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SC Supreme Court to hear Myrtle Beach helmet suit

http://66.225.205.104/JR20090615.mp3

The South Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit over a new motorcycle helmet law in Myrtle Beach. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: In January, the new helmet requirement took effect in Myrtle Beach and police began issuing tickets. One of them went to 30-year-old Bart Viers who rode through in late March while on leave from the Army. His brother, Myrtle Beach attorney and state representative Thad Viers, went straight to the state's highest court on Brad's behalf. "Well, the issue is South Carolina state law says if you are 21 or older you do not have to wear a helmet, and the city passed this law to harass a certain class of individuals," says Viers. "The bigger issue is what local governments can do, and whether they can pass ordinances that fly in the face of state law." The other plaintiff in the lawsuit is a group of Myrtle Beach businesses. They say the city's helmet law put such a damper on annual bike rallies that some of their shops may go under. Viers pushed for the lawsuit to start in the South Carolina Supreme Court because the traditional appeal process could take years. Bikers and some Myrtle Beach businesses hope to get the helmet law overturned before next spring's rallies. City officials passed the helmet law and several other ordinances to end a series of popular motorcycle gatherings the mayor says have become a nuisance.