April 17, 2024

Florida attorney who fought helmet laws dies in motorcycle crash | Florida

Florida attorney who fought helmet laws dies in motorcycle crash | Florida

For practically a decade, Ron Smith, an lawyer and avid motorbike rider from Pinellas county, Florida, advocated from laws which reported motorcyclists had to don helmets to experience. Finally, the condition legislation changed.

This August, Smith, 66, and his girlfriend, Brenda Jeanan Volpe, 62, died in a lethal bike crash. Neither was carrying a helmet, the Tampa Bay Times described.

Smith and Volpe have been on their way to a funeral when Smith reportedly lost handle of their bicycle while slowing down for traffic. The bike crashed into a trailer hooked up to a truck.

A Florida highway patrol spokesperson, Steve Gaskins, informed the Periods no one particular was charged in the incident.

Each Smith and Volpe died of blunt trauma to the head, according to an autopsy for Smith and an preliminary report for Volpe from the Hillsborough healthcare examiner.

“It’s entirely possible that if they had been putting on a helmet they may well have survived but … we just cannot say for guaranteed,” Eric Teoh, a motorbike safety researcher at the Insurance policies Institute for Freeway Safety, advised the Situations.

Helmets “certainly would have improved their odds”, Teoh additional.

Smith was a member of American Bikers Aimed Toward Schooling (Abate), an advocacy group that has lobbied towards helmet legal guidelines.

As an attorney, he represented customers caught violating Florida’s motorbike security regulations in situations experts say might have aided overturn the state’s necessary helmet regulation.

In 1 case, Smith represented a rider who received a citation for riding without having a helmet. A judge threw out the ticket, leading to the community sheriff’s office to quickly halt implementing the state helmet law.

A different situation was despatched to Florida’s 2nd district court docket of enchantment, which discovered the point out helmet law to be constitutional but mentioned the Florida section of freeway security and motor cars violated the law by not publishing a checklist of protective gear.

In 2000, Florida changed its laws to state that any one more than 21 was no longer needed to don a helmet while riding a motorbike, if they experienced much more than $10,000 of coverage to include accidents.

Smith was remembered by pals and associates as anyone who valued his independence and that of other individuals.

“He imagined all people really should have their have option,” said Dave Newman, who with Smith was a member of the American Legion Riders.

On 1 on line tribute web page, Volpe was explained as a “devoted loving mother, grandma, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and good friend, a definitely lovely person”.