to school on a race track, because learning how to ride safely is a CRIME on the street. BTW you can drag a knee at 20 mph in a parking lot, or at least I can. Cops and Gold Wing riders pride themselves in dragging pegs in parking lots and the Dragon. Dragging knees and pegs is mandatory in emergency situations as the only way to change direction quickly to avoid impact.

Riding safely is a crime on the street. Every driver and every rider commits dozens of crimes every day, subject to years in jail for each day driving (except in a few states that define the highway code as civil not criminal). Tennessee Code requires 30 days in jail for every driver exceeding the speed limit by 1 mph. Does that sound right to you?

Ignorance is bliss to the sheeple, but that don't change this fact of law.

There's an opportunity this fatality will result in a ban on tractor trailers on the Dragon, which benefits truck drivers by preventing expensive single-vehicle truck crashes costing up to $100,000 each. Most rookie truckers have no idea that road is so impassible by looking at their maps.

That's why the Dragon is special, because it's the only road I know of where riders actually pride themselves on riding skill, not by how much beer they can drink. But that's changing with the Police State crackdown at the Gap, with up to 36 cops per 22 mile lap, resulting in boycott by skilled riders, who are replaced with unskilled novice riders and unskilled cruisers making beer and dope runs (pirates who fall down in parking lots and hit other bikes head-on).


Effort to Choke Tax-Payer Funding to Planned Parenthood - Each year, the abortion industry receives millions of our tax dollars to advance its destructive agenda. And, each year, more and more Americans demand that their hard-earned paychecks not fund the killing of preborn children, the wounding of their mothers, and the advancement of a culture of death in America. Last year alone Planned Parenthood Federation of America collected $363 million in taxpayer dollars. In January, Students for Life of America released a new study showing that 44.3% of college-and university-sponsored health care plans cover elective abortions. And, in those schools, 38 or 44% of abortion health care plans are automatically placed on students’ tuition bills. Not only are pro-life students paying for their peers’ abortions, but taxpayers’ dollars have also been contributed to student abortions through federal education grants - in direct violation of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment strictly prohibits all federal funding of abortions and is placed in the Appropriations Act which covers the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. A poll conducted last November found that 61% of Americans oppose paying for abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars. Women, particularly, have opposed it, with 70% rejecting the notion in a poll at this time last year.

Planned Parenthood Struggles to Retain Taxpayer Funding in Indiana - The state of Indiana recently passed a bill barring state Medicaid funding from going to abortion providers. As the largest abortion chain in Indiana, Planned Parenthood would no longer receive reimbursements from the government for seeing Medicaid patients. Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana in an attempt to force Indiana to restore their government funding. They are claiming that the Indiana law violates a federal statute. The Obama administration is supporting funding Planned Parenthood and is threatening to remove $4.2 billion in federal Medicaid funding from Indiana if they do not start funding Planned Parenthood again.

Governor of Tennessee, owners of Knoxville News Sentinel and Maryville Daily Times, US presidents, members of Congress and US Supreme Court judges in Roe v Wade performing annual human sacrifice and snuff kiddie porn to Molech in Monte Rio, California, under protection by Secret Service, FBI and Sonoma County Sheriff Office

"Why shouldn't fact be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, HAS to make sense."
-Mark Twain, aka Sam Clemens, member of the Bohemian Club at Bohemian Grove homosexual nudist presidential retreat

No, Big Brother not only does not love you, He wants to murder you and your children to worship Satan! So why the Hell would Big Brother care about saving bikers on the Dragon?

Final post by admin before THREAD CLOSED:

Get the truck outta here

A fan forwarded these emails to Slayer Hater asking us to post without contact information. It would appear that North Carolina is ahead of the curve in banning trucks on Deals Gap. Soon signs will be posted on the NC side telling of existing truck restrictions. NCDOT also plans to ask Tennessee to enact similar ordinances or in the very least post signage warning of NC's restrictions. This may be the beginning of some real progress on the truck problem:

From: Mark H
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 9:40 AM
To: Deitz, Sandy K
Subject: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28


Who would I contact regarding signage along NC28 and US129 reflecting the current restrictions to through trucks with trailers over 30'? As you may know, a motorcyclist was killed by a north bound truck pulling a 48' spread axle flatbed trailer on US129 at the 5MM in Tennessee on August 3rd, 2011. Being that the truck was northbound, it violated NC law to get to the accident scene in Tennessee. Lack of signage may have contributed to this tragedy.

Any information on a contact about this matter would be appreciated. I am just a motorcyclist seeking to help stop trucks from wandering into that area as they are unable to safely negotiate that region and increased motorcycle traffic means a dangerous traffic mix. Laws that are already in place could reduce their numbers and prevent some future tragedies. My friend was run over by a truck that shouldn't even have been there.

Thanks very much for any help you can offer,

Mark H.

From: Deitz, Sandy K
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 11:19 AM
To: Mark H
Cc: Moore, Reuben E; Cook, Scott E
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28

Mark I am coping this request to Rueben Moore, Division Operation Manager and Scott Cook, Traffic Services Engineer. Both of these engineers can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxxI think they
Will be able to answer your questions.
Sandy Deitz


From: Moore, Reuben
To:Mark H

Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 16:48:43 +0000

We will review the current signing and trucks restrictions and report back to you.

Reuben E. Moore, PE
Division Operations Engineer
NCDOT - Div. 14 - Sylva
(_)/ (_)



From: Mark H
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:03 AM
To: Moore, Reuben E
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28

Thanks very much, Reuben.

Mark H


-----Original Message-----
From: Moore Reuben
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 13:37:49
To: Mark H
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28

The present signing only gives "warnings" to truckers of winding road conditions, but there are ordinances in place that apply to "thru" trucks only. DOT is not obligated to post signs of these restrictions, but truckers are responsible for knowing about them by accessing an online database. The current restriction would not apply to "local" truck trips, which is defined as a trip origin or destination within the restricted section of highway.

The traffic engineers that report to the State Traffic Engineer, in consultation with Division 14 engineers, have decided to recommend changing this ordinance to "No Trailers over 30 feet", and that this ordinance will have signs posted. Further, it will apply to all vehicles, regardless of whether the trip is local or through.

It is likely to take two to three months for the ordinance to be approved and for safety money to be appropriated for the fabrication and placement of the required signs.

If you would provide me with a postal mailing address, we can keep you further advised with an official response.

Thank you for sharing your highway safety concerns with us.

Reuben E. Moore, PE
Division Operations Engineer
NCDOT - Div. 14 - Sylva
(_)/ (_)


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark H
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:14 PM
To: Moore, Reuben E
Subject: Re: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28


Thank you for the reply and for the assistance.

If NC DOT isn't responsible for signs reflecting the current truck restrictions, who may I contact about their placement? There are signs reflecting similar restrictions to thru trucks on NC209 in Hot Springs which is Madison County. I understand there is no obligation to place signs warning truckers of restrictions, but it seems to me that such signs telling of restricted routes would be much more beneficial to the motoring public than the signs that are currently in place gently warning truckers of the mess they are getting into.

You are the experts, but changing the ordinance seems unnecessary as opposed to just indicating and enforcing the one already in place. Also, the existing thru truck restrictions include US129 from Topton, NC to the Swain County line. Are you proposing changing that ordinance to "nothing over 30' " as well? If so, Robinsville would be cut off from delivery which is not the objective.

The list of truck restrictions I am looking at may me wrong or you may have more up to date info so correct me if I'm wrong.

Again, thanks very much for taking this on. I do appreciate it.

Mark H


From:Moore, Reuben
To: Mark H.
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2011 13:29:17 +0000

Division 14 staff are in discussion with the State Traffic Engineering office to both review some of the ordinances that are in effect and to determine what, if any, should be the level of signing to place for truck restricted routes. The thinking has been that truckers are professionals who know they have a responsibility to know the rules under which they operate, and that signing that only applies to a minority of traffic should not be needed. This practice has been questioned on several truck restricted routes, and current discussion revolves around what conditions would justify the expense and need for signing for none, some, or all truck restricted routes.

I am not sure where you are talking about "US 129 from Topton, NC to the Swain County line." The only restriction I see on US 129 is in Swain County from the Cheoah Dam to the Tennessee State Line. Robbinsville can receive truck deliveries on US 129 via Topton and on NC 143/NC 28 via Stecoah/Almond.

Reuben E. Moore, PE
Division Operations Engineer
NCDOT - Div. 14 - Sylva
(_)/ (_)

From: Mark H
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 12:09 PM
To: Moore, Reuben E
Cc: Cook, Scott E; Galloway, David D; Lacy, Kevin; Setzer, Joel B
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28


Thank you for your continuing attention to this matter. The family of the fallen rider and I do appreciate the effort.

I ride in western Swain and Graham counties almost weekly through the summer months. NC28 and US129 are roads I am quite familiar with. I was also an over the road truck driver for nine years. I stopped driving commercial vehicles in 2000. Since then, there have been many changes in the trucking industry. The most relevant change in the industry is the fact that companies are hiring many non-English speaking drivers. For the majority of truck drivers I have helped across US129, English is not their first language. Most of the others were led there by their GPS or the road looks to be passable in a trucker's atlas. I put my four-way flashers on and drive in front of the trucks to try and keep anyone from getting under one. I wasn't there early enough on the day of Ike's incident and I can't be there everyday.

Local drivers that know the region or seasoned mountain drivers aren't the issue. It's lost or mislead truckers who are likely inexperienced that pose a serious threat to the motoring public in general. Motorcyclists aren't the only affected road users in the area versus commercial vehicles. The presence of trucks is dangerous for everyone, including the trucker. I have attached a few photos of trucks on the worst part of US129. I have tons more and there are certainly many more past what I have.

One anecdote I feel illustrates this issue:
I was at the Deals Gap store the afternoon after Dwight "Ike" Woodard was killed and saw a THP stop a conventional tractor and 48' box van. This was on the NC side, mind you. Trooper Larry Skeen read the driver the riot act as he was the officer on the scene of Ike's accident. Trooper Skeen asked the driver why he came that way and if he'd seen the warning signs. In broken English, the trucker said, "Sign no say 'no.'" Trooper Skeen replied, "Well, you got me there." No one ended up under that particular truck.

The restriction on US129 from US74 to the Swain county line in Graham county prohibiting through trailers longer than 30' is outlined on page 5 of the NCDOT's list of statewide truck restrictions. It reads:
US129 | Graham County | No through truck tractors with trailers longer than 30 feet between US74(Topton, NC) and the Swain County line.

In addition:
US129 | Swain County | No through truck tractors with trailers longer than 30 feet, and no truck tractors with trailers longer than 48 feet, north of the Cheoah Dam between the Graham County line and the Tennessee state line.

The existing restrictions allow for deliveries locally, but if they were to be modified to include an all out truck ban, Robbinsville would have been affected as stated in your earlier email. I may have misunderstood you. If so, I apologize.

I don't really know how much signs cost, but I am certain I could raise the funds for any signs that are approved to go up. That is not an empty promise. That is a guarantee. If the state and/or Division 14 approved the signs, they'd be paid for. Just let me know. I could set up a memorial fund in "Ike's" name and that money would be there overnight. No BS, no question. Just give me a dollar amount.

Mark H


From: Moore, Reuben
To: Mark H
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:50:04 +0000

Thank you for the pictures and other additional information. Your perspective, interests, and background give us a better understanding of the situation.

We are continuing to develop a project to place signs advising of the truck restrictions in Graham and Swain Counties on US 129. The sign copy will include the word “NO”, and will include the color red which indicates a prohibition, as well as black wording on white background to indicate that the message is a restriction, not just a warning.

I believe you have correctly quoted the existing truck restrictions, and I think I can explain them to you. “No through trucks” means that “local” trucks are not bound by the restriction. It means that a truck of the restricted description, in this case a tractor pulling a trailer over 30 feet can be on the restricted route, if its origin or destination is along the restricted route. However, “No trucks” means that even local trucks are not allowed on this route, in this case if they are pulling a trailer that is longer than 48 feet. This restriction was intended to make it illegal to drive STAA-dimensioned trucks (53’ trailers) north of the Cheoah Dam on US 129. None of this makes it illegal to drive a STAA truck from Topton to or through Robbinsville all the way to the Cheoah Dam; however, if it passed the Dam it would be illegal. It is not our intention to make this illegal, but we are considering making it illegal for trucks pulling trailers longer than 30 feet to travel beyond the Cheoah Dam on in to Tennessee.

Again, thank you for your information, and we will continue to keep you advised of our progress in having truck restriction signs placed.

Reuben E. Moore, PE
Division Operations Engineer
NCDOT - Div. 14 - Sylva
(_)/ (_)

From: Mark H
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:30 PM
To: Moore, Reuben E
Subject: RE: Signage reflecting recent truck restrictions on US129 and NC28


I know you said you would update me regarding the sign project and its progress, but I just wanted to touch base with you and ask if there might be any progress you can share. We are still seeing many trucks in that area and I had occasion to speak with one of the drivers before he made his way across. He was completely unaware it was a restricted route and said he'd followed his GPS designed for use in a passenger car. He spoke with a heavy accent, but his English wasn't terrible. I videoed our conversation. A local motorcyclist offered to take him through and I helped him slide his axles all the way forward.

The driver does curse his GPS in the video so it may not be "safe for work," but it does illustrate a point. He ended up pressing on into Tennessee with the helpful motorcyclist in front of him. Without an escort, who knows what would happen.

Thanks again for your help in the matter.

Mark H


Some progress. We have a funded project to post regulatory signs, and the ordinance has been changed to restrict any trucks pulling trailers 30 feet or longer from being on US 129 between the Cheoah Dam and the Tennessee State Line.

We still need to design the signs, determine where signs need to be placed, and place the signs. We also need to coordinate with TennDOT to let them know what we are doing and ask if they would reciprocate or at least post signs advising of our restriction. I have been advised that the ordinance has been changed on the website and is therefore already in effect.

Thank you for the video. I’m guessing Russian or Armenian.

Reuben E. Moore, PE
Division Operations Engineer
NCDOT - Div. 14 - Sylva
(_)/ (_)