State committee agrees there should be no limit, bill now goes to Senate
By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
CONCORD — A bill to repeal the restriction on the height of motorcycle handlebars carried the Senate Transportation Committee by a margin of four-to-one this week and will go before the full Senate on Thursday next week.
The current law prescribes that the hand grips can be no higher than the shoulders of a rider seated in the saddle. Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, first pressed for repealing the restriction a year ago, when a bill sponsored by then Sen. Andrew Hosmer was referred to interim study. This year, Sen. Harold French (R-Franklin) introduced identical legislation, which drew scant opposition when at the committee hearing this week.
St. Clair said that if the bill passes the Legislature, New Hampshire will become the 19th state and first in New England not to restrict the height of handlebars. The limits in other states vary considerably from shoulder height in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, to eye level in some states and different inches above the seat in others. As the host of the nation's oldest motorcycle rally, which attracts visitors from across the country, St. Clair said that New Hampshire should not impose restrictions that may inconvenience motorcyclists from other states. Moreover, he said there is no evidence that the height of handlebars pose a risk to motorcyclists.
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